My Business, My Passion
As any of my friends or people I have worked with will know, I have always been highly ambitious. I have always had to get to the next step of the ladder; always need to get that next pay rise, promotion, bonus. I was always highly competitive and assertive, never shying away from letting it be known that I am a force to be reckoned with. I have worked a long time on my career in my “real job” to get a pretty decent salary, a nice house, a comfortable lifestyle, not to mention the odd designer handbag thrown in for good measure.
Then along came Elara.
I could not have foreseen the change she has made to my life goals, and I say life goals, because, before it was work goals which helped me “get things” for my life. I was focussed and driven on my career for so long I had just assumed that that is what I would be doing forever until I retire (hopefully early because I had climbed so high!)
But then Elara unleashed something in me I never knew I had. I always knew about business because that is what I had been doing, running other people’s businesses but I had never really been creative, not since school (let’s not think about how long ago that was!)
Scrolling online looking for a keepsake of my breastfeeding journey after pumping for the trillionth time I saw some beautiful pieces but not quite me and I somehow convinced myself that I could make myself something. So I started researching how this mystical magic liquid gold could actually be turned solid and into something beautiful.
I convinced my partner that I could do this, afterall, I can do anything as I have harnessed the super power of breastfeeding. Well, it was a bit of a disaster to say the least. I didn’t have the proper materials, I didn’t really know what I was doing. My first mold was a Darth Vader ice cube tray – so yes I had breast milk stored in a Darth Vader head – what was I thinking!
However, I kept trying, adapting, amending my methods and hey presto after many weeks and failed attempts I did it, I got it right! Lots of hours of watching YouTube whilst Elara was feeding or sleeping or having tummy time, or on night feeds – I mean what else could I be doing right?!
I was so hell bent on getting it right as I had invested so much time and energy into it that it had to be a success. I remember on New years Eve one of my best friends was visiting and he thought I was mental. “Breastmilk…….jewellery…….” Yep that’s right breastmilk jewellery, people’s faces when I tell them what I do, it’s actually quite funny. Like talking about breastmilk is somehow taboo!
Eventually I nailed it, I crafted my purple heart. I had no idea how it was going to come out and when it did I was so in love with it. I wear it all the time (when not at the day job!) A lot of my mummy friends commented on it and asked for some pieces to be made and before long I had their friends asking too.
So I thought to myself, hang on this could actually be viable, if people really do want what I am making maybe, just maybe, I can make a little website and dip my toe in the water of being an entrepreneur! Because that sounds fancy, right?
I have zilch experience of website design, SEO, social media for business literally nada. So, here we go again, a long steep learning curve! All the while working full-time, with a small one at home (and my partner) trying to start and run a small business.
I remember getting my Facebook page set up and the website set up, I only had a few items listed at the time. I was sooo nervous to hit PUBLISH I felt like doing it was like me running naked in the streets – people would actually see it, they would see me!
I did it. I hit publish, I squealed and then sent it to my mummy friends to review. Then …. Nothing. It was a few weeks before I got my first sale and it was a mama from the north of England, I couldn’t believe it, so far away. I expected friends of friends locally but no, someone who didn’t know me, Erin, Elara’s mama saw my website and entrusted me to craft their special keepsake! Blown away!
And guess what?! I ballsed it up, I ruined it, I was devastated. I felt like a fraud, like I really shouldn’t be doing this that I had some baby brain fog that convinced me I could. So after a little cry and a cuddle with Elara I started it again. I actually had to make it 3 times before it worked and came out perfect! Once I had posted it to the customer I waited with baited breath for a response, a review, some acknowledgement, something… and I waited and waited and waited. Then my first review 5* review she absolutely loved it and oh my goodness I can’t tell you how good that felt!
As time went on and more reviews came in my confidence started growing and I expanded my range and developed the business. I got a professional logo, I took better photographs and then I got my branded jewellery boxes which I love so much! With each growth and change and review my passion for my hobby became my passion for my business and it’s grown with the love and dedication I have put into it.
I don’t know everything about how to do it all YET but I will do. Although I like my “day job” I do not foresee a long term strategic career anymore, that’s not where my life is headed, mine is headed towards running my business full-time. Having the flexibility of being my own boss, reporting and being accountable to me and myself.
Will it be scary leaving a guaranteed income? Hell yes! However when I look back from when I started my business journey making Darth Vader breastmilk heads from an ice cube tray, to being in Vogue with Madonna on the front cover, I know I can do this, and I will do this. I am so excited for what the future holds for me, with my ideas, my goals, my family, my time without that added pressure I need to be at this level by this age with this salary. For me, I have realised actually that kind of shit is no longer important anymore. I sold my fancy handbags (well I may have kept 1 or 2 SSHHH don’t judge me they are pretty!) and I am working towards putting my big girl pants on and making it my full-time gig, just watch me!