For no reason I started thinking about London things for babies and children ... possibly because I was looking at pictures of a pair of baby blankets I made in 2010 - to be honest it was it was a nightmare to do.
One of my favourite gifts for children is Jenny Maizels "Pop Up London" book - It's never failed to go down well to kids that know the capital and don't. I'm also starting to get her clothes plasters and blank t shirts as presents so children can decorate their own tops a la Toby.
The rather lovely sisters from Scamp come up tip top with their London bus gift sets for babies...
...and on the same bus route is this personalised print by Millie Bee which cannot fail to get the 'ooohhh' - they'll remember you for being a good gift giver too. I used to get some great emails from people that had commissioned me for personalised and the reactions they got after.... I felt like I saved a marriage once when I did an anniversary gift over night when he'd forgotten, both husband and wife were over the moon.
In the past, I've had quite a few people with a 'bit on the side' - business I mean, ask when they should quit their day job. My answer - don't. I had a mentor and the first thing she said to me was "why on earth do you want to work for yourself - my advice - don't" honestly that was good advice, really good advice the thing is I don't have a choice. Like lots of self employed out their I have a Toby, and normal employment just doesn't fit in with motherhood. I feel really lucky on one level, from the age of 13 all I wanted to do was either work in TV or do something art based. I've done both but as for being self employed, it's forced upon me. Talking to some other women who also have their own business said the same thing, as a mum it made sense to do what you love doing and create your own hours etc etc but also as a parent we have two jobs to cope with and a heck of a lot more outgoings.
Obviously I enjoy what I do - I've got a head full of ideas that I want to embroider and an even bigger list of "I could do this with it!" but trying to make it work so it can pay as a normal job - er, nope! and that is pretty much the answer of all those who have kids but we're the ones that need this the most because we can't get jobs to fit in the hours and illness - not just thinking about me but disability is another reason for trying to start your own business.
When I first became ill it was a case of give up or do something and keep sane - I did my best to keep sane. I know of some women who are coping with blinkin' chemotherapy on top of everything they do and you would never know - the trouble with being ill and working for yourself is keeping it hush hush incase clients are put off that you can't do the work. In turn, the stress of keeping it quiet makes you more ill. No one can see half the pain that some of us go through but some days I just feel like screaming "I'd like to see you try coping with being a mum, running a business and disability".
If I wasn't a parent, or ill or even the age that i am, then would I have a full time job that paid and embroidered for myself? Isn't that what arts about just an expressive outlet? This is me just interested in why you'd put yourself through the head and heart ache of having your own business over a 'normal' life? So, why do you do what you do? (and yes this is just me being nosey, ahem should I say interested!)