self employed mums

How Do You Find The Time??

Is a question I get asked a million times? 

The plain and simple of it, I don’t !! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. After having been out of work for some time, I soon realised I don’t like to sit around doing nothing. I have to be doing something. So when I was unable to work, due to PTSD, which is a whole different blog post, I started to eBay. It started off by just selling bits and bobs around the house, just like everyone else. I soon realised that I was finding it quite therapeutic too. I was interacting with people even if it was just on a virtual level, I liked that. I liked that I was good at it too. An opportunity came along where I was able to use some of the money I had made to buy more items to sell. From there RillyRoos started to grow. When it was getting too big for my bedroom, I knew I had to do something. 

We went off to get a storage locker, which then became two, then three, and an office. Before long, it was time to move into bigger pastures. We are now proud occupiers of a warehouse. 

But, this doesn’t answer the 1st question of ‘How do you find the time?’ 

As I have already said…. I don’t! 

I am up any time from 5.30 in the morning, some days I have a crafty snooze on the settee, and some days I just straight onto the PC to check the previous nights sales and answer any queries. Check emails and messages for potential clients etc, and then its time to get 4 out of the 6 fed & dressed ready for the day ahead and I often fall into bed at Midnight after finishing off bits & bobs from the day before. 

I have to say, if it wasn’t for Mr Rilly, I don’t think we would be as successful as we are now. He has given up his time and his career to be a stay at home dad, (Don’t tell him I said so, but he is pretty damn good at it) 

So there I am at the warehouse, 5 days a week, 8-9 hours a day, and I come home and often finish off little bits, or communicate with buyers and clients. And then BOOOOOM a new thing starts!! School event photography & Friends getting married and they know I have a love of photography, and its something I have wanted to try, so as a gift to them I have done their wedding photos, and I have to admit, I am pretty OK at it. Very proud of the shots (and thankfully so are the Brides & Grooms). Not only now do we have one business with 49 clients to sell for, in my spare time I do photography. 

I am not a wonder-woman, a supermom, or a career driven maniac, I am just a woman who likes to keep busy. 

Back to the question again…. How do I find the time?? I don’t, I MAKE the time. I enjoy what I do, I like being busy, I have a family that is supportive of the businesses, so its worth making that time for. 

And that’s the key, If you enjoy something, don’t just sit their moaning about not having the time to do it… MAKE the time to do it, what ever it may be. 

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Self Employed Mums – Hop Stitch Jump – With Catherine Knowles.

This is a fantastic and very unique product from Catherine, I am sure you will enjoy getting to know about her business and what it is all about

Who are you? 

I’m Catherine, although like most of us, I answer just as readily to ‘Mummy’! I’m 35 and have a real love of stripes and rainbows, and a penchant for wearing a false moustache! I’m mummy to Beatrix, Jasper and Abel, and wife to Paul.

Gorgeous Creation from Hop Stitch Jump

Gorgeous Creation from Hop Stitch Jump

What do you do?

I make pretty things! More specifically, I make fabric keepsakes and gifts. My business is called Hop Stitch Jump and my signature work is Doodlebroidery, which involves transforming children’s drawings into wall art using freemotion embroidery.  There are no fancy computer programs involved; I use a regular domestic sewing machine and have a very keen eye!

Why did you start?

Before parenthood, I was pretty much defined by my career as a teacher. Like all teachers, I worked really hard, long days and committed myself to the job and my students. I went back to work full time after my daughter was born, but returning to the classroom was far more difficult than I expected and I felt as though I wasn’t being the best mother, wife or teacher I could be. At the same time, the school I worked in underwent radical changes in management structure and it was clear that its ethos was becoming increasingly removed from my own picture of the ideal, and so it became a little easier to plan to take some time out of teaching and concentrate on my family. After I had my second child, the rainy day fund was hit by a downpour and I started looking at new ways to save money. Hop Stitch Jump began with me making presents for friends’ children as a way to cut back on spending and quite literally snowballed from there.

How fabulous is this??

How fabulous is this??

Do you enjoy what you do?

