Occasionally we come across people who inspire us by doing something just that bit different. Karen is one of those people. Karen has recently launched her jewellery business, aptly named ‘Inspire My Soul‘. I wanted to know more about Karen and her business (because I’m nosey like that!), so I asked her for an interview. Keep reading to learn more about her gorgeous products and the discount she’s offering my readers!
So, we know your name is Karen, but can you tell us a little more about you and your world?
I am 47 and mum to two feline fur babies Merlot and Tia. I live in Burchetts Green, Berkshire with my hubby Lee.
After a 20+ year career in the corporate world, I became very poorly with anxiety and depression. This was a wake up call and one which made me totally reassess my life / work balance. Being creative was something I loved to do, but rarely had time for it. So as part of my recovery I immersed myself in making costume jewellery and painting furniture.
It really was my saviour and after some time renting a small space in a craft collective to sell my makes, I got to thinking about my dream. Having my own little gift shop of gorgeousness, this is the dream I used to daydream of when I was sat in yet another long, boring and pointless corporate meeting. After discussing it at length with Lee and my parents, we all agreed that opening a shop would be the very best tonic for me. Something I could really focus on and be the creative me. There was a worry that I might be taking too much on so soon after my illness, but if I didn’t try, then I was never going to know. The reality was that yes it was hard work and it is not easy being self employed, but I was doing what I loved every single day and it wasn’t like going to work. It was like going out to play!
I did this for nearly 5 years, until the familiar feelings of depression started to surface. This time I had tools at my disposal and quickly recognised the symptoms before they got out of hand. When I looked deep into what might be causing this, I realised that being a shop owner had totally squashed my creativity. Although I loved my little boutique and had fabulous customers, after much soul searching I knew that for my health and my sanity, I had to close the shop. I didn’t want to stop being a business owner and planned to take some time out to decide exactly what direction I wanted to take the business in.
At this stage, I felt very strongly that I needed something that would give me focus and encouragement to follow this new path. I had if you like what I can only describe as a calling, an urge to buy myself a necklace – an everyday piece of jewellery that I could wear to give me inspiration and empowerment – a necklace with symbols and or charms which resonated with me.
Why ‘Inspire My Soul’?
I searched the internet and while there were lots and lots of choice, nothing totally stood out as being the perfect piece for me. I started thinking, could this be the direction I moved the business in? Yes, the more I thought about it, the more excited and inspired I became. I knew for sure, that this new journey would need a new business name and after months of thought and deliberation, inspire my soul was born. Doing what it says on the tin, it inspires each individual, each soul.
What do you want to achieve with ‘Inspire My Soul’?
Inspire my soul was launched on International Women’s day 8th March 2018. I design and create inspirational sterling silver hand stamped jewellery and hand stencilled cotton zipper bags. All the collections are centred on affirmations, symbols and initials which resonate with the individual. Totally bespoke and made with love. Tactile and thought-provoking keepsakes with a powerful subliminal message. Not only beautiful, but totally practical too. Some reasons one might wear or gift an inspire my soul necklace:
Keep loved ones near New baby
Difficult birth Loss of a baby
Low self esteem Anxiety / Depression
‘Just because’ gift Illness
What makes ‘Inspire My Soul’ different from other jewellery?
There are no pre made necklace choices. My customers have a collection of mini, midi, maxi, initial, symbol and name charms to choose from. Many of them can be hand stamped with the individual’s choice of personalisation, making it truly a bespoke piece, just for them.
Have you had any particular challenges while setting up and launching ‘Inspire My Soul’?
As many small business owners know, you are often a one woman band, chief cook and bottle-washer. Your team is me, myself and I and you are doing it all. Designing, creating, buying, selling, bookkeeping, packaging and finding time to be present on social media channels. My biggest challenge is keeping up with my social media presence and I have now had to financially invest in time with a consultant to help me do so.
What has been the best bit of ‘Inspire My Soul’ so far?
The feedback I have had since launch in March 2018 has been incredible. Seeing people feeling the powerfulness of wearing symbols and initials that resonate with them is truly amazing. It’s a little bit like when you say daily affirmations, but in this case you can actually reach up and touch it. Whether its symbols to protect, watch over, encourage self love or to keep loved ones close makes my heart sing.
What are your dreams for the future?
I have a few more product phases in the future plan and I will start working on them when the time is right.
To carry on being the very best me I can be – my true authentic self. For my jewellery and gift collections to inspire, encourage and empower women no matter what their circumstances are. If I can contribute even just a tiny bit to making them feel inspired when they see or wear my collections would make me feel immensely proud and that I’d played a part in their individual story.
Thanks so much to Karen for her inspiring interview. Now go check out her jewellery! Use the code ‘schoolrunshop10‘ for a 10% discount up to 30th June 2018.
It’s my turn again to host the Monday Motivation Linky! If you’d like to add your own post to the linky, we’d love to have you! You can add and read the others linked up here…
My favourite posts from the last linky were this brilliant CV from A Life Less Ordinary With Autism, and this post about being determined from This Scribbler Mum, which really struck a chord with me at the moment! Go and check them out!