What Happens Next?

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

On the 12th August Rock My was acquired by WLS Holdings, a new company formed and owned by Phoenix Asset Management which has over £1 billion under investment.

Rock My initially received investment in 2012. Adam and I sold a majority shareholding in the company in exchange for funding. I type that year (2012!?!) and it seems like a lifetime ago. Before babies. Before print media all but disappeared. Before everyone painted their shaker kitchen in various shades of Farrow & Ball grey paint. Before hashtag AD.

Just over 2 years ago Adam and I offered to buy the shareholding back so that we would have 100% ownership of the Rock My brand, our investors at the time refused, yet didn’t seem particularly interested in offering further funding or assisting in growing the brand. This was extremely frustrating. We had so many ideas for how we wanted to evolve, yet without the funds for development, we were unable to move the company forward.

Sure we could have carried on as we were for some time – maybe even years, making tweaks here and there, potentially improving certain efficiencies in order to allocate resource elsewhere. The truth is I wasn’t interested in stagnation as an option. I don’t think any business owner who cares about their brand would be. If any of you follow my personal instagram you may have read about the difficult year we have faced as a family. This has only made me more determined to be the best possible role model I can to my daughters. I would never want either of them to be taken advantage of, feel undervalued or “settle” for a career that no longer inspired and motivated them.

The online media landscape is changing faster than ever, huge previously successful brands are going into administration on a daily basis and the high street is on its knees. I truly believe it’s a case of innovate to elevate, or go home.

In June of this year our investors agreed to sell – in the 18 months between requesting to buy the business back ourselves and them refusing our offer, some of their other companies faced financial difficulty, a sale of some assets (their shareholding in Rock My included) was therefore opportune. WLS Holdings acquisition of Rock My and the associated funding is enabling us to invest in technology and design and plan a successful strategy that incorporates our core values. In the medium term, we will be building an entirely new platform we initially conceptualised several years ago but due to the aforementioned restrictions, were unable to progress.

It was really important to both Adam and I that our buyers had a similar ethos to us, that they believed in our ideas for the future and would support the fundamental changes we wanted to implement. WLS Holdings owns The Wedding Shop, Prezola and The Wedding Present Company – they have 30 years experience in the wedding industry so are an ideal fit for Rock My Wedding, our most successful online resource.

Our CEO is a woman. And a Mum. They fully support flexible working as we always have. I hope a time comes when I don’t have to highlight any of those points as exceptions to the corporate rules.

There have already been some significant changes to the business structure, we now have a Head Office in the Warwickshire countryside which I will share with you once we have actually decorated it – we received the keys on Friday and it already feels like a really positive way forward. The goony header image is me outside the front doors on our first day brandishing some flowers for our boardroom table.

Moving to office based working from a working-from-home model has meant some team members have decided to seek alternative employment, with staff based in Glasgow and Kent and everywhere in between, it would have been impossible for us to choose a location that was suitable for everyone. After a decade as a business owner selling your brand on was always going to be challenging, the journey has been both testing and enlightening.

If you are still here (!) thanks so much for reading. I’m back this time next week with more details on our plans to evolve our offering, the feedback received on our What is The Future Of Online Media was fascinating and has really assisted us in our plans for the future – please don’t think I just forgot about it and moved on.

As always, your thoughts and questions are most welcome in the comments box below.

P.S WLS Holdings have bought all of the Rock My group, including Rock My Family. Maybe we might even be able to resurrect it…

{Contributors}
Author
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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72 thoughts on “What Happens Next?

  1. So pleased to hear this, Charlotte. I really appreciate how open and honest you are and it is so interesting to hear your intentions for the future. I have often thought of your family after seeing a few of your Instagram posts and noticing that we don’t read many posts from you anymore. It’s lovely to hear that you have something positive happening and things are moving forwards for you x

      1. This is great news – I’ve always loved your posts Charlotte. And congratulations – as another long term
        follower I wish you lots of continued success.

  2. This is such great news. I have followed Rock My Everything for yeeeears… through my wedding, house moves, two children (even bought mabel’s cot on your recommendation many moons ago!) and has really wondered where the RM mojo had gone never the last year or so. Really appreciate your honesty and insight and cannot wait to see what’s in store. Best of luck for it all (and of course for the health and well being of your fam! X

    1. Hi Nicky! Ah the cot! I can’t believe Mabel is 6 in March (!). I definitely feel the mojo is back, thanks so much for following along for such a long time x

  3. Oh this is exciting news Charlotte – thank you for being so transparent – cannot wait to hear more. I have followed for years – and was feeling really sad that the spark seemed to have gone – I cannot wait to see what is coming – and heaps of good luck for everything Rock My & family related 🙂 x

    1. Hi Janey! Hoping to being back the sparks! I’m back on Thursday to explain a bit more about our intentions going forward and how we hope to build the brand around integrity and unbiased recommendations and advice. x

  4. This is all so exciting Charlotte! I have followed Rock My for years and at the end when you said that Rock My Family may make a come back, I did a little Whoop! at my desk 🙂

    1. Hi Katie! I miss RMF too, especially when I had my second daughter Iris. WLS have plans of their own which are family related and RMF would work well as an online media resource x

  5. Would love you to resurrect the different branches to your Rockmy brand. Content used to be so regular and good and something I looked forward to reading and sought out. Glad you’re back.

