Spotlight on Spouses – Sophie Murphy
Name: Sophie Murphy
Business Name: Vintage Fleur Designs – Wedding Stationer
What is your career background?
Senior Family Worker for children’s centres across Reading
Where did the idea for your business come from?
My undergraduate degree is in Writing for the Media and I am studying towards an MA in Publishing where I have designed for magazines and books. I missed the designing and creative industry when working as a SFW and I decided to go back to what I love doing once I had my son.
How did you move from the idea to the actual business?
My idea came about when I was researching for my own wedding and I realised that I knew how to use the graphics, design programmes etc. I started to design my own wedding stationery and received lots of positive comments from them. I was then asked to design for a number of friends weddings and a year later my business began to take shape. I researched an awful lot into the wedding industry and stationery because I knew the niche that I wanted specialise within.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
I use social media to advertise my work, as well as attending wedding fairs and networking events. I never really understood the true meaning of networking events until I began to work for myself and they are very valuable especially in meeting like-minded people.
As a Military spouse, what has been your biggest obstacle when trying to balance work/ kids/ your spouses military commitments?
When my husband goes away! I am pregnant with our second child and we have a toddler which means a lot of late nights at the moment as he is currently only home at the weekends. It also means that I have to work the weekends due to the industry that my business is within and I do have to remember that my husbands is as important as our business!
What has been your proudest moment?
I don’t have a particular proud moment as I am always very proud when I receive my designs back from the printers and then receiving positive testimonials from customers. I love that they love what I do for them!
Why is work so important for you?
My business is so important to me because it is doing something that I genuinely love doing. It gives me the ‘me time’ that is needed especially when my husband is away. Not many people can say that they do a job that they well and truly enjoy doing – if you’d have asked me to work weekends in previous roles I would have done it but my mind would have been elsewhere.
What advice would you give fellow Military spouses who want to get back into work, retrain for a new career or start their own business?
Literally – just go for it! I procrastinated for far too long about starting my own business and I was always the one saying “one day” – make that one day now 🙂