Having the Courage to follow your heart and Intuition Guest Blog Jayne from Lulu Charles Jewellery

Joanne recently asked me to write a blog post about how I went from working as a freelance textile designer & lecturer to a fully self employed business owner, working with my husband, Ashley, to design and hand make jewellery. Prior to setting up LuLu & Charles Jewellery I had worked as a part-time lecture at Newcastle College teaching fashion & textiles and self employed freelance designer. After the arrival of our second son I decided to leave education and focus on the freelance side of my career, which worked perfectly around the boys while they were little. Ashley on the other hand was working for my dad at Christopher James Jewellers, based in the Metro Centre.

My daily routine consisted of designing and making garment fronts for the fashion industry. I specialised in mixed media textile designs, combining hand embroidery, print & embellishment. Reworking antique lace and vintage prints. While Ashley was happy working at Christopher James Jewellers, he loved his job working in a busy jewellery shop, employed as a finisher, jeweller, sales assistant. He would never in a million years have dreamed of working for himself.

 

It wasn’t until my dad’s shop closed and Ashley was faced with redundancy that the idea of us working together crossed our minds. At the time I was pregnant with our 3rd son, so the timing was a worry. However despite the bad timing, I now look back and believe it was the best thing that could have happened! Freelancing was getting harder and the industry had shifted towards digital trends, which just wasn’t my design style. So I had been looking for a new direction and what with Ashley’s redundancy on the cards, we were forced to do something and make some decisions. I knew I wanted to do something new with a creative focus that would work around our hectic family life. Jewellery was all Ashley had ever known and something I’d been brought up with, so combining my vision and design skills with Ashley’s knowledge, the idea of setting up a handmade jewellery brand was born. 

 

The shop was a huge part of our lives, it’s what brought us together in the first place and as a result of the shops closure the idea of LuLu & Charles Jewellery was formed.  In a short space of time our business started to take shape, growing from world of mouth and social media. Initially the idea was for myself to design jewellery for Ashley to make, however that soon changed when I realised I wanted to learn the trade and make jewellery too.

Surprisingly we work really well together, our strengths and weaknesses seem to create the balance our business needs, we couldn’t do it without each other. We love, live & breath our little business, it’s like our fourth baby!

 

Although it feels like a distant memory now… at the time, it was quite a bold and scary move, which just seamed to happen accidentally more than anything. Maybe it was fate….I don’t know? However upon reflection it was the best thing that could have happened to us, the timing was perfect. Inevitably Ashley’s redundancy gave us both the push we needed to change path and follow our dream, creating a business that works for us. Fast forward four years and our business has grown steadily, we have repeat customers from all over the world, who keep coming back.

 

As a husband and wife team we share the highs and lows of running a business, I still have to pinch myself sometimes when customers get in touch to say, they LOVE what we do & have always wanted to own a piece of LuLu & Charles Jewellery.

 

One of my own pieces of Lulu Charles Jewellery, made using gold from old sentimental jewellery I had , that was just sat in a drawer gathering dust, until Jayne and Ashley, took that gold and made it in to my Joanne necklace, I absolutely adore 💕.

To find out more about LuLu & Charles Jewellery please visit www.lulucharlesjewellery.com

 

 

When nothing is certain, anything is possible

Happy 1st day of November!.  

In the States , its the month , they celebrate Thanksgiving. As a Brit  it’s not a holiday we celebrate, but regardless of our nationality, just taking the time to note down the people, experiences and things in each of our lives we are thankful for , is something we can all do. 

This  is the month, I take  a leap of faith and take Mis Fit full time!. I have just 6 days left at travel work.  I am so so grateful to each and everyone of my Mis Fit family, past and present  who have helped me build my little business up  these past 8 years.  Without you guys coming to classes, I wouldn’t have a business!.  So I am incredibly grateful to each and everyone of you. 

I am so grateful to my family and friends who support my dreams too and are there cheering me on always and believing in me. Who understand aswell that my working hours are different to most people who work a 9-5,so I can’t always be there for nights /days out.

