Mama You Can Work Life

Mama You Can: Jenny Branson

February 8, 2018

Welcome back to Mama You Can, a series started to share inspirational stories of Mama’s who have changed career direction, started their own business or negotiated a more flexible role to fit in with family life.

This week we hear from Jenny Branson who is an interior designer. I love her story, from a London career to finding something that worked for her at home.

Mama You Can: Jenny Branson

Hi – I’m Jenny, mum to Jasper, 10, twins Kit and Jude, 8, and one year old Willow…

Throughout my twenties I worked as a Freelance Stylist for a fabulous variety of clients –  styling magazine shoots, pr events, parties, weddings and a number of advertising projects to boot.

It was all fast paced and fantastic fun and latterly, with one baby who was happy to hang out at location houses, it still worked for a while. But when I had the twins 8 years ago, it was clear it was time to find another direction!

There has never really been a box on the drop down list of occupations that has accurately described what I do, so I was honestly pretty comfortable when it came to adapting my career path to work around our family.

Whilst doing the rounds of baby groups, you get talking to all sorts of mums and I got a real feeling that many of them would love to make changes to their homes, but re-decorating came a very long way down the list when it came to divvying up their time! There was also the obvious reality that in most cases there were no longer two salaries to play with.

But let’s face it, with small children you find yourself within your own four walls quite a lot of the time, and from personal experience I think it’s really important that that environment makes you feel good!

I could clearly see a gap in the market offering a service that could work with people to help them make their own design decisions using a simple, fast and cost-effective system. And so the idea of the Quick Fix Design Consultation was born.

It’s a clear step by step process starting with a face to face meeting at the client’s home to see the room(s) under discussion and find out exactly what they are hoping to achieve through the project. After that I ask them to make a collection of tear sheets from magazines and small items that appeal to them. This can be anything from a shell to a particular piece of furniture or a colour combination in a picture they have seen. You wouldn’t believe what you can tell about a person’s design preferences from this simple exercise.

I then take all the information away and come up with a mood board for each room suggesting a colour scheme, optimal layout, furniture choices (this may include existing furniture they want to keep) and any other finishing details I think would be appropriate to the project. All this is then handed back over to the client to make the changes in their own time.

There is a real misconception that great interior design comes with a great big price tag, but by using this process you can tap into my knowledge and experience without losing control or breaking the bank!

I love what I do. But most of all, I love that it fits round the school run and my daughter’s routine.

My advice? Be realistic with your expectations. Offering this kind of service is never going to make us millions but it gives me so much flexibility with our family life, and ensures that I never miss one of my kids taking a star turn as 2nd ostrich in the school play! Those are the kind of things that money just can’t buy.

And finally, make sure that you really want to add another juggling ball to this crazy whirlwind we call parenting! Other than that, go for it!

You can find more from Jenny Bransonon on Instagram or via e-mail.

Mama You Can will be back next Thursday, until then why not read some of the other stories…

  1. Mama You Can: Kelly Pike
  2. Mama You Can: Julie Clabby
  3. Mama You Can: Claudette Anderson
  4. Mama You Can: The Baby Service
  5. Mama You Can: Property Potential Surrey
  6. Mama You Can: Lylia Rose
  7. Mama You Can: Amy Blackwood photography
  8. Mama You Can: Sunita from Lucky things blog 
  9. Mama You Can: Jess Haworth
  10. Mama You Can: Claire Gillespie
  11. Mama You Can: Sarah Pool
  12. Mama You Can: Jo Harris
  13. Mama You Can: Laura Hollinger
  14. Mama You Can: Bridget from Bridie by the sea
  15. Mama You Can: Lisa from What2buy4kids
  16. Mama You Can: Kathryn from Best Day Ever Party Shop
  17. Mama You Can: Clare Murthy 
  18. Mama You Can: Fiona Crossman
  19. Mama You Can: Amanda from Bundles & Bunches
  20. Mama You Can: Jo Mackay
  21. Mama You Can: Nicci from Stuffel
  22. Mama You Can: Selina from Elderflower & Delilah
  23. Mama You Can: Carolyn Radford
  24. Mama You Can: Danielle from OHSOBOX
  25. Mama You Can: Rebecca from Bows and Bowties
  26. Mama You Can: Mama You Can: Megan from Positively BirthingMegan from Positively birthing

Sarah xx

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5 Comments

  • Reply Helen aka Welsh Mum Writing February 8, 2018 at 9:01 am

    I love that you’ve found something which you can it around commitments and use your existing expertise. Also a great idea for a service, particularly fitting in around what people want to keep. I always feel that design might be a clean sweep but I love this concept. #ThursdayTeam

  • Reply Pip Milburn February 8, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Ooh I would love an interior designer to come and sort out my living room!! One day 😀
    #thursdayteam

  • Reply Nicole - Tales from Mamaville February 8, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Lovely series. So inspiring. We mamas really CAN do so much!

    Jenny, love your concept… so practical!
    #ThursdayTeam

  • Reply Nicola February 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    What a wonderful idea, I am so envious of people that can come up with these great business ideas and then make them work for them. I spent 13 years trying to find the right job to fit in with my family and have at last managed to find it! #thursdayteam

  • Reply Kirsty February 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    This is a wonderful idea for a business. I spend so much time at home and I know which parts I need to change to make it more ‘me’ but it is way down the priority list…. it definitely shouldn’t be.

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