I *love* working with the amazing masterpieces that little artists create, and I feel very privileged to be able to share an insight into their beautifully creative minds! I try really hard to stay as true to the original drawing as possible. If I’m honest, I’m more concerned that the children are happy with my finished work than the parents who pay me for the commission!

Have you always wanted to be self employed or is it something you have just worked your way into? How do you work it around children and family life?

My dad has always been self employed and I spent my late teens in our busy family newsagent’s shop and family pub, so I was well aware of the hard work involved in working for yourself! From first qualifying as a teacher, I never considered that I would do anything different, so I suppose I expected that I would always be an employee. I do think that being around so many people who ran their own businesses gave me the confidence to give it a whirl when the time came, though!

My children are six, four and almost two, so my days are filled with three school runs, playgroups, clubs and classes and all the usual housey chores and distractions. I work in the evenings and at weekends, which is great for the most part as it means I am always around for the children, although at my busiest times I find it hard having to miss out on weekend fun with the family and often go for weeks without sitting on my sofa!

Awww so cute, How special!!

Awww so cute, How special!!

Is your partner supportive?

My husband has been wonderful and has spent more than his fair share of evenings covered in stuffing and cutting out pattern pieces! There have been times when I’ve expected him to say it’s time for me to return to the classroom and start earning some ‘proper’ money again, but he has been brilliant!

WOW, What little girl wouldnt love this?

WOW, What little girl wouldnt love this?

Where can people find you?

I’m most active on Facebook at Hop Stitch Jump Facebook Page but people can also drop me a line at catherine@hopstitchjump.co.uk or contact me through the fabulous Created In Yorkshire shop in The Ridings, Wakefield.

Self Employed Mums – Queen Keen – With Claire Keen.

Another wonderful installment into my ‘Self Employed Mums’ Blogaviews. These are proving to be quite popular, and so they should! These fabulous ladies are showing us all that we can do anything we want to and we should have a go even if it doesnt work out. Its always worth a try

Here is what Claire has to say,

Who are you? 

My name is Claire and I live in Cambridgeshire. Im 33 (nearly 34 eek!) and I have been married for 10 years. We have 3 boys who are 10,8 and 6 and they model most of my hats

What do you do? 

Im a crocheter specializing in blankets and bespoke character hats. I make any size blankets from pram size up to Kingsize beds and my style is Granny Chic. I love pastel colours but I make to order a lot so my wool pile is very colourful and there is nothing I love more than going wool shopping.

Granny Chic

Granny Chic

Why did you start?

I started making blankets as a hobby and posted a few pictures on my Facebook page which caused some interest,then I made a sleepy owl hat it exploded.I was making for family and friends so I set up a Facebook business page and this is where I am now.Im hoping to have my own website this year so onwards and upwards.

Variety of Crochet Hats

Variety of Crochet Hats

Do you enjoy what you do?

I absolutely LOVE it. Who wouldnt love doing their hobby full time? I make the rules and the hours so it doesnt ever get boring and I always leave myself time on the side to try new patterns and items.

Have you always wanted to be self employed or is it something you have just worked your way into?

It just happened.I never knew I could do anything that I could make a living from so when I tried crochet (and discovered I could actually do it) I was over the moon.

How do you work it around children and family life?

I have lovely hours. I work 9am-3pm Mon-Friday when the boys are at school and if need be I can work 7pm onwards. Weekends only if I want to. Lovely!

More Hats

More Hats

Is your partner supportive?

Very supportive. He is so happy that I have found something I love as he really loves his job too. I have always worked in retail which is fun but it was just a job,I love creating things and I have so many ideas,every day is fun

Granny Chic

Granny Chic

Where can people find you?

At the moment I can be found on my Facebook page :- Queen Keen’s Facebook

and I have an Etsy shop that I am making stock for :- Queen Keens Etsy Shop

And I’m hoping to have a website with a blog in the next few weeks (*Which I will add as soon as its set up*)

Thank you Queen Keen, We at RillyRoos wish you all the best of luck for 2014 & beyond.

 

*This is not a sponsored post, this is a kind gesture to mums out there trying to make a go of something they enjoy.
You can find more about my shop at RillyRoos Shop *