This Welsh Mother is empowering women in Wales to start their own business and be self-employed with help of a small community of mothers.
A mother sits in front of her laptop, reminiscing a point in her life when she worked for a big bank in London. It is 2016 and she writes an irrelevant blog filled to the brim with her musings, not realising that in the next 24 months she is going to be a guiding light to mothers from all over Wales.
In September 2018, Ceri Gillet, the founder and editor of This Welsh Mother started her own 12-week business school for anyone who needs support to stand on their own two feet in the harsh economy. Her journey is one based upon personal experiences and observations. A mother of one, Ceri has always enjoyed writing and began to explore the same as a hobby back in 2016 when she left her well paid job to focus on her family. Giving up work never comes easy as being self-employed in today’s day and age is always a grey area. “Initially, I just made posts about my hurdles and challenges in motherhood, which seemed to resonate with my reader,” says Ceri.
Soon her blog evolved into a full-fledged website from which have stemmed a plethora of byproducts. Like a chemical reaction, the growth has been fast and extremely rewarding. This Welsh Mother, a blog was the starting point for Ceri in her journey to be a true inspiration for women from all over Wales. Ceri said, “Wales is in many ways in a world of its own, the lack of exposure to day jobs and opportunities means that it is harder for women, especially women who haven’t been working for a while to get back into the grind of 9-5 jobs.”
Ceri Gillet was highly commended for her job as an influencer in the Cardiff Regional Awards in 2018 and now has a tight-knit community of mothers who want to start their own business or simply get a job to help pay the mortgage. “It started off with a closed group on Facebook, where mums with babies could come and vent off their problems and frustrations to other mums who could then in turn help and support each other, then it led to meetups where mums met in different cities in alternative months,” says Ceri.
Ceri doesn’t only advice based on her business experience but also has made friends along the way that have been with her since the start of the journey. Ceri says, “Once you have a certain amount of position among a group of people, they monetise their social media accounts for profits and I have never been in favour for it. I prefer authenticity as young mums are very impressionable and I would rather focus on building my community on trust.” In 2018, Ceri started a cheap 12-week business start-up course or a mini business school with 93 mothers who were interested in financial independence and the ability to make an up and running business in a reliable way. Ceris’ idea has always been to steer away from profits and according to her, that helps her set out her projects accordingly.
“I am not comfortable with selling for profit, people who know me know I have a separate business of catering which I use to pay my bills. This is a sensitive time for women and I truly believe that all of us can start a business and we can make it adjust to our own personal lifestyle and ethics,” says Cerci. In 2019, Ceri hopes to raise money for a scholarship to help some mother to go back to university and get a proper education. Ceri says, “Not everyone can manoeuvre themselves around government offices and piles of paperwork that is involved in starting a business, some people need a bit of handholding to get them across the line.”
Ceri trains her followers in three ways, by boosting morale and confidence followed by basic skills like accounting and financing to set up a business and lastly suggestion on how to use social media effectively to promote your business. Ceri admits that she at one point believed she had nothing valuable to say but has realised that her initiative to empower women has made her celebrate motherhood in a special way. She says, “There are better ways and better teachers to help you get self-employed, however, they require time and resources, which mothers mostly don’t have.”
Ceri also emphasises on the role mums are supposed to handle in the society, she says. “Paying 1200 pounds a month in childcare isn’t possible for everyone, and mums don’t have the strongest voice, so they just fall by the wayside.” This is one of the reasons according to her which led her to help women who had no clue where to turn for guidance.
She also says, “I am not teaching them how to reinvent the wheel, I am giving them small chunks of information to make it easier for them to be independent. I have had mothers who took my 12-week program in September and had broken even on her business investment by Christmas.” Ceri believes that 2019 is going to be a bigger and better year after the formation of the first edition of This Welsh Mother Magazine which you can buy here. She plans to streamline her activities into a certain channel, by forming a Business Mother Club for mums wishing to start their business and having a YouTube channel to accompany her up and running podcast.
Ceri Gillet at the end of the day enjoys her work as much as she enjoys being a mother, she says, “If you have had a baby, you would like to make something for your baby and yourself, so go and find people who understand you, go figure something that works for you. Give yourself some grace but keep going at. These little steps might not make you a fortune, but you will still love it because I surely do.”