The story of how I came to be in the position I am in now is a long and winding one. I’ll keep it short and just give you the highlights.
I am born (to quote Charles Dickens, David Copperfield). My family and I moved around a fair bit when I was growing up and I ended up leaving my parents at the ripe age of 18 to head to university in the small city of Worcester.
Worcester is a beautiful city and, after graduating, I stuck around for a few years. Fast forward five years or so and I find myself in a job in which I’m not completely happy (sound familiar?). At the time I was planning a holiday to China – a country I’ve wanted to visit for as long as I can remember, probably inspired by Bruce Lee movies and the Chinese writing on the paper the local chip shop wrapped the chips in when I was younger… In preparation for this holiday, I was taking Chinese lessons so I could at least ask directions and where the toilet is – you know, the essentials when travelling alone. Well, one day, I arrived at my lesson after a particularly bad day at work and was having a bit of a moan before the lesson got underway. My teacher (a Chinese student studying here) said she could get me a job teaching English in a Chinese school back in her home town of Qingdao. To cut a long story short, 3 months later I found myself living in China!
After an amazing and eye opening year in China I returned to the UK and moved to Hereford to do a two year course in fine furniture making. Upon graduating from this course I secured myself a job as a carpenter at a yacht building company. After three short months redundancies were announced and, as last in I stood to be first out. As luck would have it I managed to stay with the company as a sewing machinist and there I stayed for the next few years. Finally, a job came up in the design department. I know the product inside out and had proven myself well. After taking an evening course in Solidworks to get the basics I was given the job. A year or so later and redundancies reared their ugly head again. Unfortunately this time the whole design department was going so out the door I went.
It was all for the best really. I founded my own company called ‘Simply Upholstery’. Using my design and sewing skills I started designing and making upholstery for narrow boats, caravans and campervans. Business was okay but not quite enough to cover all the bills. Needs must and I got myself a job as a design draftsman working on helicopter training systems. This was an interesting job working with a fantastic bunch of people. Once more I was silently thankful I had taken that evening course in Solidworks.
I continued to run Simply Upholstery while working for the man, slowly building the business up. While working on the helicopters I became happily pregnant. I’ll return to the story of my boy’s birth in a later blog but needless to say things changed once he was born. I wanted to stay at home and raise him rather than employ a child minder but Simply Upholstery required me to visit customers’ houses and the work could be quite large. Therefore, I started another company, ‘Flutterby Memories Limited’, in which I could use all of my skills and do the work around William’s naps. This company makes patchwork keepsakes, such as quilted blankets, out of your baby’s clothes. It also, supplies embroidered baby clothes with either a fun slogan such as ‘I’m going round the Mulberry bush, Mummy’s going round the bend’, or a personalised message.
I’m going to sign off for now but I’ll hope to chat with you all again soon.