Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Children Changing Careers p:16 - Louise from Craft and Crumb


Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series


Welcome to part 16 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

This week's post features Louise from Craft and Crumb , a DIY cake kit company. I haven't had the pleasure of trying one of these kits out myself, but I do know someone who has and they were really impressed! 


You can also find Louise on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Here is her career changing story...


Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

Tell me about your life, background and career before children? 


I initially started my career on the John Lewis graduate training programme finishing in the perfumery department with the most magnificent manager who led me to believe that you can achieve anything you want. After she retired, I took a leap of faith and jump to the suppliers side where I quickly got a job within LVMH and represented Parfums Givenchy across all the major London stores. I loved the glamour, the London buzz and the amazing sales conferences but I knew deep down I wanted children and this lifestyle wasn’t forever. I re-trained as a teacher and worked in a wonderful school in Balham. It was a perfect job; in a perfect school. It allowed me to travel the world during the long holidays and make life long friendships with fellow teachers starting their family at the same time as we were. 

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

Did you return to your job/position after your maternity?

I returned to school on a part time basis after each of my first two children, Emma and Ava were born. I had the best teaching job in the world of teaching – the most fun lessons to teach but none of the ‘class teacher headaches’ – eg endless emails about lost cardigans, head lice or long parent teacher meetings.

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

What were your reasons for leaving your previous career? Why did you decide not to stay?

As much as we loved living in London (in fact I still think my husband would move back if we won the lottery!) I wanted to be living closer to my family once I had a family of my own. Having grandparents involved in my children’s lives is so important to me and of course the offers of babysitting are always gratefully received. So not long after returning to work with Ava we sold up and moved to Surrey. It wasn’t an easy decision as I loved my job but with 2 children in nursery I was barely bringing home any pennies. Just weeks after moving out I discovered I was pregnant with my third and it didn’t take long after Josh arrived that I was even more thankful for the ‘larger than a postage stamp’ garden.

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

Tell me about your new career now: 

I was really fortunate to make wonderful new friends during those early baby days and one of them became my new bestie – Kate. We holidayed together in Norfolk, I’m godmother to her youngest and our girls get on like a house on fire. As a stay at home mum, she started up a business called Craft & Crumb early in 2016 creating wonderful cake kits where every ingredient is sourced and packaged so mums can easily make home made cakes that are gorgeous, unique and special. I was her first customer. I’m no baker so was hugely impressed that my home made ladybird cake turned out exactly like the picture – and it even tasted amazing too! One day, early on in the business, we were having a chat over coffee when I somehow seemed to offer to join her in the business, she jumped at the offer and before we knew it we created a partnership. Kate designs all these beautiful cakes and I look after the digital marketing side of the business. We’re constantly learning something new everyday and yet we’re still just scratching the surface. I’ve just been accepted on a ‘Google Campus for Mum’s’ course, which starts in September so I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by fellow like-minded mums who have an exciting business of their own to start up.

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

Talk me through an average day for you now? How much has your life changed?

We don’t really have an ‘average’ day yet as the business is still so young so it’s still a huge balancing act. Both girls will be in school and Josh starts nursery in September 2016 so that will be my main window to knuckle down to work. The timing is great as we’re hoping that this second half of our first year of business will really fly for us – not least because there are more children’s birthday’s in the Autumn and winter – who knew? Perhaps it’s something to do with Christmas/new year or Valentines? But also we’re hoping that our marketing and PR will start to pay off for us. So in my mind, my typical day will be this –school run, sit down at my desk to attend to emails, pack and send new orders, seek out new opportunities to collaborate with other small business’ and then it’ll be time to pick up the kids again and return to mum-mode ie. Cook, clean, bathe, read, put to bed allowing me to squeeze in another sit down at the computer again in the evening.

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series


What is the best and worst thing about your new career?


I love having a partner to talk through everything with, we talk multiple times throughout the day and a great friendship has developed into a great business partnership. I love being my own boss and being independent to work at the time and place that suits me, although I think that all too often Craft & Crumb takes precedence over ironing/ emptying the dishwasher and other household jobs that seem to pile up so quickly! I’m still working on finding the right balance between being mum and being at work, but I feel so incredibly lucky to still be at home at the important times – to see teeth falling out, doing homework, playdates and reading stories at bedtime. I know that in time I’ll perfect the juggling act, I just need to remember not to juggle both at the same time – I’m either with children or I’m at work, the two just don’t mix!

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

Is there anything you miss about your previous career/life before children?

Not really, I’d never give up what I have. I’m blessed to have 3 wonderful children and although sometimes I look longingly at those heading off on amazing holidays with their partners and wish I could be overlooking infinity pools and amazing sunsets and having great nights out with my husband, I’m just as happy taking my brood to a small rustic cottage in France as we did this summer and having wonderful quality family time together – with a bottle or two of Rose to help!

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to do what you have done?
“She believed she could, so she did” I love this saying as it’s all about a woman’s inner strength and ability to achieve. I think if you can do the hardest job in the world ie. be a mum then you really can do anything. Just go for it…..

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series
A Cake kit - and a happy customer with her finished version

Louise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers seriesLouise from craft and crumb for the Children Changing Careers series

Xmas wreath cakes - available now

Have you had a career change since having children? Would you like to feature on the blog? Get in touch, I would love to hear from you!

Read previous posts in the series:

Children Changing Careers

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6 comments:

  1. Great, I'd love to have the guts to go out on my own. Good luck with it #KCACOLS

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  2. I love this series. Brave people who change careers and are determined to make a go of it! I wish them all the luck! xx

    Thanks for linking up at #KCACOLS.
    Hope you join up again next Sunday.

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  3. Love the sound of this series! Also, this business sounds like something I need - I'm awful at cakes and dreading the day I've got to make properly iced ones for children with a fixed vision of what it should be! #kcacols

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    Replies
    1. I've tasted one of the cakes my friend made - it was delicious!

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  4. I love this series, I read the last post too and it gives me hope that you can achieve a career change. Cake kit... great idea, I'm always scared to try new recipes as they undoubtedly end up burnt, soggy or flat! #kcacols

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  5. I love this series, I read the last post too and it gives me hope that you can achieve a career change. Cake kit... great idea, I'm always scared to try new recipes as they undoubtedly end up burnt, soggy or flat! #kcacols

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