How to follow your small business dreams
Do you remember sitting in class and daydreaming? Looking out the window and imagining how you were going to take on the world and follow your dreams, no matter what. For me it was usually during a Geography lesson. And then somewhere between choosing your A-Levels and applying for jobs those dreams get lost. You have to make a sensible decision about the best way to earn a living and become financially secure. I never thought it would happen to me. But it did. I followed a path that I didn't truly believe in because it's what I thought society expected of me. It took becoming a mother for me to allow myself to dream again. And this time I gave myself the power to believe.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"
W. E. Disney
The Conventional Path
I diligently studied at school and did well in my exams. I went onto university where I chose to study Art History (which I loved by the way) and very proudly came away with a First Class Honours Degree. After spending a year in the real world, well maybe it wouldn't be classed as the 'real' world due to the fact that I spent half of it living and working in Walt Disney World, I went back into education and gained a second degree in Law. I bet you're wondering where that came from. Looking back, so do I. I honestly think I was more concerned with what others thought of my career choices than I was. Law was a solid, sensible choice...or so I thought.
Graduation - 2007 Celebrating getting into Law School
Just call me Elle Woods
With a Law degree in the bag the plan was to start working in a law firm to gain experience whilst applying for a training contract (the thing you need to actually become a solicitor in the UK). What I didn't plan for was being completely unsuited to an office job. I'm quite a loud person. In fact, at my wedding my Dad said in his speech that he had been looking for a volume switch since the day I was born! I would have been offended if it wasn't true. I really did give the legal world a good shot but I can honestly say the 5 years I spent in law firms were the unhappiest of my life. In my personal life however, I was on cloud nine. In those 5 years I married the man of my dreams and we had our two beautiful babies.
Our Wedding 2010, Sebastian 2013 and Hugo 2015.
I had started to tell myself that you can't have everything. But how long do you carry on doing something that makes you unhappy? I hated watching colleagues become 'yes' people at the promise of a promotion. I hated seeing how people acted completely different in front of their boss. And I absolutely hated office politics. I think you can probably see I wasn't where I was meant to be.
Becoming a mother changed my whole outlook on life. I realised that there was no way I was going to be separated from my boys to go to work to be stressed and miserable. And once I make my mind up about something that's it. Stubborn is probably an understatement. To cut a very long (and emotional) story short, with the support of my wonderful husband and family, I handed in my notice and the rest, as they say, is history. The obstacles to chasing my dreams had been removed, now I had no excuses.
I had always been creative and I knew I needed to tap into those creative urges. With the birth of my boys, the idea came to me. I loved anything with their names on but struggled to find anything suitable. Magic By Mimi came to life on my dining room table where I began designing personalised decor for the boys' rooms whilst they slept. I started sharing my makes on my social media pages and friends started placing orders.
This was it.
This was my moment.
Go big or go home.
I will never forget the excitement of getting those early orders and the late nights making a business plan. Even though it was a massive juggling act with 2 children under 2, I realise now that it was a truly magical time in my life.
Early makes for my boys.
Never stop chasing your dreams
Those daydreams that I used to have back in school are finally my reality. Admittedly I didn't know how those daydreams would materialise but Magic By Mimi has already become more than I ever thought it could be. I'm sure there are many people who thought I was crazy leaving a steady job. But do you know what, I don't care what anyone else thinks of my life choices anymore. I have built a successful small business all by myself. I wake up on a Monday morning with a smile on my face. I love my little corner of the social media world where I get to connect with like-minded makers and creators. And I still get excited when an order comes through for something that I have made. My customers choose to spend their hard earned cash on my products to gift to their loved ones or display in their own homes. This makes my heart happy. And I'm pretty sure happiness is key. So, thank you for continuing to support my dreams and don't be scared to take that leap of faith.
"The most fantastic, magical things can happen and it all starts with a wish!"
Please check out the rest of the website for my selection of unique personalised gifts and decorations here
Much Love Claudia aka Mimi