I'm not much of a blogger, it has to be said. Thinking of witty, charming posts with beautiful photography every week sounds like so much fun, but in reality... well, reality gets in the way! I do know that I need to make much more of an effort on this side of my business and today is the day I begin! So what should my first in depth blog post be about? I could give you the inside scoop on my famous banana read recipe or tell you everything that I get up to with my ever so loveable cavapoo Lily, but I thought it best to start with how I got here. Not that I am anywhere minutely close to a career finish line but I do feel more content with my version of work/life happiness. Here goes.....
I've always been a 9-5 girl ever since leaving college at 17. Although I was an arty child I went straight into full-time employment, beginning in fashion and beauty retail and eventually moving into finance (I still have no idea how this happened as maths was my least favourite subject and I'm not particularly good at it either). A steady income was always my main priority but I had always dreamt of running my own business. When I was 20 and began working for a beauty company, I soon found that the make-up artistry side was something I really loved to do. With help from photographer and model friends I began working on photo shoots for fashion graduates, slowly building up my portfolio and gradually moving up to assisting on adverts and publications. This sounds quite exciting (and most of the time it really was) but the work was unpaid, involved endless travel and super long days so trying to balance this with another full-time job became pretty overwhelming. I felt like I'd started the wrong way around - instead of pursuing this through university with less responsibility, I had rent and bills to contend with while chasing the dream of making it as a successful make-up artist. I was going high speed to burnout. While some might say that if you really want something you keep going regardless, the pressure became too much for me.
I began to suffer with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) which made it increasingly excruciating meeting new people and being in unfamiliar surroundings. Judgement is normal in the industry but it definitely didn't mix well with my nervous disposition. These feelings of self-doubt teamed with unfortunate knock backs (including a super embarrassing and wildly intense interview with ELLE UK magazine) resulted in my decision to re-evaluate my work and concentrate on something that would increase my confidence and sense of well-being.
I opened a small vintage clothing store on-line in 2011 and started to get to grips with all the elements necessary to run small creative business. My very talented fashion-y friends stuck with me and helped create a little shop in which we did the photography, advertising and designs from scratch. I even launched my own little t-shirt collection which I think is when my love of graphic design was rekindled.
The Pretty Junk closed in 2013 after it started going in a direction we couldn't keep up with without a large financial commitment. The most important thing this part of my life gave me were some extremely lovely friends that I'll cherish forever.
So I'd been with Mr Thomas for 6 years when we got engaged and we began planning our wedding soon after. I completely fell in love with the romance of it all. Chatting to other brides and feeling their joy and excitement, there's nothing like it! We married at Elixir Shore Club September 2014 in Ibiza with all our friends and family (tips on destination weddings would be an idea for my next post!). It may sound cliché but it was the absolute best day of our lives and I haven't lost my love of wedding planning since. Once a bride, always a bride!
The design studio got off the ground at the beginning of 2015 after joining Etsy.com and Notonthehighstreet.com. I went part time at my normal job soon after to dedicate enough time to my wedding clients and things really began to get busy! While my business has grown considerably over the past six months it is still very early days and not quite at the point where I can jack in the day job and be full time self-employed. That is something I'll be moving towards over the next couple of years I think. Working from home (see my happy office space above) and doing something I'm passionate about has levelled out my anxiety for sure. Even though the hours are longer and funds are a little tighter I'm much happier in myself and adore being a part of such a lovely time in peoples lives. Job satisfaction is second to none. Chatting to brides everyday has to be my favourite part, I always look forward to replying to emails and messages, hearing what they have planned for their big day!
I'm excited for the future and I can gladly say that without a hint of nervous apprehension :)
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