HOW CHLOE LEFT A CONSUMING JOB, STARTED A FAMILY AND HER OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS TO FIND THAT WORK/LIFE BALANCE WE ARE LOOKING FOR
When you are growing up everyone tells you that you need to build a career, work hard and once you get a good job keep at it, because good jobs are hard to come by.
Let alone your dream job. Forget about dreams!
Life isn’t made for dreams!
But what if after years in a job, you finally decide that you want to do something else?
What if you really want to follow that voice you keep hearing in your head that tells you there is more to life than sitting at your desk for 12 hours a day?
Escape the fear
Don’t fight your true passion! If you are not satisfied with your life, try to find what makes you wake up with fire in you every day.
For years I have been wanting to quit my job and dedicate myself full time to my passion. But fear has stopped me several times:
- fear of failure
- fear of not being good enough
- financial insecurity
It’s only when I got over my doubts and fears that big changes happened in my life. There will always be days when nothing seems to work and you’ll want to give up.
Successful people are the ones that on those days don’t give up and work even harder!
And Chloe did exactly that: she had an amazing job on paper, a great career ahead of her, but she also had a dream…a dream of living a more fulfilled and rich life, with more time to spend with her family.
So she quit her job and went on a journey to discover her true passion and find a way to work from home. While looking for a lamp for her daughter’s bedroom, she had a “light bulb” moment and Bright Corner was born!
Chloe had a passion for design, and she wanted to create a product, that was ethically sourced and locally produced.
It took her a year to create a product she was happy with, and a lot of hard work to set up a new business.
In the beginning, you put in a lot of hours and you will not see immediate results. That’s the hardest part: keep thinking about your goal, use your passion to fuel you.
You will get back what you put into it!
And Chloe has done just that: she is now the owner of a thriving small business and she is finally doing what she loves!
1. Tell us a bit about you…
Hey, I am Chloe and I have just started a new business called Bright Corner, designing, making and selling wooden lights. I live in a little village called Kings Langley (not Kings Landing!) with my husband and 19-month-old little girl. I used to live and work in London, but the crazy, fast-paced city life was too much for me in my 30s, so we decided to pack up have a new adventure and we haven’t looked back.
2. What made you decide to leave your city job?
I used to work in the VFX industry and loved it, but it is very demanding and takes over your life. I hit a point where I started to resent it for that as I wanted more of my own time. We have one shot at life and I didn’t want to spend it working in one industry!
We also wanted to start a family, so I wanted something more flexible that gave me a work/life balance.
It’s never been easier to set up an online shop! Shopify handles everything from marketing and payments, to secure checkout and shipping. Now you can focus on the things you love.
3. Why did you decide to create a product?
It took me a long time to come up with Bright Corner. After leaving my career I did a lot of volunteer work to explore different options but still hadn’t found what I was looking for. I then got pregnant and had a little girl to concentrate on for a while, but I read a lot of inspiring books and did an interior design course.
That made me realize that I love design and creating something, so I knew it had to be a product of some kind.
4. How did you decide what product to create?
It happened quite naturally. I mentioned to my husband one night how I couldn’t find a nice wooden lamp for our daughters’ room and he said why don’t you design one. I thought that making a lamp would be difficult so had never considered it, but I was excited by the idea and saw there was a gap in the market.
Once I started to do some research, I realized it was feasible and that the product could also appeal to adults as a cozy, ambient light.
5. How did you design it?
I started by drawing ideas in a sketchbook, my first design was the Townhouse.
I had a ceramic house light as a child, so wanted to use that nostalgia.
The other two designs were nature based as I love the outdoors and with the lights being made from wood wanted the designs to compliment the material. I then taught myself CAD and built them in 3D, my husband is an engineer so helped me design how to slot them together.
6. What was it like to find a manufacturer for your product?
A lot more difficult than I thought!
It took me about 6 months to find the right wood cutting company. I contacted a lot of businesses and got no response: being a small startup put bigger companies off. I eventually found a local company, which is ideal as I have a face to face relationship with them and can pick up stock myself.
7. How did you pick a name for your brand?
I am a creative person from a visual point of view but thinking of names was really challenging for me. I asked a lot of my friends and family for their advice and one of them came up with Bright Corner, so I owe her a lot. (Thank you, Amy!)
8. How long did it take you from idea to launch?
It was just under a year. I remember coming up with the idea last Autumn/Winter. It was then a slow start as I was a new mum and that took up a lot of my time. After New Year I started to design the lamps in 3D and the aim was to get prototypes as soon as possible. As it evolved, and I could see it was a feasible business, I gave myself the deadline to launch in Autumn 2018 as I knew the products would be great for the winter months.
9. What marketing strategy have you used?
I wanted to concentrate on social media as it is a visual product and I thought Instagram would be the best option. Since launching, I have learned that Pinterest is also a great visual platform, so have spent a lot of time concentrating on that.
I have also approached interior magazines and bloggers that I admire.
I am still learning but it is all about good photos, regular posting, networking, and patience.
10. How do you feel now that you have created your own business?
I feel like the last year has been a dream, probably because I also had a baby to keep me busy. But I feel very happy and content, I am also excited about the future of Bright Corner and I’m thinking of new designs and ideas.
11. What’s your best tip for anyone that wants to start selling their own product?
If you want to start a business, there is a lot of free support out there. My local council gave me one on one advice plus free workshops. They helped me create a business plan and understand the reality of being a small independent maker.
So, I would recommend anyone to look for this support.
12. What would you like your life to look like in 10 years from now?
I would love to live in the countryside, so we can have a house with more space to grow the business. I hope that Bright Corner would be an established brand with a variety of wooden products.
Who knows what they may be but that’s what’s exciting!
13. What advise would you give to your younger self?
Pick a career that gives you flexibility.
Gathering Dreams Question Time
If you could be anywhere, where would you be now?
Working on a beach in Costa Rica, I really want to go there as I have heard it’s beautiful and full of wildlife.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Asian food is my favorite and after visiting Vietnam I am obsessed with Pho. I can’t cook it as well as the Vietnamese, but I have mastered my own version using Salmon and my family always request it when they come and stay, so it must be good.
The most useful book you’ve read, that helped you to start your business
Non-fiction: I would say Making A Living Without A Job, by Barbara Winter. It helped me think in a different way about what I wanted from a job by giving you small exercises to do. It also had some great real-life stories in it, which helped with my motivation and confidence in starting something from scratch.
Fiction: it would have to be the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, I have read it numerous times in my life and it has always inspired me to follow my dreams and passions.
You can find Chloe’s products on her Bright Corner Shop and follow her on Instagram!
Do you want to start your own online shop as Chloe did?
Having an e-commerce store is one of my favorite passive income ideas.
With more and more people shopping online every year, building your online store could be your key to creating your own business and follow your passion.
Shopify is by far the best e-commerce platform out there. They have beautiful templates that will make designing your site a breeze. It’s the e-commerce solution I always used for all my online shops in the past!
They also have lots of tools and adds-on to help you process payments, handle deliveries and returns, set up promotions and much more.
And if you are interested in starting your own blog, have a look at my step-by-step guide! I will show you everything you need to do to start a successful money-making blog!