Our fourth female contributor is Fiona. In Part 1 of this series i shared the "Five things I’ve learned since starting my own Business." In Part 2, I want to share a 'diverse' range of females whose creative projects or business startups impact their lives/ family-lives in different ways. My hope is that you enjoy the chats here and are maybe even inspired in some way. I’m super privileged to bring you a conversation with Fiona; mum, designer, photographer.. (& so on:) I found her on Instagram and instantly started drooling over her grey-scale feed & the scandi- inspired interiors from her home which is a converted factory space. Keep reading ladies, this beautiful Mama lets us in on her day-to-day, her style, how she juggles it all. Here's Fiona's five.....
1. HER STORY
My name is Fiona, I’m 32, live in Norwich, Norfolk England with my husband, Bobby, and son, Stanley (4). We live in a converted factory and run two companies – a branding consultancy called The Click and Nor–Folk, which shares our journey of designing a simpler life. Nor–Folk has an online shop too. I ‘conceived’ Nor–Folk when Stanley was just over a year and identified there was a gap for minimalist, graphic design led unisex apparel. The business grew organically with us exhibiting at several trade shows and selling to wholesalers and consumers globally. At the end of last year, with the store established and me seeking some more creative outlets, we decided to share our journey (as a family) and our website was re-launched to incorporate this a few weeks ago. This year we’re buying a house in Norfolk, which we’ll rent out for holidays and we’re also in the process of designing and producing a beautiful guide (the Nor–Folk compendium) to introduce our county. I do everything in the Nor–Folk business – social, photography, design, content, strategy, admin – it’s great as I get a great picture of the whole business. The only things I don’t do is pick and pack orders – our stock is housed at a warehouse and thankfully the team take care of that side. We did do all our shipping at the start but, as we grew, it just wasn’t practical.
Every day is different and I love it.
2. HER TYPICAL DAY
Stanley is a dreadful sleeper and doesn’t sleep through the night and our days can start anywhere between 4am and 7am, this morning was 5.30am and yet we were still late for nursery! Stanley goes to a local school nursery five days a week for three hours and he absolutely loves it, he’s been going a couple of months now. I was anxious how he’d take to it as he’d only been with grandparents, but he literally walked in and walked off. He’s a very happy and sociable little man so I think he was definitely ready for it. Now we drop him off together, drive to work and usually grab a coffee from the car park to the studio. Bobby and I work in the same studio, opposite each other in fact. Today we’re having a battle of the music so I’ve opted for headphones and some balearic beats!
Depending on who collects Stanley from nursery, either my mum (who lives near the school), Bobby’s parents who live in the country or my dad who lives in the country dictates on when we leave work – it can be as early as 4.30 or as late as 6pm. We collect Stanley (who has eaten) and then we have an hour of Stanley only playtime. No phones/work/jobs. One or both of us baths him and then reads to him in his new big boy bed. This is our current set up but as I get more on top of things I’m going to finish early one day a week to collect him so we can have some time together, just us :-)
3. HER STYLE
I’m a tomboy, I always have been. My wardrobe is greyscale with a few pastels. Comfort is absolute priority which is why I’m usually in trainers, and I’m an Adidas girl. Brands that I wear tend to be the highstreet staples of H&M, Monki, Cos, Zara, Cheap Monday, Long Tall Sally (I am 6ft). Coupled with a few treat pieces like Alexander Wang and Acne. I’ve really got into bag recently and I love my relatively new cross body bag from dutch designer Yvett (www.yvett.nl) Bobby calls it my sheep bag but I love the texture and think it really lifts a simple look.
4. HER INSPIRATION
I love interiors and my current obsession is finding houses on airbnb for future holiday trips. Following our trip to Portugal we’re discussing our summer holiday and I’m torn between Santorini, Ibiza and Sorrento at the moment. I found a beautiful house overlooking the rocky cliffs in Sorrento, quite possibly the most perfect house I’ve ever seen! I guess rightmove was my previous obsession but as we’ve found our holiday let (and had our offer accepted and instructed solicitors), I daren’t look anymore ;-)
5. HER KID
It’s not easy but children make you more creative. You are constantly problem solving and making decisions and those skills are essential when you run your own business! My honest advice is only pursue something you truly believe in and love, as there will be times when you want to give up, so you have to love what you do (on the good days!). And make sure you have a handle on the numbers and valuing your time. It’s so easy to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way and have even less time for yourself (and family).
For me, making time for a bath or to get some fresh air is so important for my sanity. I’m very lucky to have some inspirational friends around me and they make me a better person! Surround yourself with good people and you won’t go far wrong.Thanks so much for our chat Fiona. Check out her Instagram HERE, her Journal & Shop www.nor-folk.com & her branding/design website www.theclickdesign.com