Monday Mumpreneur with Ruthie Redden

Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur who’s ready and willing to open up their lives and their business to us.  They share with us their motivation, challenges and proudest moments in business and they also tell us how they take time to nurture themselves.  If you're looking for inspiration, then our featured business mums show you what's possible.

I was delighted when this week's mumpreneur agreed to be featured. I meet so many artists and creative people who don't believe they can run a successful business.

So I wanted to showcase her as a beautiful example of someone who is proving it can be done.

Your name:  Ruthie Redden

Your website: 
My personal blog:
My on-line shop:
My 2nd blog:   

Brief description:

My website is where you can see my art work, learn a little about me & the services I offer; personalised family portraits, logo design & soon to come family trees.
My blog tells more about me, my inspirations, my art, travels & life. It is a place of inspiration for creativity, love, life, happiness & hope.

The name “5 precious things” rose from the idea that every day I look for 5 simple precious things that have inspired me, made me smile. I have blogged about the journey of finding my creative self again to give others inspiration, covering such things as my creative process, taking time for out for self, slowing down, dealing with depression, anxiety, and nurturing self belief.

My on-line Shop is my e-commerce site where I sell original paintings, prints, & cards & from time to time, my one-of-a-kind tiny animal sculptures, hand stitched bits & pieces, and other things I am stirred to make.

I come across so many wonderful artists & makers during my travels and so I set up to share the creations that I discover.

How many children do you have?

I am mom to my 3 precious children Hannah 28yrs, Katie 27yrs, Jake 17yrs.

Where do you live?

I live in a wee cottage amongst the beautiful heather strewn hills & ancient woodlands just outside Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway, in south West Scotland, with the ocean only a few minutes away.

PC or Mac?  Pc, but hoping for a Mac one day 😉

Tell us about your business

I am an artist, pictorial storyteller & maker of things, deeply inspired by the beautiful part of the world I live in, by Mother Nature & the ever changing seasons of the year. The corners of my days are filled with folklore & faerietales, days of old & ancient things. My work is woven with myth & magic, the Scottish & Celtic past, sayings & songs, symbology & superstitions.

My hope is to keep the magic & the stories alive and to share them through my creations. Each piece carries a story buried beneath the surface for the viewer to unfurl, and comes with snippets of interesting things to read.

I am also fascinated by people, their ancestry and their stories. I work with elements of symbology, to produce bespoke portraits that aim to capture the essence of a person; their background, heritage & culture. Next year I will be releasing a new range; family tree designs that can be customised and will hopefully become treasured family heirlooms.

What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?

I come from a creative family and have always loved making things. When my girls were small I began to make clothes for them, incorporating my own appliqué designs. I had so many requests from folk to make them something similar that it grew into my first successful business! I loved it, it meant I could work from home and be there for my children. I learnt so much about production, selling, and catering to customers’ needs.

After a move to Scotland and the birth of my third child, my interest turned more to designing and I set up a new business making & selling embroidered & appliquéd, bags & accessories. But I began to feel I had lost touch with the creative process. I wanted to re-discover my true passion, my love of painting & sketching and design, so I decided to juggle my hours and do an HND in graphic design & illustration.

It was a huge learning curve, I had never even used a computer before, I love a challenge.  In 1996 I became a single Mom and after a few hard years trying to support my family I began working full time for a local signage company. I found I had little time of my own and so sadly wound my business down. Over the following years, in my spare time, I continued to explore my artistic style, and began to delve deeper into my passion for folklore & faerietales, mythology, Scottish & Celtic history.

I had a dream; one day I wanted to be a full time artist & illustrator, be my own boss again.  Then one day, in October 2008 with the encouragement of my new Hubby Mr O, I set out to make my dream come true. I wrote up my very first “proper” business plan, I began researching & reading, planning & preparing. I started painting & creating again, doing the things I loved. I tentatively set up my blog "5 precious things" as a way of recording my creative journey.

That blog grew, gave me confidence, connections and self belief. Over the next three years I gradually cut back my hours in the “day” job as my own business went from strength to strength. In July 2010 I finished designing my web site and officially launched my new business, following up in 2011 with my on-line Etsy store “Mythweaver”. In September of this year I finally gave up the last few hours I was doing at my “day” job and once again became my own boss!

It has been an intriguing and sometimes bumpy path but all the steps I have taken have led me to where I am today, working for myself, doing what I love, being here for my family. I am so lucky that I have been able to follow my dream and am so thankful for all the support & encouragement of so many folk.

What’s been your biggest challenge in business?

As I just love being creative, to begin with I found it hard to think of myself as a business woman, I didn’t take myself too seriously and questioned if it was even possible for my “art work” to be a viable business.

I wasn’t very good at balancing things & managing my time either, I soon became exhausted, and almost lost myself in the process. I had so many new ideas buzzing in my head and not enough hours, that I just grew more frustrated and wasn’t good at learning to switch off.

How have you overcome it?

It wasn’t until I sat down and drew up a proper business plan that things started to fall into place. I started to map out my ideas, I learnt to plan! Mr O has been a huge support and thanks to his business knowledge, and our regular “sessions” when we sit & brain storm business ideas, I now have an excellent ever evolving business plan that I regularly refer back to.

I’m a problem solver and so I designed tools to ensure all areas of my life were met, I have learnt to pace myself, to set achievable goals, record my achievements, and manage my time efficiently. I have built “me” time into my schedule; I try not to be hard on myself when I make mistakes, learning instead to be imperfect.

What’s been your proudest business moment?

How to choose? I love it each time I am contacted by a client who loves my work & wants me to work with them. Knowing my work sits in homes all around the world is an amazing thought too. Designing my own website was huge.

Discovering a wonderful on-line community of likeminded folk through my blogs & my website, whose support & enthusiasm has so inspired me. Receiving feed-back and knowing that I am able to inspire & encourage others too, for me this is a very important part of my business, the sharing.

What’s your catchphrase or favourite quote?

“Precious things” we are surrounded by them we just have to remember to take the time to notice. (by me)

“If you never try, you'll never know what you are capable of.” John Barrow

What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?

I love to snuggle up in bed with a good book or connect with my inner child by watching children’s movies, my most favourite! I lose myself in my photography, when gardening, out in nature, or doing yoga and meditation and of course I love spending precious time with my beautiful family.

What was the last treat you bought for yourself?

The last treat I bought myself were some wonderful scented candles.

Favourite colour

My favourite colours are autumnal ones, hues of gold and bronze, russet reds & olive greens.

Favourite flowers

Anemones, they remind me of childhood holidays spent in Cornwall & sweet peas, my granddad always grew them.

What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?

Believe in yourself, follow your heart, and don’t ever compare yourself to others. Be true to yourself.  Find your own niche, do your research. Find your tag line, your unique selling point and stick to it, it helps to shape your business & makes it easier to turn things away that don’t fit within your criteria, helps to keep you on track.

Take time to connect with other like minded folk, it is so worth the effort. I use facebook, twitter, Flickr and blogger and each one has its own merits.

Remember to try and keep a balance, be organised & make some ‘you’ time.

Fancy featuring as one of our amazing mumpreneurs? Drop me an email over on the contact page - and I’ll be in touch.   Or let me know in a comment below.  And remember to drop by every Monday to welcome our latest profiled mum.