“I’d gone from having this great career, which I’d worked really hard for, to having this other life as a housewife.”

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough for so many people but for some it has also enabled them to take a step back, restock and finally follow their dream. 

Jenny Guertin is one of those people. In April 2020, she set up Sharkie & Bear, a vegan-friendly earring and accessories brand – a manifestation of her passion for design and helping women feel good about themselves.

But Jenny didn’t start her career in design. She is like so many highly qualified women, who in order to have a family, have had to sacrifice their career and give up the corporate world.  

Jenny studied Maths and Management at Leeds University before heading into the world of accountancy, corporate finance and business recovery, where she lived and played hard. 

Her world was turned upside down however when she met, fell in love with and married her now husband, an RAF fighter pilot, and quit her job and uprooted her life to move with him to a military base abroad. 

“It was a really difficult transition. I think we’re so defined by what we do. I was so used to being ‘Jenny who works in corporate finance’,” she says. “Going from that to ‘Jenny the housewife’ was really difficult.”

We also talk about:

  • What it’s like as a civilian living in the military world.
  • The different reasons women are required to take a career break. 
  • Coping with loss of identity after stepping away from a corporate career.
  • The need for more flexibility in the workplace.
  • How to start a business that you can mould around a life with a family.

You can follow Jenny on Facebook and Instagram @sharkieandbear. To view the full collection of earrings and accessories, including the special charity earrings in aid of Coppafeel visit: https://sharkieandbear.com/