Meet Jessica! An incredibly inspiring mamma who decided to open her won business and now four years later she’s running not one but two successful businesses, while taking care of her beautiful baby girl! She’s a Founder of BeYou Community Dance and Tiny Acorns Baby Massage operating in the North East
Can you tell me when did you start your business, please?
What inspired you to become self employed and how long did it take from the concept to realisation?
I started what was to become my career during my 3rd year at University studying Dance professional practice (although I didn’t know it back then).
I’ve danced from the age of 4, it’s kind of all I know so a career in dance was inevitable but by my 3rd and final year as a dance student I was still searching for the right path for me. I loved teaching and working with young children and so I decided to set up little preschool dance class.
I was excited to get started but my excitement was quickly met with my first little blow. I recall the disappointment when only 3 children turned up to my class. I'd trained in dance since the age of 4, performed, competed, undergone examinations and graduated from University with a 1:1 but I knew nothing about running a business, it was a huge culture shock!
Despite the initial disappointment my little class started to grow week by week and I felt blessed to be working with such a great bunch of children and their families, so I kept moving forward. Some of these families are still with me today and its amazing seeing how much they’ve grown.
Fast forward four years and while I'm still riding the rollercoaster I've found my niche. I've met some wonderful people and I've learnt so much about myself.
How do you fit your business with family life, what are the pros and cons and do you have any advice for balancing the both?
Finding balance when you run two businesses is understandably tricky and I do spend a lot of time worrying about that balance but my job also has lots of perks when it comes to flexibility and spending quality time with my daughter Maia.
One way I try to find balance is to always make sure I keep one day during the week completely work free. Sometimes that day involves a long walk or trip to the soft play, or we may just spend the day in our pyjamas.
I don't feel like I'll ever get the balance right but we've been practicing slow living as a family which involves simplifying life, taking each day as it comes and enjoying the little things.
I think as parents in today’s busy society we can sometimes be made to feel guilty for not doing enough with our kids but I’ve found more recently that Maia is most happiest and we experience the most special moments when we are doing the simplest of things.
What are your goals for your business?
My absolute dream is to have my own studio with dance and baby massage all under one roof. My classes reach out to the wider community, from newborn babies to the inspirational dancers in my over 50s ballet so I'd love a hub which supports everyone and brings the community together.
In the short term I just want to continue doing what I love and expanding my timetable, I'm also loving working with The Creative Place in Seaham and teaching at Dance City Sunderland and Newcastle.
What words of encouragement would you offer to a mum thinking about opening her own business?
I believe your life is mapped out for you and if you have an idea or passion that plays in your mind just before you fall asleep, or you find yourself dreaming about being your own boss every time you have a rubbish day at work then it may just be the sign that you are destined to do something amazing.
While we all know being a 'mumpreneur' isn't easy, I do believe that it is a great option for families and it’s always better to give something a try than to spend your life wishing you’d gave it a shot.