Flexible Working · Uncategorized

Red Smart Women Week & How you can get your copy free!

This week marks our favourite magazine Red: Smart Women Week 2017

Smart Women Week includes a five day ’boutique festival’ showcasing a series of talks, workshops and events happening in London. The week includes some incredible women and ‘career shifters’ including – ‘In Conversation with Sophie Dahl’, the chance to hear from Director – turned Entrepreneur – Samantha Cameron and inspirational author – Marian Keyes!

Even though we aren’t in London and we totally missed out on tickets (sad face) it’s inspired us to continue to focus on inspirational women in the UK.

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This month’s edition of Red Magazine is oozing with positivity and inspirational stories from career women who have made it work within the world of business and entrepreneurship. It also focusses on some fabulous women who are in top positions at Jaguar Land Rover such a DR Gillian Mara who is a group leader in the business. Not only does the magazine focus on these inspirational women, but it explains how many of them have embraced change and have followed their dreams, even if it wasn’t their first career. The focus is very much on ‘it’s never too late’ which is something that i think resonates with lots of us as Mums.

When you become a Mum, sometimes your focus shifts and your original career either doesn’t now fit quite right, or you find a new passion. Whatever the circumstance, increasingly Mums are changing career path later on in life and this month’s Red articles just further cement this ethos.

Online training company Digital Mums have been focussing their attention on Red’s Smart Women week heavily as it mirrors their own ethos of taking a Mum’s skill set and allowing them to put this forward into a new flexible career. Digital Mums does this by training Mums in Social Media Management, which is one such career that allows the work-life balance so many seek when they find themselves trying to find a career that works around family life.

If you would like to read this month’s edition of Red but don’t have a moment to head to the shops, you can do so for free if you’re an Amazon Prime customer.

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Image copywrite RED

You can download the magazine on your kindle. If you’re like me and don’t own a kindle, you can also download the free Kindle App on your phone which will also give you access to the magazine when you enter your amazon details. Once in the app you just need to click on discover or search for ‘Red Magazine’ and download it to your phone.

You can thank me later 🙂

Download on the app store here or on Google Play here

If you would like to read some more Mumspirational stories look no further! We have some brilliant interviews with amazing Mums! Just click here below to read the interviews in our Wonder Woman Collective! We feature new interviews every week so if you can think of a Mum worthy of a feature please do let us know, you can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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Uncategorized · Wonder Woman Collective

Wonder Woman Collective Pt4 Rachel

Welcome to Part Four of our Wonder Woman Collective, thank you for visiting!

This week we meet Rachel Turner, a Mumspirational Mum of two who lives in Warwickshire.

Rachel made the leap from working for an engineering company to ‘paying herself and others to do the hokey cokey’ (her words haha). Read all about how she made such a huge change in career, how she juggles parenthood and the challenges of running your own business and Rachel’s advice for anyone thinking of making a change in their career.

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Hi Rachel! Tell us a little bit about your job or career before you launched your own business

I worked in waste management in Birmingham for a big engineering company called Atkins. Writing reports for planning applications for large waste facilities.  After having my children I did 3 days a week, but it still meant getting the 7.12am train to Birmingham and the 5.03pm back, rather a rush and a 2 hour commute each day.

Tell us all about your current business

I run Rhythm Time music classes for babies, toddlers and pre schoolers. These are great fun,

I pay myself and other people to do the hokey cokey!

A dream job after thinking I would have liked to be a childrens TV presenter. I teach 4 mornings a week and then do the admin for the business in the afternoons and evenings. I work some weekends for parties, and events. In 2016 I was networking mummies networker of the year. This year I was a finalist in the networking mummies small business awards.

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What made you take the leap to decide to start out on your own?

It was a gradual thing and almost happened by chance. I had stopped working as it was just getting too much, the long hours the constant rushing, my husband working away a lot. I wanted to spend more time with my children while they were little and cute and liked spending time with me.

After being at home for 6 months I started assisting at Rhythm Time, then trained to be one of the teachers. Then the current owner was retiring she asked if I wanted to buy the business.

It was something I had never considered, being a business lady, it seemed too grown up.

I have some very good friends who encouraged me, gave me lots of support and advise and I made the plunge and became a business owner.

I am usually better being told what to do, I don’t feel like a born leader! As it is a franchise there is a lot of support from head office and the lesson plans are provided. if I need marketing material this is pre designed and there is lots of help with marketing and running a business etc. There is also support from the other people leading Rhythm Time classes across the country, I feel like part of a big family.

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What do you love most about your job and why?

