Celia Gaze owns The Wellbeing Farm – an award winning wedding venue in Lancashire. Her reason for becoming a business owner and story of success goes to show why quitting a stressful job should always be a guilt-free decision (when done responsibly!)
“Phew! The Wellbeing Farm is four years old! And what four years it’s been! After working as senior manager in the NHS for 14 years managing complex large scale projects, in a high-pressure environment and working crazy long hours to get it all done – I resigned!
After I became a mum, things became a lot more challenging, and over time juggling the long hours, high pressure projects and juggling family life really took its toll on me and really impacted my well-being. I ended up being off work for 4 weeks to rest and recover and spent the time learning more about stress – I even completed a qualification in Stress Management and that’s when I resigned.
I’m married to a farmer and turned my attention to how I could make our Farm a place where people who were feeling stressed could come to feel better. We invested our life savings into transforming our run-down farm into a start of the art venue with its own cookery school where people could sample farm life and even go walking with llamas…well, why not?
We won a string of Awards, quite quickly, but behind closed doors we were really struggling, and making financial losses. It was a tough time and with lots of help and support we kept on making changes and trying to find ways to make it work. A local couple approached us about holding their wedding at the Farm and that was really a las- ditch attempt to turn things around. So, we said yes, borrowed the money to make it happen and thankfully pulled it off! We’ve worked hard and built up a great reputation as a much-loved, quirky wedding venue with bookings right up to 2020
I’ve learnt to accept failure. If I hadn’t failed, I wouldn’t have come up with weddings which were the thing that saved the farm. The hard work is finally paying off, but it’s been one hell of a journey! And now, four years on, our doors are well and truly open…. and they’re staying open.