In 2011 Catherine Attewell was 38 years old and struggled to juggle being a mum of 2 young children (3 and 5 years) with the demands of a professional corporate job.
Catherine says “I was suffering with stress and felt inadequate most of the time. My resources were stretched in too many directions. I didn’t have the level of flexibility in my life that I really needed.
"My mum was elderly and suffering with health issues including having a mini stroke. Looking back I didn’t give her the support I’d have liked to. I lacked confidence and couldn’t see any alternative.
"One particular day I was late for the pick-up from after school club at 6pm and I just burst into tears. I was so weary from being on a tread mill trying to maintain a career job and a family”
"In 2012 I made a big and scary decision to leave my job. Although my partner was thankfully in work, it was still uncertain how we would survive financially having built our commitments around 2 salaries".
Following some sessions with life coach, Isla Baliszewska, Catherine decided to re-ignite her childhood love of jewellery making.
This was a great way to express her own personal identity aside from being a “mum”, “partner” or “employee”.
Working with glass and gemstone beads was such a special, creative experience to Catherine that it made her realise that her future was to build a new flexible, self-employed career sharing her passion for beaded jewellery with others.
“Attsey Beads” is the name of her small business based in Haydon End.
“I attend local events, stalls in shopping centres and jewellery parties at home. I have extended my range to sell both my own handmade as well as sourced jewellery.
"I am so thankful to my lovely customers and hostesses that they love my jewellery and share my enthusiasm for gorgeous beads!”
Catherine went on an Outset Course run by Swindon Council to understand how to set up her own business and draft a business plan.
Outset helps people who need to gain the skills and knowledge to run a small business.
“Outset is such an amazing course – it brings you into contact with other people starting out and is a great source of information, support and networking. If you have a business desire, but feel you lack the skills to launch a business – talk to Outset.
"My life now is intensely full, and I do still get a little stressed at times! But it is a healthy stress that comes from striving to achieve your unique dream.
"I collect the children from school every day and although it takes a lot of support from my partner, it is a much better way of life for us all.”
Attsey Beads will be at West Swindon Shopping Centre each weekend until Christmas except 14/15 December.
For more information about Life Coaching visit http://www.yourcoaching.co.uk/