Not only has winning #sbs helped to boost my business profile, it has provided a much needed confidence boost to me personally. Working day-in, day-out on my own has been very hard at times but this recognition and sense of belief from Theo Paphitis has given me the determination to succeed. I also feel I have a strong support network amongst my fellow #sbs winners, which to me is invaluable.
I founded The Ultimate Baby Shower Ltd in 2005 when my first daughter was 6 months old. I'd given up my 6 year career as an Environmental Consultant to stay at home and bring up my daughter but felt a strong desire to combine motherhood with work. I knew I could manage around my daughter’s routine and began to research the then small baby shower market in the UK. I had attended my cousin’s baby showers in the U.S. and loved the idea of elegant British baby showers with a focus on creating a support / advice network for new mum rather than the presents.
In 2007 I had my second daughter and faced the challenge of managing a baby, toddler and business - the toughest challenge so far! My daughters are both now at school and the business has gone from strength to strength.
I’ve been featured on TV as the UK baby shower expert and have conducted numerous interviews regarding both baby showers and running my business whilst being mum to my 2 young daughters. I recently reached the finals of the Mum’s in Business Award as well as the Local Business Accelerators Competition founded by Deborah Meaden. I also achieved the #WOW award from Jacqueline Gold in 2011. I'm finally feeling proud of my achievements and am looking forward to what the future holds.
1) If you are managing your business around your children, school runs etc then chill out! You're not superwoman / man and need to set priorities. Your children come first and only you know what comes 2nd, 3rd etc. You can't achieve everything in a day and some days you will achieve the bare minimum. The worst thing you can do is stress and end up feeling guilty because you haven't achieved anything at all. Know your limits! Took me a long time to learn that....
2) Believe in yourself, sometimes you'll feel you're the only person who does. Stick to your dream, you'll get there.
3) Don't be afraid to ask other business owners how they manage with deliveries, stock, suppliers, funding etc. You can learn from other people's mistakes rather than making the same yourself.