Welcome to another update from one of our crafty ladies – this time Shelly Terry from hand-made card company, Evelyn Mae, If you have a young family and run a business, please pop a reply down to Shelly’s special bonus question, as she’s a first-time mum and working out how to juggle things. Of course business has been taking something of a back seat, as she predicted when we last spoke in February 2015: “In a year’s time, our baby will be 7 months old, so I am hoping that I will have offered a few Christmas letters, and be readying myself to open again – whether that is full or part time. I fully intend to spend as much time as I can with our baby, so as long as I have a business plan my husband and I are happy with, I will feel accomplished”. Let’s see how this exciting year has gone!
Hello again, Shelly, and congratulations on the birth of your baby girl. Are things as you expected a year and a bit ago?
In a way. I wasn’t expecting the early days of having a baby to go so fast!!! I did offer Christmas letters, but I found it very tiring so am not really pursuing the business currently – although any organic orders that come in I will do.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Working with a baby! My daughter is now 10 months, she is very good and is such a happy girl – I don’t have the motivation to pursue work when I can spend my time with her.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I wish I’d sorted more of the office, I thought it last year but it’s even more important now I’m postponing work for longer!
Any more hints and tips for people?
Taking time out isn’t giving up – give yourself the time you need to look after yourself.
BONUS NEW QUESTION: What question would YOU like to ask other small business owners?
How do you fit small business around a young family- especially if your baby isn’t a big day sleeper!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I imagine I will still be open but still only taking incoming orders, and not actively advertising. Keeping the pressure off and spending time with my daughter.
You know what – “I wish I’d sorted out more of the office” is such a common phrase to hear in these interviews – that should tell us all something, shouldn’t it! Obviously Shelly’s dialled things down at the moment, and she makes an important point about how this doesn’t mean she’s given up. I wish her another happy year with her little family, and look forward to finding out how things are going this time next year.
You can find Shelly’s work online at www.evelynmae.co.uk (with links on there to other crafting sites where she has a presence, such as Etsy). She has a blog on that site, too, and you can also find her on Facebook.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.