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The ever-changing versions of success

We are over the moon to showcase our guest author Emily, Founder, Business + Life Coach at Emily Button Creative. Emily supports women who feel stuck + helps them to be their own boss + create a purposeful life on their own terms. Let’s explore Emily’s ever-changing versions of success.

In my twenties, I thought I had my version of success pretty much nailed + was well on my way up the corporate career ladder. I wasn’t majorly driven by money [but appreciated what it allowed me in life] but more driven by what I could achieve if I set my mind to it [a lesson that first paid off at university where I left with a 1st class degree!] I soon started ticking off my goals – buying a house, getting engaged + then married, getting my Director position, + being the youngest compared to my peers by 10-15 years. But it never felt the way I imagined it to!

Through a turbulent Saturn’s return period in 2016 [for those of you heading towards your late twenties, I *implore* you to do some research on it even if you aren’t a huge astrology convert!] I embarked on a journey of self-discovery to make big changes in my life. Starting with working with a coach to help understand what is truly important to me + what I wanted to be doing from a career perspective.

I realised that I was no longer connected to the work I was doing in the corporate world. I didn’t want more money or more things – instead, I wanted to do work that I loved + was passionate about, as well as the ability to work flexibly around a potential family. This change in thinking did cause quite a bit of inner turmoil as I felt like I’d come to a crossroads + didn’t know which way to turn – I just knew the path I was on workwise wasn’t the right one for me.

Falling pregnant in late 2018 + thinking about work post-baby further cemented the need to radically change things up + I fully immersed myself in the practice of coaching + made the decision to become self-employed. Early 2020 then saw me resign from my corporate job + become my own boss!

Having a baby + becoming self-employed meant I had to redefine what success meant for me. Becoming a first-time mum meant my ambition hadn’t waned [I wrote a blog feature on my website about tips for new mothers to keep mentally stimulated] but rather my priorities have shifted. I worked all hours + hard in my twenties + for me right now, with a toddler and another baby due in October that is no longer something I want to be doing. Success for me now is not focused on the tangible markers, but rather on how I want to be *feeling*. I think as a society we place too much emphasis on achieving something to give us a certain feeling, whether that be happiness, pride, etc, as opposed to chasing the feeling itself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am proud of everything I have achieved + completely realise that what I built in my twenties has given me a solid foundation for where I am now + things would be much different if I didn’t have that.

Success has evolved for me now to look like striving for feeling content [my word for 2021]. It’s about doing work I am passionate about + supporting women to be the best they can be, it’s spending quality time with my son + family where I’m not worried about time, it’s looking after myself + resting when I need to + it’s about investing in my own development + happiness. 

I don’t know when the next evolution + adapting of what success means for me will happen, but I do know it will +  I am actually excited for what that looks like. So it is important for me to continually check in on it + to make changes + adaptions when things feel like they are no longer serving me.

You can find more about Emily here.

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We talk the power of mindset, life of a mom-preneur + the beautiful tales of Hattie.

Your Studio looks like the calmest space, filled with gorgeous energy and powerful vibes… Hattie, tell us your story.

I’ve not always been on this journey, I was once accepted into law school to study to become a barrister, can you believe it! Driven by academics and I had no idea who I really was. I would have made a rubbish Barrister as I’m far too soft! Things happen for a reason right, and I got a job at a fab insurance company and met my future husband, Jamie all with a month to go until I left for University and I just knew something was telling me not to go.

So I developed a career as a Responsible Business Consultant, helping businesses not just think about the money and absolutely love it, especially since going self-employed at 17 weeks pregnant. Aside from this corporate life, I found myself looking at my core values, and considering what I want from life. Being pregnant will do that to you!

My work was always to ‘change the world’ but I found myself considering, actually I don’t have to change the whole world to make a difference, I can change people’s worlds. Wavelength was born in 2019, an idea of a circle of mind, body, and soul strength to connect people through the journey of life and get the most out of ourselves. So we converted our garage into the wonderful space it is now, and I absolutely love welcoming people into the energy knowing I’m helping them.

As an expert in Hypnobirthing, birthing + a mummy of gorgeous Walter, how did you get to where you are now?

Since I had my son, at the beginning of the pandemic, I realised how inconsistent and broken the maternity system is, I felt like I had found my calling. Birthers shouldn’t have to fight for their rights and the care they deserve and we should be given all our options in a non-cohesive way.

I always imagine if women knew the power they hold and harnessed this instead of being scared, and we are only scared because of how society portrays birth. I promise you it’s not like one born every minute or in the movies!

‘Birth is a natural event that sometimes requires medical intervention, not a medicalised event that sometimes happens naturally.’ 

So I have trained in birth support, hypnobirthing, as a doula and breastfeeding supporter, mindfulness, naturopathy, aromatherapy, yoga, and relaxation techniques.. and here we are. I will continue to fight for the rights of birthing people and postnatal support. 

In short, for our expectant parents, those curious and those looking to have a baby – why is having a birth plan so important?

The power of a birth plan isn’t the actual plan, it’s the process of becoming educated about all your options!

And that’s what Hypnobirthing is all about, it’s not the fluffy hippy stuff that you envisage when you say Hypnobirthing, to be fair it is a really bad name for it and probably needs a rebrand! It’s about understanding the choices, the risks, and the benefits and being educated enough to have trust in your body and make informed decisions.

You talk a lot about the power of our minds, and mindfulness surrounding birth. What are your biggest top tips to gather a better understand of mental health and mindfulness?

To treat your mental health as you would your body. You wouldn’t ever expect to go to the gym for the first time and be able to lift the heaviest weight, you’d have to train and practice and that’s the same for our minds. And It’s hard to practice mindfulness at first but with techniques like habit stacking and journaling, it will become part of your life and general well-being.

We know you cover all topics of Antenatal, Postnatal, Breast Feeding Support, and Yoga. How do we book with you?

You can book by messaging me directly either via my Instagram or Facebook, or you can book onto any of the classes or Birth Prep courses via our booking platform.

