Mumpreneur Profile: Natalie of the Holiday Bid Game

Natalie RayPrior to having my daughter, I was very much on the career path. I was determined to take 3 months maternity leave, return to work, go for another promotion etc. etc.

As with many people, the three months maternity leave soon came and went and I was back to work. I wanted to continue breastfeeding so I was up at 5am every day to feed my daughter before leaving the house at 6.30am to get to work for 8, usually getting back to the house around 6pm and spending an hour with my daughter before she went to bed.

As soon as I went back to work, I realised I’d made a huge mistake. I wasn’t in a financial position to be a stay at home mum but the idea of continuing with this lifestyle horrified me.

Incredibly, within days of going back to work, I was offered another job by a good friend, who asked me to start up an online business for her. She agreed that I could work full time from home, working whatever hours fitted around my family as long as I worked the necessary hours each week.

I started my new job in November 2012 and I haven’t looked back. With the relaunch of our website coming up, I have taken stock & realised that I’m now in a position to help other people to realise their dream of working from home. I’ve therefore resolved to use suppliers who are British small businesses & enterpreneurs, thereby supporting other small businesses as we progress in our own venture.

HolidayBidGame_logoOur website, theholidaybidgame.com/ provides lowest unique bid auctions in which people can win holidays and items related to holidays. We will also be running charity auctions in which all profits will go to the charity that we support, Maternity Worldwide. 10% of all our overall profits will go to the same charity.

I have a very different viewpoint on the debate that is currently raging over whether women should be empowered to work through cheaper childcare. I work for a tiny company for whom I am the only employee but my employer manages to be flexible enough to allow me to work from home and trusts me to work my hours when it suits me. I was even able to take my daughter who was 9 months old at the time on a business trip to Paris.

In return, I have been equally flexible, often working extra hours and at antisocial times for the benefit of the company. If such a small employer can empower this sort of working, I see absolutely no reason why large employers can’t make the same provisions. I genuinely believe that they would see a huge increase in both productivity and staff retention.

 

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