As I write this, only a small number of friends and family know that we are about to embark on one of the biggest, scariest, and most exciting adventures of our lives. (aside from the two humans that Levi and I created of course- I’ll leave you to be the judge of how that one is turning out!) We have decided to turn our backs on the 9-5 and go it alone by launching ALFA designs.
So for the best part of the last year we have been working towards this, mostly under the guise of “pushing Levis freelance work” which is largely true- please don’t feel like we have lied to you! But let me briefly explain to you why this is so important, and bare with me, some of this feels very personal, and I’m not normally one to over share.
Around a year ago, as a couple, we hit crisis talks, the kind of “we need to talk” situation, that nobody wants to be on the receiving end of. Things were just not working out. Levi was working for a tightly-knit company, which he mostly enjoyed being part of, he had a great working relationship with colleagues, and the company owner was a friend of his family, but money wasn’t great, and he was having to clock up as much overtime as possible.
On the other hand, I was working as an Assistant buyer for a well-known retailer. The job was 8.45-5pm, though I never seemed to be able to complete what was expected of me within that time, and my boss was quite frankly, the worst person on earth! I would drop the children off at breakfast club for 7.30 and collect them from the child-minder at 6pm, where traffic allowed.
Nobody saw the light of day, everybody was tired and grumpy, and we never saw a penny from our paychecks, because they largely went on the bills necessary to sustain our ridiculous lifestyle. Is it any wonder that our family life was suffering? I never saw these people, only when they needed feeding or had run out of clean socks. I was at the end of my tether and my metal health was not good.
So that was it, we did what all families in crisis did; we went on holiday!! During this time I had the strangest realization, maybe it was the warm sea air, or the staggering amount of all-inclusive gin that I had managed to consume, (and I’m not ashamed to `admit that I really went for it there) but I began to realize something: I actually quite liked these people, ok, more than liked, I loved them, they were great, and they were not the source of the problem. The problem was our shitty lifestyle. The thought of home filled me with dread, my stomach knotted and my eyes filled with tears at just the mention of it. Surely this was not how life was supposed to be? Work, stress, argue, work some more and then save up enough to pay for half a holiday once a year, and smack he rest on the credit card to add to my worries later. Enough was enough, home we came, fresh start, new agenda.
Over the following months we decided that we would set up our own business model, something that we could enjoy and feel proud to work on. It had to be creative, ethical and centered around making positive working relationships with clients that wanted to work with us and support what we stand for, instead of giving their money to big greedy companies.
Introducing ALFA our new family run design company, because now I love the people that I work with, and nobody gets to call shots on when I see my kids or my husband, or weather I have given enough of my soul to my work so that I can excuse myself 45 minutes early to attend Mr Carketts epic class assembly about the Romans. (because, quite frankly, that matters a hell of a lot more than you realize to an eight year old)
So to everyone that has managed to get to the end of my rambling 1stblog post, whether you’re an old friend or a new acquaintance I invite you to snoop all over our new instagram page, and bust out some likes. Maybe drop me a message, recommend a friend, or come and visit our new home studio, the kettle is always on! Come and get involved in any way that you can, even if that is just from behind the keyboard and help us prove that we can do this!