A double celebration – 2 years of Her Business Brew plus the book launch of Stories of She

Celebrating the 2-year anniversary of Her Business Brew and the launch of her latest book ‘Stories of She’, Serena Fordham, founder and CEO of Serena Fordham’s PA Services and Her Business Brew, recently celebrated by throwing a Posh PJ Party on the 16th March 2017!

Author and Entrepreneur Serena is known by many as a truly inspirational woman, and is proving to be an unstoppable whirlwind of amazement!

Growing up in Hellesdon Serena has always been hard working and eager to learn.  She attended Hellesdon High school and then went on to study Business Management BA (Hons) at The University of East Anglia.

Serena Graduated from the UEA in 2009, and started working as an Estate Agent.  Knowing this was not the direction she wanted her career to go in, in 2013 she set up her own virtual assistance business, Serena Fordham’s PA Services.

A few years down the line as her business grew and she met more local contacts she took a giant leap. 2015 was the year she founded ‘Her Business Brew’, a women’s networking group that supports and encourages women in business in Norfolk. Meeting once a month at one of three locations; each meeting has a guest speaker, lots of friendly faces, and, of course, cake!  Serena, ever striving for new challenges, has recently franchised Her Business Brew to encourage the group to grow across the UK.  Find more information about starting a group of your own.

Partying in PJ’S!

What better way to celebrate 2 years of Serena’s successful networking group than a room filled with business women partying in their pyjamas?

Serena organised a Posh Pyjama Party with an evening of festivities including; a Sweet Cart from Nayna Bass at Candy Cart Hire Norwich, Pampering with Nicola from Tropic, a raffle with a chance to win a place at the Her Business Brew Retreat in September, tombola from Break Charity, cakes from Rachel at Vanilla Clouds Bakery and music from DJ Barry Dunning of Silverlight Disco.

Guest Speakers Natalie Davies from our sponsors Inspired Women, Tina Bell from our charity of the year Nelson’s Journey and Nicola Calvert Tropic had everyone’s attention whilst talking about their amazing organisations.  The enthusiasm these ladies have for their work, and how they inspire and support others is truly amazing!

As well as being an opportunity to give out prizes to the valued Her Business Brew members and supporters, this evening also saw the launch of Serena’s latest book Stories of She, which is a collection of inspiring true stories of women overcoming struggles in their lives.

 

“I am extremely excited to launch ‘Stories of She’ as it will help to raise awareness of the Inspired Women project, and should hopefully encourage women to share their dark experiences, and seek help and support for issues they are struggling with.  The book will also raise funds for two charities close to my heart; Break Charity and Nelson’s Journey.”

Serena Fordham

 

The stories and poems in the book have been written by 13 incredible women, Serena herself included, and each piece of writing shows pure honesty and emotion.  The stories cover important issues that women face in life, that are not always openly spoken about, such as body confidence, eating disorders, sleeping problems, infertility and baby loss, and abuse.

All the contributors to the book were gifted with a framed picture of themselves with a caption from their story at the celebration and book launch, as a token to gratitude from Serena for sharing their stories and helping to enforce the book’s powerful messages.

Natalie Davies, CEO of Inspired Youth and Inspired Women then presented Serena with an amazing award; ‘Special Inspirational Woman Award’.  This was an unexpected shock to Serena’s well-planned evening, as she was not expecting any kind of recognition herself, and the presentation of this award left her overwhelmed and speechless.

The room was filled with women that all shared a great appreciation for Serena and her work. Serena’s daughter Ella even made an appearance to support her mummy (as well as to eat lots of cake!) and to have a quick visit to the sweet cart before going home to bed.

Looking to the Future

To mark the 3-year celebration of Her Business Brew, Serena and her team already have a few tricks up their sleeves.

This celebration is planned to be on a much larger scale than the close-knit and intimate Posh Pyjama Party, as on International Women’s Day, Thursday 8th March 2018, Serena and Her Business Brew will be hosting HER Business, Body and Life Conference at Epic Studios in Norwich, with the capacity for 1500 women to come together to celebrate this day.

There will be three remarkable and inspirational women speaking, various informative and educational workshops, and a range of stands.

Tickets are available to purchase now, be quick to get tickets at the early bird discount price.

I think it is evident that Serena is a woman to watch out for! Who knows what she will do next?!

Written by Kerri Page, Office Manager at Serena Fordham’s PA Services

 

An introduction to Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd – My Journey, by Natalie Chapman

My name is Natalie Chapman and I am the company director of Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd plus a ‘stay at home’ mum to my twins and wife to Darren.

Where it all began

Prior to the twins arriving, my life was pretty ‘normal’ (whatever that is!) I worked for a big international law firm, I was studying towards my Legal Executive qualification and my career was progressing steadily. I always thought that I would work within law firms, being a ‘working mum’ when I did eventually have children, and steadily work my way up the ranks – I didn’t really know any different. Once I fell pregnant with the twins, my views didn’t really change and I even booked them a place at the local nursery when I was still pregnant.

But, as soon as the twins arrived everything changed!

