Karen Rosser, Founder of Inspire My Soul

Personalised hand stamped keepsake jewellery – designed and created with love in sterling silver

Have you ever been a victim of your own success, where you’re so efficient that the bosses expect constant results without ever checking if you need support? In the corporate world, this environment – sadly – is commonplace.

I inhabited that world for 18 years – latterly as an operations manager for a large company and responsible for supporting a European sales force. With a virtual management team and working mostly on my own, my professional existence led to overwhelming feelings of overwork and stress; no one was listening to me and I really needed help.

In 2010, I was suffering physically with a sore neck, shoulder and arm. I remember it so vividly because the country had come to a standstill following a major snow storm. I’d cancelled a doctor’s appointment five times to prioritise work, but the sixth time I went and broke down in front of the GP. It was like a plug had been pulled and all these emotions just flowed out from deep inside. Having a person in a position of authority tell me I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown gave me the permission I needed to forget about the job and focus on my own wellbeing. Diagnosed with acute anxiety and depression, I was medically signed off for two weeks.

Two years went by and I hadn’t returned to work. My battle with mental ill health was challenging, but with support from my family and husband I came out the other side. Knowing I would never return to the corporate world once I was well again, I nurtured my creative dream of opening a gift and home boutique in 2012. Despite my struggles with mental illness it became a success, but five years in I decided to close it when I started to feel more like a shopkeeper than a creator.

On 8 March 2018 – International Women’s Day – I launched Inspire My Soul at the annual Business Girls Network Conference. They’re my tribe and we champion each other – meeting up regularly to get away from our workplaces (home for a lot of us) and enjoy some much-needed human interaction.

My motivation? To bang the female indie drum – and loudly!

Inspire My Soul