Happy Family, Happy Business is our new series that features businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire run by parents/carers of children. It aims to showcase smaller businesses and also discuss how owners balance work and family life. Today, we’re happy to introduce our first business owner to be featured. Meet Caroline Flint from Heartistic
. We first met Caroline when she organised the community fence painting project
on Chase Meadow in Warwick and continue to be delighted by her designs.
Tell me a bit about yourself, where you live and your family.
My name is Caroline and I live in Warwick with my son (10) and daughter (7). I have lived in Warwick for 10 years but am an Essex girl at heart! I love living here and feel a real sense of community. Before having children I worked in the charity sector and was fortunate enough to travel to many developing countries as part of my job. Those experiences really changed me and taught me a lot. I decided to become a stay-at-home Mum when my son was born and absolutely loved that time with him, and subsequently my daughter too. Now both my children are at school I have decided the time is right to take on a new challenge and follow my dream of starting my own business.
What business do you run and what was your motivation for starting out?
My business is called Heartistic – art with a heart. I specialise in bespoke hand-painted creative gifts designed to improve well-being and social connection. Originally the business was just a creative gifts company but following a very difficult family trauma my eyes were opened wider to the issues of mental health, anxiety, loneliness and isolation. It made me rethink the business and I decided that in a world where more and more of us are feeling disconnected and anxious it is more vital than ever to provide products that help us reconnect to the things and people we love, get off our screens, build community and let our nearest and dearest know we love them. So Heartistic was born with the aim of providing completely bespoke products to help people do just that!
How do you balance work and family life?
This is still a work in progress, especially over lockdown when I was home-schooling too! It is hard, especially in the early days when you are just trying to get the business off the ground, but I try to do the majority of my work when the children are at school and in the evening once they’ve gone to bed. Because my business is creative there is scope to get the children involved sometimes and they can do painting or drawing alongside me as I work. They are used to the house being covered in paint, glitter, glue and varnish!
What have been the highlights of your work career?
When I was in full-time employment, one of my highlights was a trip to Uganda to visit projects supported by the charity I was working for. We spent a day working with a school group who were using the arts to help educate their peers on the issue of HIV/Aids. We helped them make paper-mache masks for their drama performances. I found it so inspiring to work with such brave young people and to be part of helping them use art to bring about change. Since starting Heartistic I have again been involved with school and community projects that have used art to teach young people about self-belief, acceptance and the importance of kindness. I take great pride in that work. I also love working with my customers to create unique items that help them through difficult situations such as bereavement, separation, illness and anxiety. I take great love and care over the items and if I can help in a small way I feel that is a job well done!
What have been your biggest challenges?
Being a single Mum and caring for 2 small children whilst trying to get the business up and running has caused me a fair amount of tears and stress. However I believe so strongly in what I’m doing it has carried me through those late nights, early mornings and general lack of sleep!
The best piece(s) of parenting advice you’ve been given?
Follow your gut and ask for help when you need it.
Where are your favourite local spots to enjoy a family day out?
We have always loved Warwick Castle and feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful place on our doorstep. We love days out as a family and across the years have enjoyed visits to Coombe Abbey, Ryton Pools, the Quarry Gardens in Baginton, St Nicholas Park, Warwick Arts Centre, Maze World and Hill Close Gardens, to name a few.
What has the next year got in store for you, your family and your business?
It’s hard to know in the current situation what is going to happen next but I have lots of new product ideas for Heartistic which I’d like to launch and (COVID dependant) would like to start doing more school/community projects and art workshops next year. My son is due to start secondary school in September too so that will be a big change for us as a family. I have also just started an Art Therapy course which I am really enjoying so I hope to complete that and use my newfound knowledge to help grow my business and expand what I can offer. I’m hoping for exciting times ahead!
Thank you Caroline for joining us on Happy Family Hub and talking about Heartistic and your family life. We wish you luck with your ventures. Your art is so colourful and always brings a smile to our faces. If you want to find out more about Heartistic, you can visit the website at www.heartistic.co.uk
or the Facebook page at Heartistic – art with a heart
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