From becoming a mother till now, what are your biggest lessons?

Becoming a mother ignites a raw kind of animal instinct in you, and the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to fully listen to that instinct. It’s more than just a ‘feeling’ it’s a physiological chemical release and it’s powerful and often spot on.

As a gorgeous energy, we would love to know your morning routine? Are you an early riser or a night owl?

I’ve always been an early riser, but now don’t have a choice of anything other than that thanks to Wally! We normally start our day at around 7 am and my wonderful husband Jamie takes Wally downstairs so I can pee, clean my teeth and get dressed in some sort of peace! I’m actually not a fan of routine, believe it or not, so I don’t have set things we do at set times but I always have a cup of oat milk coffee!

When working with all things motherhood, how do you stay on top of new ideas + external pressures in business?

It is definitely hard to keep things from getting stagnant but I would say that my biggest inspirations come from what I live day to day, if I find something hard or interesting then I like to make content about that as it’s relevant, so you’ll often see my content as quite personal and emotive.

Also having a community of amazing support either in the same business area or similar passions keeps the joy of everything flowing.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I couldn’t agree more, but I also think you need to find your village for your business to, having genuine support and cheerleaders is vital.

Are there any other small businesses you’d love to shout about, or you have shared your small business journey with?

Well the business that has shared it all with me, the highs the lows, and everything in between, has been JT Landscapes, my husband’s business. Setting up the two businesses and going self-employed whilst pregnant and 6 months before the pandemic hit was hard! It definitely sent its challenges and uncertainties but if anything it’s made us value the ability to be self-employed and being able to do something we love. That’s what life is about right!? We are trying to create a life that’s different from the normal ideal of ‘work-life balance’ as we believe it shouldn’t be a balance, life is life and if you work, it should be an all-encompassing thing, not something you feel you need to shut the door on at 5 pm.

Another amazing small business I’d love to shout out is Glimpses by Tiff, who is the most amazing photographer and has captured moments for us to treasure forever from all the different times in our lives.

Finally, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

I would say, don’t try and be like anyone else. I remember looking at managers or friends I had when I was 20 and thinking “gosh I hope I’m like them when…” and actually that constantly strive to be like something or someone can dull your own authenticity and your superpower is that no one else is you!

Follow Hattie’s journey online now.

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We talk rule-breaking, changing the narrative and kids fashion with Zig + Star

Let’s kick off with a question that’s been on my mind – why shoes? What sparked that initial inspiration to start your own business? 

I’d always been frustrated generally by how gendered the kidswear market was… I often shopped in the boy’s section for my two daughters to avoid all the pink unicorns, but when my son arrived, I realised there was a real lack of unisex products. Even as a child myself, I remember feeling how unfair it was that I was expected to dress or behave in a certain way, just because of my gender. In particular, the shoe market remained very old-school in its approach to product development, design + gender. I had worked in fashion for over 20 years but my first (and favourite) category to develop was footwear. So this, combined with being a frustrated parent, who couldn’t find cool shoes for my own kids started me on the journey of developing Zig+Star. After talking about it for a long time, I eventually left my job as Head of Buying at Topshop just over 2 years ago to start working on the brand properly.

Zig + Star are not like any other children’s shoes – they’re so cool. Do they come in adults sizing?!  Tell us your story, Ali. 

Ah, thank you so much!

We’ve had such a great reaction to the brand since launch, I think people appreciate what we’re trying to do, the whole reason for starting the brand was to challenge old gender stereotypes that really do limit our children’s aspirations. Our mission statement is “Let’s give little feet the freedom to take big steps” and that truly represents what we’re about.

Our product is genderless, we love seeing #moreboysinleopard, but the point is, there are no rules – feel free to express yourself and be whoever you want to be. Another key part of the brand is that we wanted them to be good for kid’s feet. The first thing we did was develop a bespoke children’s shoe last (this determines the shape and fit of the shoe) + then worked with a fantastic Paediatric Podiatrist called Tracy Byrne to ensure the product was perfect for kids developing feet. The final part of the Zig+Star puzzle is that we wanted shoes that lasted longer. All our designs are fully adjustable so they can grow + adjust with each child. Adult sizes are definitely on the to-do list, I’ve had lots of requests since launch!

Where can we purchase your collections?

For our first season, we are selling through our own website www.zigandstar.com plus four brilliant London stockists. As a small brand, we only want to work with people that mirror our values and all our stockists have been great, supportive partners (@wordstoreldn, @lunaandcurious, @whatmothermade, @windmill_kids).

Your IG showcases your rule-breaking designs and the importance of being podiatrist-approved. How has Social Media helped to build your brand?  

Well especially as we launched in Lockdown, it has been an absolute lifeline. I’ve never been a particularly avid Social Media user, but I have to say I love it now. As we have been developing the brand and people have joined the journey, it now feels like I’m building a community of like-minded people + like-minded brands too. I’m still at a stage where every like, comment, share means so much… we’ve had some lovely cheerleaders supporting us which is great!

I think people appreciate seeing the work that goes on behind the scenes too. As a small business owner, you are the creative, the Admin Assistant, the Order Processor, even the Delivery Driver. One of the things I have really loved is doing London deliveries and chatting to customers. Social Media is amazing but it can be very consuming, and you can’t beat a good old chinwag on someone’s doorstep.

How do you evolve a business to become sustainable, as well as safe for children’s feet?

The adjustability is key – not only does it mean you can adjust it to any shaped foot securely, but it will grow as they grow. Extending the life of your shoes (either through longer wear or handing them down) is a very simple way to reduce your carbon footprint. Also, all the materials we use have been chosen for their longevity and comfort – breathable leathers – recyclable rubber outsoles that are durable and flexible – even all of our packaging is recycled/recyclable or compostable. Another nifty design element is our shoeboxes. We wanted to remove the need for a secondary bag when you left a shop, so we added a handle. Then we thought, how can it have a life beyond its original purpose.. so we made it into a suitcase design that you could take on your next adventure + added a handy foot measuring chart inside.

