Our website use cookies to improve and personalize your experience and to display advertisements(if any). Our website may also include cookies from third parties like Google Adsense, Google Analytics, Youtube. By using the website, you consent to the use of cookies. We have updated our Privacy Policy. Please click on the button to check our Privacy Policy.

A Berkshire Mumpreneur // Amber Ellis-Ramsey

Amber Ellis-Ramsey is the founder of Brave the Braid, which offers hair braiding sessions and lessons in Berkshire. During this Berkshire Mumpreneur interview we find out more about Amber, her business and her top tips on taking that first step towards starting your own small business.

Tell me briefly about your business?

Brave The Braid really has two parts to it.

1. Learn to braid: I teach both adults and children the skills and techniques to master the art of hair braiding. I run in person workshops for Adult beginners covering Dutch braids, French braids and fishtail braids for example right from the very basics and we have such a laugh whilst learning. The children’s classes really aim to bring alternate skills to the table and build confidence. I think so many children are expected to be either academic or sporty and not all of them are! I teach them the basic skills they need and give them the opportunity to get creative with what they’ve learnt. It’s so important for them to feel amazing about who they are and what they can achieve! They never fail to surprise me with their masterpieces.

2. Parties and events: We braid in all sorts of places for all sorts of reasons including by appointment for individuals. We do children’s parties which vary from adding coloured hair, glitter braids right through to our “Learn to Braid parties”. We braid at school events, fun days, dance shows. You name it we are happy to braid it!

Tell me briefly about yourself and your family?

My name is Amber, I’m 30 and have 2 crazy but amazing children aged 12 and 7! My eldest is football mad, taller than me and approaching the teenage years! My youngest loves to braid and is crazy as a box of frogs but I wouldn’t have them any other way!

When did you set up your business and why?

Brave the Braid started last year in January 2022 so we are officially a year old! Yay.

I would often braid my youngest’s hair. They were growing out a really short hair cut which was all over the place and the only way for them to have their hair up “like their friends” was to hold it in with braids. Often people would comment “I wish I could do that” and I’d always find myself saying “I can teach you”.

During this time I was working in a small salon that for a long time had been my home from home with people I loved. Things had really started to change at work for me and I found myself going home every night feeling lost, anxious and the main thought that would run through my mind was “I just can’t do this anymore”. I was so unhappy and my confidence had hit rock bottom so whatever possessed me to take that first little step I don’t know!

I posted the same simple post on 2 local Facebook pages. Simply saying I was going to run a few beginners hair braiding workshops and would anyone be interested in coming along to learn. As soon as I posted it I felt absolutely ridiculous! I actually turned my phone off and went to put the children to bed thinking “Why on earth would anyone want me to teach them? What if they all say that’s what the Internet is for? And exactly who do you think you are Amber?” (Ha – That’s anxiety for you! If someone else had of posted the same thing I would have thought “Well done them!”). But that one tiny step started something amazing! I turned my phone back on and it would not stop buzzing. Hundreds of people on both posts had responded and every single comment was a positive one either asking for more info, wanting to book or saying “I wish this had of been around when my children were younger.” I was blown away!

I was hardly breaking the Internet with life changing ideas but people were reacting positively and it really was the boost I needed to get going again.

I held my first workshop in February and haven’t looked back since that moment! (The night before I thought of every way possible I could cancel,  I felt sick with nerves). But I stuck it out and OMG the feeling I felt walking out of that very first workshop I will never forget! I felt amazing and that started off everything! Being Brave ;).

What do you see as the benefits of being self-employed?

The freedom! For me that is everything. The freedom to work around the children as much as possible, be there for their school runs and not have to ask permission to be there for them when they need me! Being able to plan my work accordingly when the school holidays are approaching. The freedom to take my admin anywhere. Whether it be somewhere outside in the summer, the garden, with me to visit my nan. That side of things I can mostly pick up and take anywhere at any time. But mostly the freedom to make my own choices and to just do me. The fact I can change up areas that aren’t bringing me peace or making me happy, involve my kids in the parts they’re interested in and create a part of my world where my door is open to all. To just be me doing my thing and for that to be good enough is amazing!

