Each week A Bit on the Side features an inspirational women, who manages to juggle a ‘day job’ as well as A Bit on the Side. This week we’ve been talking to Anna from Anna’s Bookshop:
Tell us about yourself
Hi, I’m Anna. I’m 33, married and I have two amazing children; my son 5 and daughter 2. I was raised in York, left to study at University and finally dragged my husband back to the correct side of the Pennines 😉 and am now raising my family back in lovely York.
In my previous life before children, I worked in textiles, sales and then trained as a secondary school teacher. I am now a full time mummy and I love it!
Tell us about your day job and your bit on the side (and do you keep it a secret?!)
So my day job is a full time mummy (which I love) and my bit on the side is Anna’s Bookshop – Usborne Books Independent Organiser.
How did your bit on the side come about?
I joined last year after my eldest started school, as I decided I needed something to give me some self-worth (not just known as Harry’s mum). I love books and so do my children. I was spending a fortune in fuelling my son’s love of books (which I positively encourage) and I just adore Usborne Books! So I became an Independent Organiser and now we get our books for free, or discounted.
What’s the best part of having a bit on the side?
The best bit about becoming a Usborne Books Independent Organiser is seeing the excitement in children’s eyes when they pick up one of my books! I get to share my love of reading and get books into the hands of children; developing and encouraging confidence in literacy and imagination. I have also worked with schools, preschool and charities to get them free books; which I am immensely proud of and delighted to be able to do.
My children also benefit from free and discounted books, plus a better mum. I suffered with post-natal depression and suffer with anxiety. Becoming a Usborne Books Independent Organiser has given me so much confidence and my self-worth has been developed immensely! I run my business as and how I want. I am still their mummy and I get to spend all my time with my children, plus I make money to help support my family.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced at the start was coping with my anxiety around my new business. Going out and meeting new people and hoping that they too would love my books. But the more I challenge myself and the more I get out with my books, the easier it is becoming. My confidence is increasing and my anxiety is reducing. Usborne Books is a family and the support within my team is amazing.
What’s your advice for others looking for a bit on the side?
You need to be passionate about it. I love books and I love Usborne Books. People buy from people, so if you don’t show passion in your business, no one else will.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months?
– work with more schools to run free events and get them and their pupils loads of free books!
– run more story time sessions for preschool children. I currently do two a month, but I’d love to double or triple this amount.
– build my own team and become a Team Leader for Usborne Books. I am already mentor and have people who have joined my team. I love this and I feel great pride in watching them grow and develop in their own Usborne journey. Next step is Team Leader!