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Cars, cosmetics and Ixworth village life

PUBLISHED: 10:23 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:21 20 February 2013

Cars, cosmetics and Ixworth village life

Cars, cosmetics and Ixworth village life

Mary Bird is the founder of Car Masutra, a national brand aimed at the man who loves his car. She works from her home in Ixworth

Mary Bird is the founder of Car Masutra, a national brand aimed at the man who loves his car. She works from her home in Ixworth



Im up at 6.45am and pretty much straight on to my computer, which sounds impressive, but my main motivation at that time of the day is social. Facebook has enabled me to get back in touch with loads of old friends from my music business days, so I turn on my computer to catch up on with everyone. I love Facebook its just like being back in London 30 years ago!
That done, I go outside into my beloved walled garden and say hello to our two free-range rabbits who destroy all my hard work in the garden but go about it so delightfully, I can never be cross. In my white fluffy dressing-gown I think they regard me as Mother Rabbit and come rushing over. Livestock (fish, dogs, rabbits) greeted, its then time for breakfast with my daughter Alice and a school run, dodging roadkill and waving to familiar faces, through the lanes to Riddlesworth Hall School.
Back home I head into my home office, which has been commandeered out of my elder sons bedroom. Hes recently joined the Navy, so Ive stripped away his pictures of over-exposed women and set up my office and studio in there instead. Its a lovely big room but is already full with dressmaking kit and dummies from my days as a theatrical costumier, drawing boards, sample products for Car Masutras new toiletry ranges and so on.
My life at the moment is full to overflowing with Car Masutra, the brand Ive developed for the man who loves his car. It all started about ten years ago when I wrote a book of ditties and cartoons as a way of expressing my feelings for someone who did, indeed, love his car. Ive always thought in rhythm and rhyme which was, I think, my way of coping with a terrible stutter, and I love making people laugh so the book was just a natural extension of that. Much to my surprise, the Car Masutra hit Amazons bestseller list and sales took off from there. Im now working with Colin Buxton of Toolbox Marketing, to develop a range of male toiletries which we launched at the Classic Motor Show in Birmingham.
I might therefore head over to Colins office in Bardwell for a marketing meeting, to Beccles where our bottle manufacturer is based, or to Thetford where our cosmetic ranges are being developed. Ive been able to keep the whole of the Car Masutra team within Suffolk and most within ten miles of my front door! You always think that the big and professional companies are based in London, but that absolutely isnt the case. Twice a week I head off to the West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds where Im doing the Art & Design Foundation course that I wish Id done 30 years ago. At the time, my parents thought the idea was not a proper job so I didnt go then but have always regretted it. Now Im making up for lost opportunities and loving the opportunity to splodge my emotions over a large canvas even if I am the same age as most of the tutors and several decades older than most of my fellow students!



Running a business is more than a full-time job and Ive had to learn to become a business woman, which has at times been tough as I certainly wasnt born and bred to it!




Lunch, if Im lucky and have managed to rush through everything else, might be at the fabulous Ixworth caf, just down the road from my home on the high street. And on the way there, Ill dash into our village butchers shop where I do as much of my weekly shopping as I possibly can and all of my daily shopping. They still do the old on account system so I dash in, grab milk, fresh veg, homemade bread, meat and so on, which is all fresh, local and delicious! Ixworth is the most wonderful village to live in, with a great community. I was recently made an honorary member of the Six OClock Club at the Pykkerell so sometimes can be found having a glass of wine with the elders of the village on a Friday evening all lovely stuff!
Alice comes home at 5pm after which time its family, home and a meal cooked by my husband Simon, who used to own a restaurant in Kensington and still happily takes his culinary frustrations out on Alice and myself.
All evening I will be running up and down to my computer, checking emails, researching new ideas and products. Running a business is more than a full-time job and Ive had to learn to become a business woman, which has at times been tough as I certainly wasnt born and bred to it! I now find myself regularly dealing with intellectual property lawyers, patent attorneys, buyers, accountants, web designers and so on. There are some things I find difficult so have no problem asking for help where its needed. I think part of being a successful business woman and starting up your own company is recognising that need.
Relaxation comes, finally, with my evening bath, about which I am passionate! Its something to do with having been brought up in a freezing rectory and having suffered years of three-inch baths at boarding school! I regard my daily bath ritual as essential but justify it by using bath-time as my opportunity to test Car Masutras latest products, fragrances, lotions and potions.
As my head hits the pillow, Ill be looking forward to the next days challenges and wondering what on earth is going to happen to this nearly-50-year-old next! Im loving the sense of independence, freedom and opportunity that Im being given by Car Masutra. Its one big exciting ride for me that I have no wish to end!


www.carmasutra.com

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