I Started a Business With Toddlers: Michelle Williams of The Craft Ecademy

Tell us a little about your business

I run www.thecraftecademy.co.uk which offers a range of craft workshops aimed at helping other women to start their own craft-Business.  My workshops include a growing series of Jewellery making, Life Casting and Ceramics Courses, which are typically held at my studio in Hampshire.

Due to the large number of enquiries I receive from overseas, I now also offer a series of ecourses which allows people  to study with me any time, anywhere over the internet!  This is proving very popular, even from people within the UK, who want to come on my courses, but can’t travel due to child-care issues.

What was your job before starting your business and what motivated you?

I spent 15 years in IT marketing in a job I had no passion, I was desperate for a change and  started my Business initially as sideline.

As a single-parent of two active boys, my life was chaotic and I desperately needed more flexibility.  I took the decision to abandon my job in IT to focus on  the business full-time and I’ve never looked back.  I wouldn’t swap the freedom and flexibility that running your own business offers with anything!

What do you enjoy most about running your own business?

The huge sense of personal satisfaction! Running your own business is a challenge – but an extremely rewarding one! No day is ever the same and you constantly learn new things. Most of all, as my business involves helping other women set up in business, I get a real buzz from helping other women realize their potential.

What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?

The highs are helping other women to fulfill their dreams and the lows are the inevitable problems that any business is likely to face along the way.  However, I believe it’s important to learn from any problems that arise.  I never view such obstacles as a reason to give up – but a chance to find solutions that will help improve the business and make it stronger.

How have you managed to stay on top of your career with the demands of motherhood while running a business?

Starting a business as a single-parent is not easy!  However, I am lucky that I can tailor my working day to ensure I am always there to take my children to school and collect them at the end of each day. I would never want my status as a single-parent or business Woman to compromise these ideals.  The downside has been many late nights and early starts to ensure I can fit the demands of the business around my Children.

If you could give one  piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

Everyone’s circumstances are different, but if I can do it as a single parent – then there is hope for everyone! I think it’s really down to attitude and how much you want something to succeed.  However, it’s really important to have balance – to separate your home and business life and ensure you make time for your family.

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