Sarah Williams & Lee Bishop, Co-Founders of Your Own Life Organised

Name: Sarah Williams and Lee Bishop

Age: Both 38

Number of children: Sarah has 5 (Owen 20, Hudson, Alora, Esmae 3 (triplets), Reevie 2), Lee has 2 (Sebastian 4 and Harriet 2)

Job title: Co-Founders of Your Own Life Organised. We also part time positions for another company.

Duties: We literally do everything right now for Your Own Life Organised, also known as YOLO. The ideas, planning, researching, branding, design, networking, marketing, accounting, stock taking, even the admin tasks like printing of order labels and packing the products! We are lucky enough to be slowly building up a great team of amazing resources, like our graphic designers who put our ideas into something we can take to our manufacturers!

Hours: Any spare minute we have! We both work part time for another company, plus with the kids and school runs and general chaos of life we do end up doing a lot of evenings and calls at 1am to get things finished!

Childcare arrangements: It’s a complicated mix of school runs, childminders, forest school, grandparents and sometimes they just sit with us on conference calls. We are mums trying to make something work for our families, and everyone who works with us eventually knows our kids too!

What I love about work: We love the fact that working on Your Own Life Organised allows us to be flexible enough to do the school runs, take the kids to a music class, be at home more with them, it’s our dream that we can soon just focus on YOLO full time rather than fit in a part time job on top.  We are just so happy we are finally doing something that we adore, that inspires us, that allows us to be creative and support our families emotionally, physically and financially as well.

What I find difficult is: This short term period has been crazy, we work a lot late at night which is exhausting and hard on partners. We are lucky that we have supportive families. It’s hard sometimes to not get distracted into jumping on the laptop when the kids are eating their dinner when you work from home, something we definitely need to get better at is ending the work day. It’s very difficult in this early stage of running your own business to switch off, it’s something we need to get better at.

My working life would be easier if…we have tons of money coming in!! And if we had a proper office, or home office, rather than working off the kitchen table. That’s on the (very long) list to focus on, to be able to separate out work into a room that allows us both to close a door on it.

Work/mum life balance: I don’t think you can be a mum without the mum-guilt that goes with it. We try to stick to calls and meetings during the times when the kids are at school or nursery or napping. We are fortunate enough to be around to do school and nursery runs, meal times, bath and bed times, plus we are lucky and get cuddles and dancing and Lego building during the daytime too.  We know we are very lucky to be able to do this. We started out on our entrepreneur adventure in the hope that we would not have to go back to our City office jobs and feel that guilt but as a parent there is always plenty you feel bad about whatever you do!

How having children has changed the work I do: We previously both worked in the City in Investment Banks for many years, long hours, extended travelling. Yes, the salaries were good but after maternity leave, we both went back part time and even that seemed to pull us away from our kids more than what we felt comfortable with. Lee’s mother suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and required more care and supervision, Sarah suffered with severe anxiety after the birth of the triplets and after the second “round” of kids were born two and a bit years ago, we both decided towards the end of the maternity leave it was too much to commit to the pressure situation of being City workers. We started to set up Your Own Life Organised around 18 months ago, and fortunately local part time work was found and it enabled us to carry on with our dream of being entrepreneurs and building up our YOLO brand!

Fantasy job / If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be…Sarah actually is doing her dream job of being an entrepreneur, she would make a great Del Boy.  Lee always wanted to be a drummer, which is nuts since she has no rhythm or musical ability. That or a make up artist to the stars, she loves to hear the gossip!

Mojomums helps mums get their mojo back – what advice would you give to mums who feel they have lost theirs? To whenever possible take that leap to make their dream come true. Have confidence in yourself, in your own abilities and keep focused. It might seem an impossibility and you will definitely make mistakes along the way but just accept it and move forwards. We have learnt so much along our journey, and we still have masses to go but try to enjoy it as well.  Also take time for yourself, it is that scenario that is described on the plane put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others. It is so important to make sure you are well, sometimes you need to be selfish with your time to help you to be more you. Don’t feel guilty, know that it is a necessity to have some more you time. We are really passionate about mindfulness and supporting women who have or do suffer with mental health issues.

Anything else? We are Your Own Life Organised, a stationery, gift and lifestyle brand. Based out of Essex we officially launched August this year! YOLO for short, is set up by us, Sarah and Lee – good friends & working mums with 6 kids under 5 between us (plus various pets!). We fully understand the importance of maximising your time, making the most out of your day and enjoying those special moments, because you only live once. Our website is www.yourownlifeorganised.com and we would love for you to take a look at our Collection, and please join our mailing list for our promotions and new releases!

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