I am incredibly grateful for my travel job, as I got to travel to some pretty amazing places – I even got to work in LA and Vegas looking after a tour group – lost a couple in the Airport on the first trip but I found them shortly afterwards so thankfully all was fine ha . They had sneaked off for a cigarette after the flight landed without telling me. I had everyone else on the bus ready to be dropped at their hotels and I had to go hunt Vegas airport for these two !. There was also the lady who came into the shop when I worked for Going Places ( showing my age here – who can remember going places travel agents lol) , she had a family holiday booked to Majorca, and she came in looking all flustered with her confirmation in hand and said she needed to cancel , as the confirmation stated there was sharks in high season and she was going in August.  I was a bit perplexed , thinking – Sharks in Majorca? ,  and how on earth do Airtours know they are going to be there in the summer.  I took the confirmation from her to read it and had to try so hard to keep a straight face – if you know me , you know how hard this was , but  Airtours were actually referring to their  kids club  which was called Sharks and advising it only operated in high season  🤣.  To be fair to her, the way it was worded was a little confusing. It did make me laugh though. 

I am also grateful to my travel job as it provided for me financially, as I paid for my fitness courses and built my business up.  It’s this part that is the scariest- leaving behind the safety net of that regular income. I also get  health benefits, such as dental and my glasses – obviously I have made sure and bought my new glasses and had a dental check up before I Leave!. Going from getting that same amount in my bank account, on the same day every month , to now never knowing from week to week what I will make. You could have a full class booked in  and then get a bunch of last minute cancellations , or we are also approaching the time of year , when the weather turns bad – we got our first snowfall last Saturday- 27th October!!!!.  Which of course also effects classes .   I just feel though as scary as that is,  what is even scarier is being still Sat behind that travel desk in a year or twos time, still wondering if I could possibly make it work , teaching classes full time, doing a job I adore and am passionate about, rather than doing a job I endure to pay the bills. Life can be incredibly short and I would rather try and if it doesn’t work , at least I’ll know, rather than be too scared to try and always wonder what if.  

As my leaving day approaches I am so excited , but after 24 years of working in the travel industry, some sadness too at the end of this chapter, plus I’m not going to lie – i’ll Definitely miss my travel,perks! . I’m also getting some lovely messages from my current colleagues all with lovely messages of support.  I have made some lovely friends  in my travel journey, including my best friend Stacy . We met on the bus as we used to get the same one to work  – she was  on a YTS for Lunn Poly and I was On one with Going Places. 24 years and much mischief and mayhem later, we are still best friends 💕. 

I’m a Huge Believer in the universe and how it responds to the vibrations we send out, and if we are sending positive vibrations out and we have faith in ourselves and it’s for our  own higher good, I believe the Universe will always lead us to exactly where we need to be in life.

If you haven’t read The Universe has your back by Gabrielle Bernstein, definitely check it out.  I also love this quote below, so as I embark on this new journey , I am going to indeed embrace the uncertainty, enjoy the beauty of becoming and know that’s when nothing I say certain, anything is possible!.

 

Wishing all of you guys a magical November with lots of love and laughter and memories made with loved ones. 

Joanne xoxo

Little Mis-Fit’s Greatest Adventure yet …….

So this week,  my little community fitness business – Little Mis-Fit  turns 8 years old!!!.   

 

 

I look back 8 years ago , at the hopes and dreams I had when I set out on my journey and honestly can’t believe how fast the time has flown by, and how much my little dream has grown and become my reality .  

I had always loved Exercise. I started running in primary school – one of the teachers used to take a group of us out on a Friday lunch time. Throughout Secondry school, I was on the cross country team and I loved PE.  Now I was on the Cross country team, -but honestly  I was so not the best runner at all but what I did have was the determination to try and to keep trying. I would train with the team each lunch time, I went to running club on a Tuesday and Thursday night  and just practiced and practiced. I just really enjoyed it and I got faster and fitter.  So when I left school the Career advice lady who came to school, suggested I may want to go into the fitness industry, at that time though I wanted to travel and sport was something I did because I enjoyed it , what if it was my job and I came to hate it??.   so I became a travel agent!. 

In 1995, at the age of 16, I left school after my G.C.S.E’s to enroll on a YTS (youth training scheme ) as a trainee travel agent – I wanted to travel the world .  I liked the job but there was just something inside that told me , this was not really what I was meant to do  .   I have travelled to some amazing places and even got to work in Las Vegas a couple of time so when I was  in my early twenties  which was pretty cool. 

