I’m happily married with three permanently hungry children age 13, 10 and 8 – two gorgeous boys and an angel of a daughter in the middle.
My husband and I started a web design agency 15 years ago (www.mid.co.uk) when we returned to London after working overseas. I feel very lucky that we have been able to be in control of our working lives whilst having the flexibility to look after our family, too. We started out when the web was still quite new, and we’ve been very busy ever since, working mostly in the education and charity sectors, and for many other wonderful and interesting clients.
If there is a downside to running our own business, then it’s probably that there are no guarantees of future success, and the responsibility is all ours (especially as we are both in it together). However, we have been able to establish long-term working relationships with a lot of clients, which brings a fair degree of stability. And there is no way I would be happy working for anyone other than myself.
The big change this year is that we have made the time to develop our own websites, and Spotty Pencil is the first of our ideas to launch. The idea was inspired by not being able to find invitations I liked for my own children’s parties and just needing them instantly, ready to go. I came up with the idea of a service where busy parents could produce a personalised party invitation right away, without having to compromise on style. The site is US-focused as we felt that was the way to attract the largest possible number of customers, but of course it’s easy to print an invitation wherever you are in the world, and a large proportion of visitors are from the UK and Australia.
I believe if you identify a niche or a need, and fill it – with energy, enthusiasm and determination – you can be successful. It has been really exciting to put my party printables ideas into action, and now I’m working on expanding the Spotty Pencil site into different areas. We just added a range of T-Shirts using the characters from the party invitations, and plan to add personalised thank-you notes very soon.
I don’t ever want to give up working, and I hope to inspire my children to be creative and work hard in what ever they do. Indeed, in a few years’ time, I hope our teenager will be working with us!
Now, office hat off, Mum hat on. Time for the school run, and half term – hope the sun shines.
The Spotty Pencil website is at http://spottypencil.com
Some of the invitations can be printed for free, and a Premium Membership gives access to the full set. Here’s a special offer for familyfriendlyworking readers. The coupon code FFW gives a huge 50% discount on Premium Membership! (Coupon valid until the end of July.)