LIVE, WORK, CREATE: INTERVIEW WITH DONNA WILSON
We are so excited to be restarting our LIVE, WORK, CREATE series of interviews! These are short and sweet insights from some of the most creative entrepreneurial mothers. These women will be sharing their stories around managing the juggle of motherhood with creativity and work, finding purpose and place, to setting up a small business and creating ones own destiny... I hope you find these inspiring to read!
And who better to kick things off this than the amazing textile designer Donna Wilson. Donna has created a woolly wonderland: a place where pattern and colour collide and the imagination is free to run wild. From cushions and creatures to sofas and sweaters, and always in the most vibrant of colours. Her business has grown and grown in the last 10 years, alongside the building of her family with two small children. Most recently she has launched a new bi-annual publication - MYO - all about creativity and aiming to inspire and encourage family creativity in all its forms – music, play, cooking, or just day-to-day life.
How has motherhood changed you?
Before I had my first son, I thought, I’m good at multi tasking, I thought I’d just carry on the same with him in a little moses basket by my desk, well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! It was such a shock, I was completely torn, didn’t want to leave this little babe for one minute, overwhelming love, feeling utterly drained and pulled in every direction but also trying hard to maintain an image as an in-control boss trying to keep it all together when inside I felt like a stressed panicky fuzzy brained wreck!!
The first whole year was a struggle, and because it was my own business it was completely up to me to make it work, the business took a bit of a dip, but finally something clicked and I thought, I just need to let go of all the guilt and accept I can only do what I can do, and nothing is THAT important any more , except my little baby. It was such a relief , I stopped feeling bad about not answering emails, and delegated more, for me it put everything in perspective.
How do you continue to maintain creativity around Motherhood?
That’s hard, as I find it difficult to find time to be creative at work, I used to do all my designing in the evenings at home, but that was out too as I was so exhausted after I put the kids to bed. I feel really strongly about encouraging creativity in my kids, as it was such an important part of my own childhood, and it made me me! Also I hear all these stories about creative subjects being cut from our school curriculums which makes me really worried.
So that’s why I started MYO which is a printed publication, celebrating and encouraging creativity in all its forms. It started with me trying to make things with my kids and recording it, so I thought it would be nice to share some of the projects we do together, Then through Instagram I became aware of all these amazing creative parents and wanted to collaborate to bring something new to the MYO ( make your own ) arena. And I wanted to prove that you need creativity for so many careers, so I’ve interviewed lawyers, surgeons, scientists about what creativity means to them.
What quote or saying gives you inspiration?
"I never read I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol
I like this quote as I’m a bit like this, I’m a very lazy reader, I was always more interested in drawing and looking at the pictures, not I don’t feel guilty about it!
What fears keep you awake at night?
Forgetting to do Eli’s homework with him.
What is the best and hardest thing about being your own boss?
Best - never getting bored, and being in charge of what I do, and when i do it And also only having myself to blame if things don’t work out. Worst - I’m struggling to find a worst thing, as I enjoy the challenges of it all. But I do find being an employer hard sometimes and making sure everyone is happy and appreciated, but I try my best!
If there were magically more hours in the day, what would you do with them?
Spend more time with my kids, especially in the mornings when they are not too tired , I’d get them gardening with me. Which is one of my favourite things to do at the weekends with them (or even just to do homework with them!) I really admire full time mothers , but for me to be me I had to go back to work, so I feel extremely lucky to have a balance of both, but I’m always complaining that there is not enough time in the day.
Donna has kindly created an offer for Mamahood readers! Subscribe to MYO starting with Issue 2, and receive issue 1 for free! Use code MAMAMYO to claim. You wont look back I promise - this magazine is awesome for any mother looking for some creative inspiration in their family life.