Nicola Raven is passionate about promoting small businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk. The ‘hype girl’ explains why she started her That’s Lovely small business coach Instagram account this time last year
In January 2020 I was really looking forward to the new year ahead (I find New Year so exciting as I love setting new goals and plans…) and as soon as March hit, I felt really unsettled and anxious like everyone else – and very conscious of how I appear in front of my children! So, keeping as positive as possible was a number one priority for me…
During lockdown one I felt super charged to make sure we spent the time we had in lockdown to do things we don’t usually have the time for – lots of crafts and reading, gardening and simply enjoying each other’s company…
Lockdown two was HARD! I felt like being so distanced from family and friends was unnatural and, in particular, I found it hard to entertain the boys as they were getting increasingly bored with said crafts and books in lockdown one! My mood was not always positive and the fact my husband was at home felt difficult at times too as it sometimes felt like there was another person who I had to take into consideration all the time!
Lockdown three felt slightly more hopeful – and the overwhelming feeling of being grateful for health, family and friends was getting me through!
That’s Lovely! started in lockdown one as a way to share as many positive stories in my local area as possible. This evolved into promoting businesses as most of the happy news and stories involved so many of them! Norfolk and Suffolk are just the most beautiful places and has an abundance of small businesses waiting to be discovered! I’m a Norfolk girl so it felt right to stay true to my area.
In some ways it’s a case of the smaller the business the better! I want to give the people starting out a jump start with being seen by people who have a genuine interest in shopping small and I think whoever has the dream of owning their own business, they deserve a hype girl! I approach people all the time and they message me too!
I 100 per cent agree that if we’ve learnt anything over the past year, is it to appreciate our local businesses a lot more! And to expand on that, to appreciate what goes into running a small biz: the person/family behind it, and what supporting these businesses do to your local area. Putting your money back into your local community! Not just Norfolk and Suffolk – everywhere!
I’ve juggled being a mum along with everything else with a LOT of patience! Luckily, Fletcher is three and Jacob is two so homeschooling wasn’t an issue but it was more the boredom and the mum guilt of them not totally understanding why mummy wasn’t taking them out or doing fun things! They’re at an age where you can’t explain everything to them fully – however this has also been a good thing as they won’t remember!
Me and my husband remained as much of a team as we could, making sure the other had time for themselves whether it be exercise or simply having some time out alone – it was key to keep our mental health in check!
I just hope that we remember some of the things lockdown taught us – the values we have and the love we have for friends and family we perhaps once took for granted. I don’t want to slip back into the rat race and not finding the time to really enjoy the simple things!
That’s Lovely! will be teaming up with businesses in the future to bring more content, a photo shoot in July involving local biz, giveaways and much more! This is just the start…
Nicola has two spaces left on her ‘How to ‘Show Up’ and be Confident on Social Media’ group coaching course on Tuesday July 6. DM Nicola via her That’s Lovely Instagram account for more information.