A fortnight ago, I relaunched the previously popular ‘Interview With A Mum In Business‘ feature, on Life Unexpected. I ran this series a year ago and it not only was it incredibly popular, but it was also so amazing to get a rare insight into these amazing Mums lives, who have started businesses around the juggle of family life.
If you’re a Mum who has been wanting to start a business for a while, I hope these interviews will inspire and encourage you to go for it.
Today, I am interviewing Camilla, creator of the Mood Booster Journal. Not only did she create her product and launch her business, while raising a family. But, her product actually came out of a dark and difficult time. Her Mood Booster Journal has been designed to help people who find themselves in a similar situation and will be a beacon of light for anyone who needs a pick me up.
As someone who suffered from depression and anxiety for a number years, followed then by PND, I can only of wished that a product like this was around for me at the time. If you know anyone who is struggling, I urge you to show them this ‘Mood Booster Journal’. You could potentially help to change their outlook on life.
Now lets find out how Camilla created and runs her business. You also have a chance to win one of her Mood Booster Journals below.
Tell us a bit about your business?
The Mood Booster Journal is for anyone wanting to look after themselves. We all have days which are not as great as other days and The Mood Booster Journal is here to help encourage and motivate people on those days.
The philosophy behind Mood Booster Journal, as a business, is to live our lives to the full and see it as a gift. We are all unique and we all have a purpose in this world. With Mood Booster Journal I want to encourage people and to help them flourish.
How did you get the idea for your business?
The idea of the Mood Booster Journal came after an episode of anxiety and depression. I had never suffered like that before. Having journeyed through this distressing time, I wanted something good to come out of it and wanted my experience to help other people.
During this time of anxiety/depression, I found myself trying to write down little notes, reminding myself of anything which had great and deep meaning to me. I wanted to recall happy memories and positive experiences, in an attempt to try and reclaim my life.
However, when you are not in a good place this can be extremely hard! Staring at the blank paper without prompts is not ideal. Slowly I eventually managed to write down a few things which I could focus on and could use in an attempt to remind myself of all the good things in my life. Slowly but steadily I started feeling better.
Referring to my little notes, became great mood boosters. But, I felt a journal with prompts and a place to make notes of your good days, with an inspiring design really would be so much more powerful. That’s where the idea of The Mood Booster Journal started to grow. Being a graphic designer it was only natural to start the process of designing the perfect journal, that would help boost anyone’s mood and would help with people’s sense of happiness.
Where do you like to work from?
I like to work from my little home office, where I have set everything up with the things I need to run my business comfortably. It’s important for me that my work space has a positive impact on me. Last year I painted my old Ikea desk white, got some nice pen holders, gorgeous notebooks and a sheepskin for my chair. I love this little space.
How do you balance both work and family life?
I divide the day into sections of where my focus is. When the kids are at school my focus is the business, but as soon as they are back from school anything business related comes second (with the odd exception). There is a lot to juggle, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
What is your vision/dream for your business?
My vision with Mood Booster Journal is to make a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s so lovely to hear feedback from people who have said to turn Mood Booster Journal into a Mood Booster range. My dream is for Mood Booster Journal to provide an extensive range of wellbeing stationery products, to help people live more enriched lives.
What have been your biggest challenges so far and how did you overcome them?
When I started up I experienced a sense of overwhelm. There was so much to learn and so much to do. I started making an overall plan and breaking tasks down, this certainly helped and I still take time aside to do this.
What has been the highlight of running your own business?
The highlight of running my own business has been to see The Mood Booster Journal come alive and all the lovely feedback from people. When you’ve been putting a lot of hard work into a product, it’s amazing to finally have it completed.
How did you fund your business?
I have funded the business myself and it’s certainly a challenge to start up a business with a limited budget. However, a lot can be done with a small budget and it has meant a lot of research and careful planning.
What advice would you give to other mums starting a business?
Just start. It’s so easy to procrastinate and fear can easily get in the way. You don’t have to have a perfect business when you start, businesses evolve over time and you will figure things out as you go along.
On a practical level I will say; break down the work and set yourself little tasks and a time frame. This will continually move being a mum, but I find it good for productivity trying to set myself deadlines. However, don’t get discouraged if you don’t meet your deadline, just set a new one. Small steps are still always a step forward.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
After I’ve dropped the kids off at school, I go home and check up on emails etc. Then I make myself a plan for the day. The actual work I do varies a lot, from design, to marketing, to accounts. Once it hits 3pm, it’s school pick up time and most days I then become a taxi chauffeur getting the kids to and from the various clubs they go to. Later in the evening I will usually work another hour or so.
Do you have any tips to banish the mum guilt we all feel?
I think one of the reasons why we feel guilty is because we care; we want the best for our kids. I think feeling guilty is part of the process of assessing and analysing whether we’re doing the best we can for our kids, so when the guilt creeps in I think it is important we acknowledge it is part of being a caring mum.
Do you ever get the chance to have time off for yourself? If so, what do you like to do?
I like to read a little every night and I make sure I exercise a couple of times a week. I love spending time with family and friends and I also feel very fortunate to be a designer as I love creating things. I’d definitely be doing this even if it wasn’t my profession.
And lastly…What is your favourite thing about the products that you create?
I love the fact my product (soon products) is about helping to enrich people’s lives.
You can visit Camilla’s website to find out more about her journal here: Mood Booster Journal.
Thank you so much Camilla for this wonderful insight into your business. Camilla is also kindly giving away one of her hardback ‘Mood Booster Journals’ to one of you lovely readers. It would make such a …, or even a lovely treat for yourself.
To be in with a chance to win, simply enter via the rafflecopter below…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please note that all e-mail addresses collected on entry, will be added to both The Mood Booster Journal and Life Unexpected’s e-mail database.
- Competition is open to residents of the UK aged 18
- There is no cash alternative offered
- The winner will be drawn at random and will receive a Mood Booster Journal
- The giveaway will close on the 2nd March at midnight, the winner will be notified through e-mail
- The Winner will be asked to provide an email address and full postal address
How amazing is Camilla?
Thank you so much Camilla for this lovely interview. To build something so positive out of a situation that was so difficult is incredible. Your products are going to be such a beacon of light for so many people and I cannot wait to see your business grow and to see what new products you come out with this year.
If you do work from home and you’re struggling to find the balance, I have two posts for you to check out. The first is ‘5 Ways To Find The Balance As A Working Mum‘ and the second is ‘10 Ways To Survive As A Work At Home Mum‘ This year Life Unexpected is on a mission, not only to showcase amazing Mums like Camilla, who have launched their own businesses. But, I’m also on a mission to help all Mums to find the balance in life.
Keep your eyes on Life Unexpected for lots more tips and tricks this year. At the end of the year I’m also launching a planner that is designed for busy Mums, that I hope will help all of you to find a more balanced you!