Hi, we’re Chris and Nicky, formerly working in the corporate world, living in the UK.
I left my job as a Disaster Recovery Manager, working in the IT department of a Pharma company in 2014. Growing up and all through school and college I was drawn to the softer sciences, like psychology, sociology and human biology.
For some reason I went the other way and took my degree in Computer Science. On my first day of uni, I’d never even been on the internet before!
I guess I thought ‘computing’ was the right way to go to earn a good living in a ‘professional’ job.
I passed my degree and went straight into the corporate world – where I spent the next 14 years.
During that time, Chris and I met (at work) and started dating. We got married and had two kids – Gracey and Lewis. We both moved around the company, but often found ourselves working in the same team and even sharing an office.
As we both moved further up our career ladders, we started to find it difficult to juggle the kids and properly spend time together as a family. I hated sending the kids to breakfast clubs and after school dinner clubs, and I wanted to do something more creative with my life.
That opportunity came in at the end of 2013 when the chance for voluntary redundancy came up. I jumped at the chance, knowing that the redundancy package would allow me to figure out another career, without worrying about money for a while.
I’d already started tinkering in creative writing and blog writing towards the end of 2013, and by the time I left my job in June 2014, I decided I was going to focus my energies on turning my blog into a business.
I chose to write a food blog because food was (and still is!) my passion. I’d been cooking family dinners since about the age of 11, and I’ve always got immense pleasure out of cooking and eating! My kitchen is my little sanctuary (hence the blog name Kitchen Sanctuary) and I found cooking and baking was my way to de-stress after a long day.
My first earnings from the blog came in September 2014 – £25.14 from ad revenue.
It took me until March 2015 to get my first piece of freelance work ($50 per recipe)!
It continued to build from there, and in June 2017, Chris also left his job to come and join me 💜💜
I went straight into IT after college – technical support initially (which Nik has always taken full advantage of for Kitchen Sanctuary!), moving up until my last role as programme manager of a global team.
It was pretty strange being the main breadwinner after Nicky left her job, but her flexible hours meant I could fully focus on moving up the ladder. I honestly saw myself continuing on in the corporate world for the rest of my career climbing up the ladder!
I’ve always been a bit of a tech geek, so I first taught Nik how to use my digital camera for a her food, and then, when time allowed, I did some photography in my spare time.
When Nik wanted to move into food videos, I took on the videography and editing side of things (which meant I got to play with all the new equipment 🙂 !).
Around this time, I was getting a bit restless at work and looking for something new that would challenge me. The demand for video was increasing, and Nik was getting crazy busy (especially after winning the Neff cookaholics competition).
Nik had been badgering me for a while to come and work with her, and it had been fun working on the videos, so after much discussion and planning, I finally took the plunge and left my job!
It’s a huge change for me coming from a senior management role with a global team to self employment! I’m still getting my head around the change, but I can’t deny the how much I enjoy:
- Being able to work in my sweatpants
- Getting to watch you-tube videos and calling it research
- Playing with cameras
- Getting the barbecue going on a Tuesday lunchtime, just because
- Oh, and getting to spend all day with my beautiful wife (can’t leave off that one) – Nik wrote that, go figure 😉
The rest of the family:
The kids with ‘Super Daddy’
Gibson – the ‘curvy’ cat.
Mittens – will sleep anywhere
- Cooking and eating (of course!)
- Films – especially anything with Tom Hanks in
- Reading – sci-fi fantasy is my guilty pleasure
- Fitness class/jogging/hiking (it’s actually the feeling I get after this that I enjoy more…)
- Travel (when we get the chance to)
- Eating pretty much everything Nik cooks. I try to avoid the vegetarian food she occasionally puts in front of me, but she’s actually getting pretty good at making it taste nice. I’m also BBQ master.
- Films – I’ll go with the Tom Hanks films, but I particularly enjoy action films (Nik groans every time I watch them) but you cant beat Die Hard at Christmas
- Manchester City – come on City!! Lewis is definitely going to play for them one day
- Cars, my mini (@thelittlebluemini on instagram) and any kind of motorsport
- Travelling. i got to do quite a bit in my old job and loved it