Over the years however I did keep coming back to the idea of teaching classes. Finally in 2010  as the age of 30 , I found a local course and decided to go for it. Now not many people know this but in actual fact I signed up to do my Pilates course first!!!, then changed my mind and switched to the group fitness course instead.  It was over 10 weeks and it was a tough 10 weeks!!. It was the first time I had studied in a long time and I was working full time and at college on a Sunday all day and trying to juggle the homework and choreography practice. Ha all that juggling though would stand me in good stead for all the juggling I do now!.  I remember having a week off travel work , during the middle of it though and it was a lovely sunny day and I was sat in my garden , studying – thinking this could be my life! My life could be not being stuck behind a desk all day in a stuffy office for 8 hours , 5 days a week , but instead have the freedom of  doing a job I loved and working more flexible hours.  8 years on , I am achieving that dream!.  A couple years ago, I did eventually get around to  doing  my Pilates course aswell hurrah!.   From that first moment of teaching – I knew I had found it – the job I was meant to do!. It just felt right

After getting my Group fitness qualification – I set up a Class on a Monday night in a local church hall. Back then I think I was on Facebook but no clue really how to use it . In fact I didn’t really know much about running a business at all! . When I was 24  and saving for my first house, aswell as my travel job though , I worked as a Virgin Vie make up rep – so I would go round delivering parties selling make up – as a make up junkie  this was actually a bit of another dream job too , getting to play with make up and being paid for it ha.   Hmmm actually I wonder if Charlotte Tillbury or Mac would be interested in me doing a little side work for them …………………. .  Anyhoo I digress but actually being a Virgin Vie rep I did learn a couple things about marketing and running a business so I was not totally clueless  as I learned about keeping my accounts and a bit about marketing but there would be so much more to learn.   

It has not always been an easy journey – so many people think being their own boss is much easier than working for someone else. In actual fact its so much harder.  I’ve tried things that didnt work  out but there have been plenty things that have worked out and I genuinly love what I do . In recent years I have also started working with kids – doing Yoga  , which is actually not something i ever set out to do, It was a little detour but again something I really enjoy so definatly a case of  Serendipty    (FYI totally love that movie!!) 

I am truly truly grateful  to each and everyone of you that has been part of the Mis-fit journey over the past 8 years – some of the people in that very first class, are still with me today  and the same with my second class I set up a couple months later – they are also still with me.    Without all you guys coming to classes and helping spread the word,  Mis-Fit would not be what it is today. You guys inspire me to keep going , to keep teaching classes  , to keep learning new things to increase my knowledge and keep classes fresh and fun.   I love our little Mis-Fit community we have created , with friendships formed and the craic in the classes . I can have had a really stressful day at the 9-5 and all I want to do when I finish is curl up on the settee and watch netflix, but I know the minute I stand up in class and start teaching you all , sharing in the banter , laughing , Its the perfect medicine and I love that I know its the same for you guys too.  You can have loads going on at home/work but you show up for class for some You time and we help you feel better too.  

Huge thank you aswell to my mam, dad and sister who  are my constant cheerleaders, cheering me on and supporting me and my friends who do the same and who understand when I can’t always play out because my working hours are so different to theirs but they are always there. 

 

My Big goal was always to aim to make Little Mis-Fit my full time job. As I got more Qualifications and grew my classes , I was able to reduce my days at my travel job from 5 days to 3 days and last December I actually dropped down to 2 days. However having returned from Holiday this  Summer and having talked about it forever and with the support of my family and friends all cheering me on , I made the huge decision to take a leap of faith and take Mis-Fit full time – eeekkkkkkk!.  S*#t just got real people!!!!!!!.   So from December 2018  – Mis-Fit is full time!!!! . 

Maybe it will work out , maybe it won’t   –  that determination I had when I was starting out running , that has always  stayed with me   and I have every determination to try and make this succeed too -Either way I have to at least try – after all the magic happens when you step outsode your comfort zone!  .   I believe at least trying  ,  will be Little Mis-Fit’s  greatest adventure yet!.   

 

Time now for Cake and Prosecco!!!!!!!!!!   

Love 

Joanne 

 

 

The story of Little Mis-Fit.

 

 

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so I thought I would introduce myself and give you a little insight into the world of little Mis-Fit. I’m Joanne and back in 2010, having gained my fitness instructor qualification, I set up a community Fitness business, called Little Mis-Fit.  It was during my training, that I first started to think about teaching classes  out in the community.  I wanted to run classes that were friendly, welcoming and had a real community spirit. 

I look back at the past 8 years and can’t believe how far I’ve come and how much bigger the business has grown and the path I found myself on.  After leaving school,I had gotten a YTS ( youth training scheme )  or as more commonly known these days an apprenticeship, as a trainee travel agent. I knew from the beginning though, that despite quite enjoying the job  – (the travel perks were definitely a plus!) , it was not the job I was meant to do. I just felt like something was missing. I did move around a lot job wise , always in travel apart from a (very) brief stint in a bank – the less said about that though the better!, I actually cried the first day it was awful! I hated it. 

