Time for some more insight into the life of another one of my faves. This time, I’m shining a spotlight on the very lovely Krystle. If you follow me on Instagram, then you have probably seen some of Krystle’s work. However, chances are, you probably have not seen her. She is the co-founder of I’More, the lifestyle brand that is committed to building confidence in children and breaking the cycle of negative thinking. Can’t argue with that, can you? Krystle is the designer behind the brand I’More, which she runs with her best friend since nursery, Somayeh.
I love the spirit of I’More. These ladies really do give a damn about our kids. Like, seriously. Their mission states that “we believe that the way in which we speak to our children becomes their inner voice and so we should use words to empower them! … All children have a right to a good and positive life and this starts with a foundation which is fuelled by self love. We are dedicated to supporting parents and children – with our range of ethical empowerment t-shirts our little ones will be thinking big and standing proud.” It’s not just words. They live this stuff. I have downloaded the Positive Thinking Toolkit that they offer on their website and my kids love their printable affirmations.
The passion shines out of both Somayeh and Krystle. They are human rays of sunshine. I remember meeting Krystle at a Lucky Things Meet Up and, putting to one side the fact that she legit looks like she is 15 (I mean, I would I.D. her before selling her alcohol, just to be safe – #sorrynotsorry Krystle), I immediately warmed to her. And, hearing her story, I just had to respect her hustle too.
Krystle’s path to becoming the designer behind I’More was, not straight-forward. Although she had always achieved good grades at school and college, when she left education, she, like many, just wanted to work and earn money. She, therefore, took the first job that was offered, as a receptionist in a nursing home, and stayed there for two years. However, she had always been creative and had spent most of her spare time designing logos, wedding invitations and stationary, making gifts for family members and even making model buildings for fun. She was obsessed! It was during this time that she had her light bulb moment, realising that she wanted to design for a living. Subsequently, she spent weeks researching different design careers and courses, as well as volunteering for an architectural firm in order to learn more about the industry…and loved every moment of it!
“In 2009, I started my product design degree. It was a whole new experience, full of ups and downs. By this time my daughter was 4 and had started school, so I had to do the school run and then head straight to uni. Some days, when my lectures finished late, I would rely on family to to hep me with pick ups because I also had an evening job to help with finances while I was studying. It was a tough 3 years. I was the eldest in the year AND the only one with a child AND I worked 4 evenings a week, so, I had to reprogram my brain to the study life again, which took a few months to get used to. I had a lot of support from my family and I learned so much about myself and my strengths in design and creativity. The degree has also opened doors for me professionally. I can honestly say that one of my proudest moment was my graduation. I had feelings of excitement and relief, but mostly I was just so happy that I had completed it, especially as there had been times when I didn’t feel like I could.”
She is a shining example that it’s never too late to carve out a career. If you want to do it and you are willing to work hard for it, you can.
Peckham-born and Leytonstone-raised, Krystle now lives in Kent, after moving there at the age of 20, when her mother, brother and sisters moved back to Jamaica. Her mother sorted Krystle and her sister, who both chose to stay in the UK, out with a family home before leaving (result!). Although, at first, it was a complete culture shock and felt very alien, what with country lanes, buses only running until 9:30pm and the not-so-fast pace of life, she now loves life in Kent and prefers the peace and quiet to London’s hustle and bustle. I’m still #London4Life 😉
Thank-you for sharing with us, Krystle!
Happy Reading 😘
Hey! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hiya! I’m Krystle and I live in Kent with my husband and three kids (aged 11, 2 and 1). At the moment, I work for my local hospital as a receptionist and also as an administrator in a nursing home. However, I have always been very creative and just love a pencil and paper, a computer and bamboo pad and even a drill and some wood!! I completed my degree in Product Design in 2012 and, although it was a challenge trying to balance family, work and full-time studying, It was 100% one of the best things I have ever done! At the moment, having two under 3 means that my time is spent caring for them and making sure my home isn’t destroyed, so, on most days, my creative side sits on the shelf. But soon, very soon, it will be making an appearance again 😁 especially with our brand I’More!
Wow mama! *insert round of applause* And Ooooh! I’m intrigued! But, I’ll try to sit nicely and wait patiently…*immediately starts fidgeting in seat and becomes very impatient* Ok, I need a distraction. You’re a mother of three, with two under 3 (😭), so I’m guessing you pretty much don’t sleep?
Well, on a typical weekday morning I wake up at 6:30am and my youngest is usually already awake, waiting for one of my eyes to open (sometimes I lay there hoping he falls back to sleep even for just half an hour more, but that never happens…)
#LeCry 😢 What is the first thing you do?
