Becoming a mother is one of the most rewarding things ever, in our opinion. But it can also be an isolating time as you struggle to remember who you were before your baby came along, and reestablish your sense of self. This familiar feeling is what spurred Laura Turner to launch her lifestyle store Hero, and in turn overhaul her own lifestyle.
Back in 2014 I had been a stay at home mum for six years, living a life of domestic bliss – it was everything I thought I wanted. The romantic notion that baking and crafting all day, making memories with my two young daughters was going to be all I’d ever want. When the reality was that I simply spent most of my days doing nothing more than surviving.
Two children in 17 months was full on and when I look back now it’s all a bit of blur really. I just knew I had to find a way of finding who I was again.
My personal style had always been really important to me. A way of shaping my identity and – as fickle as it sounds – making me feel good about myself. But after having the two children I’d lost this. I didn’t know how to feel like myself again. How do you dress as a mum, without the mummy cliches?! I spent a long time just fitting into my English countryside surroundings…cue Barbour jacket and Dubarry boots. Then I decided that to really feel good about myself I had to develop my own sense of style again.
A friend suggested that I start a blog. I had no idea what they were talking about – I’d never read a blog before. But after a little research I thought it sounded like something I could do as a way of sharing my taste and style and possibly even turn it into a business.
I had always been curious about having my own business. Having grown up with entrepreneurial parents, the idea of risk and being your own boss all seemed quite normal to me.
In October 2014 I opened Hero, a bricks and mortar shop in Stockbridge, Hampshire but it is so much more than just a shop. It started from a place of creativity and a desire to bring together beautiful style – from your wardrobe heroes, jeans and cashmere; to notebooks and body cream. Everything is carefully curated to make you feel incredible, everyday.
Hero is also a community for other creative entrepreneurs. We hold workshops to help others build their brand and give them the tools and confidence to take their business in the direction that’s right for them. Whether it’s learning about how to tell their story on Instagram, how to style their brand photography or developing their own PR strategy it’s a place to be inspired.
Running my own business has shaped me and my outlook in ways I couldn’t have believed over the past four years. I have learnt more than I could ever have imagined, I’ve had to face up to difficult situations, fly by the seat of my pants and ride the emotional roller coaster that comes with being a business owner.
The reality is that it’s tough. It’s not for the faint-hearted (or those who require lots of sleep!) but it’s also incredibly rewarding and everything that I’ve learned over the past four years are experiences that mould how I take the business onto the next phase.
For me and the future of Hero, we are taking things slowly. At my own pace and putting my creativity front and centre of what I do. I know that the rest will follow and I’m excited for the future.