As a small business owner and a woman, I understand the importance of personal connection and authenticity in building relationships with my customers. On this New year 2023 I wanted to share my own story and let my customers know that behind every keepsake I create, there is a real person with genuine care and passion for their work.
As a business owner, it can be challenging to find the right balance between professionalism and personal connection, but for me, it's important to stay true to myself and be open and genuine in my interactions with my customers. That's why I always try to add a personal touch, whether it's through sharing my story or adding a friendly "kiss" at the end of my emails.
I hope that by sharing my story, I can help others see the value of being authentic and genuine in their own business practices if they are a business or to believe in themselves regardless of if or not they are in business and let people realise that they can overcome anything. Remember that your unique personality and perspective can be a powerful tool in building strong, lasting relationships.
I hope to inspire and encourage you to believe in the power of change and self-improvement. No matter where you come from or what challenges you may be facing, there is always hope for a better tomorrow. But it's up to you to make it happen.
I know this from personal experience, as I've had to overcome many obstacles and struggles throughout my life.
I was born in London in 1974 with a congenital heart defect and jaundice, weighing just 4 lb 7 oz. I was given up for adoption and eventually adopted by a strict Catholic family, where I was often subjected to physical and mental punishment and told children should be seen and not heard.
But despite the challenges of my early life, I eventually came to realize that it was up to me to create a better future for myself. And that's what I want to encourage you to do as well. No matter what obstacles you may be facing, remember that you have the power to make positive changes in your life. It may not be easy, but it's worth it.
As a child, I always felt like an outsider in my own family. It wasn't until I was about five or 6 years old that my mother told me she was pregnant and that this new baby would be "different" from me because it was her own child. At the time, I didn't fully understand the implications of what she was saying, but as I got older, those words began to weigh on me. (i felt second best)
Tragically, my mother miscarried and I was left feeling even more isolated and alone as my mothers depression took over. To make matters worse, when I started school, I was bullied mercilessly because of my olive skin and mixed-race heritage. I remember being laughed at and ridiculed for the colour of my skin, and feeling like I had no place to belong, either at home or at school. It was a painful and difficult time.
Growing up, I always felt like I didn't measure up to my parents' expectations. Despite my creativity, I struggled academically and was often called "stupid" by my parents. As a result, I developed a deep sense of insecurity and low self-worth that stayed with me into adulthood.
Things only got worse when my parents split up and I went to live with my father. While he wasn't physically abusive like my mother, my brother suffered greatly at the hands of both of them. Despite this, I adored my parents and loved them dearly, something people find difficult to understand given the history.
Tragically, my father abandoned me when I was just 11 or 12 dropping me off at a friend's house and telling me to leave without any explanation 2 weeks before Christmas and that was the last time I ever saw him. It wasn't until much later that I learned he had committed suicide.
After being abandoned by my father, I ended up in the care system and spent several years living in various children's homes. which is a whole other story. When I turned 16, I was released into the world with little preparation or support, and ended up in the hospital before being placed with a foster mother named Enid. She provided me with a safe and loving home until I turned 18, but even then, I struggled to adjust to life outside the care system. It's been a long and difficult journey, but one that I am still working to overcome.
As an adult, I was able to form a closer and more loving relationship with my adopted mother, despite the difficult memories of my childhood. Unfortunately she passed away from stomach cancer a number of years ago now.
I struggled for many years with depression and negative beliefs about myself and my future. I had a hard time forming relationships or friendships, and often felt like I had no purpose or hope for a better tomorrow. Despite seeking help through counseling and therapy, I never fully opened up or allowed myself to heal.
But when I became a mother myself in 1994 and 1995, everything changed. The moment I held my daughters in my arms, I knew that I had finally found my true purpose. I was filled with a love and devotion that I had never experienced before, and I was determined to create a safe, loving, and happy home for them. While raising children is never easy, and I certainly had my share of challenges and setbacks, I am so proud of the strong, independent young women my daughters have become. And as they continue to grow and flourish, my love for them only grows stronger with each passing day.
When did it all change?
About 11 years ago, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and personal development that would change my life forever. Through this journey, I learned that in order to be truly happy and fulfilled, I needed to work on my limiting beliefs and break free from the negative patterns that had held me back for so long.
This process took many years and was not a quick fix, but it was worth every moment of hard work and effort. I turned to motivational speakers and personal development experts, such as Jack Canfield, for guidance and inspiration, and eventually had the opportunity to meet him in person at one of his seminars.
Through this journey, I learned the power of gratitude and the importance of focusing on the things that are going right in my life, rather than dwelling on the negatives. I discovered that we are all a lot wealthier and more blessed than we often realize, with so much to be grateful for, including our health, our families and friends, and the basic necessities of life like food, water, and shelter.
But perhaps most importantly, I learned to have faith in myself and my abilities, and to not let the negative opinions of others hold me back. I went from being a Debbie downer who didn't think I was smart or capable enough to achieve anything (a product of my past and circumstances) to someone who embraces life and has the courage to follow my dreams and prove the naysayers wrong. I even built sentimental keepsake from scratch with hardly any resources, knowledge or capital, something I never would have believed possible just a few years earlier. This journey has been challenging, but it has also been incredibly rewarding, and I am grateful every day for the growth and transformation it has brought into my life.
As a small business owner, I know firsthand the challenges and doubts that can come with entrepreneurship. But I also know that with hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, anyone can achieve their dreams and succeed in life.
I want you all to know that you are beautiful, smart, and capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. Start small and build your confidence, and then go for the stars. Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas are stupid or that you can't succeed. If I can do it, so can you.
When I first started my business, I didn't have much experience or knowledge about the industry. But I was determined to succeed, and so I taught myself how to build a website by watching tutorials on Google and YouTube. It wasn't perfect, and there were certainly mistakes along the way, but I am proud of what I accomplished and I know that with a little hard work and determination, anyone can do the same.
I understand that starting a business can be tough, especially in a cutthroat industry like mine. It's easy to feel discouraged and doubt yourself, and I have certainly had my fair share of struggles and setbacks. But I never gave up, and I remained enthusiastic and determined to succeed. And I am happy to say that my perseverance has paid off. I am loving what I do, and I am proud to be a woman doing it for myself. I know that we are all in this together, and that we should support and encourage each other, rather than viewing each other as competition. I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with other keepsake artists who are lovely and create beautiful things, and I am grateful to have found a community of like-minded women who share my passion and drive.
I have been fortunate to have the most amazing customers who have left such kind and thoughtful feedback, and I cannot express how much it means to me as a small business owner to receive such support and appreciation. While I know that not everyone will be happy all the time, I am grateful to have experienced such a positive response so far.
Through my journey of self-discovery and personal growth, I have learned that true happiness comes from within, and that we have the power to cultivate a positive and peaceful mindset no matter what challenges or obstacles come our way. I believe that anyone can strive for greatness, no matter their age, race, religion, or background. It is never too late to turn your life around, reach for the stars, and believe in yourself.
So my message to all of you in 2023 is this : be who you are, do what you love, and never let anyone else tell you that you are not worthy or capable. You are beautiful and deserving of happiness, and it is up to you to create the life you want. Be kind to yourself and encourage others, celebrating all the small and big achievements along the way. Together, we can all strive for greatness and create a brighter, more loving and fulfilling future.
My warmest wishes to you all