Teacher and mum-of-three Maggie Hart was in her late 50s when she realised that she longed for a career change. Determined to unlock her creative potential, Maggie reached out to Successful Mums Career Academy to help make her jewellery business dream a reality. This is her story.
“When you’re a mother – and in my case a grandma – there is never a good time to do something for yourself. Everyone wants a bit of you, and something always crops up to distract you. Being a woman in your 50s and beyond brings with it many challenges that can impact you physically and mentally. But at the age of 61, I’m a testament that you’re never too old to learn something new.
Having studied for a degree in jewellery and design years ago, I was very fortunate to then have a long career as a design and technology teacher, between having my family. I was also head of a department. I really enjoy teaching and helping others to learn new skills, create something unique, gain confidence and help them discover their own creativity.
As jewellery was my passion and I really missed being creative, I decided to leave my permanent teaching position in 2012 so that I could re-discover and learn new skills. I attended two jewellery and design courses at the British Jewellery Academy in Hatton Garden alongside supply teaching.
My love for teaching, teamed with my passion for jewellery making, led me to start Creative@Hart. I developed a range of online and in-person jewellery-making workshops and created a new range of jewellery and gifts to sell and to be commissioned.
I understood the basics of social media but the prospect of promoting my business online felt daunting. Initially, I asked my daughter and niece to help set me up but I soon realised that I needed to build my knowledge and confidence. This is when I discovered Successful Mums Career Academy and the Digital Promotion for Business Mums course.
The course was brilliant and helped me to reflect on how I had been doing things and equipped me with the knowledge – such as scheduling posts and creating reels – to help shine a light on my new business. Learning alongside other mums really boosted my confidence and the course tasks, such as writing a business profile with key aims, helped me to think about my business goals and priorities.
“My advice to other older mums about to embark on a similar path would be to have targets but to not put too much pressure on yourself. Take little steps and keep things flexible to fit in with the demands of life. And, most importantly, enjoy your new adventure.“
Shortly after finishing the course, COVID-19 hit which impacted my ability to grow the business as I’d originally planned. I’m not making a huge profit but I am fulfilling my jewellery-making dream, whilst helping others to be creative. I now specialise in resin jewellery and gifts which can be bought directly from my small independent business, craft fairs and from a local high street boutique which I’ve partnered with.
My knowledge from the course also helped me to set up a Craft ‘n’ Mingle social group, which I advertised on the local community Facebook group, achieving a lot of interest. We meet up at a local café once a week to share ideas and advice with other like-minded people which I love.
The best thing about my business is that I can dip in and out and work it around my three grown-up children and their needs. Unfortunately, my dear mum also sadly passed away last year as well. Many women my age have ailing parents and caring responsibilities and trying to navigate all that can be very difficult.
I am so grateful to Successful Mums for helping me on my creative career journey. My advice to other older mums about to embark on a similar path would be to have targets but to not put too much pressure on yourself. Take little steps and keep things flexible to fit in with the demands of life. And, most importantly, enjoy your new adventure.”