Mumpreneur Profile: Gaynor of Karma Feeling

Karma FeelingGaynor Osborne-Lawn had a successful career in telecommunications. However, after becoming pregnant with her first child she faced the choice of continuing with her career and paying expensive childcare costs or creating an alternative in order to spend quality time with her child. The 39 year old mum chose the latter and created Karma Feeling, a jewellery business which she runs from her kitchen table. Based in Beverley and selling online, Gaynor admits that she took a leap of faith when she left her career but it was the best move she ever made.

“It’s a frightening experience being self-employed, particularly when you work from home because it becomes difficult to switch off. However, with a new baby at home, being my own boss means I have more flexibility and I am able to work during my baby’s nap time and on an evening when he’s in bed. It’s very important to take advantage of the quiet times and when I’m inundated with orders I can always rely on my partner and I have a great support network of family and friends around me who are invaluable when I’m pushed for time.”

In less than a year of business, Karma Feeling’s orders have continued to increase thanks to magazine articles, blogger and and social media campaigns.

“After enrolling in various jewellery courses, I came up with a unique design that encompassed my interest in crystal healing. I began making the bracelets and after coming up with a design that I was both happy with and that was cost effective, I began testing them on friends and colleagues. I had low start up costs by doing all of the planning, sourcing and design work myself. I brought in experts to build the website but because I was very clear about the service I wanted to provide, the groundwork was done so I managed to stay well within budget.”

Due to a great product and some valuable word of mouth publicity, Gaynor began taking orders for the bracelets prior to the website going live. After only a few months of business, Karma Feeling was inundated with orders thanks to a couple of credible celebrity endorsements.

“Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian appeared on BBC Breakfast and MTV wearing one of my bracelets and Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine was pictured in hers. That kind of publicity certainly doesn’t do business any harm. It’s very encouraging and as well as the jewellery range is selling, I am constantly thinking of how the business can expand whilst continuing to run it from home and I have created a variety of lifestyle products which I hope to launch later in the year.”

Self employment has risen to a record high of 4.3 million people in the last 5 years, with many new parents creating new business ideas to fit in with their circumstances. Often referred to as ‘mumpreneurs’, those who run their business from the kitchen table are now said to contribute £7.4bn to the economy.

“I believe parents are cornered into creating alternatives to returning to work, as childcare costs are extortionate. However, like myself, parents also don’t want to miss out on their child’s early years. At the moment I am happy running my business from the kitchen table and spending valuable time with my son but that doesn’t mean I am not thinking about the future. Each day I feel like I am building the foundations for something much bigger and as the business continues to grow I can invest more into it financially and in terms of hours I can put in, that will all change in the next 4 years when my child starts school.”

Leaving her career was the greatest move Gaynor could have made, “I’ve never been happier” she said, “I have the best of both worlds, watching both my child and my business grow in hours that suit me.”
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