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Successful Steps
As part of my research and work with stepfamilies I've been fortunate enough to get to know some fantastic people - stepmums, stepdads, their partners, even their children! While this site is focused on the fact that we're all stepfamilies I think it's equally important to recognise our many other talents! As a way of saying 'thank you' for helping me with my research, my book - and of course Happy Steps I've dedicated this page to help (in a small way!) stepfamilies grow their own businesses.
All the services ands products advertised below are run by stepfamily members. If you contact any of the businesses don't forget to say that you found them via Happy Steps. If you're interested in adding your business then just contact us with details of your company and a little bit of background on your family. We'll be happy to include you.
The Travelwrap Company (

The Travelwrap company was founded by Niamh, a stepmum to four teenagers (Lucy aged 18, Adam aged 17 and Joe and Dan, twins aged 14) and mum to two little girls, aged 6 and 4 and 3/4!  Niamh has been so supportive of my work over the years and has become a real friend. She started her business a few years ago and has worked so hard. - I still don't kow where she finds the time with 6 children to look after!  Her cashmere wraps are fantastic quality and make perfect gifts - either to others or ourselves! Why not spoil yourself....


For a little extravagant languor, the award winning Scottish cashmere Travelwrap ticks all the boxes. The Travelwrap is simply a statement of true comfort embodied in a beautiful cashmere wrap. Lovingly designed for travel or at home, the 100% Scottish cashmere wrap is the brainchild of Niamh Barker, founder and Creative Director of The Travelwrap Company.  The Plain Gorgeous and Eclectic Collections and newly launched cashmere Travelwrap Lounge socks offer a spectrum of styles and palettes using yarns ethically sourced; dyed, knitted and hand finished in the heart of Scotland in one of the worlds finest mills. Niamh has teamed up with Happy Steps to offer 10% discount on any Travelwrap order, either give us a call and quote HSTW10 or apply it a  at checkout on line.


Travelwraps are available on line at or by calling the orderline: UK:  0844 800 11296 / worldwide+44 (0) 1425 613731



* Winner, Best New Company 2009, International Women in Business Stevie Awards 2009

*Winner luxury/ premium Luxury Gift of The Year (UK) 2008, The Travelwrap

*Highly Commended Luxury/premium Luxury Gift of The Year (UK) 2009, My Little Travelwrap


CAT Communications (
CAT communications is run by Penny and her partner Craig. Penny has been a stepmum for 7 years. and has a stepdaugher, Jess, who is now 10. Penny has been incredibly supportive to me throughout my research and development of Happy Steps for which I am extremely grateful. I really value her judgement and friendship. If you need any help with comunications in your business then do please call Penny and I'm sure she will be able to help.
CAT Communications offer a wide range of Telecommunications services for companies of all sizes. With over 40 years experience in the industry the directors of CAT wanted to address a gap in the market. They felt there was a need for a company who was able to provide an honest reliable service where nothing is too much to ask and clientele are valued.

Life Coaching
Rachel is a stepmum to Tristan, age 15 and Madeleine, age 13. She also has a daughter, Isabella, age 6, with her partner Graham. She has qualified as a life coach with the Co-active Institute of Life Coaching, based in London and is keen to offer her services to step parents. She also has a lot of experience of advising and coaching with young people too (working part time as a Connexions adviser with young people from 13 - 19). She is in the process of setting up her business so if you're interested in contacting Rachel then just send me a quick email and I'll pass your request on.
Blue Dog Cushion Company (

FE College lecturer and step mum of four, Jeannie runs The Blue Dog Cushion Company. This online business was inspired by Jeannie's love of travelling and textiles and when she ran out of wall and sofa space she decided to sell the things that she fell in love with on her travels. Blue Dog pride themselves on sourcing and retailing cushions, throws, rugs, mats and gifts for the home - that are bright, beautiful and creative, organic, vintage, recycled, fairly traded or handcrafted. All the products are high quality but at affordable prices. The Blue Dog vision is to provide its customers of integrity with gorgeous and quite often unique accessories for their living spaces. We also have a range of beautiful fairly traded rag dolls - mums, dads and kids of every ethnicity - perfect to use as a resource for newly blended or adoptive families to demonstrate relationships. 
Features - Life Coaching (

This company is run by Dr Carol Place in Nottingham. Carol has been a stepmum for 22 years and has 4 adult stepchildren (with 7 grandchildren) and 2 daughters. Through her personal experience she feels she can empathise with someone struggling with the situations that arise as a stepparent and understands the complexities that arises from the children and extended family. As a person-centred counsellor, Carol believes that if you feel someone is listening to you with respect and understanding, then you will begin to believe that you are worth being heard. She offers appointments for adults and can help with- Family difficulties, step parenting, loss and bereavement, depression, stress, anxiety and many other issues.

If you would like to talk to Carol you can contact her on 01159501977 or by E-mail: Sessions are usually once a week and last for a counselling hour at a cost of £40.


Awakenings - Astrological Exploration (

Sarah has been a stepmum for almost 10 years now and has a 19 year old stepson. Her company is called Awakenings and uses Spiritual Astrology and Spiritual Accompaniment to help you explore your own personal and spiritual development . She does not provide predictive astrology readings but instead uses your birth chart as a map of your essential self, identifying themes, challenges, strengths and patterns of energy in order to facilitate a deepening of your personal journey and levels of awareness. Use of astrology in this way enables the truth of ourselves to be revealed and distilled, thus promoting greater self-awareness and insight. Sarah provides face to face consultations in North East Wales, and written postal readings. The latter are not computer generated, but are personalised readings specific to the individual. Consultations and readings cost £35. Tel: 01352 733219 or email for more info