I started 3 years ago. Making jewellery and going to craft fairs. I had just finished a course in business and administration level 3. My idea was to get work in an office. At the time I was unable to find work because I didn't have any experience and I had a son who was being assessed for learning difficulties. I was a single parent of 4 children with 3 children still living at home. I had fled an abusive marriage in 2003 and had spent the last few years getting an education and bringing the kids up.
Because I couldn't get a job, to keep myself busy and my spirits up I started making jewellery and booked a craft fair. After 3 of these I decided to try the locaal market where I lived. There I met a lady who also sold jewellery who asked if I would like to do a bigger market with her. For around 1 and a half years we shared the stall costs. Each of us selling our own thing. This partnership eventually parted and for another year and half I had my own stall.
Increasing pain in my neck and shoulder made the market difficult. Since March this year I have now got a shop in the town centre. This is a gift shop which I love....after all it's mine. Although it is hard work the shop normally manages to pay it's own way. But there are things that need to be done.
The front of the shop needs painting, I need new display,shop fittings and to have a little money left in the bank just incase I don't quite make the rent would take a huge weight off of mine and my parent's shoulders who are elderly and who are also my guarantors if ever I fail to pay the rent.
The shop is still building and with it being a small shop people often come in for a chat. I remarried just over 2 years ago and my husband works but there is no money left to help me out. I am not taking a wage yet only commission. I would rather keep putting money back into it. There is a lot of potential and it's like a small community shop.