The interaction with the children in class, seeing them singing, dancing, enjoying themselves. Seeing their progression and confidence increase as they learn how to play in time and sing solo. Listening to 15 pre schoolers sing a song to me un accompanied, watching the pride in their parents faces and the happiness we all have. Seeing the babies smiling and laughing and gurgling along to their favourite tunes and just the sheer enjoyment of the classes. It is truly joyful and great fun.

Through my job I am able to help support and fundraise for local charities and good causes. I put on Rhythm Time sessions at charity events, provide prizes for charity raffles and charity collections in classes at Christmas. it is great to help local charities through my business.

How do you juggle being a Mummy and having your own business?

It is rather busy, the children help me set up the class before the school run, they also help me practice the songs. I then take them to school and then go back to start the classes. In the afternoons I do admin, but am there to do the school run. They are in after school club 1 night a week so I can catch up on paper work.

Do you have any particular rules to make sure you balance things so you get family time too?

This is one thing I need to get better at doing, stopping working! So I can just sit with them and chat after tea instead of working.

I am also leaving my work phone at home when we are on holiday and leaving someone else to answer the emails.

Do you come across any negativity from others because you’re a working Mum? If yes, what?

Not because I am a working mum, as most of the mums I know do work. Perhaps sometimes because I don’t do a normal job, but I think working flexibly is becoming the norm.

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Business nowadays are not just about contact via email, potential clients reach you via social media as well as websites, do you feel a pressure to keep up to date with social media and if so do you find this impacts on your time, especially in the evening?

Yes I need to stop checking Facebook after a certain time and even emails. Of course I want people to be able to contact me , but I need to be strict on when I answer, I need time to unwind and switch off and watch Eastenders!

What do you think the hardest thing about having children and being your own boss is?

Time management, as I do feel guilty if I am working  when they are at home.

And what’s the best thing about it?

That I am there for them, have tea with them, get to take them on school trips when I can, spend hours at the park after school and just enjoy being with them while they are still little. It is good that they see me working and want to join me when they are older. My 5 year old wants to work at Rhythm Time when she is older or work on the computer at home!

What advice would you give another Mummy who is considering changing their job or career to follow their passion? 

I would say to go for it. Life is too short to hate your job and be unhappy at work.

It will be hard work but you are strong and can run a business or change your career.

Do not regret not following your dreams and doing something you love.

My friend sent me a card which read, “she believed she could and so she did” it hangs above my desk. I know she believes in me and I believe in myself.

We would like to thank Rachel for taking part in our Wonder Woman Collective! You can find Rachel’s Rhythm Time classes here.

Rachel is currently taking bookings for baby, toddler and Pre-School music classes in Leamington, Kenilworth & Stratford Upon Avon to start in September.

Make new friendships and have fun whilst helping your child develop!
Our fun activities help brain development, balance, concentration, listening skills and language which in turn help with reading, writing, maths, co-ordination and socialising.
Rhythm Time also helps stimulate your child’s imagination and develops specific musical concepts such as rhythm, pitch and listening. It’s the perfect foundation for school and future music making!
🎶 Join in the fun and start your child’s musical journey by visiting www.rhythmtime.net/rt232 to book a class (Places are limited) or email Rachel at rachelrtime@gmail.com.

If you would like to nominate a #mumspirational Mum for us to feature please do get in touch!

Uncategorized · Wonder Woman Collective

Wonder Women Collective Pt1 – Madelaine Furnivall

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Photo credit Anna Clarke

Welcome to the first interview in our Wonder Women Collective!

Every Wednesday we will be sharing Mumspirational Stories from Wonder Women who happen to be parents. We hope that these real stories inspire you to believe that you can achieve your goals and be a great Mum at the same time. There’s no need to compromise, if you have a dream, Follow It!

This week we introduce Madelaine Furnivall, a Mum of two from Leamington Spa who is living her dream as the owner of The Bridal Boutique Warwickshire nestled in picturesque Henley In Arden. Madi talks to us about how she juggles being a Mum and business owner and talks about how her husband has embraced flexible working so that they can balance family with work together. 

Tell us a little bit about your job or career before you launched your own business.

I worked in beauty for years and worked my way up to become a Spa Manager of a top spa but due to a back injury I had to give that up. I then kind of fell in to recruitment which really wasn’t for me, but I met my husband there so not all bad! When I had my daughter my NCT friend told me that the lady she brought her wedding dress from needed a manager for her Wedding dress boutique, long story short I applied and got the job.

What made you take the leap to decide to start out on your own?

I loved my job and bridal as a career and I wanted to create something with a more unique offering. So I went on a mission to find something that would have the wow factor and I found it! I now own the Bridal Boutique Warwickshire in Henley in Arden, we sell top designer wedding and bridesmaid dresses. The business focuses on making girls feel amazing and styling them from head to toe.

