Welcome to the first post in a new series on my blog, where I'll be talking to the business owners I work with on commercial shoots, and asking them to share their story with you. Many of the business owners I work with are also mums, who (like me) have decided leave their corporate career behind and build a business that allows them to better balance work and life. I find their stories really inspiring, and in sharing them hope you do too.
My first interview is with Fiona Brass, who I've worked with several times over the last year. Fiona and I met through our husbands, and I remember first visiting their home about 6 or 7 years ago for their engagement party. Their flat was stunning, and I was blown away by how beautifully it was decorated. My first visit to their family home in Esher was exactly the same, and it was no surprise then when Fiona told me that she was starting her own interior design business. I've been delighted to photograph lots of her projects over the last year, and to share her story today.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family life
I’m married to Chris and we have a son, Connor who is 2 and a daughter, Erin who is 4. With two young children we have a busy family life but have lots of fun with the little ones. We're currently undergoing a family home renovation of our own which is very exciting.
I’d love to know more about your business. How would you describe what you do?
I’m an interior designer specialising in residential family homes. It’s an area which I’m passionate about especially considering I have a young family myself. I’m a firm believer in that if you create a home you love it opens up the opportunity to create wonderful family memories and a comfort when times are challenging.
I love that idea of home as a place of comfort. What inspired you to start your business?
I've always been interested in interior design and have enjoyed renovating several personal properties. It was only after my first child was born that I realised this would be a career which i could enjoy and also achieve that holy grail of a work life balance. Being a student at London KLC only confirmed my love of the industry and since starting my business I haven’t looked back!
So many mums I meet are considering changing careers or working for themselves. After a year in business, what advice would you give to any other mums thinking of starting a business?
Have confidence in yourself and surround yourself with inspiring and successful women. I've made some very sincere and precious friendships over the past year. These women have encouraged me and offered me useful, practical knowledge when i needed it most. Above all though, they have become genuine friends to me, whereby we support each other and that is the most important thing.
What made you decide to invest in having professional photos taken for your business, and what was important to you when choosing a photographer?
Initially it was about building my confidence and portraying a side of me that would represent my brand. As time has gone by my approach to photography has evolved as my business has evolved!
When I was choosing a photographer I knew wanted to work with somebody who was professional and experienced. It was also key that this person knew me and my brand so that they could portray this in their photography. Clare was perfect for me in all scenarios!
How has having professional photographs benefitted your business?
The photographs help me to showcase my work on my website and on social media, and I've also been able to use the photographs to support magazine features and guest blogs.
The other benefit is that the photography has helped to shape my business and brand. It challenged me to think about what my brand stood for and how I wanted to represent that through the photography. It’s really interesting because i still go through all the photographs regularly to stay true to my brand and style but also to realise where my style has evolved!
Thank you Fiona for sharing your story with me. Where can readers find you if they want to know more?