I’m Zoe, belly cast artist and founder of Rock the Bump pregnant belly casting. I am based in Bournemouth but travel and work with women from across the UK to celebrate their beautiful bumps and create timeless, unique pregnancy keepsake casts. I have recently worked with Love Island winner Cara De La Hoyde and my work has been featured by OK Magazine online.
It’s just over 3 years since I started Rock the Bump pregnant belly casting. My children were 4 and 2 when I launched the business and I was working part-time from home for NCT so already had my hands full. Since launching Rock the Bump I have gone on to have another baby (hazard of the job…), launched my own maternity/nursing bra fitting business (Bournemouth BraLady) and put on two local baby shows.
When I got the routine call from my boss checking in to discuss my return to work plans following my last stint of maternity leave, without thinking, amidst the chaos of my life with three happy little hooligans, I made a BIG decision and responded by telling her that I would not be coming back to work. Yep, I quit my job with NCT to follow my dreams, look after my family and build my business.
With Alabama in school full-time, Buddy in preschool and Phoebe growing up in a blink and you miss it kind of way, my time is way too precious to spend working at home for anyone other than myself! It’s a risk but not one I can see myself regretting as I am choosing to do something I am passionate about, something creative and something special for all the lovely women who choose me to cast their precious baby bump.
Self employment is a funny old thing, especially when your business is an artistic one. Being a self-employed artist and a work at home mum is especially funny, firstly because everyone assumes that you don’t have a job, secondly because you literally have to fit your work in to any little slither of time you might be able to find if you want to make a go of it.
There’s so much work I need to do to build and grow my business. I’ve set myself some goals for 2018 to help keep my focus but am also exploring other avenues and opportunities that will help to raise my business profile (networking is not my thing…) and promote Rock the Bump to a wider audience. Most importantly I am desperate to get back in to my own studio in 2018. To say I need more space to work is an understatement but it’s not just about the practicalities, it’s about my confidence and identity as a self-employed artist. Rock the Bump needs a home of its own and I need a place to go when I need to work where I can be creative, away from the chaos of home. Don’t get me wrong – one of the things I love most about Rock the Bump is that my little people enjoy it and seem to quite like “mummy’s bumps” all over the house. To them it’s not really a job, they just see mummy getting messy, painting, creating… but I need to remember that Rock the Bump IS my job, my business, my livelihood.
I need to stay focused and keep my business on track. At times I get nervous and start looking at ways to expand Rock the Bump so I can make more money quickly but it’s not what I really want to do. I really believe in Rock the Bump and genuinely think it has legs. I just need to stay true to myself and continue to create beautiful pregnant belly bump casts and belly bowls that I am proud of. I also need to recognise the value of my own work and find it in me to better sell myself in 2018.