I was born in Sheffield, but I have also lived in London, Eastbourne, Spain and Italy. I have been married twice and have grown up children and grandchildren. I married young. I was 19 years old and had my first daughter aged 20. This was not a good marriage and I learned many lessons and eventually found the strength and courage to leave. I’m not going to dwell on this period as there have been so many good experiences since that I would rather share with you.

Because I’d been a young mum I didn’t go to University until I was thirty-six. I discovered a passion for teaching and my degree is in Post Compulsory Education and Training. I am an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and Literacy specialist.

My career has had many twists and turns and covers periods of time as a sales executive, call centre manager, recruitment consultant, restauranteur, teacher, life coach, education consultant and writer. I haven’t been one to sit still.

Now? I am a retailer and publisher. I am the owner of two independent micro businesses, Art Scene, an art supplies and Italian coffee shop and Open Narrative a publisher of reflective diaries, journals and games for wellbeing.

I find it hard to believe that as I write this it is less than three years since the first lockdown began and as I reflect on those years, how much has changed in the world and also for me personally and professionally. In March 2020 Open Narrative and the education consultancy work was my focus but the onset of the pandemic and the challenges in the education system forced me to rethink my working life and enabled me to pivot and change direction to focus on the publishing side of my business.

It was October 2020 when I went to look at an old art shop not far from where we live in Sheffield. I fell in love with it. On November 7th 2020, with the next lockdown looming, my business life changed, and I bought the shop. With the help of my husband, who happens to be an incredible handy man, we refurbished the space, added the coffee shop and opened for business on 28 January 2021.

Retail brings its own set of challenges and there have been many over the past two years, and I’m sure there will be many more. But I have an amazing team who work with me and an amazing family who support me.