It’s been great to receive such positive feedback from Nu Bride’s Women in Business series ! I have another juicy instalment just for you. Meet the leading lady behind the UK’s only blog dedicated solely to Jewish weddings; Smashing The Glass.
I will always remember our first meeting. It was back in 2013. Karen introduced herself online and we agreed to casually meet at a bridal show.
Whilst I was unsure of what Karen looked like (and clearly experiencing a moment of the perils of blind dating), a very radiant Karen was frantically waving at me in the distance and I was oblivious for quite some time. It wasn’t until Mr Nu Bride pointed her out and asked me why the pregnant lady was waving at me. Thankfully Karen was very patient and we connected ever since.
With an exceptionally successful background in creative design and branding, Karen is not afraid of hard work and started STG when she was juggling pregnancy and motherhood with her first child and her carefully curated blog has propelled itself internationally ever since.
Karen is a true support to me both professionally and personally. An incredible business woman. Articulate, supremely elegant. She is an absolute joy to be around and has grown to be a great friend. As well as running a successful wedding blog, she has recently launched an exclusive wedding consultancy service, it gives me great pleasure to share Karen’s interview today.
Blake Ezra Photography
Tell us more about your gorgeous business?
Essentially I want to create the blog that I wish I’d found when I was planning our wedding. Such a resource didn’t exist elsewhere, either on or offline, and it’s so heart-warming when couples email me their photos after their wedding and tell me that Smashing The Glass has helped them have the wedding they truly wanted.
I met my husband in 2011 and it’s been a busy five years sine then! (Nu Bride: I’ll say! lol!) We got engaged in 2012, married in April 2013, started Smashing The Glass in June 2013, had my first daughter in November 2013, got pregnant again in 2014, and gave birth to my second daughter in 2015!
2016 is all about working hard and somehow trying to find a balance between all these wonderful parts to my life !
What were you doing before you started working for yourself?
I have been working for myself since 2001, prior to which I was a graphic designer. I ran my own design and branding studio for 12 years until Smashing The Glass became my full time job in 2013.
What made you take the leap to work for yourself?
After the first graphic design company I worked for closed down (thanks to some dodgy dealings I knew nothing about!) I continued to work for some of the company’s clients on a freelance basis, and I thought, “why don’t I try doing this for myself?” I designed some business cards, and my freelance business, Cinnamon Creative was born !
What were the most significant challenges and triumphs?
The main challenge that comes with working for myself is the ‘working solo’ aspect, but this will soon improve as I have recently hired a much-needed assistant! Finding your network of supportive ‘colleagues’ to bounce ideas off and learn from is vital.
I discuss business ‘quandaries’ with my husband, as well as fellow bloggers who I know very well, like darling Nova! (Nu Bride: Ta da!)
Additionally, working from home, especially as a mother, has it’s challenges. Fortunately I have found a wonderful co-working space, not far from our apartment, as well as often working from a wonderful space in my husband’s central London office which is always a delight.
It was recently reported that women in business earned several billion less than their male counterparts last year. What do you think are some of the barriers to equality?
I’m not crazy about the negativity of this statement.
Let me spin it around and tell you that 97% of Britain’s small creative businesses are run by women. Isn’t that fabulous?
I prefer to focus on the positive things women are doing in business rather than the negative.
Can women have it all?
Yes, your own personal ‘all’.
We must be realistic about our expectations – we tend to put ourselves under unnecessary immense pressure. For me, I want to have it all and be the best wife, mother and business woman every single day. But I’ve had to lower my expectations. Doing it all but feeling broken and tired is not, in my book, ‘having it all’. We need to think about what having it all really means for us personally.
(Nu Bride: Absolutely brilliant answer Karen)
What do you love about working in the wedding industry?
Meeting incredible women and men who run all kinds of thriving creative small businesses.
If you could improve the wedding industry in one way, what would that be?
That’s really easy. I would love to see a healthier balance of women and men within the wedding industry, as currently it’s way too female heavy.
What are your top three tips to finding the right balance between work, life, motherhood and leisure?
Don’t drive yourself mad striving to achieve it all.
Be realistic with your expectations, Just do your best and know that that is good enough!
I am greatly influenced by my husband as he manages to find a great work / life balance and really switch off at weekends. My children also help me find balance. (Nu Bride: That’s because Mr STG and your gorgeous family are awesome)
What’s your advice for anyone wanting to follow their passion and start their own business?
I think that some new or potential business owners tend to obsess over the tiniest of details before their business has even launched, and end up taking forever trying to get things ‘perfect’ before launch.
In my book, procrastination will stall a business and prevent the business owner from seeing the bigger picture.
My digital and design background taught me to launch with a ‘minimum viable product’ and then gauge reactions. What I mean by that is your clients will steer and react to your business in ways you never could forecast yourself, so spend the least amount of money, and a sensible amount of time, launching your business, and just get it out there! You can always make changes once you see what your customers really want.
Tell us one thing on your bucket list?
To visit Thailand
What a delight! Karen, thank you so much for sharing a snippet of your world today. What a pleasure!
For more information on Smashing the Glass please visit: