The Blog




A Day In The Life Of A #MumBoss

By Laura Beckford (Managing Director – Ology Kids Casting)

Everyone knows ‘mum’s the boss’, but the hashtag ‘mumboss’ has become more prevalent in social media as the awareness of women who work or own their own business has become more highlighted and praised. I love this as it’s hard enough juggling life as a mum alone, throw in trying to be a great wife, sister, friend and daughter and life can easily get thrown out of balance and losing your head is commonplace. Sprinkle a managing director title onto that and it’s a recipe for spontaneous combustion!

 As the managing director and founder of Ology over ten years ago and now the proud mother of two toddlers I assure you I can relate to every one of you!  I worked as a child in the TV industry, an adult in the TV and modelling industry, and I was an ambitious twenty-something business starter. I’m now a working mum with one of the largest specialist children’s agencies in the U.K and I have nearly lost my mind along the way. Luckily at the moment I have found it so thought I’d share my work life balance with you…

Many people say you’re so lucky owning your own business and having a family. Firstly, I decided this is what I wanted at 21, I worked immensely hard, sacrificed a lot and went out to make it happen. No matter what. It was a choice.  The harder you work the luckier you become!!

I start the day around 5.45am and perhaps do a little yoga to try to wake-up, kick start my liver with warm water, lemon and cayenne pepper and attempt to get dressed before my children awake, which is rare. I then make a juice with lots of superfoods and powders for the whole family, do the school run then head into the office. I currently work 2/3 days a week until my son starts school. I personally feel I can’t get that time back with him and want to be his primary influence and am lucky enough to have an incredibly supportive brother and team in the office to run the business with me and a husband who is turning into super daddy day care! We always have a ton of emails to go through from 9-9.30am before we ‘open’ so I work through those and usually the phone starts ringing at 9.30am sharp, usually before!! Either a parent wanting information, a client wanting to check specifics for a job or a photographer or casting director looking to book children. Between emails I login to my son’s preschool monitoring system and it eases my mind that he’s happily playing in the sand or sat on the carpet joining in his phonics session! You can never switch off worrying when you’re a parent can you?!

I very rarely take a lunch break as the office is always so busy with briefs coming in, direct bookings or enquiries. I often look at the clock for the first time and it’s 3pm. My desk is covered with raw chocolate, satsumas and green tea!! We check availability of children for London castings and if clients require any specific information (e.g. if a baby can now sit up by themselves or to what level a child can do gymnastics etc etc.). We have a great knowledge of the children on our books as we personally meet them at Casting Workshops and the hour long assessment we do with them. By seeing them every month at Workshops we get to know their personalities, fortés and abilities and can therefore confidently suggest to clients and ensure they’re going to the most relevant castings or will be the best for direct bookings. Around 3.45pm (or several times if my son who is two isn’t in preschool!) we get visits from my young children which always energises the office. I often think “I’m too busy or I have to meet this deadline I can’t talk” but have to remind myself, they only want to show me the glittered drawing they’ve done at school or preschool for two minutes and for me to ask how they did in PE today? Often a big client will call and they know to put their fingers on their lips. My four year old daughter once said “why mummy, do they not know you have children?” And it made me think, yes why can’t they be giggling in the background every now and again. I have children and I’m a managing director. They only inspire me and make me better at my job. 

mumboss-textBetween 4-6pm it’s our busiest time as the phone is non-stop booking children in for castings the next day. It’s fast paced and exciting, ensuring we confirm within the tight deadlines. It’s also my favourite part of the day hearing the reaction of the parents telling them their son or daughter has a casting for a lead role in a Jurassic Park World feature film or a TV commercial filming in South Africa or a photoshoot in Paris or a lead role in Emmerdale. I love it. It really is money can’t buy opportunities and I know, if the children, as I did, end up working in the industry or not when they’re older they will look back at these experiences with positivity and happy memories. I’m so grateful I’m in such a position to do this. 

 I do, like most working mums feel guilty at not doing every single thing with them. I do make sure I always take them to school and pick them up as often as possible. I really appreciate that I have the flexibility to go to my daughter’s first nativity or sports day.

I know it’s all worth it when my daughter asks to come and ‘work’ with me and knows the value of having to work and earn money to get some new shoes or toys. 

Although the office officially closes at 6pm we’re always there until at the very least 6.30pm, confirming availability or wrapping up details or booking forms for the next day’s shoot. Things tend to get left until the last minute within the industry so unfortunately we have no choice. It keeps things exciting! I always make dinner for the children and read to them or hear my four year old read to me now!! I cherish the time putting them to bed then around 8pm I get my laptop out to edit photos or plan our next expansion or venture! It’s certainly not 9-5pm. I often fall asleep on the sofa as there’s always something else to do. I’m so ambitious and there’s so many directions and exciting plans ahead for Ology. I have come to realise and accept that things may just progress a little slower than I would like as I have to juggle and prioritise family first.

My granny used to say to me “you’re not just a pretty face” just like our new slogan. We encourage children to be ‘pretty smart’, ‘pretty strong’, ‘pretty confident’, ‘pretty awesome’ and I would always encourage little girls to be a #mumboss.



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