The children’s fashion and accessories market is growing year on year, how do you stay unique +  stand out from the other retailers? 

As a parent, I was aware of what was out there in the market. I would go to one shop for their sandals, one for their boots, one for their trainers. But there wasn’t a brand that covered all my needs, or that resonated with me on a personal level. Zig+Star has a clear mission, so every product will be unisex and will have the flexibility of fit and longevity in mind. We use a combination of vintage or sustainable brands in all our shoots and every decision we make has sustainability in mind. Plus we work with like-minded, talented people to help bring our vision to life. I think if we continue to focus on our own mission, we will always stand out.

What’s next for Zig + Star? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? 

We have a range of boots and shoes coming in for Autumn, also with some very clever design details to add flexible fit. The plan is to introduce other footwear categories, such as podiatrist-approved trainers, jellies + more. Then the sky’s the limit… I have other areas I’d like to branch out to within unisex accessories and clothing… the issue isn’t how far we can take it, it’s the time and money!

Do you have any other brands that you simply love? Or small businesses bosses out there you support?

I have some ex-colleagues absolutely nailing it…. @tibaandmarl, @binibamba, @wildheartswonder, @cabanakids.tm.

They all brought something new and different to their categories and have become THE must-have brands. Looking at them provides real motivation to where I can take Zig+Star in the future.

As an entrepreneur with a parent demographic in mind, how do you find the best work/life balance? 

I don’t think any parent ever feels they are getting the balance right, whether you are working or not. I think the answer is to trust your instincts and not be too hard on yourself. We’ve come through a tough couple of years and we all deserve a lot of credit for that. What I have learned with starting my own brand (and which applies to parenting too) is to roll with the punches – appreciate the highs + know that the lows aren’t there forever.

Follow Ali’s journey online now.

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Call to Action: How you can better manage your mental health as an entrepreneur

#1 – Detach your own self-worth from the value of your business. 

This was a big lesson for me. 

When you’re building a brand (particularly a personal one) and it doesn’t quite take off as you expected, it’s easy to get disheartened and take it as a personal attack. Avoid defining your own success by how well your business or side hustle is doing. When it comes to ‘success’, 1) you are responsible for defining what success looks like to you and 2) there are so many external factors to take into account that affect popularity, engagement, growth, exposure, how much money you’re making. 

You need to remember that you are worth more than your business or project. 

A figure in your bank account or on a spreadsheet will never define your own personal self-worth. 

#2 – Outsource and ask for help. 

As a solo entrepreneur, it may be in your nature to find it difficult to ask for help from others. You probably want to micro-manage everything yourself (I know I often do). But outsourcing and asking for help is the quickest way to grow and expand, and leave yourself with time to do the things you actually enjoy doing. 

Don’t like keeping track of your finances through spreadsheets? Pay for software that automates it or make use of apps that can track this for you. 

Need help packaging products to fulfill your orders? See if a friend, family member, or sibling can help you on an occasion when you’re feeling swamped.  

#3 – Your time spent away from your business is an investment in a better business. 

It may sound counter-productive, but taking time to relax and be away from your business is so important. From my own personal experience, it can be easy for you to treat it like your baby and it becomes all-consuming. 

Making your business your number one priority (rather than yourself) can quickly slip into sacrificing your sleep, how much you get out and about to exercise, even the number of meals you eat in a day. 

But it’s not helping anyone, least of all you. 

You can’t run on empty fumes and making sure you’re at the top of your game by getting 7-9 hours of sleep, drinking enough water, eating frequent meals, going for walks, etc., will:

1) motivate you more to work because you’ll be in a more relaxed and full state and;

2) will also allow you time to connect with friends and family properly, which will put you in a better frame of mind.  

Follow @theweeklywoman for more wellbeing and mindful living tips 

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The mental toll of being an entrepreneur + a working woman | By The Weekly Woman

Written by Michelle Blackwell, Founder of The Weekly Woman

With the rise in entrepreneurial drive amongst young adults and many taking to online platforms to build their own businesses and side hustles, are we doing enough to consider the mental toll this can have on us as individuals? Is there a dark side to creativity and pursuing an online presence? 

Last year during the pandemic, I started a side business or ‘hustle’ while working full time and studying for my law qualification. As exciting as this was to start a new venture, I also didn’t quite contemplate the negative effects this would have on my own mental health. 

Although the highs of gaining followers and making sales kept me motivated, I slowly began neglecting my physical and mental needs, running on only a few hours of sleep and burning out quicker than I could put out social media posts. I was stressed and irritable and tying my self-worth heavily to the success of something I had created out of thin air. 

From the dark side of a 9-5 and side business, I’ve acknowledged the three main things I suffered from: 

#1 – increased isolation 

It’s pretty lonely for a significant part of the solo-entrepreneurial journey.  Or for anyone who has been forced to work from home because of the pandemic. 

As someone who has been working from home full-time for the past year and a half, I can definitely vouch for the decline in my work colleague interactions and the incline in loneliness throughout this period, particularly during national lockdowns. 

At one point last year, I also deemed myself ‘too busy’ to facetime, text, or call my friends, which essentially resulting in me self-sabotaging myself and made me feel even more isolated. If you’re like me and find it difficult to ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be comforting to just tell yourself to push on and ‘you just need to get through this next bit, and then it’ll get easier’. But when does this end? When is enough, enough? 

#2 – Lack of boundaries between work and ‘you’ time 

I’ll be the first to put my hands up and say I also need to set better boundaries for myself, particularly when it comes to the work/life balance. 

In an age where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to digitally disconnect and social media addiction seems to be at an all-time high amongst young adults, I often find myself reaching for my phone to mindlessly scroll when I could be using that time to have some real downtime (reading a book, meditating, going for a walk, listening to a podcast, writing). 

#3 – Burnout 

I’m also no stranger to burnout. In the past, I would wear it like a badge of honour, a sign that I had worked hard and pushed myself over my limits. 

But the long-term effects and anxiety that can come with it really aren’t something to be aimed for. 

