When I founded Kerikit in 2014, the main catalyst to start up my own business was the fact that working full-time as a Senior Buyer for someone else just couldn’t work with my kids. I could never be sure that I would make it to drop off or pick up, let alone sports day or swimming lessons; and working for someone else in a job where they wanted your soul and rarely said ‘thank you’, wasn’t very rewarding either. Once my children were born, it seemed like such a waste of my time and energies to always be travelling and in meetings, discussing at great length such trivial things that made no real positive impact on the world. Sadly, I experienced first-hand discrimination during both my pregnancies, and had seen (and was soon about to experience) ‘constructive dismissal’, with no flexible working offered unless I moved to an office-based role in Accounts (from a home based role as a Buyer), all with the knowledge I lived over 140 miles away from the office! Something had to change, so I started to prepare for my next chapter while on maternity leave with my twins, as it was obvious that my existing options were bleak.
Even though the sufragette movement 100 years ago kick-started the much-needed push towards equality, I realised that women still have a long way to go in the 21st century, with very few development opportunities before kids, and even fewer afterwards! But why?? Us women are a supremely talented bunch with so much to give, and in fact, SO many industries would not exist without us. There has to be a better way – so many of us are forced to leave long careers where we would have been very happy to stay if we were offered a little more support and flexibility, so we can have the chance to be a good mother as well as a good employee. God knows we are the best at multitasking – just ask her! 😉
That’s why, when I thought about how I could use my creative skills for good while working around my family, combined with the realisation as a new parent again, that so few bags on the market actually meet women’s daily needs effectively, I found my calling and creating KeriKit. But it goes further than just great bag design; there is still a huge gap between what real women actually do, think and feel, and what the rest of the world thinks they do, think and feel. At least, that’s been my own personal experience as a woman in the 21st Century! So I’m committed to changing that dichotomy however I can, through everything I do. This includes portraying women and mothers in a way that is much more accurate, and empowering, providing women and mothers with their essential kit to survive through my designs and offering support through our community. We also hope to collaborate with more women-run businesses, and ultimately support all women to not only follow their dreams in motherhood, but also to reach their goals in work too. We all need to do our part to give women the support and opportunities they deserve.
So with this in mind, in just over a month’s time, we will be relaunching KeriKit with a whole new way to shop online, especially designed with women in mind, plus new ways to connect with like-minded women, so we can all help each other. I can’t say too much more than that for now – but it will certainly be worth the wait!!
I am very grateful to say that in 2019, while KeriKit is still small (but growing fast!) my work-life balance is much closer to where it needs to be, but I admit its still a work in progress. There’s always more to learn – but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I urge you to find your own route to happiness, even if it starts with a vision board, it’s till a start and the seed will have been sown.
To all our sisters and fellow KitGirls out there, Happy International Women’s Day!! Together, let’s make 2019 the best year yet for equality and women’s opportunities!!
Now for the fun part! Post a pic of yourself wearing your Kerikit bag, doing the #BalanceForBetter pose, (as shown by your truly above) and each month we will pick our favourite shot and send out a small treat from our range.
*Don’t forget to use the tag #BalanceForBetter and #KeriKit and tag us on social media @kerikitbags so we can register your entries