Friday 17 February 2017

The #JugglistMassive Part 2

We introduced you to our #Jugglistmassive in our last blog post – our own band of wedding babes who are juggling the work they love with motherhood. Loads of our Most Curious exhibitors are Jugglist mothers, but so are our team too! We’ve heard from Becky and Cat – now here’s Ann-Marie’s, Penny’s and Ellie’s takes on being absolute superheroes.

3. Ann-Marie Faulkner, Founder of AM Faulkner Bridal and Head of Production with Most Curious , mum to Woody Jude, four months.

When did you set up the Business? December 2014

When did you have your baby? 1st October 2016

What do you feel the challenges are of running your own wedding business alongside motherhood? I think the main challenge is trying to get everything done in a day whilst still giving as much attention to Woody and trying to keep the guilt under control! Mainly the guilt of not devoting all my time to him, but also the guilt of not devoting as much time to my business as I used to. Lack of sleep is also a MAJOR challenge.

But also what are the positives? That I am my own boss and can fit everything around Woody if I need to and when I work - or not work - is completely up to me. 

How on earth do you make it work? I’ve only just officially come back from maternity leave after a pretty traumatic birth and recovery, so still in the experimental stage! Woody is in quite a good routine now though so its quite easy to plan things around him. I work when he sleeps and get a lot done in the morning when he’s happy chilling out in his baby gym or napping. You totally have to plan the week though which is a bit boring but essential. I try to plan something fun once a week so I’m not stuck in the mundane routine of babycare/work/sleep/repeat.

Describe a day in the life of you and your business: I usually get up at 7am and feed Woody. He gets fed roughly every 3 hours and is in a pattern of eat, play for a bit then nap. My boyfriend gets up about 8 and makes us a coffee whilst I write a list of everything I need to get done for the day. I’ll also try and grab a shower quickly before my partner leaves for work otherwise I’ll have to wait until he gets home again at 8pm! 

Each day varies a lot but the morning is always the best time to get stuff done as thats when Woody is best behaved and pretty chilled. If I’m working from home, I’ll pop Woody in his baby gym and answer emails, do some sketchbook work, plan any events etc. If I’m in the studio or need to go out to buy supplies, have a meeting etc, then I’ll wait ‘til his next feed at 10am then get him ready, pack a bag for him then head out in the pram. He usually sleeps in the pram pretty well so I can whizz around and get what I need done. As long as I’m somewhere I can feed him and change him by 1pm then its all good. We haven’t spent a whole day in the studio yet as it’s been too cold, but will have to soon as orders are coming in. 

At 3 or 4pm I’ll take the dog for a walk. I put Woody in the carrier and we’ll head out. I’m lucky enough to live right next to Hackney Marshes, so go for about a 45 minute walk. It gives me a chance to get some fresh air, clear my head and think about what I need to do for the rest of the day. Its also a good chance to make any phone calls if I need to. 

I’ll have something to eat once I’m back then play with Woody for a while. He gets a bit grizzly at this time so I cant really do anything else apart from try to entertain him. He has his last feed at 7 then I give him a bath and get him ready for bed. He’s usually in bed by 8pm and that’s when my partner comes home from work. We take turns cooking and sorting all Woody’s stuff for the next day. If its not my turn to cook then I’ll finish everything I need to for the day. 

We usually both pass out on the sofa in front of a film by about 10:30/11pm then drag ourselves to bed. Woody still doesn’t sleep all the way through the night but hes getting there, so we take turns getting up and comforting him back to sleep in the early hours. Sometimes this is a couple of times, sometimes it's loads!

What have you learnt the hard way since having your children and running a business simultaneously? You are not the boss, they are! The day I’ve described is a good day. On a bad day he’ll be really clingy and just want to be held. I’ve learnt that trying to work when he’s like that is actually impossible, so its best to write off the day and just hang out with Woody. He’s starting teething so there are a few of those days just now. 

