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Say hello to freelance childrenswear designer Sharon from lily & Bloom.

Tell us a bit about you!

Hello I’m Sharon, working as lily&Bloom as a childrenswear designer, based just outside of Birmingham

How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

I’ve been freelancing for just over four years now.  I started to freelance almost by accident after losing my job and being unable to find another full-time in-house role that felt like it suited me.  An opportunity came up to cover another freelancer who was on maternity leave and it all started there.

Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

I’m an early riser but mainly so I can get out for my morning run and then be ready to start work.

What time do you start work?

I’m usually at my desk between 8 and 8.30.

Do you work from home?

Yes, my front little bedroom is now my creative space.

What’s your working routine before you start work?

Alarm set for around 6.30 & up and out for a run or for a work out by around 7ish.  Then shower and coffee and ready to do an hour or so’s work before having breakfast.

Do you take a lunch break?

Yes, I always stop for lunch, even if it’s just for half an hour.

How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

It depends on the work I’ve got.  If I’m in the middle of a project or have a deadline looming then it’s work as usual.  If I’m quieter, then afternoons tend to be a time for working on blog posts, or researching or admin.

How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

I try to keep in mind that I want to do the best job I can for the client and it’s important to me to honour any deadline I’ve promised.  I think this keeps me motivated as does having a balance between working and creative time for me.

What time do you tend to sign off for the day?

I try and finish ‘paid’ work by 6.30 latest unless there is a really urgent deadline.  I tend to then spend another hour or so on my blog.

Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

Being able to work from home, being able to be in control of my own time.

And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

The uncertainty that can come if you don’t have a regular contract with a client. And clients who think you can drop everything to do work they need right that second!

What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?

I log all my work on my Outlook calendar, it’s the easiest and simplest way for me to keep track of things.  Other than that it’s a very old fashioned diary & pencil that I use to jot down my daily to do list.

Where can we find you online?

You can find my blog Lily & Bloom at http://www.lilyandbloom.blogspot.co.uk. I’m on twitter @lilyandBloom, on Instagram @sharon.lilyandbloom . on Pinterest @lilyandBloom and hopefully very soon my business website will be back up & running at http://www.lilyandbloom.co.uk.

The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

I’m not sure I do think of myself as successful? I feel lucky enough to have enough work to keep me ticking along, which allows me to work part-time only, work that I enjoy.  I like to think that I do a good job, behave professionally and friendly towards clients and that has meant that my reputation as a Childrenswear Designer has spread by word of mouth meaning that work has kept trickling in.  Not too much, not too little.  I’m like Goldilocks! But I count my blessings each day & feel incredibly lucky.

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