First thing in the morning, I take my youngest to wake up my eldest for school. I usually leave him on the bed with her and he does the work for me 😉. I then go and put the kettle on and start making bottles and breakfast because these lot are hungry as soon as they open their eyes!
LOL! I love that “the wake up” is a family affair! I bet the kids keep you busy in the morning…?
I have to make sure that my eldest is staying on track and getting ready for school, as she gets distracted easily, especially with the younger two running around! So, we have 15 minute alarms set on her phone which reminds her what she should be doing and by what time. By this time, my second is awake and the youngest two are having warm milk and fruit and I’m making breakfast for all of us.
I love that alarm idea! *sets 15 minute alarms on phone for tomorrow morning* What time do you leave the house?
Thankfully, my eldest walks to school by herself now so my school run days are on pause. But, if it’s a playgroup day we’re out of the house by 9am to get there for 9:30. If it’s not, then we stay in our PJs and it’s pretty much like a playgroup in my house anyway!
If it is a home-playgroup day (😭😭😭😭😭😭), what kinds of things do you guys get up to?
If we are staying home for the day then by 10am we’ve had a 2nd breakfast which is usually cooked e.g. omelettes or eggs and Avocado on toast 😋. Then I get the boys bathed and dressed and it’s onto housework and any laundry that needs to be done (I say “any” but there is always laundry 😕). By around midday my youngest goes for a nap and I use this time to either spend one and one time with my second (because he no longer goes for a sleep during the day) or I start planning creative work for I’More while he watches a movie.
You lot and your avocado 🤢🤢. So you have both of your boys with you when you’re working from home. That must be challenging?
Working from home isn’t as easy as I would like, mainly because the youngest is very clingy and is stuck to my side or my lap, which means that most tasks are done with one hand, which takes twice as long… Everyone says that it’s just a phase and, of course, I know it won’t last for long, but, at the moment, it just means I can’t get as much done (work-wise) as I would like.
I hear you! Keep the faith, mama *insert fist bump emoji* Let’s talk about something that will bring a smile back to my face – lunch! When is it and what is a typical lunch for you?
We stop for lunch at around 1pm. We usually have either sweet potato wedges with chicken or jacket potatoes or fish finger sandwiches – whatever doesn’t take really long to make because I try to squeeze in as much as I can while the little one is napping! We spend most of the time whispering and tiptoeing around the house so as not to wake him up because he has sonic hearing!
Loooool! I’m picturing you and second child doing comedy, Tom and Jerry style tip-toeing around the house! Ahem. Ok, so assuming you don’t wake the baby, what happens next?
After lunch, at around 2pm, I get any cleaning done and check and respond to any emails, both personal and for I’More. The youngest is usually awake by now so it’s time for him to have lunch. The boys then spend their time running around and playing (or arguing) until I’ve finished up on the computer. My eldest returns home at around 3:30pm and she goes straight to kitchen to look for food. By about 4:30pm she starts any homework. Meanwhile, the youngest two are usually looking for another meal by now.
Food seems to play a major role within your household! I like it! 😁 So, just like that, it’s dinnertime!
I am so blessed to have a husband who enjoys cooking 😁 I usually start dinner, whatever it may be that day, and, when he comes home, he likes to continue and finish off, which I am so grateful for.
Yet another husband who is capable in the kitchen! You chose well, love 😉 What happens after dinner?
After dinner, it’s time for more cleaning and having a catch-up with my husband about his day and mine. The kids are then usually playing, watching TV or eating until it’s PJs time. Bedtime is at 8pm, so leading up to this it’s stories and warm milk.
That is so cute! So, the kids get a chance to wind down before bed. What about you?
The evenings are my time to get work done. At the moment, there is not enough silence during the day to get in the zone, so I use this quiet time to finish off any creative work for I’More or to touch base with Somayeh.
#LeSigh! That means it’s a really long day for you! When do you get some Zzzzzz’s?
For me, bedtime is when I’ve finished what I need to do, but, generally, it’s around 10:30 ish there has been a few times when I’ve managed to sleep at 9pm 😉
Be honest, how heavily does social media feature in your day?
Social media is a big part of my day. Most of our interactions with followers and customers happen through Instagram, Facebook or the website. I also use it to break away from the norm and to see what other people are up to around the world…and also to stay up-to-date!
And you can have a peek at their online store, including their 💛 NEW LIMITED EDITION SWEATERS 💛 here: http://www.imorekids.bigcartel.com/