Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words?
Sleepy, Optimistic, Hungry
What’s the story of your creative business?
My business has two sides to it. Creative Sofa Graphic Design helps organisations build their brand through logo design, stationery, business cards, leaflets, adverts, online graphics and more. I work with a wide variety of businesses from small start-ups to larger businesses.
The second aspect of my business is Creative Sofa Kids Art which creates Children’s Name Pictures. My selection of picture themes from teddies to trains, jungles, fairies, butterflies and number prints can all be personalised with a name, date of birth or dedication.
I started Creative Sofa Graphic Design and Illustration in 2006 – at the same time as getting married and moving house… that was a busy month. In 2008, after our ‘little bundle of joy’ arrived I was inspired to set up Creative Sofa Kids Art – Children’s Name Pictures.
I started my own business because I was moving house to be with my new hubbie and it was too far to travel to my “proper” job. I decided to set out on my own and become a Freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator.
Creative Sofa Kids Art was later set-up as an outlet for my passion for children’s illustration, typography and design.
It was really dull doing the legal set-up of the Creative Sofa plus all the mundane things like insurance and bank accounts. From there I was lucky enough to be ‘ready to go’ straight away – as my first client was my previous employer.
Creative Sofa Kids Art involved many hours of work randomly slotted in to short bursts of time.
What are the best things about being a mother running a creative business?
I love the flexibility and variety of running my own business.
I can be working on a huge variety of graphic design projects all in the same week, it keeps me on my toes from a creative sense. I can be flexible with my time too, planning things so I can go to school plays and zumba classes whilst still meeting deadlines.
And the worst?
Oh the admin stuff! It just never seems to end. I seem to spend most of my time doing everything but designing and illustrating – which is the bit I really enjoy.
Tell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama
I single tricky day doesn’t stand out, but tough days usually feature a battle with computer problems and are usually resolved by swearing, coffee and tearful phone calls to technical support!What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?
Schedule (and stick to) child-free time to work on your business. Blurring work and family time is a recipe for disaster with neither being fulfilling.
What are you working on right now that you’re most excited about?
I am working on some new Children’s Name Pictures for Creative Sofa Kids Art. I want to include photos of the children and things that are special to them into the pictures.
If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?
More time (and energy actually) to concentrate on the creative side of my business rather than getting bogged down in the never ending admin.
Fairy, please take away the admin and do it for me!
If you have a dream of becoming a creative business-mama yourself, you might also like to find out more about our partner in this series this month: Mum Plus Business - a network supporting local mums to form business partnerships.
What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?
If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.
You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.