My Life - Clare Callanan
You have just had a baby boy, what is your life like at the moment?
I'm enjoying my maternity leave and feeling more relaxed with motherhood the second time around. I am not good at being away from work as it is an extremely important part of my life, and I found being at home with my first child extremely challenging. This time, I'm happier just to go with it and I feel really lucky to have this time with both my son and daughter, especially as my daughter Chloe is starting school in September.
When you return back to work in September, how do you plan to balance work and family commitments?
I'm lucky to have a fabulous childminder, Tracey, who has been looking after Chloe since she was a baby. She is so flexible and has enabled me to pursue my career with no concerns about my children's well-being - as I know they are safe and happy with Tracey. Zak will go to Tracey from September, and Chloe will be at school... which I still can't really believe! So I will be back at Calladoodles managing the shop and also be working from home.
What do you like most about being a mother?
My favourite things about being a mother are chatting with Chloe, who likes to talk just as much as me! I love hearing her come out with new words that I didn't even know she knew, and the quirky things she says; I never know where the conversation will end up going, and she always has something new to say. I love the little things - like Zak smiling at me and calling me 'ummy' (as he isn't talking yet). And watching Chloe with her best friend Elodie and how inseparable they are at their ballet class.
What food do you live on?
My diet is horrendous, I love Shreddies, London cheesecake (from the Village Bakers next door to Calladoodles), roast dinners and chocolate ice cream. If I could live on these things I would, but my partner Jed won't let me. He is a super cook and makes my dinner every night. He was once said to be the most romantic man in Carshalton (by his mates)!!
How did Calladoodles start?
Calladoodles started after an idea I had to open a retail unit to sell handmade goods, like an indoor craft market. My good friend Nicki made handmade products and we met a network of like-minded people whose products we wanted to amalgamate and sell.
I lived for a while in Brighton and spend hours wandering The Lanes and thinking that there should be independent shops like the ones in The Lanes everywhere.
What did you do before?
Before Calladoodles I worked in housing, starting off working in hostels for homeless people. I was totally fulfilled by this job and would still be working there today if I hadn't taken a few wrong moves and ended up in the admin and maintenance side of housing. I wasn't happy working in this particular area, my last job was a complaints management role which made me realise I had made some wrong moves and had ended up in the wrong job.
What does Calladoodles stand for? And how did you come about the name?
Calladoodles was a name made up by the children in our family, it was the beginning of a family name 'Callanan' and the fact that it was all about creativity. Me and my step-daughter Caitlin loved to doodle and I suppose that's where it came from.
Beauty means a feeling of satisfaction when you look or hear or feel something, it's not about perfection necessarily but when lots of different elements work together, sometimes you're not even sure why they do.
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by my mum - she owns Calladoodles and she rocks. All the girls in Calladoodles call my mum 'Mama Doodles', it sums her up; she is fun, creative, strong and in charge. We all look up to her and respect her decisions. The buck stops with Mama Doodles because she is actually right, all the time. We have a card in the shop, it says, 'Sometimes when I speak my mum comes out'. This is so true, but not a problem for me, as those are my finest moments.
What do you want for your children?
I want my children to simply be happy. It sounds basic but really, that is it. I'd like them to have happy relationships, friendships and enjoy their work as much as I enjoy mine. I want them to smile all the time and not to worry about things. I've spent too much time worrying and it's the biggest waste of time ever!