Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Monday, June 26, 2023

The Hardest Thing is Letting Go: The Emotional Journey of Closing My Business


Mandy Charltn, Newcastle Photographer and owner of gift boutique philomena's boutique

The Hardest Thing is Letting Go: The Emotional Journey of Closing My Business

Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when it involves letting go of something you've poured your heart and soul into. Today, with a heavy heart, I share my personal journey of closing my beloved business. Join me as I navigate the depths of emotion and bid farewell to a chapter that defined my entrepreneurial spirit.

The Birth of a Dream 

From the moment I envisioned Philomena's Boutique, it became an extension of my very being. It was more than a venture; it was a representation of my passion and a testament to my resilience. Countless sleepless nights and tireless efforts birthed my dream, and seeing it flourish brought immeasurable joy. But as the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end."

Navigating the Storms 

Running a business is not for the faint-hearted. I weathered storms, both literal and metaphorical, that threatened to shake the very foundations I had built. I battled through economic downturns, fierce competition, and personal sacrifices. Yet, each challenge further fueled my determination to keep going, until the weight of it all became too heavy to bear.

The Unseen Toll 

Behind the scenes, the toll of entrepreneurship can be invisible. The sleepless nights and the constant weight of responsibility took their toll on my physical and mental well-being. Sacrificing personal relationships and neglecting self-care became the norm. It became clear that I needed to reassess my priorities and address the imbalance that had slowly eroded my joy. At first, I hired Robyn and that worked so well but then Robyn also became anxious, in serving wonderful customers we also encountered aggressive, rude, abusive people, some of whom actually threatened us.  No cup or bowl or handmade item is worth that and we choose to save our mental health first and foremost.

The Bittersweet Farewell 

Saying goodbye to something you love is a cocktail of emotions—bittersweet, nostalgic, and undeniably painful. As I made the difficult decision to close my business, I mourn the loss of the community I have built, the customers I have served, and the dreams that fueled my ambition. But in that farewell, I also discovered an opportunity for growth and new beginnings. Today, as of now, Philomena's Boutique is up for sale. I will continue to run the business until such a time as it sells but I will be removing all of the handmade goods and continuing with gifts I don't make, ones which with the click of a button I can send to your home wherever I may be.

Closing my business is undoubtedly the hardest thing I've ever done. It requires immense strength to acknowledge that letting go is not a sign of failure but a leap of faith towards personal well-being and happiness. I choose to cherish the memories, the lessons learned, and the strength gained throughout this journey. Today, I embark on a new path, eager to apply the wisdom acquired and embrace the unknown with an open heart.  I will continue to build Mandy Charlton Photography, I've been a photographer in Newcastle since the 22nd of June 2007 and I'm happy to say that I have work coming in and a busy calendar for weddings for the next couple of years.  I also continue to thrive on TikTok where I have my own TikTok shop making affiliate income from sales, it's completely unstressful and as I have found, I can make more from one 15-second video than a whole week of constant work and stress at Philomena's Boutique.

Philomena's Boutique has so much potential in the right hands but it needs someone with vast amounts of energy and a healthy wallet of cash, we recently reached a six-figure valuation but if you're out there reading this, know that I would take half of that to walk away tomorrow.

I really do not know what the future holds but I do know this, in 6 months I am going to be 50, it's time to read books in the sunshine, it's time to have an easier life, it's time to enjoy just being me for a while.


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