Moving Out and Moving On
Just over three months ago I turned up outside the Escape the City HQ with a few bags and a couple of boxes prepared to move into a garden shed for three months. I had just moved out my north london flat and was still a little shell shocked from quitting my job.
I’m not going to lie. As I stood there staring at those four wooden walls there was a voice in my head saying;
‘WHAT THE HELL I AM DOING?!?!’
Thankfully that was the last time that voice reared it’s ugly head, and reflecting back on this summer it has been one hell of a journey.
Winning the Escape to the Shed comp enabled me to live rent free for three months, totally eradicating my overheads and freeing me up to work full-time on the business. It gave me, plain and simple, time. In fact had that been the only outcome of winning the competition I’d have come away feeling pretty happy but the experience has yielded far greater benefits than just this financial one.
For the past three months I’ve been surrounded by a team of energetic and entrepreneurially minded people and I’ve found working in that kind of environment totally infectious. Everyone always says that starting a business is a lonely game, and it can be, but I’ve not felt that since working amongst the Esc team. They went above and beyond to make me feel part of their start-up family, from daily team lunches, to inviting me on their ‘Back to the Future’ away day and witnessing the opening of the Escape School. And it’s been really inspiring seeing how their team works and the type of culture that they have formed at Escape the City HQ.
As well as this it’s been a pretty great story to bander around and I never got bored of telling people that I live in a shed and watching their reactions! But crucially it’s yielded some fantastic press coverage. In fact the story achieved coverage in four of the major newspapers, The Times, Metro UK, Daily Mail, and The Telegraph. Two of which landed on the day of Pip & Nut’s Crowdcube pitch going live.
And this brings me nicely to my highlight of the Summer. Raising £120k in just nine days on Crowdcube has been a total game changer for Pip & Nut and I was astounded by how quickly I raised the funds. But that’s not to say it wasn’t nerve wracking, in fact I experienced several sleepless nights whilst the pitch was live. But being able to lean on the team for support, seek their advice and also celebrate once the round closed was fantastic, especially since they knew exactly how it felt having raised their funds in the same way.
And so although I feel sad to be packing up and moving out I feel like Pip & Nut has come on leaps and bounds in these short three months and I’m now in a great position to get out there and launch the business.
So before signing off for one last time I’d like to say a huge thank you to the whole team who have been amazing in supporting me and my business, and a special mention to the founders of Escape the City:
Dom, thanks for masterminding the whole competition, building the damn thing and for putting up with me as your housemate for the last three months!
Mikey, your amazing DIY skills kept me dry and insulated all summer – it was pretty toasty up until now – and thank you for offering your advice throughout my time in the shed.
Rob, thanks for being such a force for good in the office, for always making sure that I was well fuelled with a plethora of (healthy) snacks and for investing in Pip & Nut (!) – I will try my hardest to bring you a good return!
POST EDITED BY CELIA: follow my blog “Dared, Determined, Done!” about making big life and career changes.