Why I set up my business.... Part 1

When Alfie, our little miracle, was born in 2015 I knew the path I wanted to take in my life had changed forever. Previously working in the city for long hours and working most days, I knew this was something I didn't want to carry on doing once Alfie came. Things were changing at work too and it just made sense for me to take voluntary redundancy, to focus on finding a way to spend more time at home and to be more flexible for family life.  

I had worked long hours since being just a teen, being very career focused and money driven, it gave me purpose! The job I had at the time had me committing to very long days, early mornings and late nights, travelling to and from the city every day which not only took more time but cost money, and I had to spend time up and down the country which had me rarely home. 

Alfie coming along inspired me to do more for myself, and for my family. I wanted to have more time. I wanted to spend some days in the home I'd worked so hard to pay for. I didn't want to pay for somebody else to raise Alfie if I had the option of doing it myself. 

I wanted to be the best version of myself that I could be - I wanted to be fitter and healthier for my little boy, so over the course of a year after he was born, I lost just short of 70lbs. In the process of my weight loss journey, I spent some time creating yummy looking and tasting lower calorie sweet treats that I could enjoy without those feelings of guilt that come with indulging, something not readily available in the supermarkets at the time. I also spent time making lower calorie, weight loss friendly, meal recipes. Sharing my journey, blogs and recipes online became one of my favourite past times, and quickly connected me with other people who wanted access to more... this led to me completing Food Hygiene and Personal Nutrition courses, registering our property with our local council, and opening up our home and kitchen for people to come and learn not only the recipes but how to make them. 

I loved the element of freedom and flexibility I had at this point, having full control over when I worked, how long I worked... it was great! 

Over the next few weeks and months, the business went from one success to another - what started as eight people around the kitchen island and selling sweet treats at local farmers markets soon turned into a rapidly growing Instagram account, our first website, and 2000 packs of chocolates sold in one night. 

 

 

It wasn't doable anymore to run this from the kitchen, so started looking at where to go next...

After some deliberation and conversations with my nearest and dearest I decided to take the plunge to move to a business premises and hire people to help. This was, after all, a business set up to free up time for my family, not to take it away. 

I signed a 5-year lease to a factory unit in Southend in November 2017, and officially moved in there the following January. The relief was amazing. We had our home back, we could expand now however we wanted, and I could share the load with others. It wasn't solely on my shoulders anymore... or so I thought! 

 

I never expected what followed - in both the best and worst ways! 

 Part 2 to follow tomorrow ... 

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