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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Children Changing Careers p9: Vicki from Bo&Bel

Welcome to part 9 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 Vicki from Bo&Bel. Her products look wonderful - I would have loved to have tried some of these when Arthur was little (who am I kidding - I still need teething equipment now he's a toddler!)

Here is her career changing story...

Bo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareers

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

Life before children...did that exist??! In my life BC (before children) I was a hospital sales account manager for the same company for 8 years. My day was made up of appointments with paediatric doctors and nurses doing training and some event management.

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

We don't have extended family that live close to us so after having twins we decided that I would become a SAHM as if I went back to work it'd all be taken in childcare costs for the two of them.

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

I loved my job but loved being a stay at home mum more and it made sense financially to not return to work. I decided once they were at school I'd start work again. However after having the twins going through the teething stage and pulling at my hair, skin and jewellery whilst feeding or cuddling and breaking all the costume jewellery I owned, I came up with the idea to set up my own company that enabled mums to wear jewellery again that was stylish and safe for babies to pull and chew on!

Bo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareers

Tell me about your new career now: 

I am sole owner of Bo&Bel so I do everything from deisgn, making, website design and marketing! I started out with just £500 in my bank account, no overdraft and thought I'd just go for it. You don't have to have huge investment to start up a business but you do need to realise you probably won't be able to pay yourself for a while as that profit goes straight back into the company to help it grow. I do it because I have such passion for what I create.

Bo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareers
Talk me through an average day for you now? How much has your life changed?

Since my daughters started school I now have between 9-3 to do work and I try to stick to these hours so I can spend quality time with my two and have that work life balance, however this isn't always possible. I do work some evenings and some weekends depending on work load and events. I think anyone who runs their own business will say work doesn't feel like work if you love what you do so I'm very lucky to be in that position.

Bo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareers

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

I think having the freedom to make my own hours and put my creative ideas into practice is so fulfilling. It can get lonely to work alone but then I have the ability to meet friends and work later in the day and fit these things around my work. I love the fact most days I can be there at school drop off and pick up and it has minimal impact on my family life. It makes me so proud when the girls talk about mummy working as I wanted to be a positive role model for them to show them that you can do anything you want to do and be successful.

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

I miss sleep! That's a given when you have children but also I do wake in the night now with new ideas for designs and have a note book by my bed to jot down my ideas!

Bo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareersBo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareers
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to do what you have done?

Just do it. Seek advice from business or friends that have set up alone and understand what it's like so you don't go in naively. It's hard work starting up a business but equally rewarding. Do research before leaping in. It's important to know if your idea will work so ask a group of your audience what they think of your ideas and use that to shape your business. Also it's so important to research suppliers and get the finances right because this could impact greatly on your product idea.

Bo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareers

Bo&Bel, teething jewelry, teething necklace, childrenchangingcareers

Read previous posts in the series:

Children Changing Careers - p1: Emma from Little Hotdog Watson

Children Changing Careers - p2: Alexandra from Tendre Deal

Children Changing Careers - p3: Dani from Deluxe Blooms

Children Changing Careers - p4: Bonnie from BON LDN

Children Changing Careers - p5: Vicki Psarias from Honest Mum

Children Changing Careers - p6: Karen from Two Tiny Hands

Children Changing Careers - p7: Nicola from TM(M)I

Children Changing Careers - p8: Laura from Maybimoo

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