We interviewed the inspirational TV presenter and entrepreneur Sarah Beeny on her busy working life and motherhood. Sarah lives in south London with her husband and her four sons, Billy 9, Charlie 8, Raffey 5, Laurie 4, two cats Smokey and Kitten and one minature Dachsund Daisy.
Was it always your ambition to work in the media as a television presenter, and what are the most challenging parts of your job?
No, it was never my ambition at all. I think the challenging parts of my job are juggling everything and trying not to do everything badly – with an online estate agency, dating site our wedding venue and TV work it’s pretty chocca!
You met your husband at just 18 years old. Tell us a bit about why you set up the popular dating site ‘My Single Friend‘?
Because it’s fun to live vicariously through your friends! Lots of my friends quite enjoyed meeting up with new people and we really started to get friends of friends together too and to make dating online a fun experience that you do ‘with’ friends rather than on your own.
You’re well known for your televisions shows on property – what are the five tips you’d give to young couples looking to buy their first family home?
1. Don’t stretch yourself too far financially.
2. Take on a bit of a wreck whilst you are young enough to have the energy.
3. Don’t be put off buying in a slightly less popular area if you can get just the perfect house you want.
4. Buy for the future – you are probably not going to want to move for a good few years – however make sure that when your eldest child starts school you are pretty settled as it’s tricky to move once they are with friends in a school they are happy in.
5. Buy near family – if you can buy near family do as the support they can offer can be invaluable.
What pieces of wisdom would you pass on to your children?
Say ‘yes’ in life, work hard and enjoy the ride.
What’s your favourite family recipe?
Fish pie made with cheese sauce – it’s delicious.
You have four boys under 10 years old – what are your top tips for keeping them all in line?
I’m afraid I don’t keep them in line – I wish I could!
How do you find time to relax, unwind and keep on top of everything?
It’s a pretty constant battle – I’d love to relax more as it’s good for you, but right at the moment it’s stolen moments.
What’s in the pipeline for you next?
Another series of Double the House for Half the Money, and I’m doing a pilot at the moment. I have a DIY book out next month and other than that, my focus is on growing all the businesses.
What’s the one baby product couldn’t have lived without?
Leather Robeez baby booties. They are the only ones that don’t fall off and don’t get dirty – I now give them to everyone who has a baby.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
A bit chaotic but driven, very positive and pretty energetic.