A few more years went by and I always toyed with doing my fitness instructor qualification but the courses were often in London and really expensive.  In 2009, I was working in business travel , the job was ok  ( ha am actually still there, albeit part time) and I had joined a new gym. One of the instructors there ran a training facility for fitness instructors, and it was based in Sunderland, so nice and local. I decided to go for it and signed up to do my Exercise to music course . For 10 weeks , I worked 5 days a week. Then college 1 day and then squeezed in homework and choreography practice for the course  in between. Plus juggling housework etc. 

As soon as I started teaching , I knew I had found it !  The thing that had been missing from my work life so far.  I loved I could help,people and seeing my clients getting fitter and stronger and achieving goals they never thought possible.  I love not being stuck behind a desk all day , being able to get out and about , I genuinely absolutely love what I do.  

As time went on , I went on to do other fitness courses. There is always something to learn.  It’s so easy as an instructor to want to teach all different classes and try and appeal to everyone , but of course you can’t. For one thing those courses can be really expensive! . One of my mentors once said – you can chose to be a jack of all trades, master of none, or you can chose the things that truly speak to you , and concentrate on those!. The first few years, I did try  different things, trying to find my own path.  As I’ ve often find in life though, your path usually has a way of finding you!.

Pilates, pre/post natal , HIIT classes, small group training and kids fitness have become the mainstay of my business. These are classes I love to teach and my clients love . 

 A few years ago I had  completed  my kids fitness qualification and a few months later spotted a course that would qualify me to teach Yoga to children, so I signed up, thinking what a great idea , to teach Yoga to the little ones , but I wasn’t sure how popular it would be. It would take me a couple years of learning what worked and what didn’t, finding my feet with it really . Learning how to handle a class full of kids ( tips are still  appreciated 😂)  but the past couple years, the  Kids yoga side of the business has really taken off, though am definitely still learning – for example when doing crafts, always carry sellotape – check out my Instagram post from when we attempted Tiaras!  !

. I teach in schools and nurseries. I also teach a community after school yoga class , a couple times a week at Believe and Be – a Role play centre for little ones , based in Consett County Durham. 

We also offer Baby Yoga and Pilates for mums and Tots. . I am also in the midst of doing my Yoga for Toddlers. 

So the kids fitness side truly was a a case of Serendipity! ( one of my favourite movies by the way!) 

 

Another popular programme is our small group training programmes.  Based over a 6 week period, We have a small group pilates programme, and a small group programme, which focuses on getting fit , strong and toned.  Both of these are based on a maximum of 6 per group, creating a smaller class environment.

In general our classes are pretty small, and we do have that whole Cheers  Vibe going on, where everyone gets to know each other and friendships are made. 

I am a Pre/post natal specialist instructor and have my Orthopaedic pilates qualification also and can offer 1-1 sessions for these.  

When I first started teaching fitness classes, I still worked 5 days a week at my travel job, and taught 2-3 classes a week. .  A year later, I dropped down to 3 days and juggled teaching classes alongside working 3 days at the 9-5, plus studying to further increase my knowledge.  Plus there is all the planning to do , to prep for classes. When you run a small business, you wear so many different hats. All my fellow small business owners, you know it ! – accounting, admin tansks, marketing, cleaner – there was so much to learn. , not just in fitness but in running a business!  I think that would be a whole blog post in its own.   In December 2017, I dropped another day at my travel job  and am now down to just 2 days, however . the mission is on to take Mis-Fit full time 🙏.  It is just taking that final leap, though at the same time when you have a mortgage and bills etc, it’s a little easier said then done, but I have absolute faith, I’ll get there.  I look at how much my little dream has grown over the past 8 years and I am so proud and truly grateful .  

We may not have a huge range of classes, we’re just trying to be really good at the the ones we do teach 😄.  So we keep reading and researching and teaching because I truly love what I do and so so grateful to my family and all my clients who have helped me create the Mis-Fit community it is today! . From the bottom of my heart , Thank You!!!!

Joanne .🙏💕

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year Self Care Challenge!

“Self Care is giving the world the best version of you, not what is left of you”

I love this quote, and lets face it, after Christmas , we are probably all feeling a little bloated and in need of a little self care , plus January is actually Mental Wellness Month , so as we ring in the New Year , it is a perfect time to focus on ourselves a little . Its only when we do that, that we have the energy and patience to take care of our loved ones. We are always conscious to charge our phones up when the battery is getting low, so we need to do the same with ourselves!.