What are your top tips to other parents considering setting up their own business?

JUST DO IT. But also don’t “Just do it”.  Do it with your whole heart, work hard but enjoy it!

Definitely ask yourself “How would I feel if someone else had done it?” Would you wish you had taken the plunge?

I’m a firm believer that if you believe it you can achieve it. But that will always require you to take the steps to make it happen! So take that first tiny step and see what you get back! Even if that’s a simple introduction of “Hey this me and this is what I’m up too. Is anyone interested?” Just like I did and you may be amazed by the response!

Know when to say yes and when to say no. I spent a long time turning down opportunities simply because I was terrified. I spent years not believing in myself in the same way I would believe in others but you really do have to feel the fear and do it anyway! Be brave! It’s always harder to say yes to yourself than it is to other people. But you owe yourself that and once you start adopting that mind set amazing things really can take shape.

I live by lists and I don’t think there’s ever a situation they can’t be applied to or helpful for so..I’m including them here!

There are so many “What if?” Moments in life, especially when thinking of starting a business and keeping on top of your family. So here are two for you.. What if you never take that first step? What if you do and it turns out to be amazing?

GO DO IT! GOOD LUCK!

What’s next for your business?

So many amazing things are whirling round the big board of ideas for Brave The Braid. But I think the project closest to being complete and the one that’s really being driven from my heart right now is Brave The Braid – Kids Club, which I am really excited about. I won’t give away too many details as we are tweaking the last few bits but it will see lots more junior workshops come to life, memberships and VIP memberships, braid kits and equipment, monthly surprises and the release of our super exciting Brave the Braid – The Kids Club Journal! Kids Club is really going to be working hard on confidence and self belief as well as of course having fun with braiding.

Watch this space!

How do you manage to run your business and look after your family?

Running a business and running a family for me so far has basically been a lifetime of running! I feel like I run from here and run from there and never stop. But I truly love being a mum (although currently every boundary is being tested!) and I truly love what I’ve chosen to do when it comes to work. So for me it’s worth it.

Mum guilt is real isn’t it. For any working parent, employed or running a business I think there will always be an element of juggling and feeling stretched. I think the key is balance (and lists-maybe I mentioned that already). I know it’s easier said than done but you will find that balance and it will look different for every family and every business but for me it’s keeping a certain amount of the school holidays free for family time and making sure I’m not working every single weekend.

 I’ve learnt that having children and a business simply means not everything will always go to plan and that’s ok! I try to boss what I can control and do what I like to call “Namaste the day away” to what I cannot (Acknowledge it but don’t absorb it).

I try my best to plan in advance and where possible have a back up plan at the ready for things such as childcare falling through and just not panic. 

I think something that also helps me is knowing when something just isn’t going to be productive. If I’m trying to work on something but the kids are all over the place it’s only going to take me longer to achieve what im trying to do and they’re not getting what they need either. It’s serving none of us that way so knowing when to step away and revisit what I need to when they’re in bed makes life so much easier. My youngest loves what I do and they’re so creative with their own braiding so there’s a lot I can actually involve them in which makes life easier (dependent on the mood they are in of course) and means they are getting my time too.

Another great plus is I don’t do any of the cooking! I’m simply awful at it and their dad does it all and does it really well! It’s the little things like that which make all the difference! 

Finally, what are your top three things to do as a family in Berkshire?

Explore and walk! I live in Eton Wick and there’s so much opportunity to just get outside and walk. Down to Boveny Lock, around Dorney Lake or down to the Jubilee. Just out with the kids and the dog just “being”. They do love a tree climb!

Mine love Black Park, my little one just loves to explore and my eldest has always enjoyed the GO APE activities they have there.

I find 2 easy spots for us are also The Palmers Arms as we can sit outside and the children can use the play area outside and Dorney Court. Which again has such a great space for them to run around outside and runs so many activities especially in half term!

Follow Berkshire Mummies 

There are several different ways in which you can follow Berkshire Mummies, here’s how; 

Join the Mailing List

Follow Berkshire Mummies on Instagram and Facebook, if you don’t already. 

By Berkshire Mummies

Related Posts