‘I DID A COMPLETE CAREER U-TURN AFTER I HAD MY KIDS
Bethany Eaton, 38, decided to quit her job and start her own business
Iloved being a policewoman. Working together as part of a tight team, you all look out for each other and it made you close. I enjoyed the thrill of not knowing what each shift would bring. That said, the long hours were hard work.
In 2006 everything changed. I became pregnant with my first child and I realised that going back to that regime was too much. I was shattered and it made me sit back and think about what I wanted from life.
When my daughter was born, I felt like I needed to do something for myself. I’d joined the police to help people but unfortunately it became a thankless job and I wanted to do something bigger. So I talked it over with my partner Paul, also a policeman, and I handed in my notice without a plan, excited to see where life would take me next.
I had health issues, stress and hormonal problems due to working crazy hours and eating the wrong food. So while recovering from my C-section, someone suggested seeing a nutritionist. It made such a difference that I decided to study for a nutritional degree myself.
Unable to eat dairy any more, I tried and failed to find a coconut milk yogurt. No one had ever introduced one in the UK or Europe so I identified a gap in the market. I just said to my husband Paul: ‘Why don’t we do it?’ The COYO brand all started there. We got a third party to make it, then bought pots and labelled them. We sold COYO through a distributor in London first. I think the best part was seeing our product on the shelves of my favourite stores – being in Waitrose was my dream!
There’ve been lows too; the worst was when we set up our own factory two years in, because it was so stressful. I remember being late to collect my son from the childminder, then getting pulled over by the police and slapped with a speeding ticket. I just burst into tears because it was all too much!
Despite that, I have no regrets. It’s never too late to change careers and if you aren’t happy, then think about what you would like to do and make it happen.