Name: Rebecca Downie
Business: Photography for little people by Rebecca
Family: Husband Anthony and two gorgeous little people Nathaniel, 5 and Arabella, 2.
Guilty pleasure: Daydreaming about my next holiday - foreign travel is somewhat of an addiction.
Tell us about how your business dream came to light and how it evolved into reality.
I moved back from Sydney, Australia when my son was 18 months old and worked in the city for a media owner selling sponsorship packages to international companies. It involved travel to Miami, HK, Singapore and Sydney. Whilst I loved the work and the travel I quickly realised it wasn’t compatible with the type of mum I wanted to be. I flirted with a couple of working from home sales roles but they weren’t for me. I felt disillusioned and saddened that I couldn’t have a fulfilling job and be there for my kids.
Photography has always been a passion of mine, and I have photo albums going back decades! Living in Sydney I did a number of courses and an online diploma in photography. I started to look at what I could do with photography and came across the Photography for Little People franchise. Very quickly I was excited as the franchise model offered a ‘business in a box’ - training, a brand, equipment and most importantly expertise and support I could draw on daily. It was a big investment, and one that will take a while to turn profitable but with limited time to work on the business I can accept that.
Starting and running your own business can be tough at times, how did you overcome these wobbles and not throw in the towel/bib?
Well it’s a 5 year franchise agreement and a large sum of money so that helps motivate you! Saying that obviously you can quit or sell the business but I love what I do. Genuinely.
Networking through local groups has been great, as you realise your frustrations and challenges aren’t unique and you can find answers and support within them, from very talented mums.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business? Other than VAT returns, share those tasks that you try to avoid at all costs & how you motivate yourself to get them done.
LOVE The freedom! Never having to miss a nativity or sports day. Being there when the kids are ill. That is what it is all about and what it is all for. Commuting and childcare costs negate most wages anyway so this is a great way to earn money by working when the kids are at school or nursery or asleep! I work the occasional weekends but those are rare.
HATE Finances!! Mine are a mess!! I love a spreadsheet so really should be more organised. General admin I find dull - I’d much rather be photographing babies. The ideal would be someone booking my appointments and me just meeting families and creating memories for them!!
How have you maximised the potential of working with babytodd & beyond and its members?
At last year’s babytodd show I met so many wonderful bumps, and loved meeting many of the newborns that popped out (we wish it was that easy!) a few weeks and months later.
It’s been great meeting so many other fantastic local working parents. Specifically I have partnered with Natalie Bouckart who is an independent consultant for Arbonne, and she offers free make overs for my maternity clients which is a wonderful thing to be able to offer!
I have also done some corporate photography for Wigglebums, Cocoon Baby, Beading Brilliant…and BabyTodd itself as well as others. I have enrolled my daughter in Tumble Tots, I met Charlotte via Baby Todd, which she loves too. I’ve have genuinely made some lovely supportive business friends which is amazing. We have even worked together on some pop up baby events which has helped all our businesses grow.
What plans do you have for your personal, family and business growth? How do you manage to get the balance right?
To be honest I think I am like most working mums - treading water! I think to many people I look like a duck calmly swimming the waters but underneath my feet are going ten to the dozen…as is my brain!
I am family led. . .they come first. I am lucky to have a husband who earns enough for this to be the case for now. He sacrifices a lot, and works so hard - I am very proud!
Key goal for 2018. . .
I set myself some tough targets at the beginning of the year, which are probably unachievable!
A big focus has been self improvement in my photography, and I am proud at how my images have improved year on year. It is important for me to create images that families love and will treasure forever. . .I believe if I get that right everything else will follow.
You can find more information on Photography for Little People by Rebecca here;
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