Freelance Feels: Conversations about self-employed life
Freelancing, parenting and Christmas with Frankie Tortora and Steve Folland from Doing it For the Kids

Freelancing, parenting and Christmas with Frankie Tortora and Steve Folland from Doing it For the Kids

December 6, 2021

** Festive warning: Christmas-themed spoilers! Probably best not to listen in front of the children **

It's the first of this year's Christmas Specials!

Being a parent and self-employed is hard enough, but when you add in the festive period, Christmas holidays and clients who can feel a bit like having an extra child (or two) then it can be stressful.

So I called on Steve Folland and Frankie Tortora, who run the award-winning Doing it For the Kids podcast, to chat about all of the above as well as much more. Jam-packed with honest advice, giggles and info on the Being Freelance Christmas Quiz, it's the perfect way to start your December!

About Steve and Frankie:

Frankie is a freelance graphic designer, mum of two and founder of Doing It For The Kids — a community by and for freelance parents. Through the DIFTK Facebook community, blog, face-to-face meetups and podcast, Frankie is proving that all sorts of good stuff can occur when self-employed parents are given the opportunity to connect.

Steve is a freelance video/podcast producer, running his business whilst also looking after his two kids. His other babies are the long running Being Freelance podcast where Steve chats to freelancers from around the world about their story. And co-hosting the award-winning Doing It For The Kids podcast - a fun Q&A for those parents freelancing 'with kids in the mix'.

Steve spends a lot of time hanging out in his Being Freelance Community where he brings together self-employed creatives for support, fun and biscuits. He’s also brought together his own experience and that of 250+ guests to help new freelancers with the course “How to get started being freelance”.

** Photo of Steve and Frankie by Sian Parker @sianshoots



Confidence and the career ladder with Helen Hill AKA Unlikely Genius

Confidence and the career ladder with Helen Hill AKA Unlikely Genius

November 12, 2021

Helen Hill is a self-employed Digital Learning and Content Designer at Unlikely Genius Ltd. Having always been an eternal student, she fell into the eLearning industry by accident and found her place in the world – creating enjoyable learning for others. She works as a freelancer/contractor for clients in the UK and Europe, with a focus on physical and mental health, medicine, personal development, technology, and the environment.

Helen keeps getting herself shortlisted for awards such as Digital Women ‘Freelancer of the Year’, ‘Digital Woman of the Year’, and IPSE ‘Outstanding Freelancer’. She also appears on the Digital Women ‘Top 40 Digital Women to Watch list’ and won the ‘2020 Article of the Year’ award for her series of contributions to the industry journal Communicator.

During her squiggly career she ran her design business as a side hobby for 10 years, before launching herself into full-time self-employment in 2018. She has never looked back. Helen built a thriving business in less than two years, saving her sanity and health in the process. Her new book Falling Off The Ladder: Revamp your mindset and thrive in self-employment tells the story of that leap, how she (and 9 other contributors) did it and provides you with the tools to do it too. 

Helen is also a co-founder of Be The Future - a project aimed at helping guardians to raise the eco-leaders of the future, through positivity, storytelling and humour. No doom and gloom here!

Helen lives in semi-rural West Yorkshire with the long-suffering Graham, and two extremely fluffy, diva rabbits Tiffin and Strudel. 

Social links: and
Food waste and founding an app with Tessa Clarke from OLIO

Food waste and founding an app with Tessa Clarke from OLIO

November 5, 2021

To mark the week of the COP26 conference, I spoke to Tessa Clarke, founder of food sharing app OLIO. We talk about running a company with sustainability in mind, how much food we waste, sharing household items and the remote working world. There's so much to think about, from the food we chuck away to the things we buy such as fancy dress or seasonal 'tat'... 

Tessa says:

The ‘lightbulb’ moment came on 17th December 2014 – I remember it well. I was packing up our apartment in Switzerland, getting ready to move back to the UK. Despite our best efforts to eat everything we had, we were still left with 6 sweet potatoes, a whole white cabbage and some pots of yogurt. The removal men told me that all the food had to be thrown away, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do this. And so – much to their frustration as we still had a lot to pack up – I got my new-born baby and toddler dressed and set off armed with this food to find someone to give it to. Unfortunately, the lady who I had hoped to give it to wasn’t in her usual spot outside the supermarket and I got quite upset. I thought about knocking on my neighbours’ doors to see if they wanted it, but the problem was I didn’t know if they would be in; and even if they were in, I didn’t really know them and it might be a bit awkward if they didn’t want what I was offering. Feeling thoroughly defeated I thought to myself – “This is absolutely crazy…. this food is delicious. Why isn’t there an app where I can share it with someone nearby who wants it?” And so the idea for OLIO was born…

I told some friends & family about my idea of a food sharing app, and they all
thought I was crazy. But in February 2015 when I told Saasha, her eyes immediately lit up and we just knew that we had to work together to bring this app to life!


Find out more at 

Follow on Instagram



Meeting your needs and craft for mental health with Boo Paterson

Meeting your needs and craft for mental health with Boo Paterson

October 22, 2021

T/W: Therapy, abuse, sexual assault

Boo Paterson joins me from her home in New York to talk about therapy, art, running away from the circus, battling poverty as a freelancer and joining Tik Tok...

An award-winning artist, writer, and creative director, Boo Paterson is most commonly known for her strong conceptual and political artwork. 

 She was declared a winner in the American Illustration Awards 2021 and has been shortlisted in the World Illustration Awards twice.

Boo's fine art has been exhibited at the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy and she has two self-illustrated books out worldwide - First Art Kit and Papercut This Book - as well as an e-book called The Greatest Speakeasies in New York City.

