Zoë has her dream business all sewn up
The pursuit of a lifelong passion and a better work-life balance were top of Zoë’s list when she set up her own business, Oodles of Craft, last year. Providing sewing and craft parties in the comfort of your own home, she takes the stress out of party planning. Here, she recalls how Successful Mums was there to help just when she needed it most.
My love of making and crafting goes back to when I was little, when my Nana encouraged me to do it after school. Being creative was also one of the things I enjoyed most about teaching. While on maternity leave, I took myself off to a sewing machine workshop one day and loved it. The idea for Oodles of Craft really took shape back then.
It felt like it was something for “me”. When you become a parent, it can be a slight shock to the system… I remember wanting to do something for myself, so I didn’t just feel like I was breastfeeding all the time!
I was a primary school teacher for 14 years, had worked my way up to the leadership team and I loved it. But the hours were long and when my eldest son started Reception, I couldn’t take time off for sports day, the nativity play or open mornings – little things that were important to him – so I knew I had to make a change – Zoë
The idea ticked over for a couple of years and then suddenly the time felt right. Early last year, with my youngest turning three, I left work and set up the business two weeks later. I put some feelers out, held a couple of trial parties and had some great feedback.
Successful Mums was just what I needed when I was scouting around for training. I was confident in the teaching, the sewing and the craft but I needed advice on things like where to advertise and how to keep on top of my finances – things I’d never had to do before. The Business Start-Up Taster Session really organised my thoughts and helped me think through the whole process, from booking to feedback.
Jane asked us to look one year into the future and think about the words we’d like our customers to use to describe our businesses. That was a great exercise; it made me focus on what I was trying to achieve and work backwards to figure out what I needed to do to get there.
Nine months on, my sewing parties are up and running and they’re doing brilliantly. Running a business has been a steep learning curve but I’m enjoying the challenge and getting lots of positive feedback.
I still have a heavy workload but it’s a “better” workload. I don’t mind doing admin if it’s for the benefit of my business – and admin these days is about researching products, social media and planning new workshops and parties, which I love.
The massive benefit to me is that I’m able to be there much more for my family and that’s fantastic. Teaching has always been my passion and I’m loving being able to maintain that and be around for my boys while they’re still young. It’s a win-win for all of us!
Looking ahead, I’m excited about my latest workshops for new and expectant mums. I’m taking new party bookings and looking to expand into other local areas. I’m also talking to head teachers about running my workshops in schools. Exciting times!
If, like Zoë, you have a passion you’d love to turn into a business, Successful Mums can offer guidance, practical tools and confidence tips to help you on your way. Book your place on one of our free Taster Sessions in Bromley, Croydon or Hayes today.