What makes someone quit a job in finance to do balloon making?

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

Everyone has that one moment when their life changes forever, but what does it take for someone to switch careers from finance to balloon making?

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

Emma Nettleton, from Mistley, spends her days producing magical creations made entirely of balloons - when she used to spend them sitting at a desk doing a job she hated.

Whilst the 34-year-old is pursuing what she loves now, it took a tragic set of circumstances to light that fire.

Sadly, just before Christmas 2017, her mother told her that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that she wanted to make sure her daughter lived her life with no regrets.

At a loss of what to do the mother of two decided to ask mum's in a Facebook group what they did for a living and was so inspired by their careers she took up face painting in January that year.

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant


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"The first one I did was so awful, I was so nervous my hands were shaking," she recalled.

"The kid's mum put her hand on my shoulder as if to say, it's not that bad and at least now you've done your first one."

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By March she was being booked to go to parties freelance and working in a creative industry she soon discovered balloon art.

"I'd always been quite into my art but I was lucky enough to have a gentlemen who sent me a box of balloons to get me started.

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

"He would call me and talk me through how to do all of the different designs and I was so lucky to have a mentor like him.

"I owe a lot of this to him really."

By July 2018 she was earning enough to quit her job in finance to pursue her art full time and now she earns the same as she used to, but is able to live a much happier life.

"I love how I have the freedom to be with my kids more," she added.

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

"My mum was a stay at home mum and I always wanted to be able to do that for my kids, it broke my heart when I first had to go back to work after I had them."

Whilst mainly working at children's parties she has expanded and started to do weddings, as well as creating seasonal show stoppers on demand.

She's had some funny orders, such as when one woman asked for number shaped balloons. When Emma inquired as to what design she wanted for the birthday her client admitted they were in fact for her dog, whom she loves dearly.

Despite spending many years at a job she wasn't happy in, Emma has finally found a career which she loves - proving it's never too late.

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

See more on Emma's social media @emmasfancifulfaces

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon ar

Emma Nettleton's life changed when she switched careers from finance to face painting and balloon art. Picture: EMMA NETTLETON/Emma's Fanciful Faces - Credit: Archant

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