— —

Read more of Michelle’s journey via her channels.

@theweeklywoman

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We talk Imposter Syndrome, powerful healing + the Luna Room with Hannah Lily

Your digital channels + Luna Room feel like such calming places… 

Hannah, tell us your story.

Well, it’s safe to say that my path to Self Mastery first began by walking an utterly uncomfortable, chaotic + wildly dysfunctional road in life. Thankfully, I was destined to alchemise these burdens into my blessings and transmute my complex trauma into self-transformation. Those early years of survival mode + dysfunction alchemised into my greatest gift to be a healer + a way-shower for self-actualisation. 

I always knew I was a Healer, for as long as I can remember I was the agony aunt at school + had such a drive to help people and to see less suffering in the world. But by the time I had grown up… I found myself in the fast lane of life, on the neat path paved out by society, chasing a vision that looked ‘successful’ on the outside, but felt desperately unfulfilling on the inside. I had ended up as a corporate cog, and it was slowly sucking the life force out of me.

Through this wave of unfulfillment, I started to listen more carefully to those little whispers of my intuition, and one day I responded with a bold move. On a whim, I decided to take a sabbatical from my corporate job… little did I know that this decision would lead me to the Mayan Temple of Inscriptions in Mexico, this is where my Dharma was revealed to me. The unraveling of my life’s purpose was so clear! Hand on heart, that moment changed me forever. As soon as I returned from my trip, I began to retrain and invest my time + money into a career change. It’s cliché, but the rest really was history!

As an expert in mindset, self-sabotage, Imposter Syndrome and so much more, tell us your journey to where you are now.

The reason I speak to all of these areas is that once upon a time, I was a master of self-sabotage and an absolute pro of letting the Imposter Syndrome prevent me from reaching my potential! However, I used these defense mechanisms + limiting beliefs as signposts, to direct + show me the way to what needed healing within me. It was a powerful process to journey through and that’s why I am so unbelievably passionate about sharing these insights and guiding the way for my clients. I always remind my clients that ‘I am on this human journey with you.’ It’s through my lived experienced that I have really refined my professional expertise. 

Your events + workshops look incredible, we always ooze over your offerings. In short, what is a sacred place + why are they so important?

I’ve always had a clear vision of creating a place of healing that stirred up inner inspiration. After stepping into numerous temples across the world and placing my feet on ancient lands, I wanted to capture that feeling I used to get from visiting places like these. That is how The Luna Room was born in. 

Of course, sacred spaces don’t need to be as grandiose as this! In fact, I encourage all of my clients to create a sacred space of their own, whether that’s an altar in their bedroom or anchoring into a spot in nature, regardless of what form it takes, it’s a place for you to return home to yourself.  

A sacred space is somewhere that is held with pure intention. It’s the resting place where you can return to your true essence, settle into the now and quieten down the busyness of the mind. When we invite the essence of sacred space into our lives, we find the magic in the mundane and transform elements of our routine into ritual. It’s a  place where you can remember who you really are before the world told you who you had to be! 

How exciting that you can now begin to reopen the Luna Room. What can we expect to see soon? And, can we book immediately!?

Frankly, I cannot contain my excitement! After 6 long months, I can now finally hold face-to-face sessions back at The Luna Room. I have so much in store: from 1:1 Therapy Sessions, Private Healing Journeys, Women’s Circles, Full Moon Ceremonies, Fire Circles, Goddess Supper Clubs, Meditation Classes & Retreats! My events page is up and live with a few gatherings already, so hop on over to www.hannahlilyhealing.com to take a look! Can’t wait to see you there my love.

A big topic for us + the business bosses we love to work with is Imposter Syndrome. What are your initial thoughts on the subject?

By the very nature of the Imposter Syndrome, it leaves you feeling like you’re the only imposter in the room. Like everyone else has it figured out and sussed apart from you. So, firstly, let me oust this… it’s important to note that a whopping 70% of people experience it at one point in their life – so you most definitely are not alone! Imposter Syndrome is a distorted view of your capabilities that is rooted in the feeling of not being enough. If we track this feeling right back to where it began, you’ll find that it often develops in our childhood, and as a result, we adopt various subconscious defense mechanisms or strategies that we use right into adulthood. So, the things that we once used to help us get by can indeed be the very same things that stop us from making progress in the future.  

We love the ideas of the 5 different types of Imposter Syndrome. Could you talk us through these?

The wonderful Dr. Valerie Young has dedicated a lifetime of work to unpacking the Imposter Syndrome and I bring a lot of her theories into my work with clients. Here is an overview of the 5 different types:

The Perfectionist:
This type of person will set extremely high expectations for themselves, even if they meet 99% of their goals, they feel like a failure. Even a small mistake will make them question their own competence and bring on self-doubt. For this type, getting work done is rarely satisfying because they always believe that they could’ve done even better, finding the fault in all that they do.

The Superwoman/man:

This can show up by being a workaholic and often results in burning out. They will work tirelessly hard towards unrealistic goals, pushing to work harder and harder to measure up. But this is just a false cover-up for insecurities. This type feels the need to succeed in all aspects of life. At home, work, relationships, parenting + projects. As they are driven by validation, they aren’t addicted to the work itself but the validation that comes from working.

The Expert:

They fear being exposed as inexperienced or unknowledgeable. They feel the need to know every piece of information before they start a project and constantly look for new certifications or training to improve their skills. This type of person will hold back a lot from speaking out as the fear of saying something incorrect will hinder them from sharing their message and work with the world.

The Natural Genius:

They judge their success based on ease and speed, rather than their efforts. In other words, if they take a long time to master something, they feel shame. This type of person is used to skills coming easily and when they have to put in the effort, their brain tells them that’s proof they’re an imposter.

The Soloist:

They have to accomplish tasks on their own, and if they need to ask for help, they think that means they are a failure or a fraud. It’s okay to be independent, but not to the extent that you refuse assistance so that you can prove your worth.

Is there one can you identify with? Maybe a bit of them all?!

