Fiona Sleddon lives with her husband Sam and their two daughters Aoife 7 and Harriet 2, in Leyland. They moved to Leyland 10 years ago from the small rural village of Hoghton, and six months ago Fiona took the plunge to set up her own home-based business, The Leyland Traybake Company.
From a young age, Fiona had suffered with anxiety. At times, this was horrendous. Following the birth of her second child, Harriet, Fiona suffered badly from post-natal depression. Admittedly, this made her ‘grumpy’ for most of the time and difficult to live with. As a result, her imagination would go into overdrive. It was challenging enough trying to work as a cleaner whilst looking after her young children and coping with a mental illness. Finally, Fiona sought medical help and was prescribed medication to help her cope with her everyday battles, as well as the daily fatigue.
Fiona knew she needed something new in her life. After a major meltdown in her day job, Fiona enrolled on a facebook programme from Noor Hibbert – ‘Manifesting Bootcamp’. This was very out of character for her and Fiona doesn’t recall enrolling. However, she clicked on something which popped up on her facebook feed and she decided to pursue it. The gist of this was around brain retraining and pushing past mental fears. As a result, this had a dramatic effect on her mental health and well-being. After three weeks, Fiona noticed a massive difference. She was now meditating and had started to gain positive energy, which was helping her in many areas of life; giving her fresh confidence to overcome her fears.
Fiona was now starting to believe in herself and her dream. It was at this point, The Leyland Traybake company was born. Now thinking clearer than ever before, Fiona had identified a clear plan for her life. She had always enjoyed making cakes and admittedly was a ‘feeder’. Her dream was to do this alongside her family, to give her a real sense of purpose and to feel good about some thing as well as more financial freedom.
A turning point for Fiona was whilst feeding the ducks at Charnock Fram she noticed a heron, which was unusual. Then, the same day, she noticed another heron with a tower, whilst she was on Facebook. After googling this, she realised that this had a hidden message. This was ‘Go for it, don’t hold back!’ Soon after, things started to take off. This meant that Fiona now had the choice whether to stick to her day job or give it her all Ito her new business after having her second child Harriet. Her mind was set and this led to the official launch of the Leyland Traybake Company.
What motivated you to set up in business?
“I wanted to be happy, successful, but not necessarily for money!”
What challenges did you have to overcome?
“Fear of failing. Criticism from other people who may have doubted me. Perhaps my biggest fear was taking the first step of setting up a Facebook Page. To help me with this initially, I just invited friends and family and let this grow naturally from there. Working from a small kitchen can also be challenging and over time, I have had to replace my oven and my dishwasher!”
How do you juggle the demands of parenthood and running a business?
“It’s about finding a balance. My husband Sam is very supportive. It’s not easy but I always make time for my children and my family – they are my priority. Everyone needs to have downtime away from work demands. I do all the cooking in the evenings. In addition to this, I also do my own labelling, packaging, balancing the books and managing social media. I am lucky to have support from family. My belief is that if you want to do it enough, you find a way to make it happen”.
How did the Law of Attraction help you?
“I strongly feel that the ‘Law of Atttraction’ should be taught in schools. This has had a massive effect on me- helping me be the best version of myself! It is about asking the universe, believing in it and allowing yourself to be open and receive it”.
What are your main goals now?
“Just to be happy in myself. To find the right balance with work and my family and to continue doing what I love”.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking of starting their business who may have doubts?
“Although it can be very scary and terrifying, just do it! If you put your mind to it and fully believe in it, you are capable of anything! If you don’t try, you will never know and that’s much worse than not giving it a try! I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason and that as one door closes, another one opens”.
The Leyland Traybake company is now providing the finest selection of Traybake cakes to six major outlets across South Ribble and is growing fast, with many happy businesses and private customers. Fiona has invented a number of delicious traybake cake recipes with highly quirky names. Follow Fiona and her progress with Leyland Traybake on her Facebook page here.