Welcome back to the Mama You Can series, my favourite part of the week as I get the pleasure of introducing another inspirational Mama to you all.
This week we have the lovely Victoria Sully from Lylia Rose who is a blogger I started following early on in my blogging days. She not only has a brilliant lifestyle blog, but a stunning fashion boutique which stocks gifts for ‘her’; think printed scarves, costume jewellery, make up bags – everything either for a present for yourself or someone special.
I’ll hand over to Victoria now to tell her story…
Mama You Can: Victoria Sully from Lylia Rose
My name is Victoria and I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Ben and our children, Bella and Reuben. I now earn money by working from home with blogging being my main income.
Before children I worked at the same company for nine years. It’s now known as Superdry, but I started when it was called Cult Clothing. I worked my way up to head office and enjoyed roles such as Ecommerce Fulfilment Manager and Retail Samples Manager. I’d always worked in fashion retail before having children and spent most of my employed work life at Superdry head office.
I decided to change direction in my work life whilst halfway through maternity leave with my daughter, our first child. I’d already started thinking about my work options when I was pregnant, once we realised the staggering cost of a full time nursery! Once we had Bella it just didn’t make sense to put her into nursery full time and use up almost all my income doing so. It was a terrifying moment to hand my notice in and leave the security of a stable job for the unknown, but it wasn’t a job I was so passionate about that I was happy to work there pretty much for free whilst we had our young family. We knew we wanted another child so affording two lots of full time childcare was out of the question!
At this point in time I had no idea what I was going to do, but we had a small amount of savings so we were comfortable for a year or so with me being mostly a stay at home mum. Once my daughter turned one I got a part time evening job for extra security. I’d also started my own small business and was keen to get things off the ground so I could leave the employed world for good.
I started selling handmade cards and jewellery on Etsy whilst on maternity leave. This began as a hobby, then I realised I could potentially turn it into a business. I set up my own website and Lylia Rose (originally an online fashion accessories store) was born. A few months after launching my website I set up a blog on the same site to try and raise more awareness of my fashion store. I quickly fell in love with blogging and began to blog about all sorts of things, turning it into a lifestyle blog instead of a business blog.
After a few years of really trying to make my store a success I realised the profits were too low and I just didn’t have the same passion for it as I did at the beginning. I had already found my new passion though, and after three years of blogging I decided to try and monetise my blog. It took another few months for me to realise I wanted to fully concentrate on my blog. As of January this year I decided to stop putting any effort into my shop and to put it all into my blog instead. I’d had a couple of part time evening jobs to give me financial security alongside my self-employment as going 100% self-employed really petrified me. I had the fear that as soon as I made that decision my earnings would disappear and I’d get no clients. I decided to face my fears by handing in my notice in May. That was it. Decision made. I’d made a full time income from home for six months so had to give this a proper go. I officially became a full time blogger this year and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I love blogging and I love working from home. I’m a highly motivated person and when I set myself a challenge I will see it through. Working from home can be tough going as it can feel like a 24/7 job. There’s always something to do and it’s hard to separate yourself from work when it’s right there in front of you, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m still learning to balance home and work life and I’m sure things will get easier once the children are both in school, but for now I am able to spend half the week with my two year old son when he’s not in nursery or playgroup. If I’d have gone back to my employed job full time I would never have been able to spend all this time with him. I was also always able to spend every day with my daughter until she went to playgroup age two. I think perhaps if I’d have been able to take two years maternity I may have considered going back, but at one year my daughter just seemed so teeny still and I really wanted to spend that extra year with her.
Changing my career path was definitely a big risk, but I feel it has worked out for the better. I had no idea what blogging was in my old career, or even when I went on maternity leave, yet now it is my job and passion. Leaving my old job forced me to face any self-doubts head on and encouraged me to grow my confidence and chase my dreams. If I’d gone back to my previous line of work I highly doubt I’d ever thought of starting my own business or had the determination to do so. I have no idea what the future holds, but I am now confident in my own skill set and I know I never have to stay in an employed job just for the security when there are so many other amazing opportunities out there. With the internet and social media there really is no better time to launch your own business and make yourself known.
If you really don’t want to go back to your old job when you have a baby then there’s no better time to make that leap and do something you are passionate about. If it just doesn’t make financial sense with childcare costs and you’re not 100% passionate about your career once you have a child, then make that decision and launch your own business now. I really believe positivity and determination can get you there. Just believe in yourself and your capabilities.
Victoria Sully, Lylia Rose
Thanks so much to Victoria, I think you’ll agree it’s such an inspiring story and her advice is so key – not just to bloggers or someone starting their business but to us all. I talked about confidence recently on the blog and Victoria is so right, we should all ‘believe in ourselves and our capabilities.’
Thanks again Victoria.
You can follow the Mama You Can series on this blog every Thursday. If you’re a mama thinking about changing your career direction check back next week or if you want to share your story, please do get in touch.