Afternoon all. Some of you may know that before going into wedding planning and later writing this blog - I was a lawyer in a very different environment to the pretty and creative one I find myself in now! Lots of people ask me about giving up law to work for myself and why I did it etc – and this has inspired me to put together this new feature.
Through my wedding planning and blogging, I have met many other fabulous ladies who also made the move from city or busy office jobs to working for themselves and are all doing so well. I thought it may be nice to share some of their inspirational stories and hope that it may help those of you considering a change?
So, the first in this feature is the lovely Rebecca Doyle – fellow ex lawyer and now owner of Chez Bec and Isabella Grace. You may have seen my post on Chez Bec’s gorgeous new collection not long ago?
1 – What did you do before?
Up until December 2005, I was a stressed out lawyer working round the clock in London. I studied Law on the advice of my school careers officer but it was such a dry subject and I never really loved studying it. After graduating with a First Class Honours in Law, I took a year out to consider other options. However, nothing obvious sprang to mind so, almost resignedly, I applied to two top law firms and came back from an interview with one of them to find an answer-phone message offering me a job.
2 – What do you do now?
I own and manage Chez Bec and Isabella Grace as well as being full-time Mummy to my gorgeous 3-year old twins, Max and Isabella. Chez Bec is an award-winning brand of bridal jewellery and wedding hair accessories. Claim to fame – we won the Best Bridal Accessories Award at the Wedding Ideas Awards 2010, 2011 and 2012. A moment I shall remember forever and ever. Isabella Grace is my first bridal boutique which is based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and stocks fabulous wedding dresses from some of the world’s finest designers.
3 – What made you decide to take the jump?
After a couple of years spent training and another two years working in corporate finance law, I was working crazy 90-100 hours a week and working under intense pressure which all came with the territory. But the crunch came when my boyfriend (now my husband) booked a holiday to Antigua in early 2005 and my law firm gave me a BlackBerry so I could be contacted at all times. And contacted at all times I was! I realised that despite the kudos, the career progression and the fantastic salary, this was not how I wanted to live my life and in September 2005 I handed in my notice.
4 – What do you love most about your new life?
Being my own boss! Being able to see my children as well as being a businesswoman. Dealing with brides on a daily basis is an honour for me. Getting to play a small part in their big days is a real privilege. Every bride is different and helping each one with their bridal dress, their wedding jewellery and other bridal accessories is just fabulous.
5 – Any regrets?!
Absolutely none! I’ve not looked back once.
6 – Advice for others considering a change?
Think about what you want to do very carefully and make sure you have people around you who will support you in your new venture. It is a lot harder than it seems and you often end up working longer hours than you did before. If you are set on the idea of having your own business though, I would say go for it. The rewards are immense and there is so much job satisfaction. It is the most challenging thing I have ever done but I am the happiest I have ever been.
What do you think of Rebecca’s story – Rebecca and I would love to hear your thoughts? Does it sound familiar – or does it inspire you to want to make a change? I hope that this post and the ones to come show that it can be done!
Have a lovely afternoon and I shall be back soon xx