Balancing your business - Lashing and motherhood

Hi, I’m Torie and I’m a proud LashBase ambassador. I have been a lash artist for over 5 years now and I am a mum to two beautiful girls, Daisy & Rosie.

I adore my career in lashing and everything it has given me. I have the flexibility to be present for my girls, I am on every school run, I’m the first face they see when they run out of the school gates, I’m around all weekend for playdates and fun days out, I’m at home if they’re poorly and I can work my diary around half terms and school holidays. Lashing has also given me an identity and an outlet for my creativity which I feel is so important as a mother, it is so easy to lose ourselves whilst caring for everyone else.

As a lash artist we are so multitalented, we are creative social media managers, marketing directors, receptionists, and accountants – and for me and lots of others, all this on top of being a MUM. Working from home can be tricky whether you have children or not, it is important to set yourself and your family boundaries so that you can offer your clients the service and experience you want.

Many of us get so creative with our working spaces, some have a cabin in the garden to a lash couch at the bottom of the lounge, I lash from the conservatory extension of my kitchen! Wherever it is, it is yours and it is your workspace. Make it what you want it to be, weather that’s functional, pretty, professional, or even flexible so you can fold it all away and have your living space back for when you’re not working.

Here is my home salon, in a corner of our family kitchen. It works perfectly for us, I have great light and my clients have direct access through the garden gate and into the kitchen door so no need to walk through the house.

The pro's of being a self employed lash artist!
⦁ No commute, more time to earn money.
⦁ Minimal overheads, no need to pay extra rent on a workspace.
⦁ Super flexible, if you have a no show or a last-minute cancellation you can pop a load of washing on or enjoy a cup of tea from the comfort of your own sofa.
⦁ Perks of the job include getting to wear your slippers all day!
⦁ Being at home with your pets all day, also saving money in day care fee’s.
⦁ Flexibility to choose your own working hours. No designated salon days set by someone else.
⦁ For someone who suffers with social anxiety in the workplace, working from home can be such a happier way of living.

The con's of being a self employed lash artist!
⦁ It can be difficult to switch off.
⦁ Separating work and home life can be hard.
⦁ Clients may take advantage of you or think you do not run a legitimate business. They are completely WRONG!
⦁ Noises from family/children can sometimes make it hard to focus and can affect your client’s experience.
⦁ If you do not have a separate room, your workspace can encroach into your living space.

Top tips for those starting their journey to become self employed!

  • Set boundaries
  • Make sure your family know to respect your working time and space.
  • Try to keep children’s toys out of the entry way for your client to come through, nobody wants to be stepping over tractors and barbies.
  • Know yourself when it is time to finish work and become mum again.
Even if you can’t shut the door on your work area, make the connection between tidying up after your last client as your equivalent of clocking out of the office.

Balancing childcare
Working around children, especially young ones can be exhausting. It is important you make the most out of the time you have. We have many options for our children today, for example.

If you are lucky enough to have family members who are willing to offer free childcare – take it! Even if it’s not long term or regular, take the opportunity to save yourself some money on nursery fee’s and use the time to your advantage. Offer flexible appointments to clients, use the time to plan social media posts, practice your fan making or catch up on messages.

Most nurseries will take babies from a very young age, some are term time, and some are all year round which is something to consider.
Nursery fees can be steep, to keep costs down you could book little one in for 9am-1pm a few mornings a week. Book clients in 9.30am-12.30pm, pick little one up, come home and put them down for a nap and schedule another client in during nap time.

A childminder may also take babies from a young age, they usually offer a more homely feel and can include days out. I found a childminders environment more suitable to my kids needs as well as more flexible on hours than a nursery setting.

Children can start preschool from 2 years 9 months old. It is a fantastic way for them to socialise and become adjusted to what school life may be like. Some preschools naturally feed on from a nursery setting, others are independent. My eldest Daisy went to childminder until she was old enough for preschool. However, with Rosie, to save money I waited until she was old enough for preschool before I put her into full time childcare and worked during nap times and lots of evenings. And before you ask – yes, I was exhausted!

Luckily as working mums we do have options to help us fund our children’s childcare and it is so important we make the most out of this.
Dependant on your family income and if you receive any benefits you may qualify for 15 hours free childcare for your 2yr old. It is worth noting the funding does not come into action until the start of term after your child’s 2nd birthday, which could be a few months. This will then increase to 30 hours for your 3 year old, as long as you work a minimum of 16 hours a week and your family income is not over £100,000 per year.

Once your child is at school age you’ve hit the jackpot – free childcare! This gives us working hours between 9-3pm, to increase these hours you can put your child into after school clubs to give yourself a longer day once or twice a week.

I can assure you it has taken me a long time to find a work/life balance that works for my family and even now there are some weeks where it doesn’t work. But that’s ok! The main thing is you find what works best for you and if it doesn’t work, change it.. and if you need to, change it again. This is your business, your life, YOU are the boss.

My top tips of balancing work and motherhood.

  •  It is easy for us to cram too much in and be tempted to work up until the last second before you leave for the school run. Make sure you give yourself half an hour to have a tidy up, grab a cup of tea and decompress before you become Mum again.

  • Book out at least a morning/afternoon to yourself. Ensure you have time to refuel, organise yourself and rest.

  •  An online booking system will save you so much time and energy and means your clients can manage their own appointments.

The beauty of our industry is we can pave our own way, be who you want to be and make your own mark. Work from home or build a beautiful salon, be your own boss or employ staff, its entirely up to you.
For me personally, the best part is being around to watch my babies grow and having them around to watch me grow my business. I wish to raise strong, independent women and I hope I am setting that example for them.

Did you find this blog post helpful? Check out Tori's business page on instagram @theislandlashco