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From Rock Bottom to Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: My Unconventional Journey into Website Design

Have you ever felt trapped between family responsibilities and personal aspirations? That’s exactly how my journey started. As a new mother in a foreign country, I grappled with feelings of isolation and a sense of being caught between two worlds. Yet, from these challenges, I carved out a new path as a self-employed website designer empowering women entrepreneurs.


Here's how the most challenging period of my life into a thriving business and a fulfilling mission…


Group of women entrepreneurs at Homemade Cafe in Nottingham

My journey into becoming a self-employed website designer for women entrepreneurs, which began 7 years ago, was driven by significant personal challenges and a deep desire for a more fulfilling future and a different lifestyle for my family.


As a new mother, I reflected on the kind of world I wanted my child to grow up in and the lifestyle I wanted for my family. I dreamed of new opportunities, enriching experiences, and a global perspective.


Driven by this vision, we made the decision to pack up our lives into four boxes, bid farewell to loved ones, and immigrate overseas to a city we had never been to before - all with baby in tow.


At first, everything was new and exciting. We explored our adopted country and embraced the change. However, as time progressed, the novelty wore off and it became clear that our actual circumstances were vastly different from the life I had dreamed for us.


The 'ideal, flexible job' that would accommodate my family life seemed an illusion. I also contemplated starting my own business, but the circumstances didn’t allow the time or space to figure out what sort of business or how to begin. Between family responsibilities and my personal aspirations, I felt trapped.


I started to really struggle being a stay-at-home mother in a foreign country without any friends or family around for support, and began to feel increasingly isolated and depressed.


Roughly a year and a half later, I hit rock bottom. Despite not having jobs lined up or a place to stay, we decided to take another leap of faith and move from Manchester to London, where we would have a better support network.


London was like tonic for my soul. As soon as we arrived, I registered as self-employed and my child began nursery. I finally had the time to focus on starting my own business!


In the beginning, the direction of my business was unclear. All I knew was that I had a deep-seated desire to use my creative abilities, skills and experiences in a way that would make a difference. Yet, I had no clients, no local network, and no clear roadmap. What I did have, however, was a family that needed flexibility and an unshakable determination to figure it all out.


I felt a strong pull towards my creative roots and explored possibilities in photography, graphic design, and web design. But I knew I wanted to work from home. So I took my 16+ years of experience from the creative industry - including 7 years as a studio manager - and decided to carve out a new path as a Virtual Assistant. It was the perfect match allowing me to flex my skills while also giving me the work-from-home flexibility that my family needed.


Deep down, website design was my true calling. However, in the beginning, I grappled with self-doubt. My experience was limited to designing websites for my own photography business back in South Africa, and a few projects for friends. The thought of turning this into a full-fledged business was daunting.


But when the opportunity to delve deeper into website design presented itself, I didn't let my lack of confidence hold me back. Instead, I embraced the challenge, taught myself some new skills, took a few online courses, and learned from hands-on experience along the way. Coupled with a multimedia design degree, this hands-on experience gradually bolstered my confidence, leading me to niche into website design.


I found myself naturally connecting with an inspiring community of women through the courses, memberships, and groups I was part of.


We were all in the same boat, juggling multiple roles while trying to build a business from scratch.


These women were brilliant in their respective fields, yet they often lacked the time and resources to manage their own website and branding. As a result, their DIY websites, despite their best efforts, often fell short of reflecting their true professionalism and expertise.


I was confident in my ability to enhance their online presence and felt driven to help them overcome these challenges. Afterall, the tasks they found daunting were the ones I thrived in!


Connecting with these women entrepreneurs on a deeper level, understanding their unique perspectives and purposes, and the way they wanted to show up in the world, greatly influenced my desire to help them. It's an honour and a privilege to be part of their journeys, helping them shine online. This not only enhances their businesses but also positively impacts their clients' lives. By supporting these remarkable women, I am helping them make a meaningful difference in their communities and beyond.


Through my work, I've had the privilege of building a supportive community of women entrepreneurs who inspire me every day. Together, we're striving to create a world where women can balance personal and professional responsibilities, where their talents are recognised, and where their dreams can flourish.


 




Hello, I'm Caitlin Pieters 👋


I'm a Website Designer and Digital Strategist based in Nottingham UK, and work with women entrepreneurs globally helping them with their Wix website and brand strategy.


To find out how we can work together, view my packages or get in touch!


For curated tips and guidance on all things website design and creative strategy, sign up to my monthly newsletter.


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