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 Lisa from the fab Presents for Preemies:
Tell us about yourself
Hi my name is Lisa Norman and in November 2016 my world got turned upside down. Before I get to why let me tell you a little about myself before November 2016. I loved holidays and exploring new places, I enjoyed socialising with friends, watching comedians, going to concerts, I always had a book on the go and I did ballroom dancing twice a week.
In November 2016 I was 30 weeks pregnant and turned up at my local hospital for a routine scan. My husband and I were given the devastating news that there was something wrong with our baby. His heart was beating too fast and he had a build up of fluid on his tummy that if it reached his heart and lungs he would drown. He needed to be delivered right now but the doctors didn’t think our baby would survive delivery. 2 hours and 2 minutes from my appointment time our little boy was born. He had Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) and Hydrops (later he also developed Chronic Lung Disease).
Neil defied all odds and survived delivery. He kept fighting and eventually after a month the doctors and nurses managed to get his conditions under control. After 73 days on the Neonatal Unit we got to take Neil home. Four days later he went into respiratory arrest and we had to resuscitate Neil at home. We were blue lighted back to hospital and this was our first round with bronchiolitis. Neil has been in and out of hospital since but is getting bigger and stronger every day!
Tell us about your day job and your bit on the side (and do you keep it a secret!?!)
My day job is in an office and the work is project based.
My bit on the side is no secret, it was to start with as I wasn’t sure if people would think it was a good idea but when I started to formulate a business plan and asked a few other business women what they thought of my idea i got such amazing feedback that I grew in confidence. My bit on the side is Presents For Preemies which provides thoughtful and useful gifts for premature babies.
How did your bit on the side come about?
I set up my bit on the side when I came to realise how difficult it was for family and friends to buy us gifts when we had our son. Clothes were too big,products were too harsh and with vouchers we didn’t want to go out and spend them or wait in for deliveries. This is how the idea for Presents For Preemies came about! The aim is to provide thoughtful and useful gifts for premature babies. I also wanted to write a blog that could help the family and friends to better understand the world of a premature and let them know ways they could help.
What’s the best part of having a bit on the side?
Having a business is all so new to me, I am learning every day and loving it. I have seen my idea slowly go from scribbles in a notebook to taking on a life of its own!
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced?
Tech! I am not very tech savvy at all and really struggle with it. Some days I want to throw my computer out of the window! Other days I take a long break and ask for help.
What’s your advice for others looking for a bit on the side?
Be prepared to work hard but stick with it, it’s an amazing feeling when it starts to come together and you see all that hard work pay off.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months?
I hope Presents For Preemies develops a solid range of products that are useful for premature babies and their parents. I also hope the blog helps with advice as to how family and friends can help. Going part time with the day job would be nice too so I can spend more time on Presents For Preemies and with my son.