Welcome to my Blog
Hello and a BIG WELCOME to my blog. I wanted to introduce myself and explain little bit about why I have chosen to write a blog.
To understand this, we have to step back a little and look at the journey I have taken over the last 18 months. This whole interiors hobby, for me began publicly in March 2016, when Abigail Ahern announced that she was giving away 25 copies of her book Abigail Ahern Colour when she hit 25k followers, all you had to do was to post a colourful picture to her hashtag on instagram.
I have actually been following Abigail since 2007 so I read this on her website, but duly opened an instagram account to see what it was all about. Having just gone through a "stress induced" re-paint of my living room (I paint when I am overworked) and having just bought my green velvet sofa from MADE, I decided to enter.
Of course back then I was woefully unprepared, using an old iPhone to take my pictures and in a room that wasn't quite finished, I naturally didn't win, although Abigail very sweetly commented on my picture which made my week.
However, it did open my eyes to a whole instagram community that loved interiors, just as much as me. I had never found this before, of course local people and friends commented on my house, but I had never had an in-depth chat about interiors. I was hooked!
I began posting, tentatively at first, after all this design hobby of mine had been well and truly in the closet for 15 years, but gradually I found people liked my rooms, talked to me and my following grew as did the number of people I could have an "insta chat" to when I was stuck in a hotel, while travelling for my day job. Much to my husband's despair, I also discovered a community of people marketing their businesses through instagram, finding people to buy products from and I started collecting unique and wonderful things.
At the time of writing I now have 33k followers on instagram (no-one disbelieves this more than me) and have appeared on sites from Apartment Therapy to MADE/unboxed to Casavogue and it has been a whirlwind; but I keep coming back to why I started in the first place which was to find a home for my hobby to evolve, to be part of a community that "gets" what I'm trying to do and this is the next step in this journey.
I regularly get asked how did I come up with the idea for a room, to where I source my stuff, to can you showcase my product?, so I thought I would write more regularly about it. There will be a set of different blogs, some on my home, some on suppliers I have found, and the best bit will be showcasing some of the fabulous real homes that have inspired me so much.
Perhaps more importantly to me, there will also be a showcase on small creative businesses, a marrying of my day job (as an investor in small high tech businesses), with my hobby, but rather than just blathering on about business stuff I want to share each business owner's journey, so that you can see the challenges, what they did right, why they started, and I hope the blog will evolve into is a place to go to find out advice and to look and see how other people have done it before, if you are starting out yourself.
So, if you are not bored yet, I will just finish with a little bit about me. I am a mum to two boys who are my life, Alfie 5 and Jack 8. Sam is my husband, who thankfully has a twitter addiction to match my instagram addiction, and therefore does not usually complain about what I am doing other than to be mildly amused and occasionally impressed when I shove an article under his nose. We live in a Victorian House near Leeds, in Yorkshire, with 6 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, which gives me a lot of scope for re-decorating.
I am not an interior designer, I am a scientist by background, turned business women who now invests in high technology businesses as a job, full-time. Some may say I am mad to take on more than this, but the interiors part is mine, something that I do for me, to relax, to de-stress and this blog is an extension of that.
And makes me qualified to even give a small business advice?
well, I've been there before........not in a creative business (although all business problems are often the same). I have a background in science (Cancer Research), I started, along with 3 others, a biotechnology business out of a University, raising £12 million from investors. I have run my own consultancy business while my kids were really small, I am qualified in law and have an MBA and most recently I have been investing in start up businesses, taking board seats so that I can continue to share their journey and act as a mentor. While I most certainly will not claim to know everything, that's what professional advisors are for, I can flag the things you might want to know more about, so that you can ask the right questions of your advisors.
I really hope you enjoy reading the posts, let me know if there are any topics you want me to cover and if I inspire any of you to give it a go, starting a business or redecorating your home, even just a little bit, this blog will have done its job. Moreover, it will help me continue my creative side, a balancing act to my very full life.
The Girl with The Green Sofa