Bramble Bites is now, not only a great friend of mine, but a wonderful mentor and guide for Mamas working through the tricky and controversial world of weaning, feeding and cooking for their child. Now, as well as being a bad ass in the kitchen and providing us all with recipes, ideas and advice on ways to keep your toddlers well fed and healthy, she also has a job. Megan is a super talented illustrator and calligrapher, she makes beautiful one off pieces for the home and any special event you might have coming up through her own business, Porter and Bramble!
25 year old mother of 1 from Scotland who loves to doodle. It's still early days for my little empire but I am loving it and am so proud of myself for taking that massive step into self employment. As well as running my business single handed I take care of our 2 year old son Abel everyday, have my own food blog (Bramble Bites) and enjoy wine/date nights/talking about babies/cake!
Full name- Megan Porter
Business name- Porter & Bramble
Type of business- Illustrator and Calligrapher
Location- Central Scotland
Q1. Have you always wanted to be an illustrator?
It has always been my dream job to draw for a living but I had no idea how to do that. I left school at 15 and got a job as soon as I turned 16 in an office (I just wanted money for myself) and have worked in offices til I went on maternity! Since I didn't go back to work it was my perfect opportunity.
Q2. What inspired you to start up 'porter and bramble?'
With my other half working away for weeks, even months at a time it was never going to be easy for me to return to work so we had always said I wouldn't go back which I was MORE than happy about. I had so many creative ideas of what I wanted to do but actually putting it into action was impossible for me when Abel was still a baby. When he was turning 2 and I was getting some time back I thought "fuck it!". Seeing so many other mums on instagram doing it really helped.
Q3. Where do you get the ideas for the name??
Porter is my middle name but I use it for business and to stop facebook creeps (LOL!) and Bramble is what we called Abel when he was in my tum, we actually really liked it for a boys name (we didn't know what we were having weirdly enough) but as you can imagine not many other people liked it...
Q4. How do you find being a mum and a mum boss?
TOUGH! Some days the thought of just packing it in does cross my mind but that is usually a sign I need a break. I get major mum guilt if there are days I have stuff I need to do ASAP and I need to whack the TV on for him or we don't leave the house all day but I know from talking with other mums it is so normal and he is happy it's just me worrying like mums do. It's a lot of late nights, we don't have any other childcare and can you imagine trying to draw with a toddler running around PAHA. I usually do emails/accounts/drafts if I need to through the day and work on orders/ideas most nights.
Q5. What's the best thing about it?
Being able to care for Abel everyday without a doubt. Also doing what I love, it doesn't really feel like work!
Q6. What's the toughest thing about it?
I feel like I never stop. Yes I love that I get to care for Abel but most of us know how EXHAUSTING running around after a toddler all day can be along with housework, errands ect so then working at night can be really draining. I try to take weekends off which definitely helps. Also accounts, it took me a good while to sort out my oh so precious spreadsheet and filing system (saddo that I am!).
Q7. What advice would you give to other mums wanting to start their own business?
Go for it. Believe in you and what you want to do. Don't rush into it. Take advantage of free help out there (business gateway classes for example). Do your accounts as you go. DO NOT COMPARE TO OTHERS. That last one has been my biggest issue, especially with instagram. Don't be scared to message other mums for help or advice.
Q8. What's the most rewarding thing about your job?
Seeing my work on display. More recently I have had a lot of orders for weddings and I feel so proud and honored.
Q9. What is your favourite piece in your illustration collection and why?
I love the prints in my shop, it's the first piece I have had made into prints and they have sold so well! It was originally a custom order which I hand painted but I got so many people asking if they could get a set.
Q10. If you weren't creating beautiful illustrations, what would you be doing?
Hmm probably still looking after Abel but with a lot (...maybe not a lot actually) more time on my hands!
So if that hasn't left you feeling super inspired to start your own business from home and if you haven't totally fallen in love with Meg and the gorgeous Abel, there's something wrong with you... so read it again ;) Haha, i jest (kinda) Both Megan and i hope that this has shown that being a stay at home Mama doesn't mean you can't do what you love and be good at it. Becoming a Mum isn't the end, it's just the beginning!
Images courtesy of the lovely Nadine @ Tamara Studios