Category Archives: Work At Home Mama

Introducing… Mam, I Am.

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So a few weeks ago I posted about struggling with the decision on keeping The Sketchbook Artist as a behind the scenes of my life or making it strictly business. Back then I decided that I could continue posting about work/family perfectly fine together (which you can read here) but I have noticed recently that I haven’t been posting about them equally and this blog was becoming more of a family life blog than a behind the scenes of TSA.

So I introduce to you, my new blog, Mam, I Am.

Please note that I will be transferring all of my Project 52 posts and soon my Work-At-Home-Mama posts. So from now on The Sketchbook Artist’s Blog will be strictly business!

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Mixing Business With Pleasure…

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Over the past few months I have been ‘umming and ahhing’ about whether I should create a separate blog. A blog for my personal life, the life of being a mother, a dreadful cook and pretty much just day-to-day rants and inspirations. I don’t want to make “The Sketchbook Artist” a blog full of confused context.

For instance, whenever I get new followers, I always wonder what interests them about my blog? Is it the arty updates? The struggles of freelancing? or perhaps even my Work At Home Mama’s posts? Then I realised… The Sketchbook Artist Blog was supposed to be a behind the scenes kind of thing. Basically, about me?! (Now if that doesn’t sound vein, what does?)

I am all of these things, an artist, a mother, a freelancer and so many more. I bet so are my followers. Sometimes its hard to think of followers as ‘real people’ rather than a stat.

So basically after having this chat with myself.. (I really should get out more), I’ve decided to keep The Sketchbook Artist as it is, a bit of everything, for everyone.

Anyone else struggle with this kind of thing?

Work At Home Mama featuring… Georgia Coote

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GeorgiaSo before we get started, why not introduce yourself and your business…
 I’m Georgia and I’m a freelance surface pattern designer. My business encompasses many different things but they all stem from my love of surface pattern. My main focus is designing repeats which are available for licensing along with developing patterns for my own products. I also run creative workshops for a number of artistic skills for many different community groups, for example basic print making, sewing, and sensory art.

So what came first, working from home or becoming a mama?
For the past 3/4 years I’ve worked part-time at home and the rest of the time teaching. I’ve always wanted to do my own work full-time though, so now focusing on just my own work is really exciting!

 
Other than an extra mouth to feed what were your reasons for being your own boss?
I’ve always wanted to work for myself, I’m very much at the beginnings of being able to be a stay at home mum and work for myself, but I love the thought that I will be able to look after my baby as well as being able to do what I love.

 
Did you vigorously plan it before taking the plunge? Or did you just dip your toes in first to test the waters?
Because I worked partly freelance before becoming a mum I didn’t plan it too much, as I felt that I’d tested the waters a little. That being said I have no idea how this is all going to work out, but I’m going try as hard as I can to stay at home with my daughter and hopefully earn a living at the same time!

 
What do you think is the hardest obstacle when starting off on your own?
Start up costs, it’s really hard paying for samples and any new equipment, supplies etc right at the start without any funds. I’m currently looking into grants and awards at the moment.

 
Was there anything that you found surprisingly easy about the whole thing?
Motivation – when you really love something it’s really not hard to get excited about getting started!

 

Do you have a strict schedule that you stick to or do you just fit it in around daily life?
Life is so chaotic at the moment I have to just fit everything around daily life! In some ways though I think that makes me focus my work a lot more and to be honest I’m not a particularly structured person so I wouldn’t have it another way!

 
What advice would you give someone thinking about following in your footsteps?
I think if you do what you love hopefully something good will always come of it – well I hope so anyway!

Thank you so much for your time and advice and I wish you all the luck in the future.

You can find out more about Georgia by reading her wonderful blog here.

Work At Home Mama featuring… Diana At Peggys Collection

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So before we get started, why not introduce yourself and your business…
My name is Diana and I own Peggys Collection, which is the name of my late grandmother who taught me how to knit and make things. I sell all vintage inspired knitwear and other designs. I have built my business up over the last couple of years and won #SBS in 2010 from Theo Paphitis from dragons den. I have also recently been included in the designers show at Norwich Fashion Week too.

So what came first, working from home or becoming a mama?
Being a mum was the first thing, I worked before then but always more in the law side in solicitors so this was a total change of career for me.

Other than an extra mouth to feed what were your reasons for being your own boss?
The main reason was the flexibility, I can still attend the sports days and be there when the kids come home rather than if I had a full-time job.

Did you vigorously plan it before taking the plunge? Or did you just dip your toes in first to test the waters?
I started selling on folksy just to see if anyone would buy my creations and when they did I realised that this was what I should do full-time.

What do you think is the hardest obstacle when starting off on your own?
I started off with no funding so that was very hard and it is important remember that you do the accounts marketing everything including the actually production of the stock.

Was there anything that you found surprisingly easy about the whole thing?
I found the social media side very easy for me and that is my main and best marketing tool at the moment.

