Staying focused, networking & sheer determination. Meet Emily Foster.

What is your career background?

I trained as a registered dietitian in central and eastern Canada and then went onto a job as a retail dietitian. In Canada I worked as an in-store dietitian helping customers and colleagues in several supermarkets; running health and wellness programmes, store tours and nutrition consultations. Alongside this I also started a small business but wound that down when I decided to move to the UK with my now husband. When I moved I began working for a start-up baby food brand in London as their marketing manager, shortly after leaving that role I started my own nutrition communications consultancy, Glowing Potential.

Can you briefly explain what you do?

Glowing Potential helps food and wellness brands develop nutrition and health-based programming, “edutainment” events and education for both colleagues and customers. As the director of the company I look after our subcontractors, speak at industry events, organise contracts and head up sales.

What challenges did you face with setting up Glowing Potential?

When I started Glowing Potential I had been in the UK for about a year and a half, I really had no idea what businesses needed to do in the UK. Making sure that I was doing everything correctly; taxes, contracts, etc. was stressful. I also didn’t have a lot of contacts, outside of the ones I had made in my previous job with the start-up so a big part of growing my business has been networking. I was averaging 2 events in London per week when I lived in Portsmouth!

What has been your proudest moment so far?

Glowing Potential now has a major contract with WW (formerly, Weight Watchers) – when we signed this contract I really felt like all the hard work was paying off. I talk about this being my proudest moment but really it’s what that contract meant for the business. What it meant was that I get to continue this business that helps other people and also, miraculously allows my husband and I to spend time together when he’s home and enables me to travel back to see my family in Canada when I want to.

Why is being in work so important to you?

I don’t have children and I have the ability to work in the UK, so to be honest not working is just not an option. That said, when we hopefully do have a family I feel the structure of work will be very important to me, I also love what I do.

As a military spouse, what has been your biggest obstacle when trying to balance work/kids/your spouses’ military commitments?

Well, I don’t have children but I do have a dog and I find balancing her, my husband’s schedule and my own difficult – so hats off to those with kids! Personally, my biggest obstacle is the instability that having a spouse in the military brings, primarily the job changes and what feels like the ever-changing schedule week to week. Being someone who has their own business, when I change my schedule to work around my spouses and then their schedule changes for the third time it feels like an uphill battle. Something that I think most military partners can relate to.

What advice would you give fellow Military spouses who want to get back into work, retrain for a new career or start their own business?

For starting a business – if you’ve got an idea, just do it. Seek out the advice and support you need and get going! The autonomy that it can provide is invaluable.