Mumpreneur Profile and Giveaway: Tracey Smith of Keep it Personal

The business idea that changed my life began in 2008 when I was forced to quit my job as an accountant due to the stressful working environment.  I knew I needed to be that little bit different to everyone else. Within a few months of being out of work  my husband, who worked full time as a network engineer, built a website for me www.keepitpersonal.co.uk selling personalised/engraved gifts.

With the excitement of having this new business launch I worked every day from home as online sales gradually built up. I started by drop shipping,  passing the sales order to my supplier who would fulfil the order. But I soon found that being dependant on another company meant that I couldn’t  control my business properly.  Sometimes items would be engraved wrongly, and orders were being sent out late, so I decided to take my business to the next step and purchased my first engraving machine.

This was an exciting step forward, and once I was fully trained with the new machine it was great to have full control of my business!

 

Every day I would walk to my local post office to send of all the engraved orders, and as the months went on  the other customers got more annoyed each time I  arrived with a huge bag of mail to be weighed by the server. This was becoming more and more impractical as my business got busier, and so I discovered different ways of sending the mail out,  from franking all my mail to the system we have now, where we have a daily collection from Royal Mail and all we need to do is count the number of parcels.

2009 was a year my husband and I planned to move house  and get married. We moved from Altrincham, Cheshire to Bristol to be closer to family and friends. I carried on with the business on my own but it was getting busier, so my husband decided to join me and leave his high paid job at ITV. This helped the business grow further as more time could be put into the business to help drive sales.

In May 2010 I discovered that I was pregnant, this was long awaited news and we could not wait to meet our baby, but we also knew that we would need to look at changing the way we ran our business to fit in with our baby.

I battled through the nausea of  morning sickness in the first trimester, the second trimester was a breeze but from the beginning to the end of the third trimester I had severe pelvis problems which meant I could not walk very far on most days but fortunately I was able to carry on with my business by sitting down to do the engraving work and I worked up to a day before my due date. My son, Tom, was eventually born on 26th February and I will never forget the amazing first moment of meeting him for the first time.

Luckily the early part of the year is our quieter time for the business, so I decided to take 3 weeks off with Tom and I then juggled being a working mummy and would try to work at every possible minute while Tom was asleep, which in time took its toll as before long Tom would have more awake time and start to roll and crawl.

So in January 2012 I decided to rent a premises and made an even harder decision which was to put Tom into nursery 2 days per week which he now really enjoys and which breaks up both of our weeks as I work on his nursery days. I found a premises to rent about 10 minutes drive from home and Tom’s nursery is right in the middle of home and work, so I had peace of mind that I wouldn’t be too far away from him.

We took on two employees to begin with, which was a long process to find the right staff for us and the business. We were looking for staff who we felt we could trust to continue the business if we needed to take a short holiday or enjoy some family time.

We are now almost a year on from moving into the premises and Tom is nearly two!  The move has allowed us to grow the business further by purchasing more engraving machines and we now employ 3 full time members of staff. I have not looked back at any decisions made and would not change any part of the past nearly five years although it has been a huge learning curve especially since the arrival of my beautiful son Tom.

Giveaway

Tracey has very kindly offered a Personalised photo Frame from Keep it Personal for one lucky winner.

To ennter, please visit www.keepitpersonal.co.uk and leave a comment below telling me which gift you would like to buy, and for whom.  Then open up the Rafflecopter widget and off you go…
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This Post Has 75 Comments

  1. katrina day-reilly says:

    the first cutlery set as I would give it to my neice who is due to be born in april

  2. Rebecca Phillips says:

    personalised hip flask for my dad!

  3. Emma says:

    I’d order a frame for my friends wedding as I cannot be with her to celebrate.

  4. Louise says:

    The wooden name frame for my nephew’s christening

  5. victoria jayne wilkinson says:

    I would choose the photo frame ‘daddy My Hero’ for my other halfs birthday!