A big part of looking after ourselves is scheduling in regular workouts. I know for me, working out is as much for my mental and spiritual wellbeing as it is for my physical health.
Sometimes it can be really hard to drag yourself along to class . especially when you’ve maybe had some time off over Christmas or its so cold outside and all you really want to do is hibernate at home – we all have those days!. It Is actually on the days you really don’t feel like doing it, that you probably need it even more though!. Working out will leave you feeling so much stronger both physically and mentally , plus it will release some of those happy hormones , instantly boosting your mood. The mood boosting effects of exercise are now so widely recognised, that more and more Doctors are prescribing exercise over just handing out anti depressants , which is brilliant.

So my challenge to you this week is to get in a couple workouts – maybe get yourself along to a class or check out YouTube for some at home workouts , or get outside for a walk or run in the fresh air. Pick something you enjoy doing as you much more likely to stick with it . perhaps try a new class , one you haven’t tried before. Just get moving and honestly see how much better you feel in yourself afterwards! . You could even recruit a workout buddy , so you can keep each other accountable.

Follow along this month as I share a few more little self care tips and challenges and do let us know in the comments or pop over to our Facebook – www.facebook.com/lilmisfit1 or Instagram @littlemisfitjojo ,and let us know how you are getting on and if you are noticing any differences in your physical, and mental wellbeing.

Love lots

Joanne x

Autumn Love

So a lot of you guys all know I absolutely ❤ Christmas , and I really really do, (Does anyone else think they may actually be an elf?? 😂) , however my favourite season of the year is actually Autumn!. For me it just feels so magical, as the leaves begin to change , yet you still get  those September and October days with warm sunshine,then the sun starts to set early and you can get the house all cozy with candles, and snuggley blankets.   You’ve got mail is one of my all time favourite movies and it always feels like a film to watch in Autumn  , so every year at the end of September, I block out an afternoon, grab my cosiest   blankets, get myself some chocolate buttons and a huge cup of peppermint tea, and settle down to watch it.

Then before you know it Halloween is right around the corner , – and then Christmas 24 movie channel starts. and thus the whole build up to Christmas begins !!!!!! Eeeee am so excited just thinking about it 😂.

However for some – the end of summer makes them really sad. It can also be an incredibly busy time of year for people  , as you get the kids settled back into school, work is often crazy after the lull of summer and then we are rushing around getting ready for the festive season.  

Autumn is the season that shows us it’s ok to let things go, and make way for the new, so this Autumn-take the time to  slow down a little, take a walk through the falling leaves, take time for you , to do the things you love to do, the things that make your Soul happy. Spend time with the people who lift your spirits and make you smile.  Do the things that you love , but often get pushed aside as we do all the things we feel we must do.  But make the time to curl with a book, or watch a movie uninterrupted  – Put that phone down!! , or pick up a colouring book and colour – it really does have a calming effect.  Or get outside in the crisp air – I’m a huge believer that exercise,  fresh air, sleep and lots of laughter are some of the best medicines.  

I know it can be hard sometimes to drag yourself out of the house when it’s dark to come to class,  but you will feel better for it – honestly!

having been working a lot the past couple months , I really was feeling absolutely exhausted, so the past couple days, I took time to just relax and I honestly feel so much better for it and my creativity is coming back and I just feel my batteries are recharged and I’m ready to hit the ground running once more!. 

My snuggle blanket and flamingo pillow!
Two of my favourite Autumn candles!

 

Orange LA Lily’s adding a touch of Autumn to my kitchen!

 

 

 

 

My Aeriel Yoga Adventure!

 

 

 

Every now and then, its good to step outside your comfort zone, no matter how scary it might be. I’ve often found its actually where all the best things happen. 

As an instructor, I get new people along to classes on a regular basis, so it is good to every so often try something new yourself, so you are reminded what its like to be a beginner and experience something for the first time.

I’ve been wanting to try Aeriel Yoga for ages, it just looked so much fun. I came across Tempest Dance studio in Durham City – http://tempestdancestudio.com/2016/  who offered classes. I followed them on Instagram @tempeststudio and the classes . Aeriel Yoga is Yoga moves performed using silk hammocks suspended from the ceiling. 

Looking at the class schedule, I could see it clashed a lot with my own timetable of classes and so I opted to book a 1 -1 session instead.   I arrived at the studio on a rainy Wednesday morning and met my instructor Rachel, who was so lovely and put me right at ease. 

