Emma White, Founder of Brandfunk

Helping businesses excel in their industry by transforming brand identities

This summer marks two years living back in the UK – having made the decision to start all over again in Spain during 2005.

Back then I’d had enough of working in London and felt trapped and squashed by the corporate world. Climbing to the top of the ladder in the creative industry for an investment bank looked impressive on the surface, but as a non-conformist I was never fully comfortable with my surroundings. I did something about it and relocated to Spain – alone.

For the first year I bummed around but recognised I needed to learn Spanish and secure a steady income. Knuckling down, I landed a typesetting job for a local newspaper and that was my ‘in’ – leading to more lucrative work with a media and publishing company as a creative director.

I moved around the country for a bit and became a mum to Luis, who’s 13 now. It’s been just me and him from the start, but I’ve always managed to juggle my responsibilities as a working parent.

When I returned to Kent, I had €900 in my back pocket from the sale of a clapped-out car and a son who’d spent his whole life in Spain; it was a massive step to relocate but the time was right to start a new chapter in our lives. Resisting pressure from friends and family to re-enter the corporate world, I decided to bring my 25 years of creative experience to the forefront and start my own design agency; two milestones in one year!

All the support I received getting my venture off the ground – the start-up loan from Virgin after approving my business plan; the EU-funded mentoring scheme I asked the local council to put me on; the housing benefit I received for the first few months; the friend who borrowed me cash so I could put a deposit on a place to live – saved my life.

It was tough at the start – sleeping on the floor until we could afford beds – but now the business has grown so much we’ve moved into our dream home: a cosy cottage out in the country.

NEVER be afraid to reach out if you need support.