I’ve always loved design. As a child I enjoyed designing family Christmas cards and was asked to design the school commemorative mugs
I graduated with a 2:1 in graphic design back in 2005, and enjoyed working in busy design studios until I had my first daughter in November 2008. I decided that I didn’t want to miss out on any time with my young family so set up my own childminding business, but returned to uni to push myself and my business.
Nine years and four kids later… I decided the time was right to get back into design, this time as a freelancer!
Setting up as a freelance designer combined the skills I’d learnt running my own childminding business with my passion for design, and also allowed me to work around my family… and I’ve not looked back!
It can be tricky to balance everything with running a business, looking after children and keeping your house clean and tidy, but being organised, planning and not stressing about the small things is my best advice!
When I set up as a freelancer my youngest was just doing two mornings a week at preschool, so I did most of my work in the evenings – customers don’t know whether you’re up until midnight to get everything done as long as you wait until morning to send out your emails! Now that my youngest is at preschool for two full days and one afternoon, I’ve usually got my evenings back, but being self employed means that if I want to go into school for the day or if one of the children is off school, it’s not a problem. I’ve always got my evenings to work once the children are asleep!
Another tip is to set alarms so that you don’t get caught up in work and miss the time you need to leave to collect the children from school, I have alarms for everything!
My children love watching me work, if I do need to work whilst they’re around, they’re fascinated by the designs and often have an opinion of which design they think a customer should choose!
My eldest recently had a go herself and designed a fantastic phone case for her first mobile phone! I think that having them see what we do for work can be a benefit also, they know that we work to earn money to pay for the things they need and the nice things they want.
Almost two years on and I’m loving what I do!
Helping businesses with their branding and marketing by producing designs which ensure they have a professional image and a recognisable brand is keeping me busy, and the variety of businesses I work with keeps my days interesting.
I’m home when my children need me and don’t have the pressure of finding childcare for four children over the summer holidays!