Louisa Gurski / Personal Trainer
“I was on maternity leave at a chartered surveyor when I began thinking of having my own business. I used to be a professional kayaker, I went to the Rio and London Olympics and although I retired in 2016, my twin brother reminded me that sport was my number one, which totally spurred me on. So, in January this year, I went for it! Then Covid threw everything upside down, however, like many, I adapted and discovered my clients preferred the online classes. Now, 90% of my business is online; customers are more comfortable at home, especially post-partum mums. Plus, it works around childcare with my daughter Anna who’s 17months. I’m more efficient this way rather than travelling from park to park around Surrey. In between naps and in the evening, I’ll catch up on admin but weekend afternoons are strictly family-time only. It’s all about getting that balance.”
Natalie Robertson / Kids Fashion Designer
“When my daughter Bonnie, 2, got to the age when I realized I had a bit more time on my hands, I just knew I needed to do this! I graduated in Fashion Design from Epsom UCA in 2006 (known as The Surrey Institute then) and life became very high-paced. I worked as a women’s apparel designer for both small and big brands which gave me the experience I needed – but it was always the dream to have a children’s wear brand.
I started BonBonBon at the beginning of this year and as well as being named after Bonnie, the styles I create are totally inspired by her character too. Everyday delivers something different.”
Amy Yiannakou / Cupcake Baker
“I went to a sugar-crafting class about seven years ago and was hooked. I’m self-taught, admittedly not very academic but creative and I love cupcakes. Baking has always been a hobby but the business (named after my cat, Pandi) took off two and a half years ago. As a single parent to my son Alfie, 4, it is a juggle but when a post went viral on Facebook with over 32,000 views, I just knew I was onto something with the bespoke cupcake bouquets that have become my signature thing. I usually bake in the evenings until the early morning from our home in Ewell once my boy has gone to bed. I plan everything, from my social media to recipes and online courses at the weekends when he’s at his Dad’s. It’s hard work but I honestly believe that anything is possible if you really set your mind to it.”
Karen McGuigan / Maths Consultant
“I have always been a maths geek, so when my eldest son, Dexter now 10, started school, I took great interest in the learning he was being set and kept hearing the same thing, how parents (especially Mums) hated maths or couldn’t do it. That’s when I had the idea that I needed to teach parents how maths is taught today. I’m not tutoring their children, I’m helping parents help their children.
My most viewed video during lockdown was on times tables and my book sold out the first print run in 24hours. I have two other sons, Cal, 6 and Lance, 8 who has Downs. As a special needs parent, I am very active in our community and started Maths for Life not for GCSE’s in July which focuses on practical skills for life, for work and for living independently.”