I have often joked that TechPixies is my third child. Much like motherhood, entrepreneurship doesn’t have an on/off button. June and July were busy months for TechPixies. After preparing to pitch to twelve potential investors in June, we closed on our first round of investment in July… £91.8k from four formidable female investors.
The process of raising investment was draining and exhilarating at the same time. Back in January, financial pressures which came on as a result of a change in business plan meant that I lost 7 members of the TechPixie team; 3 announced they were moving on and 4 were let go. In March, I nearly let the company go too – but – it was a chance encounter with Addie Pinkster, founder of Adelpha, that convinced me to stick it out. After listening to the TechPixies story at Adelpha’s founder’s clinic, Addie fixed her eyes on me and put her hands on my shoulder ‘Joy’ she said, ‘You are worth investing in, TechPixies is worth investing in. JUST DO IT.’
It was in that moment that I was reminded of the power of believing in other people. I felt a renewed sense of purpose.
Sometimes, as mothers, as women, we give so much to others that we forget that we ourselves need to refueling. We need to be willing to accept encouragement and we need to have courage to fulfill the potential that others see in us.
We also need time to rest and recover. The past 8 months took a lot out of me physically and emotionally. I knew that I needed a break. I was in luck! The Year 3 Mum’s What’s App group for my school was having a very active discussion about the best family camp sites. I’ve never thought of myself as ‘one who loves camping’ – quite frankly, the Blair Witch Project had done my head in and camping wasn’t on my radar. But, my husband LOVES camping, he grew up camping and the children were begging to go camping.
Eweleaze Farm in Dorset
Eweleaze Farm can be found in Dorset, smack dab on the Jurassic Coast and about a 10 minute drive from Weymouth. During 11 months of the year, Eweleaze is a working farm – but in August each year it transforms into a magical family camp site. Offering everything from dog walking (50 girls walking 5 farm dogs!) and petting farm animals to children’s crafts, hay bail climbing and an opportunity to swim in the sea, Eweleaze was the perfect first time camping experience for the novice camper.
On site, the modern environmentalist would be pleased to find eco-toilets, solar paneled showers, and recycling facilities (although sadly no recycling for plastic!). For foodies, not only is there an onsite farm shop, but they have an ice cream shop, a bakery, a coffee shop, a wood-burning pizza cart, a grill, a restaurant and a crepe van.
At night, we would light up a campfire (one of the rare campsites in the country where you can do this apparently) and watch the sunset in the west while the moon rose, glistening on the sea-filled horizon that stretched out below us. With no electricity, no tv, no Netflix and no computers, the evenings were a time for a bottle of wine and a chance to spend time with my husband.
As the sun would warm the tent in the morning, I made my way to the daily yoga on offer (3 times!). My body welcomed the chance to stretch and relax, to meditate and let go.
We enjoyed a day trip to Corfe Castle (courtesy of our National Trust membership) by way of steam train from Swanage. We also escaped to Lulworth Cove and walked along the coast to Durdle Door, fossil hunting along the way.
All in all the break was much needed and very much appreciated. I noted in a video on Linkedin that it was a fantastic opportunity to unplug from work and plug in to my family. I’m thankful the weather held out for us and that the experience was universally positive for all members of our family.
Now recharged, I can’t wait to meet our next generation of TechPixies. Hopefully for many of the women who will join us this year, TechPixies can be a source of strength and encouragement spurring them on to return to work, change careers or start their own business.