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I get to make people feel amazing everyday. We help find your style for your wedding but also really make a difference to all aspects of that special day. Be it dealing with mother-in-laws, bridesmaids or helping with recommendations on photographers, florists, make up artists etc. I feel like we really make a difference and our brides leave feeling inspired and excited about their big day.

How do you juggle being a Mummy and having your own business?

Being a Mummy and juggling my own business is the part I’ve found hardest. We bought the business two years before we had really wanted to. But the opportunity came up and you have to go with fate and follow your heart. The first two years really tested us. I had one in nursery and one at school, both at opposite ends of the town and nowhere near my Boutique. Also having to work two if not three evenings a week and every weekend was very draining on our family time and my energy to be able to be the best mummy. Since building the business up and managing to recruit good staff my hours have reduced which means very rarely do I need to work evenings. It also means I can have days off and not have to spend every second working from home.

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Do you have any particular ways or rules to make sure you balance things so you get family time too?

Monday and Tuesdays now I walk to and from school, which I love and also take the children to after school activities on those days.

Wednesday to Saturday I work full time but the great thing is now I’m in a position that if a school assembly comes up or sports day or any activities like that I can schedule my brides around that so I get to attend nearly all school functions now. This has made a huge difference this year to my children’s happiness. Also the business is so strong now that I very rarely offer to see people on a Sunday, this is now our strict family day. I have realised this is so important as we only get one day a week as a whole unit. In the first two years I worked nearly every Saturday and spent two to four hours on a Sunday at the boutique as well.

In the last month my husband has started a flexible work day on a Wednesday, meaning we all get to eat dinner together mid-week too which has been amazing.

I never thought something so small would make such a difference. People who eat together every night as a family really are very lucky. I would really urge families to look at their dynamic and if you find yourself in a similar position to me, look at flexible working. It really can make all the difference, and it isn’t just for the women as we are proof.

Is there anything in particular that makes things a little easier for you? 

Our mums play a huge part in us being able to function. If either of the children are ill and we can’t take time off work, they step in. If I need to work late and can’t collect the children they are there for us. They also help with school holidays, which is huge for us as it costs such a lot of money to find childcare during that time.

I won’t lie I struggle with the guilt of not being able to take more time off in holidays and we never get round to seeing all the people we want to, but that’s my busiest time as a business so I have to work.

Do you come across any negativity from others because you’re a working Mum? 

I have come across some negativity because I’m a working Mum, I think people don’t always mean to make the comments they do and maybe don’t think about what they are saying, some of the comments I get can be quite upsetting such as “I could never work weekends or evenings” or “I would never send my kids to holiday clubs, the holidays are for families.” Comments like that really that do make me feel guilty.

Business nowadays are not just about contact via email, potential clients reach you via social media as well as websites, do you feel a pressure to keep up to date with social media?

This is a big one for me as I have a real issue with social media and phones and ipads being too near children. But this is a problem when I have to answer emails, Facebook messages, staff texts, Instagram posts everyday 24hours a day! In the last year this has become a something that I have had to become better at. Brides want to follow you and you have to update all these social media apps everyday, this means my children rarely see me without my phone. This is my biggest annoyance with myself but also one I have no power to do anything about at the moment as to be the best I have to be contactable all the time and have to post to social media regularly.

What do you think the hardest thing about having children and being your own boss is?

Guilt! No off switch to work it’s never ending

And what’s the best thing about it?

Being able to make time now we are successful to go to the little things that I couldn’t have done if I worked for somebody else. Even just being able to walk to school makes me happy.

What advice would you give another Mummy who is considering changing their job or career to follow their passion? 

Go for it! But remember it takes at least three years to succeed and get time off, even then it’s constant when it’s your business you can’t turn off when you get home like you can when you work for somebody else. I love that my children also understand and value money: they know mummy and daddy work really hard do that they can have the nice things.

We would like to thank Madi for taking the time to talk to us and inspire other Mums to follow their dreams and ambitions. You can follow Madelaine’s Boutique on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 

If you are a Mumpirational Wonder Woman and would like to share your story, we would LOVE to hear from you and help you to inspire the world. Contact Us Here

Till Next Week! x

 

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All about Mumspirational

Mumspirational is a project to support, inspire and empower women across the UK who happen to have had babies. 

We will be featuring some incredible Mums who have created businesses while creating small people and proving that being a Mum doesn’t define or determine what you can achieve.

Being mindful and having some time to focus is so important, we will share #mindfulmondays to give you that gentle reminder that you deserve time to be you and doing something just for you once in a while will ultimately reward you with more energy.