Monday Mumpreneur with Shelley Ensor
Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur who’s ready and willing to open up their lives 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. It’s lovely to have them here at Mums Got A Business and we hope you enjoy connecting with them too.
I must admit that I've never met a business mum who had more passion for what she does than Shelley.
The first time I ever 'met' her she blew me away with her total love of what she does.
This shows in her work and is totally and utterly contagious.
As someone who shares her need to make a difference, I admire and love what she is doing for children and their parents.
Your name: Shelley Ensor
Your website: www.littlesignersclub.co.uk and www.littlesignersclub.wordpress.com
Lots of great information about baby signing; its benefits, how to get started and classes near you! Plus the odd rant or two on our blog about communication development for children under the age of 3 especially....
How many children do you have?
Ebony - 5 years
Chloe - 4 years
Bump – 17 weeks
Where do you live? Oxfordshire, UK
PC or Mac?
Tell us about your business
Little Signers Club focuses on communication development through the use of baby signing for babies from the age of 5 months to 3 years. Gesture is very much a natural part of communication and by introducing simple sign language to young children, you can help them to start expressing themselves prior to speech starting. It’s amazing to watch and signing babies often become more confident communicators, with accelerated language acquisition, at a younger age.
The research behind its use with small children is extensive and very compelling; it’s been around for over 30 years but has only really gathered momentum here in the UK over the last ten years. I see, first hand, the difference it makes to so many parents through our classes and it can still move me to tears when I see a baby sign with their mum or dad for the first time. It’s such a huge privilege – and responsibility – to be a part of a process that can last a child a lifetime. I could go on and on as I love it!
What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
To be honest, I’m a mumpreneur by default i.e. I am a mum and I run a business. It’s not something I set out to be or do or be defined as - I simply wanted to provide a wonderful, family friendly company to work for, be part of whilst providing baby signing services of an exceptional standard.
What’s been your biggest challenge in business? How have you overcome it?
Ohhh, where do I start? I have had a couple of sticky moments where I have thought “Why on earth am I doing this?” and could have quite cheerfully stopped. I don’t really want to go into details but they have been huge learning curves.
Ultimately, I am completely passionate about what I do and I want to pass my knowledge and experiences on. I know what I do makes a real and lasting difference – and so do my wonderful team of teachers – and some people are now kind enough to regard me as an expert in my own right.
This, and my teaching team, keep me going - through all the challenges, sticky situations and sleepless nights.
What’s been your proudest business moment?
Being invited to a Parliamentary Reception in recognition of the work Little Signers Club are doing with the Hello campaign for 2011, The National Year of Communication.
What’s your catchphrase or favourite quote?
I have so many..
"Be led by your dreams, not pushed by your problems." ~unknown
"Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!" Maya Angelou
"You're never safe from being surprised until you are dead" Mrs Lynde, Anne of Avonlea
What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
I rarely have time if I am totally honest! I tramp around the countryside with our dog and I look forward to this come rain or shine. It’s important to me to be in touch with the natural world as much as possible.
What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
A beautiful painting by Jane Taylor entitled “Women Reinventing Herself”. It struck a chord and I simply had to have it. It was a very special treat with a very deep significance for me.
Favourite colour: Turquoise
Favourite flowers: Tulips
What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?
Do your research in your industry thoroughly before you start and do ask people for help. Everyone always knows someone who can help you get started and who is kind enough to offer advice or practical help for free. And when your business is established and successful, remember to do the same for someone else :0) For practical tools, I love Antonia Chitty’s “Move Your Business Forward” planner which helps you to plan your business around your existing commitments and helps you to be “led by your dreams”
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.