One minute I was setting up my first business * in April, bumbling along hoping I get at least one booking a month and the next minute it’s the start of September and I have had a whirlwind few months with 2 or 3 bookings every week and a variety of other amazing occurrences in between!
The last few months have been the most exciting and varied of my life so far and I thought it required a bit of reflection and documentation to round it off before the next stage.
I am not the same person I was in April.
I mean I am obviously. This isn’t some big reveal where I declare my desire to be called Bob and I wish to move to the Outer Hebrides and raise goats. **
But I have learnt and grown so much, opening my mind to new information, new skills and new experiences, all of which have helped me fine tune the person I want to be.
When I first came up with the idea of this business I never knew the opportunities it would bring me. I imagined it would scratch an itch I had always had and bring me a small amount of joy whilst I toddled along with my existence.
That is has. And then some.
The amazing experience of starting and running my own business alone has been an incredible one. I remind myself all the time how lucky I am to have achieved a dream that many people do not get a chance to try.
A huge amount of this gratitude goes to my family, friends and boyfriend for their continuous belief, support and voluntary assistance at events. Not to mention the countless amount of times spent unpacking and repacking the car and washing up!!
It’s not going to earn me millions, or even pay my rent anytime soon, but it gives me a joy and a freedom and a sense of accomplishment I have never felt before.
I am genuinely proud of Heart Street and of myself for producing it and that is something that brings me a huge amount of happiness and self worth.
When I left my managerial role in hospitality I knew I was tired of working 50+ hours a week.
I now do exactly the same, if not more, but I don’t feel it. It doesn’t feel like work. Even the rough days, where I’ve cooked for 8 hours, driven for 3, served at a venue in the pouring rain and lost money - I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
It has taken me to places I would never have been to and introduced me to people I never would have met.
From the incredibly hard working street food community, to fellow start up entrepreneurs to ethical heroes who want to save the world. I have met people in the last few months that I never would have come across before and I feel part of something with them. I feel part of a movement and a community that are doing. And that is a beautiful thing.
I have so much respect for the people I have met on this journey and I wish all the small business owners and eco warriors the best of luck. We need more of these types of people.
To save any GDPR awkwardness I will not state any names but below are just a few of the amazing people I have had the privilege to meet since April:
The street food vendor couple that have both worked additional jobs whilst getting the business of the ground. They have decided to take the leap and go full time into their business, whilst also raising their newborn baby.
The small business owner who has made a life out of caring for the world around them. Their business is inspired by their way of life and aims to encourage more of us to make a change that will help the world. They inspired me to do more and to really embrace a zero waste lifestyle, making changes to how I buy, where I buy from and also introduced me to my new favourite past time - litter picking!
The street food business run by a couple and their 3 children. They both work additional jobs and balance working life, family life and their dream to run their own business.
The individual who believes in helping others. Putting their difficulties in life aside to co-ordinate and run a group of volunteers that feed 80 - 100 homeless people a night. Led by a genuine goodness and willingness to help those that need it the most.
The members of a food waste reduction community that continue to show me that there is hope in human kind if we all link up and try together.
A person that started out just wanting to talk about body positivity and make people feel good about themselves that now has joined with other lovely humans and created an amazing charity to promote well being and self love.
I could go on an on as there have been so many amazing people over just a few short months but this collection of humans have really moved me in one way or another and given me the power to keep focusing on being a better person and to keep my ambition alive.
As well as the people I’ve met I’ve also been involved in some fantastic opportunities which have led me to do things I never would have done before:
Appearing on the Radio - including hosting my own show!
Giving a talk at a Business Hub meeting - hoping to inspire hopeful small business owners.
Joining a food waste community that focuses on giving away unwanted produce to those that would make use of it.
Litter picking! Started as an individual past time and soon to be escalating to including family, friends and the community.
Embracing a zero waste lifestyle. No more plastic bottles for me!! Even my deodorant comes in a glass jar!
Being featured in the EDP!
I feel I’ve forgotten a few because the swarm of random of activities that I participated in over the summer seemed to morph in to one crazy blur.
Overall, I have had the best 5 months! And that’s all we’ve been running for - 5 months!! Lord knows what the rest of the year has in store.
I have continued to learn things, something new at every job in fact, and my brain continues to whir around thinking of improvements or new things to bring to it or to change.
And I love that. It invigorates me. The whole unknown element is exciting and something I have always chased in my life.
I really am grateful for everything that has helped me reach this point in my life.
I honestly do not think I have ever been happier.
Evie-May - The Heart Street Vegan
*Full disclosure. Not actually true! I ‘ran’ a t-shirt company when I was 17, making bespoke designs and prints for customers (friends). I made a nice little profit over 1 summer actually!
** Bob is a fictional creation. However, if there is a Bob living in the Outer Hebrides reading this blog whilst nestled with a goat then I apologise. I am sure you live a wonderful existence that I could only dream of.