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After moving 7 times, I created a business to travel with me

amycatling ‎18-05-2017 09:00 AM
‎18-05-2017 09:00 AM

Holly5.jpgNeeding to move 7 times left Holly in a difficult situation – pregnant, without a job to go back to and a completely new home.

 

Name           Holly Savage
Business      Rocks Design

 

I got a degree in Graphic Design, but after finishing university I went into banking. It was just meant to be a stop gap, but I really enjoyed the job so I stayed for 6 years. I was doing well and design became a hobby for me. I’d do a few little jobs in the evening but never anything serious. I was focused on my banking career.

 

During all of this, I moved house 7 times.

 

My husband is in the military, meaning that our life is a little bizarre. We’ve been shipped around the UK depending on where he’s posted, and it’s a struggle to start your life over again in each place.

 

For the first few years I was able to switch branches, but when I moved to a broker’s office I was so upset to find out we were moving again. I was five months pregnant. After I came back from maternity leave, I’d be in a new place, without any job to go back to. And I was terrified.

 

Making the decision

 

Not long after we’d had our baby, my husband was sent on detachment to the Middle East for 6 months. It looked like a long and lonely 6 months ahead. 

 

So I decided to change it. I wanted to try and build something for myself, and use the time whilst my husband was away to do something positive. I wasn’t going to just wait for him to get back.

 

It was like a lightbulb moment.

 

Making design more than the occasional job felt like the natural thing to do. Setting up my own business meant that I would never be in the position where I needed to build relationships up at a new place of work again. I could work from anywhere, and anytime we moved, my customers would get exactly the same service. They wouldn’t even know that I had moved.

 

Rejections and acceptances

 

Holly2.jpgI worked every single night whilst the baby was sleeping, going into the spare room to work on our products or website. The hardest part was dealing with the uncertainty of how people would react to the business. I put so many hours in and sacrificed so much, I wanted to make sure it works.

 

But I always stay positive. My end goal is to get us all back to our home in Cornwall, and I know that this is a way we can get the financial freedom to head back, and give our son a great future.

 

Turning rejection around

 

One of the hardest things was being rejected from Not on the High Street. When I first applied and received that “thanks but no thanks” response it fuelled me to push myself and keep working on the business to find another way.

 

I reapplied and on the morning of my 30th birthday saw the email that I had been accepted. My mum was left confused as I immediately burst out crying!

 

The exposure was fantastic. I’m now stocked both on Not on the High Street and my own online store. Getting that extra platform was a huge stepping stone for me and showed me that I knew I was going in the right direction.

 

Coming soon

 

I’m constantly building the business. We’re branching out into retail right now, and I’m also working on a project to use design to give back to the military community. Sometimes it feels like a military life is in a little bubble, but until you’re in it you don’t realise how difficult it can be.

 

When I first started up with Rocks Design, I joined a course for military spouses called the Unsung Hero Start-up Business Programme. You’re taught all the basics to get you up and running over Skype, and I’d recommend them to anyone in the same situation as me.

 

Anyone with their own business will know how much of a struggle it can be, but all of the reasons why you started in the first place, and where you could end up, are what keep you going.

Holly1.jpg

 

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