  6. welshmumof3boys says:

    would be one of personalised photoframes and would send to grandparents

  7. anna says:

    I would get the silver family photo frame for us to fit in pictures of all the kids

  8. melanie stirling says:

    http://www.keepitpersonal.co.uk/24-lead-personalised-cut-crystal-vase-p-134.html This vase for my mum and dad’s ruby wedding anniversary.

  9. Liz Tumbridge says:

    I’d love the wooden frame to give to my dad for fathers day. I’d personalise it from the girls xx

  10. Helen Dickinson says:

    I would give this to my nan, she loves pictures and would love to give her this with a picture of my son in.

  11. kathleen hooper says:

    the personalised wedding frame for my nephew who is getting married later this year

  12. Rebecca U says:

    I love the stand with the baby scan picture – I would love to give it to my sister :) x

  13. Laura H says:

    Would give this to my mum, I would put a picture of my daughter in it :-)

  14. Julie Picton says:

    I’d choose the Personalised Wooden Photo Frame, and give it to my friend who has just had a baby boy

  15. Nikesh Ashar says:

    The baby scan picture stand is good.

  16. angela sandhu says:

    i like the engraved glasses. i would give them to my friend who is getting married

  17. Michael Twine says:

    wedding pics that would please the wife

  18. laura banks says:

    the personalised wooden frame would look great

  19. shane weir says:

    The baby scan picture stand is good.

  20. Hollie Adlam says:

    Id pic the Sterling Silver Christening Bracelet and give it to my friends little girl, as she is getting Christened next month :) xoxo

  21. Penny says:

    A photo frame and I’d give it to my mum with picture of her grandchildren in

  22. Sue Bowden says:

    The personalised wedding photo frame and for my son who is getting married in 2014

  23. kim neville says:

    Personalised photoframe and would give to grandparents

  24. jess says:

    I would choose a personalised photo frame for my boyfriend of our anniversary date!

  25. Fiona Matters says:

    My cousin is expecting twins so the personalised photo frame would be lovely. http://www.keepitpersonal.co.uk/personalised-wooden-photo-frame-p-823.html

  26. Laura Pritchard says:

    I’d get the photo frame for my son :-)

  27. Sara Macey says:

    I would order a personalised photo frame – perfect for my sons christening present

  28. Fran Light says:

    I would choose the personalised wine glass and I’d give it to … me!!
    I’m still sulking about not receiving anything for Valentine’s Day so I deserve a gift :-)

  29. Joanne says:

    The personalised photo frame – for my little girl, who adores looking at pictures of herself.

  30. Jacqueline says:

    I would get one for my Gran’s 90th birthday. She could put pictures of all her grandchildren as we’re all over the place. Australia, Canada, Derby, Leeds, St Helens and Manchester!

  31. Catherine Thomas says:

    Wooden photo frame looks lovely

  32. sophie buckle says:

    A personalised photo frame for my sons grandparents

  33. c woods says:

    wooden photo frame for my hubby.

  34. Katie Kingsbury says:

    The Personalised Train Christening Gift would be perfect for my friend’s little boy.

  35. esther james says:

    The personalised wallet would be fab

  36. Amy Ripley says:

    The Wooden Photo Frame for my husband’s 30th would be a great way to give him a nice keepsake of our daughter!

  37. EMMA WALTERS says:

    love the wooden frame as a father’s day present to my OH from my boys

  38. Kathy Cakebread says:

    the wooden frame which id get for my dad

  39. Tammy Tudor says:

    The gorgeous wooden frame, I’d give it to my wonderful mum in times for mothers day, she’d love it!

  40. Emma Wolski says:

    I would order a personalised frame for my friends baby

  41. Emma Howard says:

    I’d love this to give to my boyfriend for Father’s Day: http://www.keepitpersonal.co.uk/personalised-my-daddy-photo-frame-p-831.html

  42. Eleanor Powell says:

    The silver heart bracelet http://www.keepitpersonal.co.uk/silver-ladies-heart-bracelet-p-884.html would love this for my daughter as we can never find anything with her name on

  43. Zoe Coen says:

    Personalised photo frame for my partner with my two children in it

  44. Cheryl Pearson says:

    I really don’t know what I would order, but it would be something for me to keep!