Let us know your most stressed out/most jugglist/most frustrating/most challenging moment so far? I don’t think I’ve had any major moments so far, but had a photoshoot the other day and had to take Woody with me. Having to direct a shoot whilst remembering what time to feed a baby and also change nappies on the make up artists table was pretty ‘jugglist’. Luckily Woody is super cute (!) so there were lots of offers to hold him and keep him entertained.

What do you want to say to all the jugglist massive out there? You are all inspirational and we salute and celebrate you all! Good work mamas! I wish you all good sleep vibes for tonight x

Do you think there is enough support for mothers running their own business? Probably not. I ‘ heard of anything but then again I haven’t really looked as I haven’t had the time…Catch 22!

Do you find the industry supportive? Yes! Once you have a baby, it seems like all the other mamas are there for you as they know what you have been through. I was added to really good facebook group called ‘Working mamas’ by Celia who runs Heart Aflutter Bridal boutique in Hackney. It’s full of working mums mainly in the bridal industry and has been a huge support, especially in the dark early days.

4. Penny Baldry, Founder of The Little Lending Company and Head of the Norwich Most Curious Show, brand newbie mum to Della Joany, two weeks old. When we did our Jugglist Massive shoot, Penny was deep in the deepest of juggles with her ten day old Della, but this is lovely shoot she did with Darina Stoda a few weeks before she came along. We didn’t have the heart to completely grill her but she has offered some new Jugglist wisdom!

Penny and her gorgeous Bump-cum-Della

Ok so in the 2 weeks of being a mumtrepreneur there have been some super highs and I'll be honest some all time lows.  As the sleep deprivation takes hold, sleep slipping away from me every night and the pressure to keep up to date with a bulging inbox is my every other thoughts it's really blooming tough already.  Knowing I'm really the only one who can reply to those couples is really hard to handle and I am slowing realising I just can't do it all, if I want to offer the best of me this wedding season.

But saying that, I think I was emailing on day 6 of Della being here (totally my choice as I flipping love what I do) but I felt that for that hour that everything was also falling into place just a little. Like I had the absolute best of both worlds as my tiny little girl slept next to me in a baby beanbag, my heart was bursting with love for her and the fact that I could still have a little head space for my biz. I couldn't stop smiling. I know not every day I'll be able to find an hour of time for Little Lending but on those days where I have it kind of together I think it's going to be pretty brilliant.
5. Ellie Kime, Wedding Planner and Stylist of Ellie Kime Weddings, and events assistant at Most Curious. Not yet a mumma, and still very much someone’s baby!

Events Assistant Ellie

Though I'm not a mother myself (only to various sausage dogs I fall in love with on instagram), I'm well versed in the world of the Jugglist.  I'm fortunate enough to have a boss babe as a mother who ensured I had the happiest and rosiest of upbringings.  She made me the multitasking woman I am today, able to understand and appreciate how somtimes you'll have 10 balss in your court and you'll have to keep them all in the air whilst also launching anouther 5, whilst pretending everything is super cool on the outside.  And she really - I didn't sleep a full night until I was EIGHT AND A HALF YEARS OLD (feel free to give me a stern talking to at the Fair).

The wedding industry is absolutely the best example of this Jugglist life, full of inspirational mothers with children of all ages just continually working on their hustle!  Every boss I've had in the industry so far has, without fail, been not only an incredible mentor to me but also an infallible mother simultaneously, and I think the two go perfectly together.  It results in an often slightly frantic, uber creative energy with constant sass and the strongest work ethic ever.  And this is all provided in the comforting environment of a pair of always-welcoming arms and bosom.  Amazing.  Jugglist mammas, I salute you - one life is more than enough for me currently!

And don't forget you can come see us all at the fab Old Truman Brewery, LONDON from 17 to 19 March and The Halls, NORWICH on 9 April, so get your TICKETS now and come say hello, we can't wait to see you!

Most Curious


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