 A journalist and editor for many years, she’s a regular cultural commentator on the BBC. The broadcaster has even produced a film about her fine art and a radio programme on her unconventional life and work. Extensive press coverage on Boo has appeared across the world, including The Guardian, The Week, The Sunday Times, and television and radio. 

​Paterson - who lives in New York - is also an experienced creative director, forging ambitious, spectacular concepts for festivals, circuses, theatres, and advertising. Her Art Nurse art/therapy subscription boxes are to be launched later this year.

Find out more at 

Instagram: @officialboopaterson

TikTok: BooPaterson Art Nurse

Entrepreneurship, writing books (and being married!) with Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole

Entrepreneurship, writing books (and being married!) with Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole

October 15, 2021

Being an entrepreneur is one thing - but what about when your husband or wife is, too? And you work together on projects including writing books? I find out in this episode, talking to Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole. You might recognise Bianca's name - she was on the Apprentice in 2014 - we talk about how they navigated that experience as a couple, including the post-series experience and impact on mental health, as well as balancing work, life and marriage and... yacht networking! 

Bianca Miller-Cole is an award-winning entrepreneur, global
keynote speaker and ‘Top 10 Powerful Leader’ on Linkedin, using her experience to assist budding entrepreneurs through her platform and podcast, Self-Made. She started her personal branding company, The Be Group, in 2012 and works with clients including HSBC, AMEX, Google and King’s College London. In 2014 she founded a ground-breaking hosiery company, which went on to be the first to offer and inclusive range of colours on the high street.
Byron Cole is an entrepreneur, public speak, investor, philanthropist and mentor to entrepreneurs and business students. He has been involved in 12 business startups as a director, investor or shareholder and is currently a consultant to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). He co-authored Self-Made with Bianca and is co-host of their podcast of the same name.

Follow the links to find out more and buy the book!

Self Made

Making a magazine for freelancers with Sophie Cross and Ange Lyons, Freelancer Magazine

Making a magazine for freelancers with Sophie Cross and Ange Lyons, Freelancer Magazine

October 1, 2021

Sophie Cross and Ange Lyons work together to produce Freelancer Magazine. They chat about the moment Sophie had the idea, how that came together, working in their own freelance jobs and producing the mag, freelance friendships and much more.

Sophie Cross, a freelance marketer and writer at, came up with the idea of a quarterly business and lifestyle, square and glossy, print-first mag for freelancers at the beginning of 2021. She launched Freelancer Magazine via a Kickstarter campaign in February which hit 150% of its goal and sold 1000 copies of the magazine before the magazine even existed. It now has a rapidly growing community of B2B and creative freelancers and readers in 20 countries.

Angela Lyons is a freelance graphic designer who has been designing for over 20 years, and freelance for the past ten. She specialises in print-based designs but does digital, too, with clients varying from start-ups to established companies.

She lives in London and I was born within the sound of Bow Bells! "My heritage is West Indian both parents are St Lucian.
I'm married and have 2 children who are now in secondary school. Oh and I have my 3rd child... my cat CoCo," she says.

Find Freelancer Magazine, Sophie and Ange via these links:

Freelancer Magazine


Twitter @FullyThoughtOut

@freelancermag on Insta


Ange also mentions a charity she works with, find out more at 

Instagram and social media with Milla Richardson, founder of Pink Storm Social

Instagram and social media with Milla Richardson, founder of Pink Storm Social

September 24, 2021

Time to talk social media and ALL the feels it gives us! Milla Richardson runs Pink Storm Social and is full of amazing advice on how to enjoy and use social media as a freelancer, from finding the right platform to putting yourself (and your face) out there...

Like me, she's a self-confessed lover of Instagram and is all about helping businesses and brands build an engaged following on Instagram to promote their services and products.

Find her at

And follow on Instagram @pinkstormsocial 

#instagram #socialmedia #instagramexpert #instagramadvice #instagraminsight #socialmediaadvice #freelancers #socialmediaforsmallbusinesses 
Community and connecting with Matthew Knight from

Community and connecting with Matthew Knight from

September 10, 2021

Do you find comfort and support in freelance communities?

It's time to talk about the why and how of founding one, as well as what you can gain from taking part - and how to build up your confidence, too. Matthew shares his thoughts on mental health as a freelancer, being lonely even when you're in a co-working space and advice for anyone thinking of setting up their own freelance community.

Matthew Knight is an award winning independent creative strategist and innovator who helps businesses figure out what to do next. His recent clients include LEGO, P&G, Klarna, adidas and Accenture. He's also Chief Freelance Officer at Leapers: a project supporting the mental health of the self-employed. He lives with his two daughters in West London.

Find him at or

Join Leapers for free at

Building your freelance business with Jack Williams from UnderPinned

Building your freelance business with Jack Williams from UnderPinned

September 3, 2021
Jack Williams is the founder of UnderPinned and a seasoned creative, editor, and writer with experience working with brands such as HarperCollins, 4th Estate, The Week, Intern Mag, and Screen Shot Mag; through his role as COO at UnderPinned, he has pushed for freelance rights and education while working with the government to improve rights for the self-employed. Jack spends his weekends combing London's bookshops for second-hand deals and sleeping in.
We talk about branding, choosing a business name, building a community and campaigning for freelance rights, as well as loads of advice, as always, for freelancers and their mental health.
Find out more at
Season Six Trailer

Season Six Trailer

September 3, 2021

There's new music and we've ditched the biscuits - too noisy!

Welcome to Freelance Feels: Conversations about self-employed life. This podcast is for anyone who is self-employed, freelance, an entrepreneur, small business owner or thinking of making the leap.

Each episode is an informal chat about freelance life, with advice, experience and tales from the 'freelance front line'.

Find out more at @freelance_feels on Instagram and 

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