What are your top tips to help navigate the Imposter Syndrome?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with Imposter Syndrome.

  • Imposter Syndrome quite often arises when you are getting out of your comfort zone, you’re entering new territory and expanding your wings. Your subconscious mind chimes in and it’s essentially trying to keep you safe within the confines of that comfort zone. But we know nothing grows there, right? When this is the case, don’t take it as a sign to stay small, take this as an invitation that you are expanding and growing towards your fullest potential! When there is growth, at times there can be growth pains too. 
  • One thing to remember is that our inner narrative is a direct reflection of the state of our nervous system. If you want to think differently, you have to FEEL different. Quit living life on hypervigilant survival mode energy, this will not drive the success of your business. Take time to slow down, learn the language of your nervous system and tune into what it’s saying. This shift from hustle to flow will help you lead from an empowered + regulated place. 
  • Another thing to note, Imposter Syndrome is ultimately a distorted view of your capabilities. With this in mind, make a list of your achievements to date, this is something concrete to focus on even when that distorted view wants to come + make an appearance. 
  • Imposter Syndrome also arises when we start comparing ourselves and our journey to others. Do you find yourself doing this? If so, please remember to stay in your lane, shift that focus back to you and your own progress. You are your only competition. 
  • If you find that Imposter Syndrome has become so overwhelming for you that it’s inhibiting the progress of your work, it can be a sign that it’s time to heal your relationship with your self-worth + bring your dysregulated nervous system back into homeostasis. This is the time to seek out support. Trust me, in the future, you will thank you for it! Talking to a trusted friend, go to a local women’s circle, book yourself a session with a coach or a therapist. 

How can our girl-boss readers reach out to you for further healing?

Come have a cuppa + chat with me at The Luna Room! I offer free consultations to anyone who is feeling the call to journey with their healing. This is an informal platform to explore what you need support with – be it anxiety, Imposter Syndrome, or unearthing your purpose. It’s also a place for you to get a real feel for me and how I work, clicking with your therapist is key! For anyone who lives further afield, I offer sessions via Zoom too. 

You can contact me on any of my channels:

Hello@hannahlilyhealing.com

www.hannahlilyhealing.com

www.instagram.com/hannah___lily

As a gorgeous energy, we would love to know your morning routine? 

My routine changes all the time, it will shift and adjust to the energy of the time of year or where I am in my menstrual cycle. It’s so important to remember we are cyclical beings and bring a different energy into each day, so I like to give space to + honor that. I suppose the only routine thing about my morning is asking myself ‘What do I need right now, at this moment?’ This might be to bring some badass energy through energetic breathwork + cold water shower. Some days it’s a slower pace with journaling and a cup of Cacao. Regardless, I have a phone-free morning and make it a priority to fill my cup before I get into the space of work. 

When working with ancient healings, how do you stay on top of new ideas + external pressures in business? 

This is a really great question… when facilitating sacred space for ancient healings, it is really about igniting innate wisdom + traditions of my native land. It is my duty to be grounded and authentic in my work and offerings, not falling into the trap of creating ‘new ideas’ to just keep up with business pressures, as this will take away from the ethos of having a heart-centered + soul-led business. Being a white woman in the wellness industry, it’s also my responsibility to maintain integrity with my offerings and not to cherry-pick healing practices from other cultures just to glamourise the work I’m offering. I always strive to be aligned in my work as this is what lights me up. I’m all for slow and sustainable growth rather than pushing boundaries to keep up with trends + external pressures. 

Finally, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Something as simple as this: 

Trust the process, everything is unfolding just as it needs to. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to get it wrong, or to walk the ‘wrong’ road in life. It all serves a purpose + eventually, it will lead you to exactly where you need to be in the end. 

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Trends Volume III | Leila’s Spring Favourites

Written by our Leila Care.

Coming out of Lockdown, I’ve been on a path of self-improvement which has meant discovering new products + services (or revisiting old holy grails). I have listed my spring favourites + I cannot wait to share this one with you.

Skincare + Beauty

Wow, this has been a journey! Anybody who knows me well knows that skincare and beauty are two of my great loves. A little background, I started on Accutane back in April, meaning that my skin is going through big changes and sensitive, hydrating and natural products are essential – something that my once oily, acne-prone skin was absolutely not used to! My favourites are based on this new change to my skin, but all of them would be suitable to incorporate into your skincare somehow, no matter your skin type!

  • Erborian CC Water | this product just completely wowed me. When using this gel-like product, you burst the pods within the gel to release a slight colour, bringing an incredible amount of hydration and glow to the skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid | my two favourites are Vichy’s or The Inkey List. The Inkey List provides products at an incredibly low price point so if you are just starting out I would definitely recommend checking them out.
  • Weleda Skin Food has been an absolute go-to for me this past month, priced below £15 for the full-size tube, this multi-purpose product can be used as a moisturiser or even makeup primer and has been a godsend for those extra dry Accutane days.
  • Another product I have been loving as we come into summer is Chanel’s Les Beiges Bronzing Cream. This really is a game-changer for warming up your complexion without looking overly powdery or dry due to its cream formula.
  • In terms of fragrance, I recently discovered Penhaligon’s Halfeti Eau Du Parfum in Milton Keynes’ new Harrod’s Beauty Store. I often find it difficult to find the perfect fragrance as a typically feminine fragrance doesn’t suit me, I prefer a more musky unisex fragrance. I bought home Penhaligon’s Halfeti on a perfumed handkerchief from the store and my partner has fallen in love with it just as much as me. If you find a Penhaligon’s counter whilst on your next shop, you just have to go and test it out!

Blogs + Audiobooks

My two favourite blogs + audiobooks are hardly surprising as they have been guests before at You & Me. The Weekly Woman has been a fantastic thought provoker and motivation to really push yourself to do what makes you happy and be your very best self.

The Secret audiobook has been something I have been listening to on repeat for the last few months and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. As someone who is trying to learn more about manifestation and bringing positive energy into my life, this in combination with The Weekly Woman is the perfect match.

