GOING into labour just after sending an edition of her magazine to the printer has to be the epitome of fitting your home life around your business. Last year the editor of Scallywag magazine Tracey Sunderland was delighted to have her hard work recognised when she won the Part-time Business of the Year category at Rossendale Business Awards.
“It was so lovely to feel acknowledged,” she said. “When I am tapping away at the keyboard at 5am, I often think nobody knows.”
It can be a solitary world when you are self-employed, but Tracey is incredibly organised and works to a rigid 12-week schedule for each of the magazine’s four issues. The former sales rep used to travel all over the North West selling everything from timber to printed labels but when she fell pregnant with her first son Dan her employers would not allow her to switch to part-time work. Her husband Pat often works away so Tracey needed something closer to home.
“Being a sales rep is such a full time job and because I was a late mum the two didn’t sit very well together,” said Tracey, 48, from Waterfoot. By the time of Dan’s first birthday in Christmas 2005 I was pregnant with Cara and I realised no one was going to give me a job.”
She was introduced to Scallymag – which was started in Todmorden by Hazel Bregazzi – and Tracey evolved the product into Scallywag to cover the Rossendale area.
“I had just finished one of the early editions when I went into labour with Cara so I literally fitted in having my children while working for myself,” she said.
She has seen Scallywag grow from its smallest 20-page edition to the 37th magazine, which contained 36 pages. During that time she has also had three children Dan, 10, Cara, 8, and six-year-old Josh who all attend St Peter’s RC School, Newchurch. Dan is also autistic and as Tracey is his caseworker, being self-employed means she is always available to cover meetings and appointments.
Tracey added: “You can juggle your life and business and for me it is juggling that works. At 3pm, when I pick up the children I go back to into mum mode.”
The part-time business category celebrates the achievement of Rossendale people who have chosen to run a business, social enterprise or community project around other commitments in their life. It is sponsored by Winter Solicitors in Bacup.