Face the Fun Parties and Events is a business solely run by me,  Jade, a mum to two boys and wife to Dean.  At the weekends, I entertain at parties all over Essex and London and a huge business goal was met when I was shortlisted for the South Essex Business Awards last week, getting through to the final for Excellent Customer Service amongst two other small businesses in my category.
Rewind ten years ago and life was very different for me.  I was living in a womans refuge with my son who was two at the time, with no job and no family around me.  I had left an emotional abusive marriage and was fighting to keep my son who was on the child protection register.  I had left my job in retail, my friends and family behind and I was living in an area I had never been to before and had to start my life from scratch.
I remember sitting in my room at the refuge and wondering how I had got into this situation and how I was ever going to rebuild my life.  I had lost everything I had worked for and I remember thinking that I would never get out of it.
Everyone goes through some kind of trauma in life, it is what makes us human.  This was mine and without it, I would not be where I am today but it did not happen over night and it certainly didn’t happen by people handing things to me on a plate.  I had to work hard to get back what I had.
I was juggling being a mum and trying to find a job that would fit around his school times and I did go back to college and trained as a teaching assistant.  I have always had a drive to work and be successful but I never really knew exactly what I wanted to do as it changed every month!
Working at a school helped me to build my confidence back up and make new friendships.  Cliche as it is, I was finding out who I was and who the real me was going to be.
I was lucky to meet my husband and we had our youngest son together, he is an amazing step dad taking on my eldest and I still pinch myself because I still picture myself in that refuge wondering how I would rebuild my life.
I started this business 4 years ago this month, but only as a part time hobby!  It was just for a bit of pocket money and to put smiles on children’s faces.
One day, I realised this was actually what I wanted to do.  I not only wanted to entertain, but wanted to give back to the community that helped me get to where I am.
Through my business, I was able to do many charity events, including raising money for Refuge and Women’s Aid who both helped me through my difficult time.
I applied for my local awards in Havering this year as I had seen fellow businesses take part and win and they inspired me to believe in myself.  I didn’t get through this year but had forgotten that I had applied for the South Essex Business Awards until I received the email to confirm that I had been shortlisted in the summer!
I went for an interview in Southend and talking about my business that I am so passionate about, made me realise how far I have come!  It wasn’t about winning, (althougb it would have been amazing!) but it was about finally being proud of myself and seeing how far I have come.
The awards gave me the opportunity to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses and these have already seen an improvement.  I met a business goal and have huge plans for the future of my business.
The evening itself was inspiring and strange as I couldn’t believe I was there just for me!  I took my husband as a way of saying thank you for supporting me and putting up with me not being around every weekend!  We had a three course meal, and enjoyed the award ceremony.  I lost out to a dog parlour based in Southend but I didn’t expect to win with it being my first time and some strong competitors in my category!  I did meet some lovely people, including Sandra from Funky Voices who was an inspiration.  There was a disco after the awards and then we wanted to get home to our kids!
On reflection, I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to show off my business, (and see it’s name in lights!).
I used to sit on the floor in the refuge and cry my eyes out about how awful my situation was and how I was ever going to show my child the right path in life.  But a decade on, and I can safely say that if anything, I have taught my children to follow your dreams if you want them to come true.
We all make mistakes in life, but it’s how we deal with them that makes us who we are.
The point of this blog post was to show you that no matter how bad things are in your life, it is down to us to turn them around.  If you have a small business, take it to the stars.  If you are a single parent, give your children all the love in the world.  If you are in a dark place, it won’t be forever.
I am just a mum of two from Romford, wife to Dean and business owner of a children’s entertainment company but sharing my story will hopefully help others with where they want to go in life and to inspire them to do it.
Love Jade xx

Feeling inspired?  Share away and let me know your thoughts in the comments. xx

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