Inspiration – someone or something that gives you ideas for doing something
I bet you have heard me mention inspirational people, specifically inspirational women before. I feel like a bore sometimes as I talk about it so often! but the truth is that I have been blown away by the determination and tenacity of the women I have had the pleasure of encountering since I started blogging and actively pursuing my dream of becoming a business owner. Before I tell you about the series let’s rewind a little and I’ll tell you a few things about me that will give you a bit of background to the Inspirational Women Series.
Living your best life
I got married when I was just 23 years old which sounds insane now and I had three children in my late 20s. It was tough but I was happy to stay at home with them and grateful for the opportunity to do so – although I always knew that I had to carve a life out for myself beyond their early years. I wanted to finish a few of things that I had started before I had children and I really wanted to do something creative with my life.
When my youngest daughter turned two I was offered a job at her nursery and started training to be an Early Years Practitioner, I subsequently trained to be a teacher. This was a turning point in my life because after years of sitting on the fence, not being brave enough to take a chance and abandoning projects I finally found something I was good at and stuck to it. I graduated with a First Class degree – I’ll never tire of saying that – and I slowly rebuilt my confidence and began to think about the future again.
I thought I finally had what I wanted in terms of career but I soon realised that as much as loved teaching, the demands of the job were just too much for me and my family to cope with. I was often an angry, stressed-out mess and I was horrible to be around so I took a part time job that fitted in with our life but offered little in terms of opportunities for me to grow. I knew in my heart that I had to take action if I wanted to be happy.
It was in January 2016 that my husband and I started having some serious in-depth conversations about life and the lifestyle we imagined for ourselves. I don’t know what changed in those chilly January days but we jointly made the decision to design a new life with prosperity, fulfilment and wellbeing at the centre of it. It was an odd moment for me, I suddenly lost all the fear that had been holding me back for so long and Simon (my husband) was a tremendous support. I felt like I had jumped off the edge but I wasn’t free falling, I wasn’t afraid anymore – I was enjoying this leap into the unknown! We made a deal, I would create and grow a business and he would continue to work in his very corporate job until such a time that we could both live comfortably from our business.
And so it began, I put all my energy into my blog with the aim of creating an online platform for what will one day be a successful retail business. I spend every waking hour thinking and learning about blogging, social media, branding and retail businesses and I love it! There are plenty of difficult moments and challenges to overcome but it’s approximately 16 moths since we made our little deal and we are now in the early stages of purchasing premises for our business. It’s a great place to be, we are nervous and fearful but full of excitement. We are not sure what lies ahead besides some very steep learning curves but we are determined to make it work.
Throughout this life changing year I have learnt an awful lot from other women who have been kind enough to share their own experience in business, blogging, design, style and wellbeing. Through the Inspirational Women Series we’ll get to know some incredible women from all walks of life who have taught and inspired me along the way. Well find out what drives these amazing women, what success means to them and how they find that elusive work/ life balance. My hope is that the Inspirational Women Series will spark something in you and help you to live your best life.
PS: I’d love to hear who inspires you, leave me a comment below!
You can read about the workshop that put my blog on the right track here.
Click here for an inspirational career talk with Kristina Karlsson founder of Kikki K – the most impressive woman I have ever come across. Kristina was the keynote speaker at Big Small Business – a conference hosted by Monica Welburn from The Elgin Avenue and Laura Turner founder of Hero.
I love this Antonia, I think you have the right attitude and you are very talented. I know your blog and business will be an amazing success.
I am inspired by successful women that can get the right balance between work and family life.
You are so inspiring yourself, Antonia – and I wish you every success for your business!
Thank you so much! That’s so kind of you to say, let’s hope I can pull it off now!
I didn’t realise that this was your story – congratulations on understanding what you want from life and having the drive to actually do something about it. I quit as a lawyer because it just wasn’t what I wanted for my life and that was the scariest but ultimately best decision I’ve ever made. Wishing you all the success your boldness deserves!
Bethan, thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and for leaving such a supportive comment. I don’t consider myself to be an inspirational woman but I wanted to give some context to the series. You were incredibly brave to change career, that must have been a challenging time for you but you’ve certainly made it work for you! I generally believe that we are forced to make decision about of future too early in life, my daughter is 13 and dealing with all sorts of growing pains but has to make her GCSE choices next year and I just think it’s too soon to choose a path. Oh well! Thanks again for giving me your valuable time xx
Can’t wait to read your interviews! And to hear more about the retail business X