It’s March! Which means #MarchMeetTheMaker by @joannehawker, and I’m so excited to take part this year!

Starting with Story, which is one of my favourite things – storytelling, story reading, hearing people’s stories…

Image by the amazing Anna Pumer 🙂

Once upon a time, there was a girl who, each day, squashed herself into a long, fast moving metal tube for two hours, emerged the other end, and spent nine hours in an airless, beige room with tinted windows, typing meaningless and dull things into a computer. At the end of each day she would squeeze herself back onto the metal tube, arrive home, eat, and go to bed, only to repeat it all the following day for five days out of seven.

She knew there must be more to life, but everyone told her she was silly – that this was just what adults did, and no one liked their job.

She refused to believe this, and started a secret rebellion – taking photos everywhere, a jewellery stall, a tiny stationery company with a friend, more posts on the blog she’d had for years but had stopped using because of the drudgery of corporate life.

She realised she loved small businesses with a passion – and the seeds of her new life were sown.

She taught herself to code, found a better job ten minutes from home where everyone had a side hustle, or the day job was itself a side hustle, and began to bloom.

She built her businesses while working full time, because she loved her single life and didn’t fancy sharing a house with someone in order to split the bills. Two little rescue cats came to share her home & her life, and eventually she was able to buy the house she’d been renting, so they all had a forever home.

She was happier than she had been, but still yearned for freedom, and autonomy. She became a professional photographer, specialising in making small businesses shine to their ideal client, and she also became the go-to person for business advice. She balanced her business & her day job for a while.

And then her Dad passed away. And her whole life changed in a heartbeat.

Not long after that, she decided to follow her dreams and handed in her notice to her day job. She found her wings…

Eighteen months later, I am a brand photographer, fine art photographer and business mentor, with two side businesses & a wardrobe of mermaid tails.

I’m happier than I have ever been (though still miss my Dad, of course) and I know without a doubt that this is what I was meant to do all along. Helping businesses & entrepreneurs & makers to show up & stand out while using my own creative talents, and getting to run a small business of my own at the same time – it’s what my soul always longed for.

I’ve relaxed into my true, eccentric personality and dress sense – I am often the most colourful person in the room and the things which made it hard to fit in as a teenager, are now the things which make me happiest, and which draw my fellow weirdos to me.

You can find me on instagram @catalystcarla for brand photography, multipod advice & business mentoring, over at @carlawphoto for fairytales and fine art, and at @inkdropsbox for stationery & organising goodness. I’m so excited to meet new people through this challenge!

Two posts today because I was away yesterday, and then I’m back on schedule 🙂