Hey ladies - welcome to my very first blog post! I am going to be using this space to talk all things Popsy, fashion, confidence, family life and anything else that pops into my head! My blog will always be honest and I think it's important I share both the highs and lows with you ( I too have those days where the girls (and Greg ;-)) drive me absolutely crazy and I wonder if 10am is too early for a gin!) I thought a good place to start would be my story. Despite what you see on social media my life isn't just about pretty dresses and photoshoots. My life is actually pretty chaotic and I am the first to admit I pretty much wing each day as it comes! Our girls our full of energy, our house is always noisy and my washing basket - well lets just say I try and pretend it doesn't exist most days!
Most of you will know me as Cherish - the girl behind Popsy Clothing and if you are reading this I probably pop up all over your newsfeed wearing pretty dresses showing off the pockets. I didn't wake up one morning two years ago though with the thought of setting up a clothing brand and think 'I want to help women with their confidence." In fact if somebody told me two years ago that I would be helping women with their self esteem I would have laughed in their face and then had a crazy panic attack. For those of you who haven't read my story in Mumpreneur On Fire 2 I was bullied at High school which resulted in me being extremely shy and I struggled with anxiety. School had a huge impact on my confidence. Keeping it short I had jam put in my hair, told I was ugly, racists taunts and was even pushed in a canal. I had absolutely no friends, hated leaving the house, struggled speaking to people and honestly believed I was worthless.
It's hard to believe now that at one point in my life I struggled ordering a meal in a restaurant. I am sure anybody with anxiety can relate - trying to talk and your throat feels like it's closed up and you end up with just a squeak coming out? You feel like everybody is watching you and can feel your face burning up when you have to speak in front of people you don't know very well. Yep - I totally get it.
When we started Popsy I never shared anything about myself on our social media. Everything was signed off as 'Popsy HQ' and if a stranger complimented my dress I would never tell them it was our own brand ( I know, what a fab businesswoman I was!) Going live made me pace the house an hour before feeling physically sick and there were many times in the early days that I said to Greg 'I really don't think I can do this'
So how the hell did I go from being a girl who had pretty severe anxiety, struggled meeting people to then having a social media following of over 20k ladies who look to me to increase their confidence?? The short answer - my Popsy tribe! Every single one of you have played a huge part in my journey and that is why I am so passionate about helping other women with their own confidence and self-esteem.
I quickly learnt how common anxiety, depression and lack of confidence is! We would receive messages from customers saying how they had bought a dress from us and it had made them feel beautiful. It was so surreal for us thinking that a dress we had designed and made was helping a complete stranger and an actual real life human being was walking around in one of our dresses - crazy! I started going live more regularly and the encouragement from our customers was amazing. Nobody cared that my voice was shaking where I was so nervous and I felt accepted for who I was. I started posting more about us as a family and I quickly got to know more about our customers too. I shared my story in Mama Life Magazine and was a front cover model for their March 2018 edition talking about anxiety. Sharing my story not only helped me but helped other women feel like they wasn't alone.
Over the last two years my confidence has MASSIVELY improved! Surrounding myself around women who were all about uplifting each other was a huge part for me. I went from having no friends to having a 20k social media following, being in magazines, my local newspaper, radio, a best selling co-author of a book sold in Waterstones, being a speaker at networking events for other business owners, going into schools discussing the affects of bullying and starting up an online business, working with people such as Gok Wan and Holly Matthews and having regular photoshoots! I am not saying this as a 'look at me, look how fabulous I am' I am saying this because if I am able to improve my confidence so are YOU!
One thing I have learnt is you HAVE to step out of your comfort zone. If you want something to change you have to go out there and make the changes. Want to be more confident? Okay, lets talk about what we are going to do to get you there. Want to get fit? Okay, lets do a plan to get you where you want to be. We can't be a victim and we can't let our past hold us back else we will never get where we deserve to be. Popsy is SO much more than just selling a pretty dress. We pop in the bag confidence, self-belief and positivity - all of which are non returnable!
Our slogan 'Increasing Women's Confidence One Dress At A Time' is so important to us and it sums up what we are trying to achieve. It isn't something that is going to happen overnight - it's a process but one that I know you can all make and one that we can make together.
Thank you for being part of my story and for letting me be part of yours.