It’s a bit strange writing a blog… I’m slowly getting the hang of the writing bit, but it’s like talking to everyone, yet nobody in particular – and the writing bit itself generally feels like a very one sided conversation! I’d like to say I’m not used to one-sided conversations, but I suppose that would be ignoring all the talking to myself I do (am I the only one?!), not to mention that glazed look that tends to come over my husband’s face if I discuss my day’s shopping spoils for too long. Anyway, while thinking about what to chat about next, I came to realise we’d never told you much about us…and it feels weird chatting away like this without doing a proper introduction…
My business buddy Mike and I met about 7 years ago at our old job. We used to work in the financial professional services sector (if you’ve switched off already, that’s pretty much the reaction we were used to) but have always both had a bit of a thing about the idea of starting our own business. Sort of like an itch you just need to scratch (am trying to think of a more appealing image than itching – but hey, you get the idea) we just kept chatting about it, and when I stopped work to have a baby we chatted about it A LOT and now (yay!) Stickerscape is finally happening 🙂
So, about me… well I’m guessing if you’ve read any of my blogs so far, you’ll know about my gorgeous little monkey Emma, who’s about 20 months now (terrifyingly, since as far as I’m concerned it feels like she was only born a few months ago!). Like any mummy I’m totally dotty about my girl, she is absolutely in every way everything I ever wanted and I feel so lucky to have her. That’s not to say that she’s not a little pickle at times (find me a toddler that isn’t I suppose), currently we’re going through the ‘I will either have a long afternoon nap, or sleep beautifully at night – but definitely not both’ stage (always fun when trying to run a new business without any childcare!).
My husband Vin and I have been together since we met at university almost 12 years ago. He was my instructor at the karate club we both attended at the time – which made for some comedy moments for my friends in the early stages of our relationship as I would do stupid things like properly make an effort with my hair and make up before a karate lesson in an effort to look nice (as a completely normal man, I’m sure my husband didn’t notice any of this, although I still like to believe that the hair flicking may have worked a bit). Whilst the concept of karate lessons might make me sound like a tough girl – to clarify, I am anything but (I struggle to recall the exact motivation behind taking up karate, but the decision was likely to have been made after a glass of wine, and with a general strategy of meeting boys!).
After about 9 years together (not ones to rush things) we got married at our local National Trust property The Vyne, where we have had many happy family days out (and even one incident where Vin ended up in the lake trying to fish out our dog!). I suppose I’m quite a simple homey girl at heart, I love nothing more than spending time with my family (my mum and grandad live in the same village as us), and I dream of one day having a big farmhouse style kitchen where Emma and I can bake cakes together (using eggs from the chickens we’ll have in the garden, obviously) and sit around the kitchen table having family dinners (sounds like heaven, aren’t I sad?!).
So what to say about Mike….Firstly, whilst he looks ridiculously young (I’m not jealous, well not much), he’s actually only a few years younger than me (no sniggering please). If I could have had a little brother, I’d have loved it to be Mike (to be fair – his mum might have liked that too, he’s one of 4 brothers so she could have probably done with a girl!). Much like a real brother-sister relationship, there’s a lot of banter and general teasing in all our discussions. And I’m sooo the bossy one (sorry Mike).
Mike is very much the geek in our business partnership. I mean that in a good way (well that’s what I’ll tell him!) and he very much wears the geek-badge with pride anyway. This is all really rather handy for me as he’s a lot less interested in all the fluffy, creative, chatty stuff I enjoy so much – he’s much more at home with, erm, website building and printer stuff. Enough said 🙂 This business actually seems to have bought out his inner geek even more (for example, he’s very excited because we’re going to a print industry trade show tomorrow) so I keep telling him how lucky he is to have already bagged himself a lovely girlfriend (see, I am mean to him!).
Mike and his missus Ewa live locally to us, and we are both genuinely very lucky to have such understanding other halves who don’t mind stickers up all over the house or the fact that starting your own business basically means you never really have an evening or weekend totally off. Happily, for us it somehow still doesn’t feel like ‘proper’ work (well, at least not most of the time!), and the novelty of loving our jobs is still such a massive buzz. Hopefully I’ll still feel that way after a full day of looking at printers and print media at this trade show tomorrow…. (somebody wake me up if I don’t write again soon!) x