I originally started bee-utifulcreations by bee when I was on maternity leave with my 1st child.
It was the lead up to Christmas and I was just making baubles to give me something creative to do whilst looking after my son and it was just more of a hobby. I un-expectedly had more sales then I had planned for and suddenly needed a business name so I could invoice people and that was when my business was born.
I was originally making lots of craft items, frames, wine glasses, children’s t-shirts all personalised and smaller scale then now. I went back to work at the end of maternity leave so the business was not really my focus and was just bubbling along in the background. I had yet another successful Christmas and suddenly a lot of wedding orders in the new year and I become much busier then I had expected.
At this point I was due with my 2nd child and eventually closed the business for a while once he was born. I nearly closed the whole business down until I had a conversation with a very successful mum who runs her own business and then my business was really born. The business that I run now really only started finding its feet about 2 years ago.
The biggest inspiration for me and what has motivated me ties in to why my business in my head only really only started two years ago. I suffered quite severely from perinatal and post-natal depression and was the reason I nearly closed the business but also became the reason I didn’t. I had a conversation with Laura from the modern nursery and realised my passion was not just being creative but wanting to do more for awareness of maternal mental health. I then relaunched the business selling more clothing for mums/women and focusing on positivity and charity.
My biggest challenge has been and still is working around my day job and children. I often end up working on the business late at night which then eats into and downtime I could have had. I have to be very careful not to go too far the wrong way as it can really affect my mental wellbeing. It is a full on juggling act.
How I balance this is I work 3 days a week in my day job, I have the younger child on one day and one day is a business focussed day or a day I take for down time. I try to plan out all my social media for a week on the weekend and post once a day. I have a longer lead time on my products and my customers have been amazing and will happily wait which means I can work in burst giving me some time off in-between. I exercise in the morning before I begin work and I batch cook meals to save me cooking every day. Also I have a wonderful husband who picks up the slack so I can run the business too. Its sounds crazy but it works!
My advice to anyone starting out is that it’s harder then it looks but if you really enjoy something then it makes it worthwhile. Find what inspires you and the purpose of why you want to run the business. Money is always generally the first answer but if you get a real joy from doing what it is your business does then even the hard times when its not so busy won’t feel as bad.
My plans for this year actually are to not over work myself. During the lockdown I made over 600 t-shirts all raising money for materials for PPE. Alongside that I co-ordinated 2 groups of people making PPE and distributing it. One team made it for ICU units in London as part of the Visor Army – make a visor save a life. The other team made them for local care homes, schools, emergency response units and also sent them out across the country. It was a very busy lockdown and it wiped me out. In addition to this I raised money for AgeUK, Black minds matter and Refuge with t-shirt sales also during Covid-19 as well as raising money for my normal charity The counselling foundation. So I am being kind to myself and taking it easy after a very strange and unexpectedly busy year, well as easy as I can during the Christmas lead up.
I am also focusing on my rebrand which will launch next year in Jan 2021. New year, new name, new logo. My business has grown up a lot and so it is time that a few other parts of my business grow with it. I am super excited to see what next year brings.