FANTASTIC Females – Interview with Sharon Kearns founder of YOUR STYLE YOUR STORY

FANTASTIC FEMALES – INTERVIEW WITH SHARON KEARNS FOUNDER OF YOUR STYLE YOUR STORY

I’m a mum to 2 boys aged 8 and 11. I set up my first business an accounting practice 11 years ago when my son was born so I could have more flexibility as a mum and for my family.

I’ve now set up my second business 6 months ago Your Style Your Story https://yourstyleyourstory.com/ – an online ladies boutique to help other amazing ladies feel great everyday.
I love having my kids be part of it. They set up my business you tube page and are behind the camera taking my style videos and photos 

💙💙.

I’m a single mum now last 5 years which can be a bit of a challenge sometimes but we always manage to muddle through .

YOUR STYLE YOUR STORY

FANTASTIC FEMALES – INTERVIEW WITH SHARON KEARNS FOUNDER OF YOUR STYLE YOUR STORY

How did you balance being a mother and professional?

When my first son was 6months old I realised I needed a more flexible work structure that would work around my new life as a mum.  I decided to leave my job and set up my own business and this has mostly worked for me over the years.  Most of my work can be completed remotely so morning work would be swapped to evenings to attend doctors appointments, handle sick days and so on.  I don’t think I have achieved a balance but more so swap the times around that I do things for work to support how and when my children need me.

What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career? 

Professionally –  I think I’m lucky as I can’t think of anything major I’ve sacrificed – I’ve always had my ambitions and being a mum didn’t change or limit that.  Granted it’s not as easy to achieve as I always want to consider my family but this has instead forced me to think of different ways of achieving my ambitions that can work well around my family.  Personally I do regret sacrificing my maternity leave and those first few months just bonding with my second son.  I was self-employed by then and with no maternity leave I was back working a few days after he was born.  Memories from that time are a blur of working in between naps and feedtimes even at 2am.  Definitely not something I would recommend. 

Who inspired you and why? 

My father did as he always helped me to believe that life should be an adventure, that we should not be afraid to do and experience as many things as possible and to always be kind and honest in everything you do.

What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? 

Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and pro-actively put forward your suggestions and ideas.  Yes sometimes they might not be accepted or they may even be wrong but what about those times that they turn into great ideas?  Take time to rest and have interests outside of work.  It’s easy to work all the hours but with other interests comes different experiences and perspectives which can then inspire some of your ideas at work.

Do you think women feel intimidated in business?

I don’t think women feel intimidated but some times we are apologetic of leaving on time for school / nursery collections or not being able to put ourselved forward for all business travel trips.  On top of this women can be more conscious of how they come across – are we perceived as weak , aggressive, especially compared to our male counterparts?  I don’t think this is something that even cross the minds of our male colleagues.

Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? 

On the side of a football pitch watching my son play while trying to keep our dogs from running onto the pitch.

What do you love about your job? 

I love that I get to make a difference to the lives of women.  My boutique Your Style Your Story was all about creating a completely new online shopping experience for women.  I handpick all of the collections thinking how amazing each piece will be for my female customers to wear.  Think about how amazing you feel on a Saturday night when you’re heading out with your partner or friends.  I want women to feel that way every single day not only on the weekend.  So I’ve put together collections and outfits that women can wear during the day , which give them confidence at work but are also gorgeous to wear at the weekends. I love the feedback I get from my customers as it’s so special just to know you are making someone’s day a bit brighter.  It’s like having your very own personal shopper online.

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?

Definitely deciding to set up my own business.  I have had so many adventures along the way and I got to travel to amazing cities.  Running my owning business meant I have been able to decide how work should look for me and this has changed at different points.  Twice we have relocated to Spain where I could work remotely and my sons had a great experience of spending some years living in the sunshine and learning traditions from countries other than Ireland.

What’s the worst career decision you’ve ever made? 

Staying at a particular job when I knew I had outgrown it.  I really was no longer feeling fulfilled and successfully interviewed with other companies.  However when I went to hand in my notice, I accepted their counter offer and stayed.  Ultimately I still resigned a few months later and I always felt I wasted both their time and mine during those months when I was right to feel I should have changed employer.

How do you organise your time?

Organising time really is one of my biggest problems as there is always so much to do.  Now I try to write down the 3 tops things I want to achieve that day and really limit this.  As I work from my home office a lot it’s easy to work nights too so to avoid this I learned to decide a finish time at the start of each day and stick to it.  Meetings I find are such a time killer and an energy zapper so I’m also limiting my meetings to no more than 1 a day and only attend if there is actually any value or it will bring me closer to my current goals.

What do you think is your greatest strength?

Problem Solving – I always believe there is a way to solve most things and that we shouldn’t be afraid if the solution is something out of the norm.  For example when we were relocating to Spain there was a recession so we couldn’t sell or rent out our home in Ireland.  Instead we found a couple in Spain in a similar situation who were looking to return to Ireland.  We decided to do a house swap.  We both still owned our respective homes but lived in each others home and it worked as a great solution for both families.

What do you think is your greatest weakness? 

Impatience.  If I come up with ideas I’m always trying to implement them as quick as possible – which can be a good thing unless you get these ideas on a Friday evening and spend your weekend then working on them instead of letting it wait until the next week.

How do you make decisions? 

I tend to make decision quite quickly, I try to find a quiet place and see if the decision sits well with my gut feeling.  So far this process has served me well.

What do you read? 

I love to read auto biographies as I have a real interest in other people’s lives.  Right now I’m in the middle of reading Becoming, by Michelle Obama.

What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to? 

Being open minded and willing to try to new things and new opportunities.  Sometimes opportunities have come along that I wasn’t 100% experienced in but I never let that discourage me from taking it on.  In doing so I would surround myself with experts who knew the parts I didn’t and this approach has changed the direction of my career many times so far and led to even more opportunities.  I’ve set up an accounting practice with clients all over the world, I’ve owned two bar/restaurants and now I’m the founder of a successful online clothing boutique, Your Style Your Story, delivering to women all around the world.  All of these adventures could only ever have happened from being open minded and taking a chance.  Just as important as been the support at each step from my friends and family who have always been my cheerleaders.

YOUR STYLE YOUR STORY

FANTASTIC FEMALES – INTERVIEW WITH SHARON KEARNS FOUNDER OF YOUR STYLE YOUR STORY

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