(AD Disclaimer: This blog post was written in paid partnership with Holtham + Newman Architects)
Lucy Newman is a qualified and experienced chartered architect who co-founded and co-owns Holtham + Newman Architects. During this Berkshire Mumpreneur interview we find out more about Lucy, her business and how she manages to juggle work and family life!
Tell me briefly about your business?
I am a co-founder of Holtham + Newman Architects, and we focus primarily on home extensions, renovations, and small, new build developments. Most of our clients are in Berkshire, but we do work further afield occasionally!
Tell me briefly about yourself and your family?
I am a chartered architect, wife to husband Sam and mummy to George and Isla. I grew up in the Ascot area and studied architecture at Brighton University and at the Bartlett. After landing my first job in Hoxton, I soon realised that I had a passion for designing beautiful but functional residential architecture, that meets the needs of the residents.
When did you set up your business and why?
I set up HNA with David Holtham in 2021 after working together for another practice. I had recently returned to work from maternity leave and could see the benefit of flexible working with my two young children. I had been in the industry for 15 years, gaining experience in a busy a London firm and working on a variety of different projects – in short, I was ready to be my own boss!
What do you see as the benefits of being self-employed?
The main benefit for me is the flexible working. I work more hours now than I did within a large practice, although I can decide when to work. This allows me time to see my children in the day, doing the drop off and pick up from school and then working more in the evenings after bedtime. Professionally, it has been so rewarding to set up and grow my own business.
What are your top tips to other parents considering setting up their own business?
Firstly, I would say go for it. There will always be a good reason not to take that step, but the advantages and opportunities provided by running your own business soon become apparent. There are two sides to every business, there is the business itself, for us that is designing extensions, producing drawings and meeting with clients. This maybe something that you are good at, have worked for years doing, perfecting your skills. The other side is the admin, the accounts, the invoices, social media, and the constant need to bring in new business. These are often new skills that you need to learn and develop, and if you are lucky enough to have family members who can help, make sure you get them involved!
What’s next for your business?
January is always a busy time for us, with many prospective new clients looking to improve and extend their homes. Obviously, growing the business further is important to me, and I know there is a lot more we can do with our online presence and strategy to help with this.
How do you manage to run your business and look after your family?
With a lot of planning and hard work! My husband works for the NHS and his hours change weekly. We are fortunate to have help from Grandparents and we would really struggle without them. As well as the daily planner on the side of the fridge!
Finally, what are your top three things to do as a family in Berkshire?
We love to go for a walk or a scoot, either at a local park (Dinton Pastures is a favourite), or a National Trust property as we are lucky to have a few close by.
Wellington Country Park, this place is a firm family favourite. It is large enough to be able to do something different for every visit, although we always have to ride the train and the ‘Welly-wheels’!
Finally, as the kids are a bit older now, we really enjoy spending a Summer afternoon at a local festival with good food, good drink, and good music. Twyford Beer Festival and Wokingham Festival are a couple of local favourites for us.
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