If exactly a year ago I thought about what my working life would be today, this isn’t what I would have envisaged.
A year ago today I was two weeks away from finishing the job I’d been in for four years in the construction industry, commuting to London everyday and eagerly anticipating the start of my new job working from home for a construction training company. We were a few weeks away from bringing our fur babies home, and life was good. New job, new kittens, I was excited.
Fast forward three months and I was hating life. The job didn’t turn out to be what I’d expected at all; I’d taken a job that was working from home and then been told I wasn’t allowed to work from home, my line manager was changed almost immediately to someone who didn’t understand what I’d been brought into the business to do, and I was horrendously lonely with just me and my manager in the office. In an attempt to cheer myself up, I started looking into interior design courses and signed up to a home study course in the evenings.
Work didn’t get any better and after a few tears and a few sums to work out the money situation, my boyfriend (Josh) and I decided it was best all round if I quit. We could afford for me to be out of work for a couple of months while I worked out what I wanted to do and search for a new job, and crack on with my course.
I was feeling pretty optimistic. I’m a huge believer in everything happening for a reason, and I knew I didn’t want to stay in the construction industry, therefore this was my chance to really work out what I wanted from my career. I’d always enjoyed interior design, so much so that when I was about 13 my best friend and I decided we were going to set up an interior design business together and call it Kaye (Karly and Faye... see what we did there??). Needless to say, at the age of 27 the grand plans of my 13 year old self were forgotten about, but a few months earlier I had set up my Instagram page Cloud Interiors. I’d set the account up as an outlet for all the interior pictures I kept taking of my flat, and, not being confident in my ability and whether the pictures were good or not, I wanted a separate Instagram account to keep myself anonymous from my friends. Unbeknownst to me, my email address linked CI with my personal account, and to my horror my friends found my account and started following me… so much for remaining anonymous! After a mild freak out though, I decided that they had actively chosen to follow me, and that I just had to get on with it. Steadily over the next few months, my following grew with friends and strangers alike.
My unemployment happened to coincide with Josh completing on his buy-to-let property, so we agreed I'd sort that out and spent a solid week traipsing around Ikea to buy all the furniture, giving myself blisters from building it all, styling the property and photographing it ready to advertise for rent. I loved every second of it. It was during that time that Josh and I both had a moment of clarity and thought this is it, this is what you need to be doing. This is the career for me. My Instagram had really started to take off more than we had expected which gave me a huge confidence boost, and we both agreed I had to try and make something of interior design. A week or two later we decided to celebrate getting the flat rented out and spent the day at the spa, and it was there, lying on a sun lounger around a pool that I registered Cloud Interiors as a limited company, and my business began...