engage magazine issue 007/\'08 - Page 60

60 CASE STUDY Naturally Nurturing Case Study How running my own business gives me flexibility and work-life balance Chireal Shallow, a trained psychologist, set up her children’s sleep clinic, Naturally Nurturing based in Sanderstead, at the age of 30 after giving birth to twins and discovering there was very little literature to help her manage the sleep patterns of her two babies. Despite being a single mother and having a secure job at the Home Office, she decided to take a five-year career break and turn her hand to running her own business, after testing out her method of behaviour training on her own twins. “I had always wanted to run my own company and it seemed the right time,” she explains. “Working for an employer didn’t give me the flexibility I needed as a mother and single parent.” In addition to providing Chireal with a business action plan, Business Link London signposted her to several consultants to give assistance in two areas of the business where Chireal felt she lacked resources: marketing and funding. Growing the business With Business Link London by her side, Chireal has expanded the business to incorporate a training arm and an association of sleep consultants alongside the clinic. Already there are 15 members of the association, each of which trained at Naturally Nurturing and gained a qualification in sleep training. The new members have helped take the Naturally Nurturing brand far and wide. “We have sleep consultants that have qualified from the clinic and are now setting up a clinic in Israel,” points out Chireal. “We also have a New York branch and once we find some funding, we hope to develop more units over in America.” Chireal is serious about expanding her business and has taken on a partner based in New York to help finance her plans. With some funding behind her business, Chireal wants to expand the brand into new and potentially lucrative areas. “My ultimate plan is to have sleep clinics around the world also offering massage and products from Naturally Nurturing, such as baby mattresses, baby oil and so on. In short, I want to offer a one-stop shop for creating healthy sleeping habits,” she explains. Throughout the business’ development, Chireal has stayed in touch with her Business Link London contact. “My client services manager emails me “My client services manager emails me regular updates of things I might find of use to grow the business and puts me in touch with people that might be able to help develop the two new divisions.” engage | uk ISSUE SEVEN 2008 Setting up the business Naturally Nurturing has flourished si