This week as part of my Mums in Business series I’m delighted to introduce Thea from The Carpenter’s Wife. Thea creates beautiful fine art prints and absolutely gorgeous jewellery, and I’m so impressed how she manages both as well as a family and home. It’s amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it, and as Thea says below she’s a better Mummy for having something to do. I think that a lot of relate to that, I know that I can. So please all take a read of Thea’s story below….
Tell me a little bit about you, your background and The Carpenter’s Wife
I’m Theodora, or Thea for short. I live in a rural part of Somerset with my husband and little boy (4). I originally trained and worked as an antique restorer but due to some life changes I had to get a ‘real job’ and became an estate agent. I loved it but I’m a creative soul and really needed to be creating. When I went on maternity leave, my mother took me away for a few days to learn about Silver Clay and I was hooked. I don’t use the silver clay that much nowadays, it’s more traditional silversmithing techniques, but it’s what got me started on the jewellery. I used to paint little pictures to use as props for my jewellery photos on instagram and Facebook and sort of got hooked, so I’m now in the process of setting up a new business selling my artwork. I have a blog post which explains more.
What were the drivers and your motivations for setting up The Carpenter’s Wife
The drivers and motivations for setting up were my family and my sanity. The jewellery and the painting are things that for the moment, I can do from home. I can work around my sons school hours (he’s just started, and I’m enjoying having a bit more work time), I can also fit in an hour or a half hour here or there when the opportunity arrises. Creating keeps me sane too. It’s like my release valve. If I’m not creating, the need to sort of builds up inside me like a pressure cooker. I’m a better Mummy for having something to do.
How do you balance your business around your family and children
Balancing family and work….it can be hard. As I said above, I work from home and I choose my hours but it’s a tricky balance. Sometimes my husband comes home to a domestic goddess who’s baked cookies and cleaned the house, sometimes there’s nothing to eat and it looks as though the house has been burgled! Luckily he’s a very kind creative soul too, and is happy as long as my son and I are. He lives by the ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ rule and he’s a bit of a legend!
Since setting up The Carpenter’s Wife what’s been your biggest success to date
My biggest success so far….. that’s a tricky one, it depends how you measure it. I’m happy, my family’s happy, that’s the biggest success really. I’ve been taking it slowly with the business; my son only started school in september so up until then, my working hours were rather restricted and I haven’t tried to make the business too big, because I just wouldn’t have had time to do it all. But now I have a little more time (during term at least), I’d like to see it grow, so hopefully there’ll be milestone successes on the way. I’ve made a few pieces of jewellery for celebrities but I know that they’re quite private people, so unless they tell me I can, I don’t shout about it.
What’s your top tip for anyone who’s thinking about setting up their own business
My top tip would be to get on with it and keep it simple. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect, it never will be….just make a start and work it out as you go along. Don’t listen too much to peoples advice, there’s so much out there about how to earn £10,000/month, or how to be a marketing genius. Certainly some of it is useful, but read it all and then cherry pick the bits that work for you. It’s very easy to get swept up in someone else way of doing something, you get so caught up in it that it all becomes complicated and suddenly you can’t hear your own inner voice, which is really the one you should be listening to.
Thank you so much Thea for sharing your story with us, I wish you all the best of luck in the future.
You can find out more from The Carpenter’s Wife by taking a look at her Fine Art and Jewellery website, or check out her Instagram channels for Art and Jewellery, where you can see just how gorgeous her work is.