Hello and a wonderfully happy new year to you and yours!
Here at Wardrobe Towers life has been shifting and changing and expanding with the arrival of my beautiful baby girl in July 2017. I’ve been on an extended period of maternity leave and becoming a mum has changed me in more ways than I can articulate: I am kinder, more present, more open and loving and much, much more emotional. That Cadbury’s advert with the girl buying Dairy Milk with her toys?! It has me WEEPING!
When I was pregnant I honestly thought I’d be back at work 9 months after Erin’s birth. Nine months on from her birth I was fully consumed with being a mum – my business wasn’t even in the back of my mind, it had wondered out of my mind as Erin was all consuming. At 12 months I still wasn’t emotionally or mentally ready to pick up my styling suitcase and start fixing wardrobes again. This shocked and surprised me. I had anxiety attacks about being physically far away from Erin – what happened if I was in London and something happened? It would be 4 hours before I could get home. Other questions popped up – how could I do evening talks if Rich wasn’t home from work until 7pm and the talk started at 7.30pm?
I sat down and thought long and hard about The Wardrobe Angel and asked myself what I loved about my business and what I was happy to give up. The list was long and surprising; becoming a mum had shifted my focus and my energy. I knew I’d be happy and fulfilled earning money from blogging and magazine columns, writing from home. I didn’t, and stilll don’t, feel authentically connected to the styling side of my business. Fashion is a whirling merry-go-round on which I used to thrive riding on. Then I had Erin and find myself on a park bench happily watching the merry-go-round spin and spin and spin.
Three things came to my attention last year that helped me to see that it was ok to say “I’m done, I’m hanging up my styling gloves.” The first Bird Board ceasing to trade (the original website has been taken down.) Bird Board was a support network to women in business of which I was one of the founder members. Next I saw that Karen Cannard of The Rubbish Diet had stopped trading as well. We worked together on an ITV programme about waste in fashion and food. The final thing was the chef Gizzi Erskine changing her image. She used to ooze 60’s style: beehive, flats and mini dresses. Promoting her new cookbook, Slow, I saw the monikers of her personal brand had radically changed:
Things don’t last forever, I was The Wardrobe Angel for 7 exciting, long, years. Towards the end I felt like a caricature of myself – the bright red lips and the matching nails. Now I haven’t worn lipstick for nearly 2 years and my nails remain beautifully natural. I feel as though I have stepped out from behind my brand to just be “Steph”.
It’s wonderully freeing to start the New Year of 2019 like this and to see what opportunies lie ahead as I start blogging again, pitching magazine articles and penning some childrens books.
With love xxx