So the time has come!
To push the button on the dream! I’m nervous, I’m scared, I’m worried but above all I’m really excited. I have procrastinated for years about doing is but if I read one more self-help book, instruction manual on business management or blog I think I will go insane!
A short bit of background as to how I am here and what’s going on. I started a Digital Marketing Agency 5 years ago – as a single mother I needed the flexibility having my own business would offer me. So, with £40 in the bank I went for it – took a mortgage holiday for 3 months and basically worked my butt off. It paid off – revenue surpassed all expectations and it has enabled me to move to a lovely house, renovate it to exactly how I wanted it and give my son a great life. Now this is the needle on the record part, I HATE IT! I realise I am very fortunate in so many ways, but I feel empty, unfulfilled, panicky and dead inside from the minute I get into the office to the minute I leave. I’m barely functioning but know there could be so much more than this…
I have always had a passion for health and fitness, and now, my interest has expanded further into the ‘wellness’ physical and mental wellness. I love working with people and helping them to achieve their goals. To give them to tools to be the version of themselves that they want to be. I took a fitness instructor course, have signed up to a yoga instructor course and am studying relevant wellness sites avidly.
I know where I want to go with this, I don’t want to be a PT, I definitely don’t want to work in a gym. I want to create a health and wellness retreat. A boutique, luxurious retreat where like-minded people can come to achieve their goals be they wellness, physical fitness, career or a general re-charge of batteries.
Enter Carolyn, I met Carolyn 3 years ago when living in my favourite part of the world – SW France. I lived there for 9 months with my son, coming back to the UK weekly for work. It didn’t work out as Henry my son didn’t settle in French school and it was all a bit traumatic (another story for another day!).
Back to Carolyn, she bought a breathtaking Maison de Maître and set about renovating and styling – making it a fabulously luxurious French home. But she’s as driven as me and she wanted more. She wanted to create a retreat. Boom! I messaged Carolyn out the blue saying I was ready, I wanted to start and within seconds she sent me back the drafted logos for Pure Retreats, floods of concepts and plans she’d already lovingly created with general Carolyn like enthusiasm and excitement. As far as I was concerned this was it – no turning back. We were both provided the impetus the other needed.
Carolyn has spent the past couple of weeks in France working with a friend’s daughter who is a designer on putting together our website. It’s still work in progress but it’s really started to take shape and is delivering the luxurious look and feel we both wanted.
We have agreed the first three months retreat schedule – we want to test a good variety to get the best learnings we can before rolling out and running more than one retreat a month. More about the specifics on each retreat later. It’s all becoming very real! We even have our first 4 guests confirmed for January's retreat. Eeeeeeek.
We have spent the past couple of weeks researching vegan chefs, Pilates instructors, masseuse, yoga teachers, walking routes, branded uniforms, guests’ bathrobes and much, much more. Never have I felt so immersed, alive and excited by a project – this is the feeling I have been searching for and it’s here and I am living it.
The panicky, worrying days of ‘are we doing the right thing?’ are lessening and the days filled with conviction and excitement are increasing. This is my dream and I am living it! My mum will live to see me happy and fulfilled which was my goal.
I hope you enjoy my blog, the plan is to write about Carolyn and I setting up Pure Retreats – lots of fun pictures of our work in progress through from pre-launch, launch and beyond. Warts and all…… the real story. Who knows, this time next year we may be full to the brim with happy & fulfilled guests but in the meantime back to taste testing our vegan chef!