Basically, as I am researching everything about freelancing at the minute, I thought it would be a good idea to interview Work-At-Home-Mama’s to see how they get on with balancing family life/work. So first as an example I have interviewed myself (that’s a sentence I never thought I’d say).
So before we get started, why not introduce yourself and your business…
My name is Kim Jenkins, mum of one. I run a small business called “The Sketchbook Artist” which creates one of a kind pencil portraits from photographs. As well as creating prints and handmade Sketchbooks.
So what came first, working from home or becoming a mama?
Technically working at home as I started whilst I was pregnant, but nothing really kicked off until Jack was born.
Other than an extra mouth to feed what were your reasons for being your own boss?
I have always loved drawing and thought it would be great to get paid to do my hobby! Being a mama just gave me the push I needed to start what I’ve always dreamed of.
Did you vigorously plan it before taking the plunge? Or did you just dip your toes in first to test the waters?
I definitely tested the waters, adding little by little. It wasn’t like one day The Sketchbook Artist was there. Everyone saw my progress on The Sketchbook Artist via social networking sites. Though I am now looking into becoming a lot more organised about everything.
What do you think is the hardest obstacle when starting off on your own?
The fear of not knowing if it will work out. It’s like the fear at the beginning of a drawing, the anticipation of what’s to come can be really exciting but at the same time very daunting!
Was there anything that you found surprisingly easy about the whole thing?
Using social networking to get your work out there as it’s so addictive. It’s so simple and it’s a great way to advertise for free (without being too pushy of course).
Do you have a strict schedule that you stick to or do you just fit it in around daily life?
I attempt to create schedules to bring some structure into The Sketchbook Artist but as any mother will know, everyday life is never according to plan.. or very rarely!
What does your workspace look like? Is it a room all of its own or perhaps a multifunctional kitchen table?
At the moment it is a corner of our bedroom as we are lucky enough to have a large bedroom, but one day I hope to have my own studio, be that a room in the house or outside. A space just to create sounds amazing!
What advice would you give someone thinking about following in your footsteps?
Other than use twitter/facebook to network, I would also advise all creatives to create a blog. It gives the customers and potential customers a ‘behind the scenes’ feel. It’s also nice to know that these businesses are run by real people with real lives. Also the more your name is out there, the more likely you are to be found in a search engine.
Thank you so much for your time and advice and I wish you all the luck in the future.
(p.s. and yes I am thanking myself for my time as it would be rude not to)