Here at Women Aloud we like to celebrate all the women who brave taking a new direction in life. Today we’re talking with Hana Voyce who, after the birth of her son, made the difficult decision to leave behind her much loved life treading the boards and start her own business instead.
Hana trained as an actress at Arts Educational Schools London, one of the top drama schools in the country, and she has worked with the likes of Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis. After 10 fabulous years as a professional actress, Hana and her husband had the exciting news that she was expecting a baby.
“I ended up having a difficult pregnancy and after the birth of my little boy, Max, I didn’t know if I would be able to go back to acting work. Life as an actress is unpredictable. There are evening shows and long hours on shoot. I loved acting but I knew something had to change, I needed a career that would fit better around family life.”
The time seemed as good as any to set up my own business
I heard about Phonics with Robot Reg; a business set up by two sisters who wanted to provide classes that would open up a world of literacy to children aged 2-4years. The classes are a brilliant way to introduce letters and sounds to children and help prepare them for school. Alex Burnside, one of the co-founder sisters, is an ex-primary school teacher who wrote the syllabus after seeing there was a gap in children’s knowledge when they started in reception.
The concept and the ethos of the company really appealed to me, so I applied to train as a Phonics with Robot Reg teacher. Now I run my own franchise offering classes around the St Albans area and I love it! I feel passionate about making learning fun; I draw on my performance side to make the classes feel like one big party, which is great as the children don’t even realise they are learning.
I choose my own hours so I can be there when I need to be for my little boy
Running my own business has given me a much better work life balance than I could’ve had as an actress. And I’m lucky that I have an incredible support network around me. My Mum is a massive help when it comes to looking after my little boy while I teach. I am fortunate enough that he can attend my classes too, so I feel like I have the best of both worlds. Plus, the joy is, the admin side can all be done during nap time and once he’s gone to bed!
My advice for anyone wanting to make a career change
As long as it’s something you are passionate about then go for it! Yes, it will be hard work and you won’t be a success overnight, but push for what you want and you’ll get there. I was so excited to start my own business. Being your own boss and more importantly being able to work around my son was the huge appeal. As time goes on it has been difficult and I have worked so hard to get where I am today. But the satisfaction I get from seeing happiness on the children’s faces and when I see how much they improve over the weeks, I know it was all worth it.
When I get some time just for me…
I love a nice relaxing bath with Lush bath bombs and lots of bubbles. Or I’ll settle down with my laptop to watch something on Netflix. I also get my nails done fortnightly which is my little treat to myself!
Charlie is really motivational. She started #workingmumwednesday on Instagram, which brings working Mums together in support of each other.
Thanks so much to Hana for sharing her story. If you want to find out more about Hana’s classes, please follow her on Facebook or Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’ve got another woman in business or someone who has made a life change, please do let me know about them so I can share their story too!