Streaming

My favourite time to watch YouTube is over my morning coffee, a great way to take up and it comes at a time where my need for inspiration is at its highest. I have been loving Suzie Bonaldi [formerly Hello October] for all things petite fashion, Lydia Millen for all things home, fashion, and lifestyle, and Trinny [yes!] to help you with the logistics behind fashion. Trinny also does Zara edits for those Zara-obsessed, like me.

My partner and I have recently got back into binging Suits on Netflix and we have completely fallen back into love with it! I’d totally recommend watching if you haven’t already, the casting is 10/10.

Apps

I am a sucker for a good app! Working in the Social Media industry and also previously creating client apps, I can truly appreciate what makes an app user-friendly and useful. My favourite app has to be Think Dirty, this app allows you to discover the ingredients of your favourite beauty products breaking down whether they may be irritating to the skin, dangerous, or something to avoid. Think Dirty gives you a rating and a traffic light system on good/bad these products and their ingredients are for your skin, there is also the chance to view user reviews on products to give you further information. The amount of pennies that I have saved instead of blindly purchasing trend products is insane. 

Coming in at a close second, another favourite app is OneZone. Showing you all of the hottest eateries in London, whether it be 5* in Mayfair, cool rooftop bars in Shoreditch, quirky restaurants in Camden, or street food in Chinatown, OneZone gives you all of the inspiration, the information, and the reviews that you need to make an informed decision on where to spend your Saturday evening. Let’s be honest, after Lockdown, we want ONLY the best and OneZone is the way to find it.

Share your favourite spring finds with us! Y&M x

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We talk fashionable kid’s teepees + the coolest accessories with Cabana Kids

Your products are so trendy + with such a passionate ethos.. using eco-friendly natural materials, as well as being recyclable with mindful production. Lizzie, tell us your story.

The idea for Cabana Kids was hatched on a sunny trip to the nearby South Coast shortly into the Lockdown of spring 2020. We had struggled to find a suitable sunshade for our daughter Lillie (who was one at the time) something portable, made of natural materials, and in a colour palette that fitted with our home. Essentially, we were looking for a sunshade with the sun factor AND fun factor! So we thought, in the midst of a life-changing global pandemic, why not be bold and come up with our own concept?

What was the initial inspiration to start your own business?

With my 15+ years experience in the fashion industry as the ex Design Director of URBAN OUTFITTERS combined with my partner, Jamie’s creative and technical know-how from owning Cookie Media Design Agency, a huge shift in personal priorities saw us centering our lives around our family as we sought out a healthier work/home life balance. We set about applying ourselves to the challenge of creating a brand that combined our business experience with our new identities, co-parenting our daughter and Jamie’s two children.

It was from this seed that our range of UPF 50 and anti UV tents and teepees grew!
We wanted to launch a children’s brand which focused on desirable sustainable products for children and teach our children a new way to shop that supported a more ethical approach to living and taught them to think and buy more consciously.

Where can we purchase your gorgeous products?

We launched our Instagram less than 9 months ago and launched our website www.cabanakids.co.uk only 6 weeks ago – the incredible support has blown us away. Daily we see the appetite for our unique collections and daily we are amazed at the response we receive from new customers and clients. The community of entrepreneurs and small business owners on IG is like nothing we have experienced in our careers. There’s a true sense of comradery and everyone wanting to support one another which is fantastic!
We had instant messages of support and recognition from the guys at Gus & Beau whose products we have bought and used long before we launched Cabana Kids and feel quite in awe of their achievements.. similarly, Jo the genius behind Scamp & Dude, someone I worked with many years ago in fashion, has been a huge inspiration on how to create and own your brand identity with a clear and emotive message and most recently we have had some lovely content from an IG brand Kid of The Village, who again styled our products in a unique and different approach which has truly inspired us!

We love your content. Have Social Media helped to build your brand?

We are incredibly lucky that Jamie’s business is branding and website development so he has been able to build the entire Cabana Kids brand as a 360 project! It’s been incredible to watch him take an idea and transform it into what it’s become today – I’m in awe daily of how he interprets a thought and digitally presents it for our audience.
It’s been interesting to see how shifts in consumer habits especially online are paving the way for a new breed of customers and defining their spending habits… to think only 10 years ago the thought of purchasing via a phone or social media platform was almost unthinkable and yet now we are finding the majority of our online traffic is coming from such platforms!

Teepees and tents are such a great play space for children – and adults! In your opinion what’s the importance of ‘play’ for both children and adults?

We believe strongly that play allows children (and adults alike) to use their creativity while developing their imagination and interact with the world around them. In developing Cabana Kids we wanted to provide a range of open-ended toys to allow this sense of discovery in order to grow little and big minds.
We felt strongly that in order to do that we had to make our teepees and tents travel friendly which in turn meant there was flexibility in where the play could happen impromptu, again ensuring imaginations were allowed to be free to explore!

The children’s fashion, nursery, and accessories market is growing year on year, how do you stay unique + stand out from the other retailers?

In order to stay unique and ahead of our competitors we continually design and develop with our own families’ needs in mind. We are forever parent-testing our products with our 3 children’s desires at heart to ensure Cabana Kids continue to grow in the right direction. It’s so hard in a world of constant inspiration online to not get sidetracked into thinking you should be doing something other than what you set out to do, or compare yourself to others… but by constantly reminding ourselves in what we set out to achieve, a range of interior friendly unique dens for little and big imaginations, we hope we can continue to deliver some lasting play memories to our customers.

What’s next for Cabana Kids? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

We have a hugely exciting year ahead in terms of growth and the journey we see Cabana Kids going on.
We are introducing some new products to the range that we believe will enhance the play setups we offer as well as some truly exciting collaborations we can’t wait to share. It’s hard to think of where we will be in 5 years after the unprecedented year we have just had but our biggest dream is to still be providing lasting play memories for our customers for many years to come.

As an entrepreneur with a parent demographic in mind, how do you find the best work/life balance?

