The Many Lives of Ava Kitsch

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In 2012 my life changed. A bold opening statement I know, but it is true.

My dream had always been to become a teacher, I had it all mapped out. At 18 years old I went off to University to study my two favourite subjects, Business and English Studies, I knew I wanted to be a teacher but I still hadn’t made my mind up about the subject. If I had chosen to be an English teacher my life and my career might have taken a very different direction, but I didn’t, I opted to become a Business Studies teacher. I am passionate about this subject, I find it absolutely fascinating, I love that business as a subject is constantly changing and evolving, and for me this is exciting.

My teaching career started properly in 2008, rather than working in a secondary school, I found myself working at an FE college and I loved it. It is very different from a school environment, I loved that I got to teach across a range of business qualifications and that I got to teach adults as well as school leavers. So that was 2008, an exciting roller coaster ride of emotions, getting my dream job in education and then having to figure it all out. It was like learning a new language, the training might have been comprehensive, but nothing prepares you fully for your first year in teaching.

So what changed you might be wondering, how did I end up becoming Ava Kitsch?

It frustrates me that FE colleges get over looked by politicians, in my opinion an FE college is the dot between school and university, two educational institutions that are spoken about a lot. Further education has seen massive changes in recent years, funding cuts, increased competition from local schools with new sixth forms, the rise of apprenticeships, all of these factors and many more led to my dream job becoming a nightmare.

I couldn’t cope, restructuring, redundancies, 70 hour working weeks, a constant cycle of planning, marking and the pressure to perform left me feeling overwhelmed. In July 2012 I was made redundant and it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. The problem with working constantly is you never have any other perspective on life, I had worked so hard for so long and it was gone. For me this was what I had feared most, an uncertain future and losing the job I worked so to get. However instead of the utter devastation I imagined I was liberated.

I was left with one question:What’s next?

Between July and October 3 amazing things happened.

The first thing I did was set up my own business, Ava Kitsch Jewellery. I have always been creative, I love making things, I have found that my creativity helps my teaching but working so many hours a day had not left any room for creative pursuits. I had always made bits and pieces of jewellery in the past and I wanted to see if I could turn this hobby into a business and Ava Kitsch was born.

The next thing that happened to me was the opportunity to do some bookkeeping for a local bathroom showroom. They needed someone for about six weeks, that six weeks of bookkeeping saw my role slowly evolve into a part time finance and marketing manager. I love being able to work in an industry that is totally different from teaching.

The third thing was some teaching hours at another college that eventually turned into a permanent, part time teaching position.

I would never have guessed when I started teaching in 2008 that my life would become so different from how I planned. It is very different from full time teaching, and although I’m still working 70 hour weeks, I love the flexibility of all of my work roles and that they all complement each other. Over the last couple of years I have tried to manage my roles by compartmentalising  everything, but it is hard work to keep everything separate. It is also difficult to sound authentic when you are only telling someone about a fraction of who you are.

So here is my confession, in reality Ava Kitsch is Sam Osmond and in no particular order, I am a business lecturer, a marketing and finance manager, a creative small business owner that loves to crochet. I run a few Facebook groups and pages to support local small businesses, sometimes working with the local council and with local business networking groups, I am also sometimes known as the Business Elf, but I will get to all that later.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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9 thoughts on “The Many Lives of Ava Kitsch

  1. A great blog ☺ nice 5o read someone who has a similar lifestyle to me! I run two businesses and do a 2 hole host of other volunteers roles as well as random jobs to keep myself afloat! Although money can be scarce I wouldn’t swap it for the world! I also have two WordPress blogs bri g on the south tyneside bloggers ☺www.hildyharland.wordpress.com and http://www.gladysgladrags.wordpress.com

  2. Thanks 🙂 I am still working on it I take it a little bit at a time on both of them. Im in the process of moving completely online with the selling side of #gladysgladrags so trying to get to grips with all this #blogging and hopefully #vlogging too 🙂 I was thinking we could maybe ask a few of the south tyneside locals if they have any wordpress blogs and we can all follow each other I would like to know who else is on wordpress in the local area. what do you think?

    • avakitsch

      I think that sounds like a good idea, certainly would be great for supporting each other online. I love blogging but find it difficult to be consistent, I’m planning on posting once a week. I’m focusing on my Folksy shop at the moment too. I will eventually go back to my own website hopefully. Folksy is great because you can pay an annual fee and then your listings are free. I’ve had a few sales but not as many as I would like but I’m just going to keep plugging away at it.

      • Guests are always asking us what there is to do and where they should go to eat so instead of having a room folder with static information in we direct them to the blog so they can see what is going on. Sometimes there’s not much going on to be written about though!

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