A successful Morpeth businesswoman is hoping her own against-the-odds story will give hope and inspiration to others who find themselves stuck in a rut or struggling with low self-esteem.
Emma Weston-Jones, whose festive flag business Emma Bunting got global exposure as a prop supplier for the film Paddington 2, gets so many commendations for her unique style of mentoring and motivational talks she has decided to offer her skills as a life coach with her new business “Blue Space”.
She’s also thrown her weight – and famous movie star bunting – behind childhood support charity Children North East, who raise funds to help kids grow up healthy and happy.
Originally from Liverpool, Emma launched Emma Bunting in 2004 to design and supply British-made bunting for children’s birthday parties, weddings and events. She founded the successful Morpeth Women’s’ Network in 2012, which now has more than 400 members.
She now boasts a global corporate clientele, movie credits and an inbox that’s increasingly filled with requests to share her story with others, particularly women’s’ groups. In January, Emma spoke to 100 delegates at an event at Beamish Hall Hotel in County Durham and she recently addressed a networking group in Birtley.
But despite her current success, life for single mum Emma has not always been a bed of roses. As an adopted child of strict parents, she struggled for years to feel accepted, suffering crippling low self-esteem and continuously seeking validation as a teenager and later as an adult.
I was always trying to appease my mother; this behaviour characteristic was so deep routed into my psyche that it became my way of life – appeasing others to make them feel happier even if it had a negative impact on me. It lead to suffering from a lack of self-confidence and a lack of self-belief. Unless you have been in that position it’s difficult to realise what a crippling set of circumstances that can be for a young person. Instead of laying the foundations for a happy successful life, for me it paved the way to feelings of lower and lower self-worth and a feeling that I was incapable of doing anything well.”
Emma moved with her parents to Tokyo where the culture opened up her mind to travelling. Since then, she’s worked around the world and has witnessed life in poverty and war-torn countries with her work with Oxfam, when in 2014 she was invited to tour their projects in Liberia.
“I have been given some amazing opportunities, but the experiences of your formative years never leave you. That’s why I am keen to help others. Not just by offering support and advice professionally but by supporting Children North East who do so much for children and young people who are suffering.
“I now run a successful business that has organically grown enough for me to spend more time focusing on other projects. Even when I was at my lowest ebb I felt empowered by the fact that I was able to help someone else. I don’t want people to feel as lost as I did when I felt there was no-one to pull me out of the sadness I was in.
“It’s a story people seem to get something out of from hearing. So many people have told me how much it has helped them that I want to be able to devote more of my time to it by doing it professionally.”
Emma’s Paddington 2 movie bunting will be used to boost festivities at Children North East’s annual Sandcastle Challenge in South Shields in July, where Emma is on the judging panel. It will then be auctioned at the charity’s Sandcastle Ball in Newcastle to raise much-needed funds.
For more information about hiring Emma as a motivational speaker or life coach contact 07936542313 or via www.blue-space.rocksby