What do you do? How would you describe your working life?
I'm Chief Maman over at www.CheltenhamMaman.co.uk a mothering network, blog and events management company based n Gloucestershire. I'm also mum to three children aged 14, 12 and 1 which I also consider to be work. Hard hard work (but a lot of fun too!)
My working and home lives sort of merge into one and I have an alarming lack of boundaries around either one. Sadly I think that's the only way a lot of working Mums make things work but I recognise I'm so lucky to be able to work around my family doing something I really love and feel passionate about. It's great that I can get some work done whilst waiting for the older boys to finish their activities and that if something important comes up for one of the kids I can make it my priority without having to negotiate with an irritated manager.
Did you show any early signs as a child that indicated that you would end up where you are today?
Well I always loved to write and have started and not finished several books in my life. I get my love for the written word from my Dad and had I not mistakenly fallen pregnant at 20 I would have studied English at University. These things have a funny way of working out for the best in the long run and I am so excited to have found a way to get my thoughts onto paper (or screens) and have such a great and pretty well established family at a relatively young age.
Describe your morning routine
Let's just say that if I sleep all night until 5am I wake up happy and refreshed. My little one is a fan of that really irritating loop that they play on CBeebies before 6am - the one that reminds you that it's not even worth their while to show real television programmes at that time as no-one else in the world is awake.
I work a little while she plays until the rest of the house wakes up at around 6.30 - then it's breakfast (nearly always cooked), a blur if 'Mum I need a clean shirt!' 'Mum I forgot to tell you I need ingredients for a Jamaican Ginger cake at school today' and 'Did I mention I'm in London today and won't be home till 8pm?' Then at 8.10am they're all out of the house, the little one goes back to bed and I make a coffee and get stuck in to the day's work at Cheltenham Maman!
Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from and when do they arrive?
This is a real issue of mine. Anything and everything can give me an idea and it's quite a challenge to capture that light bulb moment if it comes at a time when you can't act on it. I never turn down an opportunity to meet someone new so have a lot of coffee meetings with people who are interested in the blog. You never know when you will stumble across someone who can present an opportunity or an interesting angle that you'd not considered.
I also think it's really important to let your business evolve naturally. I'm not a fan of the five year plan. I only started seven months ago and back then I had no idea really where my idea was heading - I've just sort of moved with the demand and interest and figured out slowly as I've gone along how to turn it into a business - and I'm definitely not there yet! For example the MumBoss club that I have setup and that now has almost 150 members came about after my launch event. It was the first event I did and though I got some inspirational speakers in and focused on providing lots of content I could see that actually what those women valued most was just being in a room with other women who just get it. They were all out there trying something new and being themselves and not letting the fact that thy were mothers change that - it seemed only sensible to give people a regular opportunity to do that all over again.