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2 Businesses are better than 1 ! What a great combination – Visible Thoughts and Local-eyes.

This week we would like to introduce you to Louise Clayton, member at our Pontefract board, and let her tell you her inspiring story in her own words:

“Back in 2006, I was a full-time working Mum of 2 small children (Amber 4, Sam 1).  A qualified accountant, I was employed as a finance director of a Leeds based IT firm, working 50- 60 hours per week.  Constantly feeling that I was failing my children who were in nursery 5 days a week ’til 6pm every night.  I was earning a fantastic salary but didn’t have the time to spend it and quality time with my family was a rarity!   

With no idea what I was going to do, and everyone around me saying I was crazy to give up such a great career, I handed in my notice.  I had to work 3 months and was given an extra 3 months garden leave.  In this time, I looked at what businesses I could run from home during school hours.  Network Marketing had not become popular, so this was never a consideration to me.  On 14th February 2006, I registered my company, and decided to produce a local advertising book to help other local businesses who had a product/service to offer to householders. 

 Life changed for me on all levels.  I could now take and collect my daughter to/from school.  I cut the hours that my one-year old son was in nursery to just 3-4 hours per day.  OK, I didn’t earn the money that I earned before, but my life was so enriched by being part of the children’s lives. 

 Local-eyes did well for me and my customers over the next few years.  Getting out of the “rat-race” and leaving my job in the Corporate world was the best thing I ever did.  Did I miss the suits, early morning board meetings, pressure of dealing with staff, endless deadlines – NO, not a bit! 

During this time, my husband, Andrew, was employed as a Microsoft Engineer.  He was working for a southern based company, covering the North.  Unfortunately, the North included everything from Birmingham to Inverness!  Consequently, he used to leave the house before the kids were up in the morning and come home late at night when they were already tucked up in bed.  Things came to a head Christmas 2010.  He realised that he was missing out on seeing our children (then 5 and 8 years old).  After lots of talking, I floated the idea of maybe joining me and launching a complimentary business offering web, graphic design and branding to run alongside Local-eyes.  

We have just celebrated 12 years in business.  Andrew joined the business and we launched Visible Thoughts to run alongside Local-eyes.  Together we have grown our businesses to the point where we now employ 7 people including highly trained experienced design staff.  Local-eyes now publishes 10 different advertising books delivered to 220 000 letterboxes and Visible Thoughts offers a professional web design service including graphic design and branding packages.  We have helped over 1000 local businesses gain more customers and grow alongside us.  We don’t work silly hours anymore and are able to spend quality family time together.  Looking back, giving up the “rat race” was the best thing I ever did.

Women of Bird Board looks at sharing stories and inspiring members