The work/life balance is a real struggle for many and we are no exception. It was one of the deciding factors for us setting up Cabana Kids. Jamie and I both work from home and so we have to be disciplined in our work schedules, but we also have the luxury of stealing a break together or taking it in turns to do the school/childminder run! We are very fortunate in that respect.

Finally, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self now?

Follow your gut… always! It very rarely lets you down.

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A person to turn to, helping hand + shoulder to cry on.

Written by our Leila Care.

As the digital world + beyond takes a moment this week to solely focus on mental health as part of the National Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to talk to you + give our best advice surrounding an issue so close to our hearts. How you could perhaps help a loved one who is struggling with their mental health.

With life returning to normal, you may find that the people closest to you are struggling a little or are unsure how to cope with the change. Now, of course, there is no quick fix, short answer, or magic cure, but if our Journal and moment of thoughts can help even one person, well that’s a success in our eyes!

Do you know the signs?

  •  Have they had a sudden change in their behaviour? Becoming erratic, aggressive, quiet, or anxious? Changes in appearance – a sudden change of style or identity? Or noticeable changes in their health – for example, changes in eating habits, sleep patterns, or showing signs of fatigue?
  • Often you may find loved ones avoiding social situations or withdrawing completely from their social circle at times of struggle.
  • It can be known by having more extreme ideas, behaviours, or plans than usually expected from this person.

How can I help friends return back to their day-to-day life post-covid?

  • Allow time for your loved ones to adapt back to normal life, this is a big change and will take time.
  • Encourage them to undertake acts of self-love + self-care, this will reassure them that they are looked after and allow them to focus on the most important things in life. Often if these are neglected, mental health issues can feel heavier.
  • Ensure that you validate their feelings and emotions – please, avoid using belittling language as this can invalidate their emotions + make them feel as though their problems are not being taken seriously.
  • If your loved one is turned away or shunted just once regarding their mental health, they may never reach out again!

How can you help?

  • Voice your concerns in a caring + compassionate way, getting pushy or aggressive will only escalate the problem.
  • Show them that you are available to talk if and when they need support – at any time! Allowing people to approach you as + when they need it will give them the confidence to speak out.
  • When listening to them, relay important information back to them to ensure that they feel heard and understood. This will also ensure that you do not misunderstand the situation. Ask questions like, ‘how does that make you feel?’, ‘How can I help?’. Don’t make the situation about yourself, listen.. take the time for them to speak.
  • Avoid challenging them and instead show yourself a safe space, someone they can turn to without judgment or questioning.
  • If you are exceptionally concerned for their wellbeing/safety, call 999.

What should I do if they decline my help?

  • Try to understand what is worrying them about seeking help, this may be something that can be resolved.
  • Explain your concern for them, let them know that you respect their decision but ensure that you are there to support them however they need.
  • Your friend may not realise the extent of the problem until you explain it from an alternate perspective, make sure to be delicate handling this conversation as it could potentially come as a shock to them – but having the conversation is important nonetheless.

We would love to hear from you + hope that these pointers help you to approach your nearest and dearest should they require your support. For those reading that may need support, remember, you are never alone and our inboxes are always open for a chat.

Direct line – hello@youandmecollective.co.uk

Key UK Helplines – Samaritans 116 123 | The Mix Under 25 0808 808 4994  | CALM (for our boys!) 0800 58 58 58 

Lots of love, Y&M x

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We talk slowing down + hustle culture with The Weekly Woman

We love The Weekly Woman, ‘Weekly Life Lessons. For Living Your Best Life.’ Tell us, how did it begin? 

Thank you so much for reading! When I was younger, I used to love channelling my creative energy into writing but as I got older and into my late teens/early twenties, this is something that fizzled out. 

I started journaling again a few months back and fell back in love with the whole writing process. I wanted to start writing more consistently and have an online base that I could work on consistently as I’m a big believer in doing small regular practices to improve your skills. I’ve really enjoyed venturing further into the social media world, particularly with blogging and running the Instagram page.   

We are inspired by all businesses launched in Lockdown, what challenges have you had to overcome? What made you ‘take the jump’? 

During the first lockdown, I started a side business on top of my 9-5 and studying for my law exams, which was an amazing experience as I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but the pressure of trying to keep everything ticking over led me to feel overworked, stressed and burnt out. I wasn’t taking care of my body, was always distracted and my sleeping pattern was non-existent. This naturally had a huge negative effect on me. 

In the past year alone through the pandemic I’ve learnt so much (and made a ton of mistakes too) so I thought it might be useful for others to read about some of the ‘life lessons’ I’ve taken from situations that might be perceived as negative. I wanted to take my health and wellbeing more seriously so I’ve been on my own wellness/self-help journey the past few months and over the course of this, I’ve been exposed to some amazing content (through books, podcasts, videos) which has helped change my outlook on life completely. 

My biggest realisation has been that in taking any risk or trying something out of your comfort zone, one of the biggest challenges people face is trying to overcome the fear of failure or rejection. I realised that when I’ve taken risks in the past, although they might not always have paid off, these experiences have taught me so much about myself so I was really excited for this new challenge.   

Do you feel that social media has had a crucially positive impact in your journey? 

I think social media overall has had a positive impact on my wellness journey and provides a great platform to connect with other people, particularly within the wellness community. Social media in itself can be a great tool for promoting yourself, your brand or your business and I think it’s amazing in its ability to help people create something out of nothing. 

On the flip side, I think there is always going to be the risk of it negatively affecting mental health and that the concept of social media in itself profits off of people’s insecurities, particularly young girls. I know from personal experience in starting my blog, I would often compare what I was doing to other people’s journeys or content, and sometimes get disheartened that I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I wanted to be. I think in these circumstances it’s important to re-align what you’re doing with the why behind it; be clear on what your message is and why you’re doing what you’re doing rather than just looking for that next dopamine hit through likes and notifications.

