Two years ago I had a career as an optometrist, working part time after I had my two girls. I had it all, a great job, lovely husband, and my much wanted children. There was just one growing problem. I really wasn’t happy doing my ‘great’ job. Working part time after two years off had left me nervous and feeling like ‘just the stand in’ for the full time optometrist. I found myself worrying all week about my next day at work, it was becoming unhealthy. So after much thought and a few changes of mind, I handed in my resignation and later, resigned from the register of optometrists. What could go wrong!
I faced not feeling like a ‘proper’ person without a proper job description. (What do I now write in the ‘occupation’ box on forms? I could no longer sign people’s passports.) I had lost part of my identity.
However, I had already started Plan B. Whilst driving to work one day with a heavy feeling in my stomach, I thought about what I wished I was doing instead. Having enjoyed my girls being little, (obviously they are still lovely now but I wanted to still see a little one now and again without the sleepless nights of a third) I wondered what things I could do that involved working with young children, and my other passion which was being creative.
I remember the moment driving down the road when I thought of making fingerprint jewellery. It was a perfect combination. Having made science a priority in my life since I left behind my A* GCSE in Art and Design I felt desperate to go back to creating. I went on a course and practised what I had learned. I started a business called ‘Lasting Impressions by Claire’ and made fingerprint jewellery for friends, their friends and people in my local area. Having seen how popular my products were I felt I could make this work.
However, with some experience behind me, I realised I needed to change the business name. It was too long and people got it wrong. Love Print Unique was created.
I felt a change in me and my husband had noticed too: I was much happier.
After all those eye examinations, having helped people see better, found eye conditions that needed investigation, given people the freedom of contact lenses, I was feeling more rewarded when I was handing over personalised jewellery made from a loved one’s fingerprint or handprint. I have seen people close to tears (with joy I’ll point out!) and that makes me feel good.
Perhaps this wasn’t such a crazy risk. I have never been a risk taker and this was the biggest decision I had made that felt like it wasn’t what I should be doing. I stopped being sensible and took a risk, but who is to say this isn’t sensible. I am far happier and love making personalised jewellery. Every piece is different and for that reason each one is so special. I never thought I would have my own business, but what an experience! This has all happened from taking a bold step. As my husband keeps saying, ‘fortune favours the brave’….