Abbey Booth, Personal Stylist at Stories With Clothes

Name: Abbey Booth

Age: 42

Number of children: 2

Job title: Personal Stylist & Head of Fashion.

Duties: Run my own business offering personal styling, wardrobe refreshes/edits, bespoke shopping experiences and styling workshops and my ethos is to encourage women to feel the best versions of themselves. My other role as Head Of Fashion involves buying and curating women’s fashion in a local boutique and I also manage their website and social media sites and work in-store 2/3 days a week.

Hours: Full-time split between the two roles.

Childcare arrangements: I work from home 3 x days a week and the other two days my husband works from home although my two children are now old enough to walk home alone from school (scary for me but they craved the independence!).

What I love about work: I really enjoy curating outfits/styles to enable women to feel the best versions of themselves.

What I find difficult is: Working on my own at home drives me stir crazy after a few days and I find it hard not to be distracted by housework! I would love to work with a small, creative team of people all working towards the same goal.

My working life would be easier if…Retail is a really difficult career choice for anyone with young families as it involves working weekends, bank holidays and evenings and as with many careers flexibility would help enormously. I know many friends who have left fashion retail once having children and it seems such a shame to lose all that talent and the assumption that only young people are interested in fashion is so dated!

Work/mum life balance: I don’t think there’s a perfect balance – it’s all a juggling act and so personal to each of us. It’s taken me a long time to realise that I’m much happier when I’m working and therefore that makes me a better Mum/wife/friend – what I have now works well for my family as they’re growing up, although working weekends is still hard and is the one thing I’d change. I still find myself working in the evenings once the children are in bed to catch up but I’m often at my most creative at this time of night so it’s something I’ve learned to accept and make work for me as I can get a lot done in a few hours and means I can get out and enjoy a walk during the day which is wonderful.

How having children has changed the work I do: I changed careers completely after having children as previously I worked in Advertising and Marketing for a national newspaper and now I work in retail/fashion! It’s what I always wanted to do, so I suppose my maternity package (which was very enlightened) just gave me the opportunity to assess where I was going with my career and decide to re-train.  The skills learned here from management/recruitment and advertising/sales have stood me in good stead over the years for running my own business.

Fantasy job / If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be…Visual Stylist at Liberty London.

Mojomums helps mums get their mojo back – what advice would you give to mums who feel they have lost theirs? You can and will get it back, sometimes you just need a bit of time to settle into your new role as a Mum and enjoy your baby/children. I lost my mojo after having my second child and literally didn’t know who I was anymore and my young cousin took me out shopping – we had a lot of fun, I cried, we laughed, I cried again – but it really lifted me up and showed me I was still me in there and could still be me. That experience really showed me the power of style and how wearing the right clothes for me and my life at that time made me feel more in control of where I was going and that I could still retain ‘me’ and be a Mum. It’s certainly not all about clothes but we do have to wear them everyday so we might as well feel great doing it!

Anything else? Don’t compare yourself and your life to other people, it’s easier said than done especially with social media, but I think it can be very damaging to always be comparing ourselves and feeling like we are not good enough. And as parents of young children we have a duty to teach them that life does not revolve around a screen – there are so many other brilliant ways of living and being together.

 

To find out more about Abbeys’ Styling Workshops, Shopping Experiences and Wardrobe Refreshes visit www.storieswithclothes.com

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