Petra Tiziani is a Freelance Content Producer, breaking into the world of fashion design and styling, and blogging about all things maternity through her new site Monmum.
We caught up with her about the incredible change in direction.
What made you want to change career paths? And why now?
I’ve always had a creative side that runs alongside my practical, business side. I studied fashion design and illustration as well as business and finance, so that part is definitely not something new.
Making the career change is something I always planned to do once I had kids. I have always seen that as the catalyst to making a change and using it as the tipping point for action.
When you started out on this new adventure, was your direction very clear, or have you tweaked and changed your plan as you’ve gone?
If I’m really honest, I did have several ideas and have dabbled in various creative projects along the way; starting and never quite finishing them. But when I came up with Monmum, I knew it was the one.
The maternity wear market needs an injection of colour and style. Everything from dresses, to hats, to swimwear ends up being available in blue and white stripes. They’re everywhere! Not very exciting if you ask me.
Initially, I hope for the blog to become popular in its own right, and work with relevant brands as part of that strategy. The aim is to then expand into an e-commerce site with those brands, and showcase and sell through monmum.com. I hope to bridge the gap between ASOS and Net-A-Porter; sitting in the middle-market. The Atterley Road of maternity if you like.
The part of my plan I am still tweaking is where Monmum will end up. In the future, it could evolve into a magazine, maybe, and designing and selling my own brand. But if that happens, it will be a lot later.
What helpful resources have you come across whilst starting up?
I recently went to BritmumsLive, an event for bloggers of all levels, and so had something for everyone. I made some great contacts which is absolutely invaluable. I’ll also be going to Mumsnet BlogFest in November.
When I first started out I did Decor8’s online course Blogging Your Way, to help with the do’s and don’ts of site design and blogging in general. It was useful, but I feel it’s often who you meet that can have real benefits.
Have you come up against any obstacles, or something you didn’t expect?
First of all you have to be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades as you can’t afford to hire people right from the off.
The other thing is working out how much time your project is going to take. Often with a project that becomes your baby, you want to spend all your time working on it and complete your goals as quickly as you can. Your passion and drive can get in the way of what’s actually possible, especially when holding down a full time job and keeping the rest of your life going as well. So you must set yourself goals and deadlines that are realistic rather than impatient.
Next up is finance. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford to do, at what stage you want to grow your business, and if you need funding.
In terms of obstacles, well, actually when I set Monmum up it was definitely a future dream, and as I dabbled in the background I was also trying to get pregnant. Being a blog about maternity wear I thought it might be a bit odd to launch it when I wasn’t pregnant or a mum yet. But, things were taking their time, and I got bored of not being able to launch the site, so I just went ahead anyway.
And then, I did get pregnant! I’m happy to say I am over three months now.
What advice would you give someone thinking of changing careers to do something entirely different?
Be sure of your idea. Write a business plan, a working timeline and cost projections for a full three years to see how viable your idea is.
Do your research. Get out there and talk to a variety of focus groups and speak to as many people as you can.
And lastly, have a passion for what you want to do and don’t feel shy about your idea. Tell people so they can support you! If you believe in it and have the enthusiasm for it, then others will too.
You can follow Petra’s progress (both in business and in bump!) on the Monmum blog.
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