What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do?
Berenice Smith and I’m based in Cambridge. I run a creative business and network called Hello Lovely that provides design, copywriting and web development. I also own Walk In Our Shoes and created Childless Hour and Walking Forward Inspirational Network.
What’s your background?
I am a designer and always have been, and a self confessed sniffer of newly printed books. I have studied design at undergraduate and postgraduate level and also have a degree in English Literature with the Open University. I am generally a bit of a creative person - I make stained glass pieces with lead and have a secret urge to run a creative workshop/retreat/studio by the sea. Not so secret now!
Do you have a plan B and can you tell us what stage you are at?
My plan B is a little organic. I’ve started studying for a counselling course with the Open University to support more of the work I do around infertility. But primarily I’m a designer and print maker and this is where my skills lie. I may combine the two in art therapy but it’ll grow as I do!
What support did you have from family and friends on your journey?
My family do not really engage with Walk In Our Shoes, my childlessness isn't something I think they talk about despite the endless IVF fails and that’s sad. Luckily I have a great husband who is wonderful at supporting me and of course my dog Molly! I’ve made lots of new friends in the area of infertility and appreciate their support a lot, in the past year I’ve got in touch with several old friends whom I’d lost touch with including lovely Nicci Fletcher aka Voice of Infertility and The CNBC magazine.
Did you use any professional support resources? Do you have any recommendations to share?
I am a member of various design and typography societies including The Chartered Society of Designers and I try to attend ATypi’s annual conference where type designers gather to talk - it’s very geeky! I recommend Drive The Network for good, honest support and Freelance Heroes for a great place to share woes and worries.
What app or website could you not live without, and why?
Adobe Creative Cloud is essential along with my Mac. Trello for planning and Slack is great too. And Squarespace and WordPress, I design sites on both.
What advice would you give to anyone looking for an alternative direction?
Don’t be afraid to share your worries. Chances are others have had them too and probably have different solutions. Chatting online or in person can make a huge difference especially on the tough days.
What are the most notable things you have learnt about running a business, changing your career or about yourself?
I realise I know more about design than I thought I did! I do have a postgrad degree and over twenty years experience but it’s easy to let the imposter syndrome take over but actually we all know more than we think we do!
What is your ultimate professional goal?
To make the world a beautifully designed placed and rid us of all myths around childlessness.