Hi – I’m Rebecca Tichbon, but my friends call me Beck. I am new to being a business owner. I actually have two businesses. Along with my husband, Wayne, I own Minuteman Press Bunbury – a design and print firm. My second business is Titch Haven – ‘a small retreat in a busy world’. This is a wellness service based on aromatherapy. A project in this business is the Titch Haven Sister Circle – a women’s group where we come together once a month to connect, share, learn and grow.
Wayne and I began both businesses only late last year. Neither of us had ever been in self-employed business before. Our journey to this step was a difficult road. In early 2015, Wayne was made redundant from his long-held job in mining. To make ends meet, this meant that I had to cut my precious maternity leave short and return to my job in training. My terrible morning sickness from my new pregnancy made this even worse! In April of that year, our eldest daughter was diagnosed with type one diabetes. While I sat with her in hospital, my husband was in another hospital by the bedside of his sick mother. Sadly, she passed away in May. Reeling from all of these events, our hope turned to the child growing inside me. In August, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. At just one week of age, she became ill with a rare virus. She received intensive care at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children until she too passed away, in late October, at two months of age.
With the grief we were suffering and no specialised jobs in mining available, 2016 had a bleak outlook. After eighteen months of unemployment, Wayne began looking at business opportunities. I studied my aromatherapy qualification as a welcome distraction and interest. I found essential oils to be a good comfort – for grief support and dealing with on-going anxiety. By September, Wayne and I decided to purchase the Minuteman Press business. It seemed a well-supported franchise that we could make a go of. I also registered my aromatherapy business. What a steep learning curve and a challenge to take on!
Early this year, I turned the big 4-0! I reflected on how I might celebrate this milestone. I certainly didn’t feel like hosting a party. But I did think about all of the awesomely-talented friends I have and how perfect it would be to share in their knowledge for a special day together. I could do some aromatherapy and I could ask my friends who are skilled in teaching meditation, craft and dance to also share. Then I thought that it was sad that only my friends would get to experience this day. Other women in the community could benefit from it, too. And this is what led to my idea for the Sister Circle. I researched women’s groups and the history of Sister Circles. I found a venue and developed a program. Within two weeks of advertising for wellness guest speakers, I had the entire year lined up with presenters. The positive support I received was amazing and it reassured me that I was on the right path. The Sister Circle began in February – as my gift to myself and to the women of my community.
Owning two businesses, motherhood and family commitments all make for a busy life! It can be difficult to find time for myself and I often feel behind in my plans. But Sister Circle gives me time to relax and enjoy myself and be with like-minded women. I love the work I do in both businesses and the freedom this give me to spend time with my children and not be locked into a ‘day job’. I need to have more patience to watch my businesses grow, but I am enjoying the learning process. I get to work with local businesses and women in the community to help them grow in their own way, which is very rewarding. It can be scary facing the future when the wounds of the past are still so raw. But I try to have faith – in myself and the journey I take. I hope that by sharing my story, other women can find inspiration for their own faith. I’m not anybody special – I do have struggles. Just last week I felt like the universe was against me. Hubby and I finally found time to spend together, but our youngest son got a tummy bug and I spent the weekend on the sofa with him and a bucket in my lap. Poor little man! It is easy to get disheartened and feel let down. But somehow I find the strength to go on and the drive to succeed. If I can take these challenges on, then anyone else can find the power within to lead their own path, and know that they are not alone.