Jo Fitzmaurice… Girl Boss & founder of Woodprints By Jo- make sure you check out her amazing work via the links at the bottom of the interview. I’ve recently received my first order from Jo and it is just gorgeous. The service was AWESOME too.Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.
Hey, I work from home in my shiny new office which has literally just been finished and means I no longer take over my dining table! I have a very hard working husband and two amazing small humans; Fin who is 4 and about to start reception and Ethan who is 2 and does 3 days at preschool.
I create bespoke freestanding and hanging photo and quote woodblocks in all shapes and sizes and also do nursery and room decor items, I categorise myself under interior decor but I also do weddings and commercial blocks too!
What kind of work did you do before having children?
Before doing the mum thing I had what I thought was going to be my dream job.. a visual merchandiser… straight out of interior design at college into a creative role..it felt like I was starting on a good path but it was awful.. long hours, no creative input and basically a dogs body for any unwanted job that arose!
After a year of being super upset and down my husband Scott pushed me to leave and get a ‘random’ job nearer home just to bring some money in and to start again…
So I worked at Toolstation in Leigh on sea, I met the funniest customers in the trade, pretty much belly laughed every day, made some life long friends and gained some well needed confidence!
I stayed for 6 years and in that time got married and had my boys.
How did you get into your current work?
I had to leave the station for tools (Toolstation joke…its pretty lame and obvious) as the husbands shifts can be slightly crazy and meant family time was becoming a struggle.. it was a hard decision but the right one, I did love that job and I like to work!
I focused on decorating our home and we have a huge built in unit in the lounge with a large space at the top.. perfect for a frame.. I started to look for frames to fit this 90cm shelf and discovered that unless I wanted to pay over £100 for the frame alone I would need to think of something myself… so that’s what I did and that’s how I came up with my photoblocks!
What drives you?
The excitement of making my own money and being my own boss! I have a sense of pride about it all…plus I love being organised so it’s like a dream for me!
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
It’s all about timing in work and family life …getting my products completed and out on time… I am never not thinking about a customers order or my list of what’s next to do but also being able to put it to one side so I can play 12 games of frustration in a row with my children (that game is no joke).
What are you most proud of?
The fact that I put myself out there and am doing it… I still pinch myself when orders come in and I feel so lucky to have the support of friends and family!!
Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?
I’m not too sure about this but I’m going to start getting myself to craft fairs and business meet ups to see what options are out there and keep coming up with new ideas to suit current trends!
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
I was very lucky in terms of having two very chilled out happy sleepers but after my first birth, a 42 hour labour and stitches I should have rested for longer but wanted to get up and prove to myself I didn’t need to sit around… it set me back in the end… so advice to past me.. sit down and enjoy being looked after!
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup?
I like to be silly with my boys and do random adventures with Scott… date days & nights are so important for us!
My mum is someone I talk to all the time, she makes me laugh and is there for me always, I genuinely adore her company.
I also rely on my group of school mums and friends for regular cups of tea, cake and gossip and to share what funny things our children have been upto.. it’s the loveliest feeling to have a group you can say anything to without judgement!!
Your website and social media details please.
Do It Like A Mother provides kick ass hypnobirthing and pregnancy relaxation in Southend and Upminster. Our Motherhood Mindset Mentoring course runs online, and we support mothers in business (or those who want to be) in our facebook group (click here). Brand new Ts and Sweaters launching in the shop VERY SOON #doitlikeamother