Ashleigh Shea, mum to two lovely girls was one of our first Successful Mum Graduates, completing the Business Start-up Course back in April 2015. It has been amazing to watch her business grow from strength to strength. We are thrilled to see Ashleigh achieving personal success, work flexibly and use the tools from the course to help her business progress.

Here she tells retells her Successful Mums journey.

‘I’m Ashleigh, first and foremost mum to my two beautiful daughters. Becoming a mum is what actually gave me the push to start my photography business. After having Leah, I knew I didn’t want anyone else to take care of my baby, so knew I had to find something that enabled me to be able to work and raise my young family.

I had always been interested in photography but never considered it as a career until friends and friends of friends started to ask if I could take images of their families too.

I didn’t know anyone that ran their own company, let alone one in the creative industry, so wasn’t sure who to ask or where to start!

I decided to take a City and Guilds diploma in photography and not long after, I enrolled on the Successful Mums Business Start-up Course, knowing I needed support with the initial framework of setting up a business.

The course was insightful and helped me to identify my ideal client and how to target my marketing towards them. We got to meet with other successful businesswomen and use their wisdom to help us in our own endeavours.

The best thing I took away from the course was the other ladies who were on the course with me! The connections I made have been amazing. Just last year I started a collaboration with Successful Mum grad Emma Bennett, The Skin Warrior, creating a new subscription face care box for teens. Unfortunately, due to COVID we’ve had to make plans for a relaunch later this year, with the hopes of being a seasonal empowering box for teens.

“Without a doubt the information shared on the course has helped me to elevate my business to the next step, I now not only own and run one business but three!


Finding a perfect work-life balance isn’t easy, at the moment I work to the school run, I get all my shoots and as much editing and admin as I can get done whilst Freya is at school. Occasionally I’ll work in the evenings too if I’m in a particularly busy period. I’ll do family shoots just one weekend a month and two evenings a week in the summer, to try and get that balance right.

To any mums thinking of starting their business, the biggest piece of advice, I could give is, to enrol on that course! So much of being self-employed is self-promotion, so knowing how to market your business is key to success. Also just be you, which I know may sound corny, but you really will attract the right clients by being yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others in your industry, just do you.

If I was to use one word to sum up my Successful Mums experience, it would be ’empowering’, not only because of the support from Jane and the team but also how each member of my group had your back, and genuinely wanting to help each other and watch each other’s businesses grow. It’s an empowering thing to be a part of!

Without a doubt the information shared on the course has helped me to elevate my business to the next step, I now not only own and run one business but three!

My main being Ashleigh Shea Photography, specialising in newborn and cake smash photography. I also cover both children and family photography. Find more information on my social pages Facebook and Instagram.

Photo Party London, is my sister company where I cover all areas for tweens/teens including photo parties, portfolio sessions, best friend sessions and the hiring of our Home Dome. You can find out more on my Facebook page and on my Instagram.

My third is aimed at photographers however clients are welcome to hire too, that is Styled Pretty Dress Hire. I import so many beautiful dresses and gowns that not all can afford so I hire them out for photoshoots. Check out my Facebook and Instagram pages’.

If you’d like to develop your new business idea, like Ashleigh, join us for one of our courses starting soon. Apply HERE.