There are days when I sometimes feel social media can be a huge burden, so I try to have at least one day a week where, for the majority of the day, I’m screen free. This gives me the opportunity to detach myself from the digital world and try to do something that is hopefully going to nurture the soul, whether that’s going out for a long walk in nature, reading (instead of bingeing Netflix), or doing something practical, like working out, cooking, catching up with a friend (post Lockdown). 

One of our favourite pieces written was surrounding ‘The Hustle Culture’, for our readers… in a nutshell… what are your thoughts? 

From my own experience, I know I’ve felt validated in the past from trying to be seen as ‘busy’ or always ‘on the hustle’. During the pandemic last year, I was studying for exams, working a 9-5 and then took on a side business, which in essence was the peak of my ‘hustle period’. The expectation I had in doing this was that I would feel the most successful and validated I’d ever felt. In my mind previously, my level of busyness equated to productivity and success, whereas I think it creates quite the opposite effect in the long run and can lead to detrimental outcomes instead, like stress and burnout. 

I think the promotion of hustle culture on social media has been a big thing and on some level I may still be propagating the idea of it in starting this blog, but I’m now trying to be more aware of my reasons for doing what I do. I’m doing it as it brings me personal satisfaction, rather than doing it for external validation and I’m really trying to slow down rather than always needing to have something to do.

Are you a night owl or an early riser? 

If you’d have asked me a year ago, there was no way I’d say I was a morning person. 

I’ve slowly been cultivating my mornings to enhance a slower pace of life, so I usually start the day around 5.45/6 and avoid the temptation to check my notifications first thing. I think it’s so key to carve out some ‘you’ time without external interference or influences, whether that’s reading a book, journaling through your morning thoughts, doing a workout, going for a morning walk or even just quietly enjoying a hot drink to yourself. I find the mornings so peaceful and my morning ritual really helps set me up in the right mindset for the day ahead. 

It can be quite tricky to start getting up early but if any readers want to do this, I’d recommend waking up 5-10 minutes earlier each day until you get to your desired wake up time (and try to get to bed slightly earlier too). 

What are your top productivity hacks? 

Before anything else, I prioritise my sleep. Sleep is such an important part of our lives and without good sleep, our brains find it more difficult to function and it can also create hormone imbalances within our bodies. 

Working a 9-5 during the pandemic has been a big adjustment – I now work solely from home and save the 2 hour commute each way to work I used to do pre-pandemic. At first, I would be rolling out of bed 5 minutes before I was due to be logged on for work, but I found that this made me feel chaotic so I try and have at least 30 minutes to myself at the bare minimum. 

My key productivity tips for working throughout the day are:   

  • Keep your phone on airplane mode or in another room (out of sight, out of mind and all that);
  • Set designated times to check your phone if you need to throughout the day; 
  • Set timers for tasks – so when I start my work day, I’ll set a 90 minute timer of intense focus, and then have a 20 minute break and repeat. You could vary this with different intervals, like the 60/10 rule;
  • Do your most important task first thing in the morning when you’re most energised;
  • Make sure to stay hydrated and take regular breaks. 

Staying on top of a thriving blog like The Weekly Woman must be so exciting, yet how do you stay on top of the latest trends? 

For me at the moment I’m trying to focus more on topics that resonate with me most and things that I feel have been my biggest challenges in the past, rather than staying on top of the most recent trends. I think in doing this, it will hopefully make The Weekly Woman relevant long term, rather than just for a snapshot in time. 

With Lockdown easing, I’m hoping to be able to centre some written pieces on my more adventurous side or doing more solo activities and trips – I love to travel. I’ve found the past year has been an amazing opportunity to reconnect with myself and have learnt to enjoy my own company again, which is something I think every woman should focus on. As cliché as it sounds, the relationship you have with yourself is going to be your longest relationship in life so it’s important that you have a really good one. 

We love that alongside cold showers + power napping, you have also taken up new habits like skating – do you have any new hobbies you’d like to attempt? 

Lockdown 3.0 has been a time for exploration for me, especially when it comes to new hobbies. I’ve been using the downtime to get back in touch with old hobbies I used to love when I was younger, like painting and drawing. I’ve recently taken up boxing and with Lockdown starting to ease and gyms re-opening, I’m really looking forward to trying a Muay Thai class. I’ve also been practicing yoga daily from home over the past few months and would really like to get out to an actual class post-lockdown. 

What’s next for The Weekly Woman? Where do we see yourself in the next year? 

Without giving too much away, I’m working on a few projects and ideas that I’d like to develop and launch over the next few months but for now I’m really focusing on consistency and writing more often. I’m a big believer in making daily progress towards your goals and trying to ‘announce’ what I’m doing less; before I would get so carried away with my ideas and tell anyone and everyone, and then lose momentum in actually carrying them out. 

As a long term goal way way in the future, I’d love to be in a position to launch a podcast for The Weekly Woman and interview other entrepreneurial women, but baby steps for now. 

As fellow Female Founders, we wish you the biggest success in your new venture. Which other Girl Bosses are you loving? 

Thank you so much, that’s so kind of you! I’m massively inspired by Sophia Amoruso, the original founder of Nasty Gal. She created a podcast called Girl Boss Radio, which is solely dedicated to interviewing entrepreneurial women (I would definitely recommend listening to a few episodes of this if you haven’t). I also love the women from The Receipts podcast, and really admire the drive and enthusiasm Maya Jama has.

In my personal life, so many women I know are winning, especially when it comes to building their social media profiles. I’m really loving Cait Mansfield’s make up page (@caitm.makeup), and my friends Emily and Beth run their own skincare accounts which are doing really well too (@emily___skincare and @face.norm). I just love how many female owned businesses are popping up and how many women are actually pursuing their own side projects at the moment. 

Finally, what advice would you give to your younger self? 

This is something I’ve been reflecting on a lot recently. I would definitely tell my younger self not to take life so seriously all the time, or wish away the time you have now. I was so focused on growing up and living a fast paced life when I was younger that I don’t think I took as much time to actually enjoy each moment. If we’re looking for silver linings to take from the pandemic, slowing down is something I’m particularly grateful for and I would tell my younger self to do the same.