She strung the Silks from the ceiling and we were ready to rock and roll. We started off with a warm up and Rachel advised me just to let go and trust in the silks ability to support me. One of the first moves was straddling the Silk and then getting my far leg back out, – hmmm I had forgot to warn poor Rachel, I can be a terrible klutz and so  as I stepped out , there was a cartoon comedy moment of me doing some crazy foot jumping as I tried to regain balance and an almost collision with a mirror but thankfully crisis was averted and I managed to steady myself just in time – phew!.  

Rachel took me through a series of Yoga moves – most of which were familiar to me on the floor , however adding in the Silks, created a whole new aspect and made my body work even harder. Up dog with the silks , really stretched the lower back and took a lot of upper body strength to hold on to the silks!.   my favourite part came when I was fully warmed up and we started on the inversions!.   Yoga inversions are any moves that bring your hips over your heart, and your heart above your head – basically you are pretty much upside down!.  This actually helps give your heart a little rest, as you reverse the blood flow in the body and encourages venous return – the return of blood back to the heart. As a result your heart does not have to work quite so hard.  Being upside down also takes some bravery and a lot of faith.   Rachel was there every step and when she could see I was hovering on the edge of can I really do this??? ,she walked me through it step by step.  I could feel myself hanging on to the silks for dear life at first , but she encouraged me to just let go and before I knew it, I felt like I was flying!.  Its a great metaphor for life –  Sometimes we hang on to what we feel is safe and comfortable , but often taking that step beyond the comfort zone is usually where the magic happens!, so next time you find yourself hovering , feeling a little scared at taking the leap – close your eyes, breathe in and as you breathe out, take that leap of faith!. 

 

We ended the class in Savasana pose, actually getting fully inside the silk – ok so my friend Emma did point out afterward it did look a lot like I had been kidnapped and held hostage, but honestly it was sooooooo comfortable and relaxing.  It was raining outside and the sound of the rain on the window combined with the relaxing music , Rachel had playing plus feeling all snug in my silk cocoon suspended from the ceiling , I could feel myself just drifting off into a relaxed state – it just felt so peaceful. 

I would definitely recommend giving it a whirl. Next on the list , My friend Joanne and I are already planning a Pole dancing lesson.

 

Have you guys tried anything new lately?. 

 

 

 

 

February Self Love ❤️ – Day 28 – Self Care Tuesday

Thank you so much for taking this journey to Self Love and care alongside me, this Month. I really hope you have enjoyed the mini tasks and take some of them away with you to continue.   I love this quote , and it seems a perfect note on which to wrap our month of Self Love – no matter how busy life gets, always aim for a little balance – make your own Rules – this is your very own Journey , live it, love it every single day. 

Image -Pinterest 

 

The day I got to be a pin up model!

So a couple weeks ago, I got to tick off an item from my bucket list – I got to be a Pin up girl!!! .  And I LOVED it!!!!!!.

imageI can literally while away hours watching make up videos on You Tube, a few years ago I came across Cherry Dollface. Cherry is actually a Bona Fide pin up girl, and does Vintage style hair and make up tutorials.  She came to the UK on tour last year, but I had my friend’s hen do around the same time and the nearest city was Leeds. However this year, Cherry announced a second UK tour, and this time – Newcastle was listed!!!. Hurrah – it was actually at Frankie and Gerry’s Retro pin up studio in Sunderland and Gerry Roxby  owner of the studio , herself was our photographer. Gerry is also the designer behind Glamour Bunny clothing line and even Dita Von Teese herself has been seen rocking one of Gerry’s designs!. You know I love my fellow girl bosses and Gerry is a truly inspiring Fellow girl boss.

I packed my little suitcase with a few of my Vintage/vintage inspired outfits , and off I went. I managed to get to Stadium of light fine – well I Have seen Bon Jovi there, plus I’ve done the Sunderland 10K a couple times. But from  there I had to find the studio – being directionally challenged , of course I got a little lost. I swear the people at the Enterprise car rental place , thought me and my Cow print suitcase were casing the joint 😂. A call to Gerry, though and she directed me to the studio – just look for the Throne in the window , she instructed – now this sounds my kind of place haha. I arrived and met fellow pin up girl , Lou. Lou was lovely and we got chatting right away. I have to admit when I first saw Cherry, I was a little star struck! And she is like a little doll in real life so super teeny tiny, ! . She was so lovely aswell, very personable and just chatted away with us  . Helen was the next girl to arrive , followed by Dawn. We had all travelled from various parts of the North East  , and we  all bonded over our love of Vintage clothing and accessories . One by one, Cherry performed her hair and make up magic on each of us. I’m sure for her bless , it must have been a little odd as we all knew about her life from watching her videos, so for us it was like meeting a friend, but to her we must have seemed star struck strangers haha, but it didn’t take long for me to feel amongst friends with all the girls, they all had such positive and welcoming vibes.

