Changing Direction: From Thomas Cook social media manager to founder of Scrummy Tummies
Scrummy Tummies Ltd is a baby-led weaning business supporting parents through their weaning journey. It offers eight-week weaning courses, first aid courses on choking, weaning diaries and weekly meal planners. We spoke to founder Katie Shelton on how she launched the business after being made redundant.
Before setting up Scrummy Tummies Ltd I was a Social Media Manager at Thomas Cook. I went on maternity leave to have my little girl in February 2019. In September 2019, whilst still on maternity leave Thomas Cook, collapsed and I lost my job with immediate effect. It was a big shock. I’d had a call from one of my peers on the Friday before to say that there would be some press coverage on Thomas Cook over the weekend and the rumours were that they were not in a good position but she didn’t think it was anything to worry about. Over the weekend the news coverage didn’t look very promising. I stayed up throughout the night Sunday night and at around 2am on the Monday morning the news broke. I received a text message that morning to say that I was being made redundant from immediate effect.
From hobby to Scrummy Tummies
Scrummy Tummies was originally a hobby, starting as an Instagram blog documenting my daughters weaning journey. I then started making some money through affiliate marketing and promoting weaning brands products. In March 2020 I was due to start looking for a job when lockdown hit. I decided to make a go of the business, I started by setting up the website www.scrummytummies.com and I haven’t looked back since. In May I registered the business as a Limited Company. I still had my daughter at home so would work every time she was napping and during the evenings and some weekends. By September 2020 the business had grown to the point where this wasn’t enough time and my daughter now goes to nursery two days a week so I can solely focus on the business for those two days.
When I was working at Thomas Cook my working week would officially be Monday – Friday 9.00-17.00. However, I often ended up working more than this and would come home mentally exhausted. Now I work 9.00-16.00 Mondays & Fridays. I sometimes pick up some extra work during nap times and evenings. However, I do I try and keep evenings free to spend time with my family. Overall I am a lot less stressed. I balance my own workload and working hours. I don’t ever feel I am doing ‘work’ as I really enjoy what I do. No more Sunday night dread!
My main challenges have been learning and understanding how to manage and grow your own business. There are so many elements of the business that I have never had to deal with before when I’ve been employed. Virtual networking events and business courses which have supported me in overcoming those challenges. Continuous self development is the way forward for me.
I have set myself some ambitious goals for 2021. I am going to continue to develop myself and push myself to achieve those goals. My advice for anyone who has been made redundant and looking to set up a business would be to do something you love. Not something you think you should do. You need to have the passion to keep the motivation alive.