  45. Liz ferguson says:

    http://www.hartofthemunchkinpatch.co.uk/2013/02/extra-squashy-and-sweet-tea-party-with.html

    For my Nan .. She is known as the TeaPot in our family …If she is not drinking tea, then she is making it for someone!

  46. ERICA WALLACE says:

    ** Adore this Christening gift. It would be perfect for my soon-to-be Godson’s baptism in June. Wonderful competition, thank you! **

    Erica
    http://www.keepitpersonal.co.uk/theodore-bear-sterling-silver-tooth-holder-engraved-p-755.html

  47. ruth davies says:

    Silver photo frame for my best friend who is getting married

  48. Samantha Atherton says:

    I’d buy the My Christening Day Personalised Photo Frame for our cousin’s little girl on her christening day.

  49. Suzanne sendell says:

    I love the graduation frame
    I would keep It for myself with a photo of my sons graduation

  50. Nancy Townsend says:

    I would choose the Personalised My Daddy Photo Frame, put a photo of my late dad in it and keep it for myself!

  51. Amanda Hurst says:

    I would buy the personalised Bride & Groom Photo Frame for my neice who is getting married later this year.

  52. Wanda says:

    I would put a picture of my 6 children

  53. Janet Rumley says:

    Personalised Graduation frame would be a wonderful keepsake for my son

  54. Kirsty Fox says:

    I would choose the Personalised Luxury Watch Box for my husband

  55. Angie Hoggett says:

    a personalised photo frame for my mum for mother’s day

  56. clair says:

    like the personalised my daddy or one for my mum for mothers day

  57. Sarah Cooper says:

    I would choose a personalised wooden frame for a photo of two of my children.

  58. Primrose Mbangatha says:

    I love the graduation photo frame , I would keep it for myself

  59. jen louise jackson says:

    I would choose the my Daddy frame for my partner

  60. Tina Cleveland says:

    I would like the grandchildren frame for my Mum

  61. sandra smith says:

    I love the personalised wooden frames, they are very unique! :-) Third grandchild due in the summer and when my two grandsons brother or sister arrives would love to have the three of them together in a picture. ‘Our 3 gorgeous grandchildren’ :-)

  62. Caroline Hammond says:

    I would treat myself to the personalised bride and groom frame

  63. Maisie Young says:

    I would choose Personalised Wine Glass With Beautiful Swarovski Crystals, and I would give it to my mother on Mother’s Day with a nice bottle of wine! Lovely :) xxx

  64. Natalie White says:

    I would probably choose either an engraved wine glass with crystals for my Mum for mother’s day, or an engrave pint glass for my brother as a going to University present!

  65. roseanna says:

    i like the one on this website saying T for tom. although it would have to be R for roseanna :)

  66. siobhan marie says:

    i would choose the engraved baby photophrame and give it to my mum xx

  67. claire griffiths says:

    i would choose the personalised wooden frame and put a pic of my kids in it

  68. Anna Uni. says:

    Opps!! I missed this giveaway. Please let me know if any such a give away in future. I’ve already subscribed.

  69. John Apset says:

    Unfortunately, i also missed out the giveaway of last month. I’ll keep an eye out.

  70. rishitha says:

    Opps!! I missed this giveaway. Please let me know if any such a give away in future. I’ve already subscribed.
    http://www.intermediateresults2014.in/

  71. Catherine says:

    Is it any alternative I can participate in the next giveaway as I missed this one?

    inter 2nd year results 2014

  72. Sofie says:

    You Should Organize Another Giveaway Like This…
    As Many Of Us Missed It…:(

    http://www.happyfathersdayquoteswishes.com

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