As Cherry made us each over, we each got to then have our own individual shoots, cheered on by the other girls. Gerry was brilliant, none of us really had any modelling experience, but she somehow magically managed to turn us into Pin up models for the day.  You did feel a bit daft at first, but after a bit you start to get into the spirit and pout like the pin up girls we were trying to be. Have to say though new found respect for models – it really is hard work – So many photos just to get a perfect shot! .

It was an incredible experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat and I made 5 lovely new chums  – Cherry, Gerry (yeah that didn’t get confusing on the day 😂) , Lou, Helen and Dawn  thank you for making the day such a blast! 😘.

Right now do we think I can possibly squeeze in being a  pin up model along side Little Mis-Fit and my travel job I wonder ………..  ??????

Joanne xoxo 💋

Check out The Cherry dollface  channel on You Tube!

Frankie and Gerrys retro pin up Studio is based in Sunderland -http://frankieandgerrys.com

my outfits on the day were from my lovely friends at Like Sadie did – http://likesadiedid.co.uk

Dawn I met on the day also does Vintage Hair pin ups – you can check her out on Facebook  and Instagram – lips hairdressing

read Lou’s blog of the day here – http://www.thevintage-vixen.com/a-cherry-good-day-🍒/

 

 

 

Its a Girlboss Life

So there I was plodding away ,quietly building the Mis-Fit empire, when my friend Michelle Rose who runs Custard and Bear Marketing   asked would I be interested in doing her marketing for Mummies course . I was like Michelle that sounds  great but I’m not a mammy, she assured me though I didn’t have to be, I just had to be a girl with a  Dream and a penchant for cake 🙂 .  Michelle  is so so lovely and always makes you feel like you can take on the world and makes anything seem possible , any Girl bosses out there running their own business, I highly recommend Michelle’s marketing for Mummies course, it really pushes you outside your comfort zone, but that is where all the Magic  happens! . She has the best catchphrase  – it doesn’t always have to be perfect just get S$it done   in otherwords, don’t just think about doing  it, just bloody go do it! . I signed up and  it was like this little door opened and  I found myself  in a community full of inspiring  Girlboss’ and it felt so amazing.  All these women, a lot of whom were mothers tired of working inflexible hours  had taken  their passion and talents  and created a small business that they could fit around their family life and find a work/life balance that worked for them.

Here are just some of the friends I’ve made along the way – though there truly are countless more .

Lulu Charles Jewellery 

My Girlboss Bestie Jayne ,  fate  and our mutual friend Daneka brought  Jayne to classes.  Jayne runs Lulu Charles alongside her Husband Ashley and her dad and they make the most amazing bespoke pieces. I had gold jewellery, I had from my 18th and 21st birthdays. It held sentimental value for me, so I never wanted to sell it, but at the same time  it was just sitting in a drawer. They took that gold and made it into a Joanne necklace. I love it and wear it loads . Jayne kept me in the loop from the early design to the finished piece. They also made me a a gorgeous stacker ring recently .

We had both done Michelle’s marketing for mummies , though in seperate groups and as we became friends, we decided to join forces and help each other on our respective paths . we have regular meet ups  and just share the victories and the struggles and Jayne has become  a true Diamond friend.

Like Sadie Did

I knew sisters  Laura and Sara from my classes. Laura had been running when she spotted my bootcamp, she searched in google and got it in touch and came along to classes about 3 or 4 years ago. She started bringing her sister Sara. now their mam Judy and auntie Lesley come too! –  The universe really does seem to have a knack of bringing people together.  when Laura and Sara set up a Vintage clothes business – Like Sadie did  with their cousin Maggie, I was so excited.  I love Vintage style , (as you can probably tell if you follow me on Instagram)  .  .A lot of my outfits are from Like Sadie did.  They are doing lots of pop up events so keep your eyes peeled!   –  The clothes are gorgeous and I always get loads of compliments when I wear one of their dresses or skirts.

