Ever since 2001, I had carried around a picture of an all-white dessert table which had featured in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. I don’t know why I was so obsessed with it and it wasn’t until some eight years later when I saw Amy Atlas’ website, I knew this is what I was meant to do.
And of course, after I found Style Me Gorgeous, there was no question about the fact I would ask Sarah to design the branding for Eye Candy Events. It’s funny how things come full circle.
Sarah is a talented graphic designer who can create business branding, logos, websites and more but has more recently launched a series of party printables which are taking mums and dads by storm. Eye Candy Events has used her printables here and here for dessert tables.
Sarah shares her experiences of being a WAHM and where the inspiration for her work comes from.
Why did you start your own business?
After having my first son Jack I couldn’t bear the thought of having to leave him at six months old and go back to work, and I had always wanted to have my own business so it was time to go for it!
Who/what inspires you?
My boys - Jack and Max, Donna Hay, Amy Atlas, Sharnel Dollar, Stacey Sullaphen (Sunny Mummy), my mum, my friends, and all the blogs on my blog list! (hundreds of them)
What are the biggest lessons you learnt in your first year of business?
That sometimes I just have to say 'no', the world/my career won't end if I do, hehe.
I also learnt the value of social networking and blogging for business. As much as it is a distraction from doing my actual design work, facebook is great for business, it helps spread your name about, you can keep clients and likers up to date with new designs, special offers etc
What is the toughest thing about running your own business?
Trying to find a good work vs life balance, and having the will power to turn off the computer, close the studio door and give my family attention. Sticking to scheduled work hours is hard, I always work more hours than planned.
How do you find the right balance between family and being a WAHM?
It is a constant struggle trying to find that balance. I am yet to meet another WAHM who has found and maintained that balance. I've accepted that it will always be hard to juggle work and family, but I know I am lucky to be doing what I love, and to be doing it from home.
Best business advice you’ve ever received?
When I'm feeling stressed about work a few simple words from my beautiful friend Stacey (the original Sunny Mummy!) is the best medicine, i.e. 'if you've lost your mojo you need some time away from work to just be YOU! The world won't stop turning if you take a few days off. Turn off the computer, get some sun on your face, watch a movie with the kids, have a deep bath, read a book, eat some choc ....'
How important is social media to your work as a WAHM?
As mentioned above social media is very important to my work. I like to be professional but also show a personal side of my business and let people get to know me a little through my blog and through Facebook. Facebook is a great way of sharing information quickly.
As there are a lot of experts in your field – and a lot of copycats - how do you ensure you stay ahead of the pack?
I am guilty in the past of spending too much time getting bogged down in the negativity (copycats) of the online world and dwelling on things I should be ignoring, but as my business has grown I've become more confident in myself and my abilities ... so these days I do my best to focus on what truely matters ...creating and being with my family. When I keep my chin up and focus I do better (it also helps when I'm not stressed out, the creative juices flow much better!)
What excites you about the work you do?
The feedback from customers gives me such a great feeling, it is so rewarding creating a new brand for a client and feeling their excitement and enthusiasm. With the party printables side of the business, knowing I can help make such precious occasions that extra bit special is fantastic too.
Also, all the inspiration everywhere excites me ... there is endless inspiration for children's parties and my to-do list is never-ending because of it, I really do need an 8th day in the week!
What has been your best day in business/highlight of your business so far?
I was asked by Sharnel Dollar to design printables (buffet labels, wallpaper, choc wrappers, straw flags and tags) for the baby shower in Melbourne hosted by Oprah! I caught a half a second flash of one of the buffet labels on the Oprah show too, hahaha!
The other thing is, it has been a long time business goal of mine to be in a magazine, and I'm so excited to say I am, and it's in my favourite baby and kids magazine ... Little One Baby!
Favourite three blogs or websites?
Hostess with the Mostess blog, Amy Atlas blog, and 1oo Layer Cake.
Any final words???
Happy birthday to Eye Candy Events, wishing you the very best for the future. xx
Thank-you Sarah for sharing your experiences and inspiration. You have inspired many parents in celebrating their children's special events and designed simply stunning branding for many other mothers in business. You continue to be a source of inspiration for me.
Next up, meet Naomi of Hello Naomi who creates the most divine cookies and cakes you ever did see.