It was never my intention to start my own business when I took a career break to look after my children. I am mum to two boys aged eight and five. It was whilst I was pregnant with my youngest that an idea came to mind. After a lot of research I thought the idea had some potential. The prospect of starting a business from scratch was a very exciting opportunity and I’m pleased to say it is now a reality.
My business is Present Issue and it is an online gift service where you can send single issues of a wide range of popular magazines as a gift. The magazines are beautifully presented in ribbon with a handwritten gift card. We all love to read a magazine but we don’t always buy ourselves one. So I see magazines as an alternative to sending just a card or sending flowers but somewhere in between in terms of cost. You can send magazines to say Thank You, Get Well Soon, Congratulations, or when someone starts their maternity leave or has a baby – but whatever the occasion there is something for everyone.
I started the business three years ago. For the first two years I worked on it on a part time basis. This allowed me to develop the website and establish if there was a demand for this service. It also gave me time to be with my children without putting too much pressure on myself to work even when youngest was with me. Then when he started school, I suddenly had the time to focus more of my attention on Present Issue. I now work every day (during school hours) and sometimes in the evenings too but the nature of the business allows me the flexibility to take and collect the boys from school and be around for other school events too.
The journey has not been without disappointments. I have learnt so much over the past three years but it has been a roller coaster ride with plenty of ups and downs. But I am not one to give up and the effort and determination is starting to pay off. I have missed working with other people – the sharing of ideas and having someone to chat to. To make up for this I attend a couple of network meetings for Women in Business.
I also regularly meet with other mums in business, sometimes we work together for a morning, or we just meet to help each other talk through any issues we are having. This support network has been invaluable to me. It has helped me feel part of something bigger (if that makes sense) and friendships have also developed along the way.
In fact only yesterday I received a thank you card from one of the ladies I meet with, and in it the words, “Thank you so much for your inspiration, enthusiasm and support”. Over the last year she too has given me the inspiration, enthusiasm and support I needed. Today I will be sending her a magazine to say Thank You too.