Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
Hello, I’m Steph and I am a creative content producer who has acquired a mixed bag of digital skills throughout my career.
I’ve freelanced on and off for 15 years, worked part-time in a library and achieved my career goal working for the BBC back in 2009 at Radio 2 and 6 Music.
As a freelancer, I've built small business websites, produced web content and found myself drawn to content strategy and management. I've added photography for the web and blogging over the past 10 years. All of these skills are rooted in the communication of either the client’s, or my own project’s, message.
Tell us about your business
In the early half of 2018, I made the decision to move away from predominantly freelance client work to concentrate on my blog Hello, little lady. My aim is to use the platform to talk about and raise awareness of every day life living with Dwarfism, which I have a rare form of.
What are the most sparkly bits of what you do?
The variety of my work!
I was very excited to hold my first photographic exhibition ‘You’re Just Little’ in October 2018 at Spectrum Cultural Hub in County Durham. The exhibition revealed the challenges, obstacles and societal assumptions people with Dwarfism face on a daily basis, not only from my own perspective but also from participants around the globe.
Then there are the unlimited possibilities of being able to bring a community together online. To be able to use my voice and experiences to raise awareness of this much-misunderstood disability and to be part of that conversation is wonderful. Even when I’m dealing with my anxiety, I still have the platform to be able to talk about and share my experiences and feel productive.
What are the biggest challenges you face running your business?
Working from home is the biggest challenge, as I find you never get to switch off from work or home. That said, I love the freedom of being able to set my own work schedule; however, time management and procrastination are things I always need to work on.
Networking is also challenging when you’re the height of an 8 to 9-year old child (I’m 4ft 4”/133cm). Confidence and anxiety are also part of the mix.
What have been your biggest achievements and how have you celebrated them?
There have been quite a few!
- Passing my driving test and then six months later driving down the A1 in my adapted car for the first time was a big step towards independence. It opened so many doors for me. I think I put about 700 miles on the clock in the first month!
- Achieving my Masters in Radio at Sunderland University as, not only was I studying a topic I love but I also lived away from home for the first time and had an absolute blast.
- Working for the BBC was a huge achievement for me too. Not only getting to work for an organisation I’d dreamt of being part of and admired as a teenager, but I also had the opportunity to live in London, which was fantastic.
- These days, I gain a sense of achievement when people tell me that they love reading my blog and my writing. I was thrilled to find out earlier this summer that Hello, little lady has been shortlisted for an award at the Northern Blog Awards 2018 in the Chronic Illness and Disability category.
- Becoming a mum tops them all though.
What are your goals – for yourself and your business?
My ultimate goal is to create a platform that shares the stories and voices of people with Dwarfism through arts and culture. Some 80% of people with Dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings, and I would love to facilitate the development of an online platform where kids can see themselves reflected back and their experiences validated. Currently, there are very few positive, ordinary, everyday life representations of Dwarfism in society, my goal is to change that.
What is your favourite place in the North East and why?
How can I choose only one from this great region?! My absolute favourite place is coming out of Newcastle Central Train Station and feeling the vibe of the bustling city. Sitting in the car eating a bag of chips with my husband and daughter looking out over to Roker Pier, in Sunderland, is a close second. The Baltic, because it represents a huge part of the regeneration of the North East and it’s a space where I can just breathe.
Who puts a Sparkle in your eye?!
My gorgeous daughter and husband who always make me laugh and make all in this life worthwhile.
A final Sparkly thought – what tips would you give to busy, hard-working entrepreneurs?
Honour that which calls you.
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