The Divorce Source will be running a series of feature articles, titled single moms that rock. Meet Lou Harvey….our first single mom rockstar!
How do you juggle a career and being a single mom?
Being my own boss helps a lot! I’m able to be flexible with my time and plan things around my kids schedules so that I get to spend time with them. We also made the decision to relocate our factory to be closer to home, which means I can pop in and out and run errands on the way, which has honestly changed my life. I also have an amazing team who work closely with me and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
What do you do to make sure you spend quality time with your children?
I am very lucky to now be in a position where I can be at home much more than when I was starting my business, which is just wonderful. I also have an office set up from home so I can work in the evening when my kids are asleep and thanks to cell phones, there’s an enormous amount of work that can be done over the phone.
What career advice could you give to single moms?
Determination, passion and courage – there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Hard work and dedication have helped me grow my business in to what it is today. One thing I firmly believe in is that you make sure you get the best possible financial advice, especially if you are not particularly savvy when it comes to your finances.
What is the most challenging thing about being a single mom?
Time would probably be my biggest gripe as there is never enough of it. (I hate grocery shopping so it would be nice is someone did that for me!) I do manage my time quite well but sometimes there are days when I am just exhausted. I believe in writing lists, you feel really satisfied when you’ve ticked everything off, you also need to make time for yourself.
Tell us the story of how Lou Harvey began…
After studying fashion design and interiors, I began designing cushions for Wetherlys and Home Fabrics where I learnt many tricks of the trade. I then saw an opportunity to buy a business that made bags and slowly moulded and developed the business into what I envisioned. After giving birth to my first daughter, Izzy, I noticed there was a desperate need for beautiful mummy-friendly accessories that were fashionable, yet practical. I started selling at open days and flea markets but my big break happened at the St Ledger Christmas Fair in Jozi. Today, the business has really grown and boasts a local production with around 100 staff.
How did being a single mom impact your career?
As a single mom I had no option except to work as hard as I possibly could. It certainly made me more determined to succeed and I was also extremely lucky to have a supporting family to walk beside me when times are tough
What advice would you give to single moms entering the workplace after a long time of not working?
Stay abreast of current happenings and trends in your industry, and most importantly don’t be afraid to embrace change or failure….. Everything in life is a lesson! Learn from mistakes and never give up.