I 'met' Kate on Instagram soon after I started blogging, Her stylish ladies scarves and pretty grid caught my eye, we share a love of scarves and we are both scarf addicts! Kate's first business is online scarf and accessories store Sweet Bea and if you are a regular visitor to my blog then you know that I feature Sweet Bea a lot in my posts, Kate has called me her 'best customer' on many occasions! If I need a scarf for an outfit my first stop is always to see what Sweet Bea has. She also has some great choices for presents for birthdays or Christmas. And she has a lot of leopard print right now because it is so on-trend - like this blue leopard print scarf you can see Kate wearing below.
More recently Kate has a new business baby to grow, which she explains in more detail in her interview.
I decided it was about time I persuaded Kate to stop hiding and show her face and tell us a little bit more about the woman behind the brand..
And I have an exclusive discount to share with my followers .... details below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Kate, I am a 42 year old wife and mum living in a village next to rolling countryside on the edge of Bolton. Married to Rob and mother to four amazing children, Florrie Bea 6, Ned 9, Jack 17 and Josh 19 plus not forgetting crazy Daisy and lovely Lulu our Border Terriers. It’s a very busy house!
My background is in Marketing as an Executive PA for a big brand sports company but when the company relocated to Amsterdam I returned to my hairdressing roots and started my own freelance wedding hair and makeup. Then our younger two children came along and the early morning weekend hours became difficult so I decided it was time to take a few years out and watch my children grow.
And tell us a little bit about your business venture and what inspired you?
Both younger children had started school and after a long illness I lost my mum to Ovarian Cancer. I spent a lot of time with my mum who only lived around the corner. We both had a love of scarves and through her treatment she had them wrapped round her head and neck. With children at school and time on my hands (I am not one to sit still) Sweet Bea was born. Mum would have loved to be part of it and would have made a fabulous model for my social media!
Since then I have also become co-owner in a local wine business – Turton Wines. We have just reopened after a full refurbishment of our tasting bar, The Slaughtered House. The bar will open during shop hours for a glass or two and a cheese board and tasting/private events at the weekend. I have led the build, design and relaunch which on top of school summer holidays made for a very busy summer.
What does an average day look like for you?
After the morning madness school run I am back to my home office (which I share with my husband when he is working from home). I try to social post a new scarf or accessory picture each morning with usually some reference to the weather I have noticed! Order cut off is 2 pm so I usually start the day with packing orders from the day before and then come back to packing around 12 /1 pm. I drop the post on my way to pick the children up from school. We are at the start of scarf season and animal print has sent it through the roof! 1st October marks the opening of The Slaughtered house during shop hours. For the next week or two I expect that I will be spending an hour or two a day making sure that all is running smoothly. I usually squeeze in a dog walk too, this is my exercise, I hate gyms!
What has been your biggest challenge?
Not working when the children are at home. Having a home office makes it too easy to get side tracked and spend time behind the laptop instead of with the family. I really could do with a timed lock on the office door!
What advice would you pass on to someone wishing to change career in midlife?
Go for it! If finances don’t allow you to give up work, then take it slow and let it grow at a speed you can manage. Doing a little is better than nothing at all. Who knows where you will end up!
Do you have a signature style, an everyday look that you love?
Flip flops! They go on at the start of May and don’t come off until after October half term! I have very narrow feet and over the years I find sandals just too hard to find so each year I add a new flip flop colour to my collection.
I love an anklet in the summer and LOVE LOVE LOVE scarves! Light cotton in the summer and fleecy knits in the winter. Winter scarves make fabulous summer evening wraps and cotton scarves are super soft and warm wrapped under winter coats. All year scarf lover.
How do you balance your business with family life?
Gosh, at the moment I am finding that business has overtaken family life but I am lucky to have a hard working husband who has stepped in lately to cover a lot of the cleaning and cooking that I would have normally done #teamwork! We are on holiday soon in Cornwall and will definitely be recharging those family batteries and making wonderful memories.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My children, they are all polite, kind and great to be around. We have two older boys who are achieving great results in new jobs and sixth form and our younger two are doing amazing in learning and out of school activities. All round great kids and we could not be any prouder.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
My dream is to pack up and move to Cornwall, but I don’t think this is going to happen in 5 years….more like 15. I would be delighted if Sweet Bea continued to grow as it has done year on year. Turton Wines has great potential online and we have big plans over the next few years. At home we desperately need to have major work done on our house but neither of us can face the mess, we have been putting it off since we moved 5 years ago, so I really hope in 5 years we are on the other side of a major build!
How can we get in touch with you and find out more about you or your product?
For all scarf addicts out there Sweet Bea’s website is www.sweet-bea.co.uk and you can find me (without a head!) on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Turton Wine supplies a fabulous range of unusual wines that you will not find at the supermarket and delivers to your door in the UK – www.turtonwines.co.uk. New website coming before Christmas hopefully! This is my next job! Follow new products and more on Instagram..
If you are local to Bolton, pop in to The Slaughtered House and enjoy a glass of wine and a tasty cheese board – follow us on Instagram.
Thank you so much Kate, I feel we have a similar story and I am sure when we finally meet IRL (in real life) we will definitely get on, sadly Bolton is a long way from Marlow but hopefully there will be an opportunity one day. I always find the stories shared on my Embracing Life series so inspirational, I think I am busy but these fabulous women do so much more, I am always very impressed.
Kate sources some seriously lovely scarves and accessories and all at a very reasonable price. Plus from today for the next week I have an exclusive 15% discount code to share with you - use the code FABULOUS15 at checkout and don't forget it is free delivery in the UK too. It is never too early to start Christmas shopping and Kate tells me she has just had lots of new stock arrive - more animal print, hats and new lightweight wool scarves.
Above and below - this is the red pom pom scarf, it is a thicker weight than the summer ones I use as sarongs, it will be warm and cosy as it gets colder. It really brightens an outfit and adds a pop of colour to a simple jumper. It comes in a range of colours - some more are shown below (forest green, mustard and navy).
My 'Love' jumper is from Mooch in Marlow, a small independent retailer that stocks a great range of gifts, clothing and accessories - lots of stock always arriving!
I have an animal print scarf from John Lewis a few years ago and I have been unable to ever find one that I liked as much. Until now! The two above are just spot on (find them here), They are a lightweight wool and modal and I love both colours - both are neutrals and will go well with so many things in our existing wardrobes. Don't forget to use your 15% discount and grab one today!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and it does not contain affiliate links, however Kate did gift me the two scarves featured. This interview though is completely separate and I was under no obligation to include details of these scarves.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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