I no longer wanted to work long hours in the office away from my babies. So the decision was made that I would be a ‘stay at home mum’ but on the provision that finish my Legal Executive qualification, so I had something to fall back on.

I remember starting my studies when the twins were around 4 months old and I sat my final exam about 16 months later – that was the hardest time of my life!! I basically studied every minute that the twins slept, the house was a mess and poor Darren hardly saw me at all!

Once my study was behind me, and yes, I passed all my exams, I was enjoying the time off with the twins but it didn’t take long for me to realise that I was missing working – there is only such many nursery rhymes, abc’s, 123’s and park visits I can handle before realising I needed something more challenging.

Trusted-Wills.co.uk was born

After a little bit of research, I discovered a Consultancy role with a sister company of The Society of Will Writers and soon realised that I could possibly have my cake and eat it – I could stay at home with the twins to watch them grow and help them develop, and work on a career in an area that I have actually qualified and trained in.

One year later I was given the opportunity to set up my own business and become a member of the Society of Will Writers; this is when Trusted-Wills.co.uk was born.

The ‘big’ move

We moved back to Norfolk in August 2014 and it was time for me to build the business here in Norfolk. After settling the twins into nursery and the new area, I had to dedicate some time to establishing Trusted-Wills in the local area.

I realised quite quickly that Norfolk businesses were very keen on networking and most Norfolk people like to ‘buy local’. I attended some networking events, met some awesome people, gained some wonderful clients and Trusted-Wills started to take shape.

I have successfully helped a number of clients, all with varying backgrounds and a variety of needs, with services including Will Writing, preparing Lasting Power of Attorney and setting up Trusts.

I personally visited each of these clients and enjoyed my time getting to know each of them, including listening to their tales and stories.

Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd – the expansion

The twins have now started school which has enabled me a little bit more time to grow the business.

After helping so many clients with their Will Writing and Estate Planning needs, I have now re-trained to offer Probate services as part of my business; Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd was born.

So as you can see my life has completely changed since having the twins.

I have gone from working at a big international law firm Monday-Friday (plus overtime!) to being a ‘stay at home mum’ and having my own business to develop and grow.

Setting up ‘Trusted Wills’ has enabled me to stay at home to look after my twins and continue with my legal career. It has been, and continues to be, extremely hard work (and a struggle at times!) but I am enjoying the whole experience. I have always enjoyed meeting and getting to know new people so this seems like the perfect combination.

Thank you for reading my journey!

Natalie Chapman

About the author:

Natalie is the director of Trusted Wills & Probate Ltd, which provides a full range of Will Writing and Estate Planning services in the Norfolk Area; including Wills, Trusts, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate services.
They offer a wide range of services to protect your loved ones and your assets, providing you with much needed peace of mind. The team take the time to get to know you, your family and your wishes to ensure that they are providing you with the right service. No matter how complicated your situation may be, they will work with you to find the right solution.
They offer appointments that are convenient for you, in the comfort of your own home and at a time to suit you – including evenings and weekends!

 

Top Tips for Juggling Motherhood and Self-Employment

Being a self-employed mum of a toddler and a baby can be very challenging at times! If you are a mum who works for yourself, then I am sure you can relate to the conflict your brain has between spending time with your children and working on your business.

I know I constantly feel guilty that one of these is suffering, as I haven’t got enough time in the day to do everything! ……and as for household chores, I sometimes just give up, now have a cleaner!

So, here are my top ten tips for juggling motherhood and self-employment:

Make lists and prioritise

I like to have one list for both business and mum stuff as to not confuse myself by using separate ones.  I also put everything in my diary so nothing is missed!

Find amazing childcare

I am lucky to have my parents and in-laws to look after the children whenever I need to.  Although I still feel guilty when leaving them for a business-related appointment!

Prepare

Get bags, clothes, lunches, etc ready the evening before. Mornings are the most crazy for us!

Work when the kids sleep

Schedule in work time when the kids are in bed. A few hours every evening can clear my work to-do list as well as a full working day will!

Outsource work and ask for help

I have 3 amazing ladies who help in my business, and they make me feel like all is not just on my shoulders.  Plus, self-employment can be pretty lonely at times, so having a team to support me is lovely!

Find others in the same boat as you

Connecting with other self-employed mums who are in the same boat as you can help. Try joining us at a Her Business Brew meeting for support.

Get a box of tricks up your sleeve

Have a box of crafts or games that the kids can do themselves.  This will keep them entertained if you have to make a business call or complete work when they are around! Even short bursts on a tablet, or half an hour in front of CBeebies isn’t going to do any harm either!

Schedule quality time with the family

Time with your family is very important as your kids grow up so fast.  Even a quick trip to the park, or reading them a story makes all the difference!

Make time to read stories to your children Click To Tweet
Don’t beat yourself up

Don’t worry if everything isn’t done that day. No woman is superwoman (even though we like to think we are!) just move stuff to next weeks to do list. Its not the end of the world!

Make time for yourself

All this juggling can leave you shattered, so make time for yourself.  I like to get my nails/hair done, visit the spa, or have the occasional afternoon tea!  Although a long soak in the bath (with no kids) is even a nice treat!