I love that Becky has realised that to be a successful business mum, the creativity happens when she steps away from her business. This is a powerful lesson that I have learned myself, especially having spent two days by the seaside earlier in the week to focus ON my business rather than IN my business.
This is a guest post in my Business Startup series to share stories from business startup mums; stories that will inspire other mums to get started in business; stories that will give you confidence that YOU can do this too.
To find all the stories use Business Startup Story in the Categories drop-down.
If you have a business startup or career change story to share, I’d love to hear from you – just click here to contact me. I am always delighted to receive guest posts on this subject, 500-800 words.
Primary School Teacher to Movie Maker
Hi! My name Is Becky Rhodes and I live in East London with my husband and two children, Matilda and Henry.
Before setting up my business, I was a Primary School Teacher with a passion for all things tech-based and a fascination with the way that many children learn best through visual cues. This motivated me to gain knowledge of video editing software so that the children could benefit from presenting their ideas through video clips to then share with their peers. It was particularly helpful with sharing ideas during school partnership programmes overseas.
I took a break from teaching when I had my daughter in 2012.
For my daughter’s birthday, I made a movie of her 1st Year. This was a celebration of how far we had come and all of the wonderful moments we’d had together. At her party, I played the movie and everyone ended up in (happy) tears. Eventually I was getting requests to do similar 1st year movies for friends and family.
I started MovieMum with the realisation that most parents with a smartphone, usually have heaps of treasured photos and video clips just sitting in storage doing absolutely nothing. Occasionally some will get posted on social media, but they can be transformed into SO much more than that. My aim was to provide a beautiful product from those precious moments that frankly, can’t be staged in any studio. These can be burnt to DVD or a memory stick and are a perfect keepsake.
When Henry was born, things really took off – I built my website, with help from my sister, launched my Facebook page and suddenly started hearing from complete strangers who loved the idea. Since 2014, I have edited footage for special birthdays, anniversaries, parties, weddings and more. It’s a bespoke service, which can be adapted to suit a variety of ideas, more recently this is expanding to small business promotional movies. Furthermore, because the whole process can be done remotely, I have been able to edit footage from customers in Canada, Australia and the USA.
It’s a real privilege that people share these treasured moments with me. The process usually starts with a friendly phone call and by the time I finish a project, I feel like I know the family really well and have been allowed access to such wonderful memories. I usually build up a great working relationship with the customer via email and welcome their ideas into the editing process. That, along with their feedback from their completed movies, has to be the biggest highlight of my work.
What do you enjoy about your business?
My work fits perfectly around my children. I feel extremely lucky to have the support of my family and friends and the ability to be able to work around my children’s schedules. I absolutely love the creative process of editing a movie; finding out about the family and working their own style and preferences into the edit. Every single project so far has given me goosebumps when I watch the first edit. There is something so heartwarming about seeing each story unfold to a beautiful soundtrack.
What are the challenges?
The challenges I face usually involve me having to rein in my big ideas into bite size achievable steps. It can be quite frustrating at times and I’ve learnt that my best ideas happen when I have some space. It can also be isolating as every aspect of the day-to-day running is down to me! Often my head buzzes with potential opportunities and I miss having work colleagues to bounce ideas around with. Thankfully, I am gaining support from networking groups with like-minded people.
What do you wish you’d known at the start?
Probably the best lessons come with time, experience and confidence. I wish I had known about the networking opportunities earlier on because these really make you feel like you’re not on your own!
Top tips for other Mums starting a business?
If you are really passionate about an idea, think hard about how you can make this into a reality by asking anyone that will listen.
Take all feedback as constructive and don’t expect success overnight.
Slow and steady wins the race!
Try to be disciplined with your time and set realistic goals.
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud (Maya Angelou)
How do you look after yourself?
I’ve learnt that creativity doesn’t necessarily happen within my office but when I step away and have a chance to think. I never thought I would say this but going to the gym when I get a chance is the best tonic for a busy mind and re-energises me. I’m also learning how important it is to put down my phone when I’m with my family so that they get my focus and quality time!
How can we find out more?
Thank you Becky!