It will be worth it one day, won't it?
It will all be worth it one day, won't it?
I started Eva's World in 2011 and had a big decision to make last year. After building it up to a small shop in the City Centre I had to decide....do I shut up shop for good or go big?
I was pregnant at the time and Adam had proposed the previous year so we were planning a wedding too. I knew it would be hard and the risk was so much more. I'd worked self employed at Uni whilst building up Eva's World so if I needed to pay bills and the shop hadn't made enough I just bailed it out with my own money. But this time it was for real. No Uni, no other job. The shop had to work!
I stopped my Uni work which I absolutely loved doing and then decided I'd go big!! I didn't have a bank loan, I didn't have spare personal money I just had great friends and family who helped with all the hard graft to get our new shop open.
I'd done it, I'd made the decision to go big. We had a good Christmas in the shop but everything was put into getting the cafe open. I'd researched before opening but my god did things cost a lot and soon add up. Our planning application took a lot longer than expected too and not having the cafe open was putting a huge strain on the business. A shop in January having to fund the entire building was not fun. We fell behind with a few bills and I had a few 'are we going to survive' wobbles but managed to get the cafe open in February this year.
I had a small team working hard to help Cafe Be and Eva's World grow. Our customers were happy and we grew our offering by adding baby sessions in our upstairs room.
So....everyone sees people in the cafe, babies and mummies arriving for classes and happy customers posting pictures on our page showing off their beautiful Eva's World purchases. I hear comments almost daily,
"You're doing so well Christina"
"You must be so pleased with everything"
"It's fantastic what you've done here, it's just what Plymouth needs"
"It's so lovely that you offer a place for people to meet each other, you've created a wonderful community"
Don't get me wrong, I love everything that I've created but it's been and still is the hardest thing I've done in my life. I've felt physically sick every day through worry about whether I can pay the bills. Who do I pay today and who do I piss off today? A question I still have to ask myself every day. All the while hoping that my hard work will eventually pay off. It's got to right?
I try and get things done, I try and get through my to do list, I try and keep on top of everything but with a new baby and a six year old I never accomplish what I set out. I like to think I'm a good Mum and that comes first, it always will. But when I need to pay business rates, do they care that I haven't pushed the business as far as it needs to be because I cuddled my children and told them I loved them today?
I've put myself and my family through so much stress it surely has to pay off. I don't spend enough time with my Mum, my family, my friends. My husband watches a film every night while I 'try' and get work done on my phone in between feeding our new baby. He supports our family 100% and has been my sounding board, my knight in shining armour, he's fed us and paid for everything. I'm an independent woman so find it very hard to be in this situation and don't tell him enough how much I appreciate him and everything he does for us.
I question myself daily, did I make the right decision? Should I have just shut up shop? I can honestly say I don't know the answer at the moment. I know I have a great team of people in and out of work who will continue to work hard and see how far we can go. For the time being I'll keep plugging away and hope everything works out.
For anyone reading this, thank you! Thank you for reading and thank you if you have supported me or the business in any way, no matter how small. Some of you have supported me in more ways than you will ever know. You've got me through hard days, you've put a smile on my face and you've bought cake and coffee and lots of it. So thank you for keeping me going and when you buy just a little bib, a knitted octopus or dinosaur or a baby carrier be assured that you are making a difference. A difference to whether my hard work actually will be worth it one day.......
- Christina Hudson