Katie shares important message about never giving up
When it comes to inspiring stories, Portishead mum and entrepreneur Katie Silverthorne certainly has one to tell.
Katie, 38, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 23, and despite facing many challenges with the condition, she has gone on to successfully set up her own business, Memory Zoo.
Her story has been deemed so inspirational, that she is one of 25 women to be published in the latest volume of ‘Mumpreneur on Fire’ – a selection of real-life stories written by women about how they have become successful entrepreneurs against the odds.
The book, to be published in January by Mums in Business Association (MIBA) – an international movement, aimed at empowering women – will be the fourth book in the series, with previous volumes listed as Amazon’s bestsellers.
From being left bedridden and unable to walk to now living a fulfilling and happy life, Katie’s chapter recounts her journey with MS and the ways she has adapted her lifestyle to alleviate the chronic fatigue and pain she was suffering with – and consequently, raise her first child and establish her own business.
MS, a life-long condition, is a disease of the central nervous system and can impact on a vision, limb movement, balance and sensation.
Katie hopes that her story will inspire and encourage other women, no matter what situation they are in, to never give up.
Determined to not let her condition hold her back, in 2014, when her daughter Felicity was one, Katie launched Memory Zoo – transforming old clothing items into bespoke, handmade animal heirlooms.
Katie said: “I was trying to figure out how I could fit in a job around looking after my daughter, as well as doing things I knew my body needed.
“I’d always loved sewing and making things, and when my daughter was born, I made her a keepsake bear by chopping up old clothes.
“Off the back of this, people started asking me if I could make one for them and it was from there that my business developed.”
Since establishing Memory Zoo, Katie has been overwhelmed by its success – on one occasion, the waiting list for her handmade animals was 18-months long.
She now has two seamstresses on board and is hoping to recruit more employees in the new year.
Speaking about how she manages MS, alongside being a mother and businesswoman, Katie said: “Over the years, I have learned to work in tune with my body and understand what it wants me to do – if I feel a weakening in my leg, I’ll stay in or if I’m feeling particularly tired, I’ll reduce my workload.”
Katie has also made significant changes to her diet, such as cutting out coffee and alcohol. She also exercises regularly and receives acupuncture treatment twice a month.
You can read Katie’s full story in Mumpreneur on Fire 4, which is being released on Amazon at the end of January. For more information about Katie and her business, visit: www.memoryzoo.co.uk