I’ve always wanted to belong to a strong group of entrepreneurial women, striking out to make our own living. I’m part of a few women’s networking groups, and I discovered Michelle and Christian Ewen were doing a series of interviews with 365 women in business in one year. I asked to be part of it, and here it is, I’ve been published in a book of stories of amazing women forging our own business and lives.
It’s been exactly one year today since my story, as part of this book of amazing women, was published online.
Thank you Michelle & Christian Ewen of Write On Time.
Part of the journey to being recognised for what you do, it to recognised yourself and put yourself forward. Here’s what I wrote in the application to be considered for interview:
I’m not a quitter .. through a few different iterations of business and newly launching a jewellery business, I’m working hard to always grow and find new sources of income being self-employed. My main business is The Heart’s Design where I help others build a digital business from the heart. I supplement this with my photography to help people ‘be’ in their business, to show their face and tell their story visually. Lastly, my new jewellery business is a heart hobby that I’m using as a marketing strategy to show people how to build micro-businesses of their own and how I can help them do that. This latest initiative and strategy is very new but I’m all for empowering women to launch their dreams, find new ways of working and truly own their voice, both visually and consistently online.
Thanks and I love your daily inspiration. I know a few of the women who’ve been interviewed and so I’m writing to see if I’ll be considered?Cathie
I got a quick reply from Christian Ewen and had a really fun chat for 20 minutes, he wrote up a quick article using .. you guessed it 365 words. I said I loved it and added a photo to show who I am .. bing, bada boom within 30 hours I was suddenly on their blog. It was real, I got to a part of a really great group of entrepreneurial women.
You can see me on Day 286, where I talk about this website design business and more.
They gave me this subtitle as my summary: A serial entrepreneur operating within a variety of sectors – including web design and branding; portrait photography; and jewellery. Read the 365 words of my business story from 2019.
Cathie Heart, Director of The Heart’s Design
A serial entrepreneur operating within a variety of sectors – including web design and branding; portrait photography; and jewellery
There’s a couple of things that people should know about me… Firstly, I have an inner core of rebellion. With my short hair and long streak on top, I don’t fit the larger society’s mould of what a woman should look like. Secondly, I love patterns, lines and structure – creating order out of chaos. These particular facets of my personality are crucial to the three business areas I now operate within.
Before I went self-employed, I worked in the computer systems validation field – specialising in the pharmaceutical industry. After going through a redundancy experience, I left my home in Buckinghamshire and relocated to Leeds to look after my grandparents – one of whom was heading into full dementia. Both grandparents have since passed on and I supported my parents as we delivered end of life care.
During this period, I needed some part-time work so I founded The Heart’s Design in 2012. As a certified tech geek with an MSc in Information Management, I’d designed websites before and knew it was something I could do. What the business has turned into is something which resonates with me on a personal level, because the primary objective has evolved into enabling women to do for themselves regardless of what they’re told – and make an income doing it!
I first picked up a camera in 2001 when I needed some stock images for the websites I was building. I relaunched Cathie Heart Photography in 2018 and always shoot for the end purpose. If my client requires images for social media or a portrait for their wall, the approach has to be different but I’m comfortable with any brief. Again, it comes back to creating order – teasing out my clients’ real purpose so the end result is wholly representative of what I’ve been entrusted to deliver.
My jewellery business, which I founded two-and-a-half months ago following a nasty bout of flu, is a heart hobby that gives me the perfect reason to have some much-needed time away from the computer screen. Using chain links to create handwoven jewellery, I want to use this venture as a marketing strategy – showing people how to build microbusinesses of their own with my help.
It’s an interesting quick summary of where I was in December 2019 vs where I am today a year later.
I absolutely love seeing people face their challenges, adversities and make something new and what a year it has been for that with all of the Covid lockdowns. A few of my fellow business women have closed their doors, others have slowed down and some have had amazing years using the lulls in work to pivot and really focus on what they are doing .. they are thriving. I am so happy to see that.
I am very fortunate in all the skills that I’ve honed over many years to be able to launch online businesses, I could build as many as I can think of ideas for. I made the choice to learn able to do this when I was deciding on my first degree at university in business information systems and I’ve continued this through the years with every skill I’ve added.
I know many ways to work smarter and a lot of it is thinking strategically and then using tech to automate as much of that as possible. I know that websites and tech systems, when used well, give us a wealth of abilities we can’t do as easily without it. I wouldn’t be without the systems I’ve put in place in my business for all the chocolate in the world!
Even if it’s a small heart hobby business like my chainmail jewellery. Any service or product you make is worth sharing with the world. I’d love to help establish you with a website to share your expertise with the world. And, by an expert, I mean that you will know your subject (that you do your business in) more than the average person in any room of people you are with.
I may have started my jewellery business as a marketing ploy within my networking groups, to showcase building a business, building a brand, website, and more. The honest truth is that a year later, I really do enjoy making chainmail, it is so very different than website design, branding and photography. It’s away from a computer screen (hallelujah!) and it slows down my mental whirring into quiet enjoyment and pleasure at making something with my hands.
So don’t hide your talents and your ‘light’ like I’ve done for many years, hoping that people would find me and appreciate the value of what I do. Sort out a website, get some photos and share what you do because if you’re not happy with your marketing materials .. you’ll never promote yourself. Take it from a website designer that until October 2019 wasn’t happy with her website. I was the equivalent of a plumber with a leaky house! But, not anymore.
So grab 2021, shake off 2020 and make this your year in business, and if you’ve had a great year, do it again. For those who are starting out, it’s a crazy winding journey and you’ll learn a lot .. let me build you a great stand-out foundation with a website, brand, and photographs that work for you when you market yourself and your business. Or join in with my beta launch for doing your website and brand in 10 weeks with me guiding you step by step.
Be part of a network of entrepreneurial women and a businesswoman yourself in 2021 .. I dare you to make your dreams of a life on your terms a reality.