Do you have a strict schedule that you stick to or do you just fit it in around daily life?
I fit it in around daily life because things always crop up, such as a child off school sick or an extra phone call or email.  I do love lists though and I try to follow one as much as I possibly can.

What does your workspace look like? Is it a dedicated part of the house or is it a versatile kitchen table?

Because a lot of my work is knitting and making things I can be very versatile where I work.  Sewing side and laptop work and email answering etc is usually in the dining room.

What advice would you give someone thinking about following in your footsteps?
Get as much information as possible first so you are prepared! Remember too that when you do run your own business as much as it is a blessing as in the flexibility side of things you do not usually switch off much from it either.  As there is always something to be done and you don’t clock off at a certain time, well I don’t!  Leading up to my fashion shows I was working up until midnight most nights to get it all done as well as looking after the children and the house.  But I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Thank you so much for your time and advice and I wish you all the luck in the future.

You can find out more about Diana by reading her wonderful blog here.

Also please note that the brilliant photograph used is copyright and is the property of DcTaylor Photography which you can see here.

Work At Home Mama featuring… Maggy At Red Ted Art

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So before we get started, why not introduce yourself and your business…
I am Maggy from Red Ted Art – a craft blog for all the family to enjoy! I mainly get crafty with my two little ones, but I also bring regular how tos and tutorials for teens and adults!

So what came first, working from home or becoming a mama?
First came being a mama! Then came the decision to stay at home.. and then I “needed” something to occupy me other than “just” children (as adorable as they are). I started selling artwork for children’s nurseries, but needed and online presence. Along came “Red Ted Art”… which quickly became a crafty blog and so much more. I now only blog and don’t sell the artwork anymore.

Other than an extra mouth to feed what were your reasons for being your own boss?
I can manage my own time around my children. I can do what I love doing (crafts), it is an activity to do with the kids. And I can do what I want, when I want. 100% flexible!

Did you vigorously plan it before taking the plunge? Or did you just dip your toes in first to test the waters?
Absolutely not. If anything I “fell into” it all. My brother always told me I should make “money from crafts”.. I just laughed “I would I do that?”. Well.. Red Ted Art is your answer.

What do you think is the hardest obstacle when starting off on your own?
Keeping motivating. Seeing that there is a point to all you are doing.

Was there anything that you found surprisingly easy about the whole thing?
Balancing the children and my “work”. And how much I am enjoying it!

Do you have a strict schedule that you stick to or do you just fit it in around daily life?
Not really, but I do do, 30min or of “networking” first thing in the morning, the again at lunchtime and the evening.

What does your workspace look like? Is it a dedicated part of the house or is it a versatile kitchen table?
Ahem. Very messy. I currently work at the kitchen table. This allows me to dip in and out of what I do, as well as keep an eye on the children!

What advice would you give someone thinking about following in your footsteps?
Find something that you enjoy doing, that you are passionate about and I think in many ways the rest will follow! But don’t forget, you can’t just have a great “product/ idea”, there is a lot networking, sales and marketing needed too!

Thank you so much for your time and advice and I wish you all the luck in the future.

You can find out more about Maggy by reading her wonderful blog here.

Work At Home Mama featuring… Fritha Strickland

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MoonbeatleSo before we get started, why not introduce yourself and your business…
My name is Fritha Moonbeatle Tigerlily Quinn Strickland. I run a blog called Tigerlilly Quinn and sell illustrations in my shop ‘moonbeatle’

So what came first, working from home or becoming a mama?
Becoming a mama came first although working from home has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. Having Wilf gave the confidence and opportunity to work from home and I hope to be able to establish myself and my work enough to be able to stay at home with my baby and do the job I love.
Other than an extra mouth to feed what were your reasons for being your own boss?
I am passionate about my artwork and any other job doesn’t compare. Also when I am drawing it doesn’t feel like ‘work’ as it is something I enjoy and feel proud of. I have always wanted to work for myself and I think having a good work ethic is healthy and important to impart onto Wilf as he grows up.

Did you vigorously plan it before taking the plunge? Or did you just dip your toes in first to test the waters?
I have had a few commissions before having Wilf but I was always working 37 hours a week too so could never throw myself into it entirely. Of course looking after a three month old is a full time job too but I am able to focus my energy into my art when I have a free second (like when he is napping!)

What do you think is the hardest obstacle when starting off on your own?
Having the confidence to put yourself out there. Also don’t expect for it to take off straight away. A lot of it is building up a client base and getting your name out there so it will take time!

Was there anything that you found surprisingly easy about the whole thing?
As an illustrator, drawing slips into to daily life quite well. Its something I can do with a sleeping baby on me for example!

Do you have a strict schedule that you stick to or do you just fit it in around daily life?
Definitely fitting around daily life! I’ve never been into schedules!  

What advice would you give someone thinking about following in your footsteps?
Twitter is a great tool for networking/meeting other business mamas or just find a bit of support! I would say it is a must for any one trying to set up a business.

Thank you so much for your time and advice and I wish you all the luck in the future.

You can find out more about Fritha by reading her wonderful blog here.