‘I just had this fire in my belly’ - mum-of-two starts a business during lockdown
- Credit: GARETH PATTINSON
On the one hand, starting a business during lockdown with two small children at home was terrible timing.
But, on the other it was ideal, says Suzanne Pattinson, 35, from near Bury St Edmunds, who has founded Soul Purpose Jewellery.
Mrs Pattinson, mum to Rowan, two, and Rory, three, lost her freelance PR contract at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and was determined to have a positive lockdown legacy.
“I just had this fire in my belly I’m going to do this,” she said.
MORE: ‘It would be a travesty not to reopen our pub’ - community fight for their localShe took a course in silversmithing in 2019 and had imagined she would take slow steps, but while Covid meant many things had to stop, she wasn’t ready to.
With two toddlers running around at home, she began her business, working mainly evenings and weekends to fit in around them.
“It was definitely a juggle,” she said. “I look back now and it’s all a bit of a blur.”
MORE: New website for town businesses aims to be ‘all-inclusive’Mrs Pattinson, from Honington, said having her fledgling business to focus on helped her during lockdown, and she felt it was “really important for the children to see me doing something positive and working”.
“I have been a stay-at-home mum since they were born, but I have always done bits of work where I could and they have never seen that and I felt that was important.
“They know daddy goes to work. I felt it was a really good life lesson as well that you can have the freedom to choose and decide a career.
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“And with being a mum you change after having children. Your priorities change, your expectations change.
“You become a different version of yourself so allowing yourself to explore a different version of what who you are looks like isn’t such a bad thing.”
MORE: These new businesses have just opened in Bury St EdmundsNow the boys are back at pre-school she can dedicate three days a week to Soul Purpose, which is edging towards a total of 100 orders.
Mrs Pattinson’s husband Gareth is in the RAF, based at Honnington, so she said having a career that is portable suits the military lifestyle.
And her military wife contacts have played a role at the start of the business: Mrs Pattinson made a piece of jewellery for a friend’s give-away on social media and another did her Soul Purpose branding.
She said a lot of her pieces are personalised as people like to have something that’s sentimental to them.
Following recent publicity of her story, Mrs Pattinson said she has received lots of messages from people saying she has inspired them.
“Even if one person feels inspired to go and do something they love, that for me is a really nice feeling,” she said.