What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
Founder of Bump and Mind Pregnancy Wellness Retreats and Hypnobirthing Teacher.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I wanted to be a fashion designer and I studied A level fashion design. When I moved to London alone at the tender age of 17 I got a job in fashion retail and was living paycheque to paycheque and often running out of funds mid way through the month. I had a few internships at glossy magazines and loved getting asked to assist on shoots but the internships never led anywhere and I found myself falling out of love with the industry. At the same time I was being offered promotions and having a little more cash in my back pocket was what was important at that point in life. I did retail management for years and still do but after my son was born I felt myself itching to do something more meaningful. I used hypnobirthing techniques throughout my own pregnancy and labour and was in awe of my body and what it was capable of. The thought of labour was something that used to cause me such anxiety and fear but through the means of hypnobirthing I was able to look at it in a completely different and empowered light. I then felt the need to share my experiences with other expectant parents so I enrolled in a KGHypnobirthing teacher training and after successfully qualifying Bump & Mind Retreats was born.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
To always build lasting professional relationships as you never know when a contact could come in handy.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
In terms of my own business being my own boss is probably the best thing about it. I love working from home, I feel so at peace and I’m surprisingly productive in my own space.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Running regular pregnancy wellness retreats for expectant parents around the UK and Europe and regular local hypnobirthing classes. Being a motivational speaker for topics such as business management, pregnancy well being, post natal care and PND awareness.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
PANDAS Foundation gives support to people coping with Pre and Postnatal Mental Illnesses, as well as their families, friends and carers. A beacon of hope for women and families dealing with the effects of pre and postnatal mental illness. They operate local support groups, helplines and online support.
What drives you?
Making a lasting impact on someone's life! When I finish a course with a couple or when my retreat guests leave feeling empowered and positive it reminds me why I do what I do. There is no better feeling than knowing you have helped and made an impact on one of the biggest events in someone's life. That is a truly special gift.
Any final comments?
Never be too proud to seek support and mentorship!
What does a normal day look like for you?
My aunt and business mentor has always reiterated the importance of waking up early and seizing the day. I spend my mornings getting myself ready for work and my little boy ready for daycare. I have an hour in the morning after my little one is dropped off to spend on my own business. When the hour is up I get myself up and out to my day job as a Contract Manager for an aerospace manufacturer. I live on the idyllic Isle of Wight so my commute has to be one of the best commutes, I walk 2 minutes down the road and along the marina taking in the stunning sites. Lunch breaks are spent taking retreat bookings and connecting with likeminded brands. When the work day is done I walk back along the seafront and to watch the street light reflections dancing on the water makes me appreciate where I live. At home my husband has picked up our son and is usually making a tasty meal (he’s Brazilian so hearty one pots are the norm in our household).We always try to eat as a family for dinner as life is hectic but that hour a day to reconnect is so important to us. It’s then bath and bed time for our little boy. Then the second half of my work day commences, working at night often feels like a chore but its key to making my business a success. These few hours are usually spent updating my website and event listings on exciting new collaborations or guest speakers attending the retreats. This is often when my friends message me with great idea’s that they've had or constructive criticism and I really couldn’t do what I do without their support.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Aside from becoming a Mother it would be holding my very first retreat. I had a dream of developing something incredibly special for expectant parents where they could get all the support tools they needed for a calm and confident transition into parenthood under one roof over the space of a weekend. Bringing together experts from all areas of pregnancy to share their knowledge with expectant guests. My nerves leading up to the first event were out of control, I was so concerned if people would understand it, like it and would they like me? Everything fell perfectly into place and I realised that this is exactly what I was supposed to do.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
It would have to be my aunt. She has always had such a strong work ethic and so much courage in her endeavours. When I was an early teen she worked for MTV which at the time was the coolest thing around. She once was asked to step in for a model who didn't show up for a shoot and ended up being on a CD cover, I would take that cover into school and show all my friends. A few years ago she launched her retreat company ‘my island retreats’ in Ibiza where she lives with her husband, little boy and a little baby girl on the way. She so bravely took a leap from her previous business in concierge to focus on spreading the teachings of mindfulness wellbeing.
What was your biggest failure?
That’s a difficult one as I don’t like to see anything as a failure just an area on which to learn and develop. That being said I entered into management roles from a very young age and following my first Supervisory position I had a short period of being on a destructive power trip. I see it as a failure because I failed the team I was supposed to be leading by being bullheaded and micromanaging.
What do you like most about yourself?
My ability to always have a sense of humour, no matter what situation if you try hard enough you can always find something to smile about.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
To see each other as equals and give more support to those in need. A great way of making the right step in this direction is befriending someone you wouldn't necessarily come across in your everyday like. Whether that be signing up to your local ‘Be a Friend’ campaign where are partnered with someone elderly in your area or to volunteer at your local soup kitchen and get to know the individuals that visit. There is nothing more humbling than taking time out of your busy schedule to to give someone a shoulder the lean on, an ear to listen or words of wisdom.If everyone was to do this at least once a month I feel this would be a start in making the world more inclusive and accepting.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Dedication - Never giving up! Starting a business is hard work! It takes so much inner strength to keep motivated when times get tough. A constant game of excitement after achievements followed by the pain of failure. Your business becomes an extension of you so trying not to take things personally is so tough.
Being an attentive teacher - Teaching can be the most rewarding job but it brings challenges. Something I have learnt in years of management is how to change your communication style depending on who you are dealing with. This has become invaluable as a teacher. Particularly in a group setting. Knowing what tone and words to use depending on your audience means that everyone will come away feeling the same impact.
Business Management - There is nothing quite like practicing with other people's business before launching your own. Over the years I’ve been able to gain knowledge, grow as a mentor, make mistakes and face challenges all before being able put what I learnt into practice with my own business.