In light of August being Women’s Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to promote some hard working mums. You could find the service provider you were looking for or be inspired to take that leap you’ve been dreaming of.
Q&A WITH ELEANOR
1. Tell me a little about yourself without including details of your family and work (it’s tough I know 😂)
I am Eleanor Douglas-Meyers, I am currently a 33 year old, curly afro’ed, craft obsessed blogger who legitimately loves to belly laugh as many times a day as possible, even if people tell me I need to be more serious. I live with depression, anxiety and diabetes, but I take it all in my stride and in my medicine cabinet, hahaha. I reside in Nelson Mandela Bay and would like to give hot chocolate and sushi their own food groups
2. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have a five year old son named Aidan, he is EVERYTHING. My living setup means that my brother and sister have homes on the same big plot as I do so my nephews Caleb(sister’s 3-year-old) and Liam (brother’s one-year-old) have become like secondary kids to me – they are featured on my social media, a lot. I also have an angel child, Logan who passed away at two days old, I always feel weird not mentioning him when people ask me about my children.
3. What is your side hustle? And when did you start?
I wouldn’t call it a side hustle, it’s more like a general hustle. I call myself a creative entrepreneur because, newspaper layout artist/freelance writer/event planner/social media marketing manager/blogger/crafts seller is a little complicated. I started three years ago and the job description has had quite a few tweaks to get to this point.
I basically divide my week like this:
Monday: Social media management for a brand I really love
Tuesday: Layout for a local newspaper
Wednesday: Layout again
Thursday: All my Freelance writing
Friday: Social media management and blog photography
Saturday: Events usually take place on Saturday
Everyday: I do my blogging and event planning mostly before “work starts” so that’s 7am – 9am and then I allocate two hours at the end of my traditional “work day” as well. I work from home, except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
– I also make custom gifts but this is on an order basis so fit it in where I can.
4. What did you do before starting your own business AND what made you leave?
For ten years I went between working as a journalist and working as a newspaper layout artist. When I turned 30 I realised that I wanted to do more, I did not want my life to have just one long chapter. Also, having lost a child, I wanted to find a way to spend more time with Aidan because the “time is precious” feeling was weighing on me. Apart from my son I also lost two friends, my God mother and my father in law in the matter of a few months. I needed to feel like I was living my life not surviving it. Honestly, I was also sort of tired of being at the forefront of bad news at the paper.
5. How do you allocate your time between work and family?
My husband is extremely supportive. He is a homicide detective and works “office hours”. He does the cooking and the shopping and helps free me up for my mom and boss duties. Because it is mostly just the three of us, we work around my schedule, so they will come to my events, they will do reviews of things and places with me and every night we make sure to have an hour or two of “us time”
6. What have been the hardships of running your own business?
It can be tough financially because my income changes every month which makes budgeting tricky. I tease that I can go from sushi to tinned fish in the blink of an eye.
7. What have been the highlights?
I have planned some killer events, from one of the biggest family festivals in the city to the #ECMeetup which I plan with my blogging buddy, Luchae Williams, which brings bloggers from around the Eastern Cape together. I have also written articles on so many different topics, met so many exciting people and I can honestly say that no two weeks have been the same since I started.
8. What advice do you have for other women who are on the cusp of taking the leap into entrepreneurship?
It’s not easy, if it was everyone would do it, but if you want it, go for it. Life is wayyy too short for what ifs. I always said, “no man, who am I to attempt this,” but these days I think “who am I not to? Why not me?”
9. How can we get in touch with you?
I am JustEllaBella , everywhere all social media. My website is www.justellabella.co.za and my email addy is firstname.lastname@example.org