Vitality Pilates 

Marie and Jill from Vitality Pilates,   our paths crossed at the Academy , and it was Marie I met first and she was just such a positive, genuinely  lovely person. I then met her business partner  Jill who was also really lovely and  and though we have our own individual fitness business’, we’re also working together too on a few things . Just because we’re all instructors doesn’t mean we’re in competition , we learn a lot from each other and its a brilliant example of women in business supporting each other instead of competing against each other.

Pet Lamb Patisserie 

Katie and Kay from  Pet Lamb Patisserie , seriously if you are in Newcastle and fancy a sweet treat – these girls make the most amazing cakes – their salted Caramel Brownies are divine! I first came across Pet Lamb a few years back when I still worked in town, they had a little shop in the green market with Fairy Lights – you know I LOVE fairy lights and they just drew me in . They were both so friendly and  even  though now I don’t get in very often , when ever I find myself in Newcastle, I always head there for a sweet treat and they always have a friendly word and they remember what I like . They have done so amazing they had to move to a bigger shop still in the green Market and still with those all important  fairy lights , so def pop in if you are nearby.

Whilst on the marketing for mummies course I was recommended a book called 12 Lessons by Kate Spencer – it was amazing!!!. All about how what you put out in the universe, is what you get back, and how the universe will send you little signs to guide you on your path, if only you just stop, look around and listen once in a while. if you’re putting positivity, kindness and well wishes out in the universe, that is what the universe will bring back for you. if you’re all negative and why me , that is what you get back – its the law of attraction! .

I am  a bit of a bookworm , and after reading 12 lessons , Amazon then  suggested a  book called #Girlboss by Sophie Amoruso  which was so inspiring, all about Sophie’s journey from hopping from job to job and even a brief flirtation with being a fregan, to now founder and CEO of Nasty Gal – a muliti million dollar vintage clothing business in the States, a business she started from her little apartment.   After #Girlboss  I also read Girlcode by master Life coach Cara Alwill Leyba   creator of the Champagne diet.  Cara used to work at MTV and had a very stressful life , she was complaining one day about having tried so many diets, when a colleague said have you ever tried eating healthy and working out? , Cara said actually no but i also like a drink now and then. Her colleague suggested drinking champagne as it had less calories . Cara realised , that small act of holding a champagne glass made her feel special , and she deserved to feel like that all the time,    and thus The Champagne diet  was born. Its not so much about the nutrition side , its more the symbolic meaning of Champagne – its a very Glamorous drink and we associate it with celebrating. Its not even about being  girl with her own business ,  its just  about being a Girlboss of YOUR own Life!!!! . Havimg a job – employed or self employed that makes you want to get out of bed on a morning and not just wait anxiously for Friday and or pay day to come round. Life is far too short to live for just the weekends.  Create  a life that feels good on the inside, not just one that looks amazing on your social Media sites . Surrounding yourself with the people who make you feel happy, loved and supported , Positive people who  lift your spirits   . Its about  making the space around you, a  haven , I have lots of Fairy Lights in lanterns dotted around our house , it makes the house look so enchanted and cosy on winter nights – I’m just trying to convince Martin we also need some in the garden …… 🙂 .I adore    Bombay Duck and Mirabella Gift company  for the  little home touches ( my lanterns are Bombay Duck)  /   – https://www.bombayduck.com/  and  http://www.mirabellegifts.bigcartel.com/  –    Both companies are ran by fellow  Girl bosses too . Find what you love though, my mam’s house always smells gorgeous as she loves candles – it’s just creating your own little Haven with things you love.  Like Cara says in the Champagne Diet Just a few small little actions , that  inject a little glamour to everyday life. drink  your water out of a wine glass or a cup of tea out of a cup or saucer rather than a mug. Wear Clothes that make you feel a million dollars as feeling happy and content and fabulous on the inside , will reflect  out on the outside too . Throw out or donate  anything that does not make you feel anything less than fabulous . Execise – find a work out you love – a healthy body leads to a happier mental and emotional state of mind, that in turn makes it seem anything is possible – if you can dream it, you can live it!!! .

–  Cheers to all the Girlboss’ out there, creating and living their own  fabulous lives, leaving their sparkle  on the world  and those of you not quite living it yet , go create your very own Girlboss life.     -. I would love to hear your girlboss stories  – maybe you’ve treated yourself to a fabulously expensive bag or shoes, you’ve paid for yourself, or maybe it’s just as simple as getting your nails done that makes you feel glamorous and ready to take on the world girlboss style – whatever it is let me know you can find me on Instagram @llittlemisfitjojo  using the #itsagirlbosslife  Or tweet me @mis_fit1 using the same #.  💋 Xxxxx

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