Name: Diane Bartholomew
Age: 40…shhh (in my head I’m still 21)
Number of children: 1 Toddler
Job title: Founder and Owner of shopetino.com, an online retailer for children and their grown-ups.
Duties: Everything. I’m responsible for it all – from the marketing, social media, design, logistics, supplier management, customer service and finance just to name a few areas. You name it, I do it!
Hours: Lots – as I am in the process of starting up my company, it’s very busy right now, but a lot of fun too. When my daughter is at nursery I tend to work on my business for the entire day, then do a bit more after she’s gone to bed. When we are at home together, I answer the odd email in the day, but generally work when she’s tucked up in bed at night.
Childcare arrangements: My daughter goes to nursery 3 days a week, which is fantastic as I have 3 entire days to focus on setting up the business, and generally catch-up with myself.
What I love about work: I feel great. I love the fact that I can combine what I love (business/setting up my company) with bringing up my daughter. If I need to participate in an activity at her nursery, I can just attend. I have the luxury of not having to ask a boss if I can come in late or leave early. I am the boss, so make my own decisions. This is the thing I love the most. Unlike a boss who tells you to go home at night, I seem to have no off button now though.
I also love the fact that I am doing something different and learning about an entirely new industry. It keeps me on my toes and is very rewarding. I am also connecting with lots of other women in business too, and it feels fantastic to know that there are others out there who are in the same boat and I am now part of that community
What I find difficult is: Contrary to my previous point, unlike a boss who tells you to go home at night, I seem to just continue working. Also, being the decision maker for it all can be tough going. As the sole owner of my company the buck stops with me. I can now see the benefit of having a business partner on board – it’s handy having someone to bounce ideas off of. I do have a lovely husband though, who I have roped in (probably against his will!). He is a fantastic decision maker, challenges me and questions everything. I’m informally outsourcing already! I also have a Whatsapp group where I can share images etc. and solicit honest opinions from friends and family. I’ve divvied them up into creative, marketing, legal and general. So far so good, for me that is!
My working life would be easier if… I could formally hire a small team. Then, I could focus my energy on the growth strategy for Shopetino and my wonder team could assist with the day-to-day running of the business.
Work/mum life balance: I’m getting there. As Shopetino is a start-up, that’s not yet launched, I don’t think it’s a true reflection of what life is like as a business owner going forward.
How having children has changed the work I do: Having a child has refocused the type of work I do (my background is in marketing, specifically in film). It was always a dream of mine to have my own business. Having my daughter was definitely the catalyst for change and quickly ensured that I put the wheels in motion. I have a clearer understanding of what’s important to me, and the example I would like to set her. I can’t imagine going back to how I worked before – lots of late nights…. at least even if I’m doing it now, it’s on my own terms.
Fantasy job / If I wasn’t doing this: I’d be travelling he world and blogging about it. I once saw a Chanel 4 show that was all about Brits who take their children out of school and go travelling around the world. Sounds good to me!
Mojomums helps mums get their mojo back – what advice would you give to mums who feel they have lost theirs? My suggestion would be to take out some time for yourself and not feel guilty about it. It’s important to have some downtime for yourself too. Whether it’s going out with a friend for the day, doing your hair or just having a coffee somewhere minus your children. A couple of hours of alone time can work wonders. Also, it’s important, as a new Mum, to get out there and meet other local Mums. In the beginning I didn’t want to go to baby groups as I thought it would be quite boring. What could we possibly have in common to talk about? It was the best thing I did and it was nice to get out there and meet parents with children the same age as mine. It’s a fun thing to do and exposes you to an entirely new circle of people. I’ve made some lifelong friends. So, although your mojo might not come back as quickly as you would like, you are surrounded by a group of people who are in the same boat as you, so that in itself is a massive bonus.
Shopetino launches on 1st November, sign up now at www.shopetino.com