  6. Awesome news Charlotte. I’m so excited for you all. You are such a talented bunch with your finger on the pulse of everything and I can see only great things as you push towards now. I can’t wait!!

  7. I’m so pleased! It has been so quiet on here over the past few months and I’ve really missed the regular content. I hope you all love your new home, and I look forward to checking back in on here for more lovely blog posts 🙂

    1. Thanks Gem, we hope to have more regular content and discussions, our new home is working really well x

  8. Ah what exciting news to read! Especially Rock My Family- yay! I missed your writing so happy that we’ll be hearing more from you 🙂
    It’s lovely to hear you being so honest about the RM journey, sending lots of good wishes for the future to both the RM family and to your family xx

    1. Thanks Lucy – I’ve missed the community and the useful advice and extended kindness in the comments section x

  9. I’m so thrilled to hear this, I’ve also missed regular content. Huge congratulations to you and Adam for getting to this point, I’m sure it has not been easy. And wishing you the best for RM and a healthy family life xx

    1. Thank you Sophie, it has been a challenging journey these past two years, but I feel I’ve learnt a lot. Knowledge is power and all that. Lovely to “see” you x

  10. Great to hear, i hope Rock my family returns, i became a mum a year ago and relied on searching through the archives in the early baby days when i struggled with all the usual challenges!
    Have followed since planning my own wedding a decade ago 🙂
    Good luck and good health for the future and please bring back the make up posts!

    1. Congratulations Rachel, I hope the archives were useful! 10 years – bloody hell, I feel we owe you a special award or something, hopefully we can continue to keep you with engaging content xx

  11. I can confirm that the office is lush (sneak peek of it on RMS Instagram if you’re interested) and the plans are exciting!! I have a feeling there’ll be more RockMyHQ Insta Stories of tomfoolery too. Lovely to read all the positive, supportive responses on here. Thanks for sticking with us you lot ❤️

  12. As you know, I’m a long time fan girl – not only do I love the full suite of blogs (I read RMF despite not being a parent myself, and I still find myself on RMW two years after my wedding), I have a huge affection for the brand itself and everything you guys stand for. I always watch with interest what your next steps are and it’s incredibly inspiring to follow your journey. I’d wondered if there was something bubbling away behind the scenes, and this sounds like such a great move – can’t wait to see what else is around the corner! xx

    1. Hi Emma! And thanks so much for such a supportive message. Exciting times ahead, mojo’s back, crisps are in the cupboard….x

  13. Sounds like a really positive move for your business and I wish you the best of luck!

    Also would love to see Rock My Family back!! I recently looked back at the hospital packing list post as baby number 2 was on the way! Also have the baking and decorating birthday cakes page bookmarked and use when got a special occasion to bake for! Would be so great to see it return! x

  14. I’ve not been here in soooo long but it’s been like visiting an old friend! So happy that you are finally able to move things forward 👏🏼

    P.S. Despite the lack of #dirtyenabling I’ve still managed to buy approx. 724 litres of make-up and have my eyebrows microbladed since we last had a beauty post so if anyone needs a recommendation, give me a shout! 😂

    1. Ha hahahaha – how was the microblading?! I’m tempted….my eyebrows are non existent. Also I really don’t buy that much make-up anymore, what is wrong with me?! But I have been loving beauty pie. Have you joined yet?! x

        1. But in the meantime – the matte lipsticks, the powder, the retinol hand cream, the perfumes AND the candles are all excellent! I need more time to really test the skincare xx

          1. No I have not joined Beauty Pie for fear of my husband divorcing me 🙈

            The microblading is a game changer. Kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Waking up with eyebrows saves so much time in the morning – that will sound silly to those with bountiful brows but for us fair haired people, drawing them on every morning is a chore!

  15. Such brilliant news. I’m another long termer (normally lurker) and I’m really excited for what will come next, I’ve always loved your content and have missed the regular posts. Thank you for being a brand with such integrity, that places it’s community alway at the heart of what you do. Congratulations to you guys and lots of love to you Charlotte in what must have been an incredibly challenging time. X

    1. Thanks so much Lynne, the integrity is exactly what has been bothering me for some time, what with the influencer phenomenon and how we can be successful without bias….I need to write it all down for Thursday’s post but I’m mostly clear on what we’re going to do going forward x

  16. This is wonderful news Charlotte, well done for managing to secure a new deal that supports everything that the Rock My brand represents.
    So glad there are more exciting possibilities ahead, I’ve followed Rock My since 2012(!)When I was planning my wedding, then when RMS started and loved RMF also. I’ve recently felt a bit adrift on social media/print media as nothing seemed to fit-particularly since The Pool folded and so looking forward to the future offerings from Rock My.

    Totally get the desire not to just sit tight and just drift along. Following the birth of baby number 2 in February and my 40th birthday approaching next year I’ve been considering what I want from my career. So now I’m considering a complete change and to retrain as a primary teacher. The thought of staying in the industry I work in for the next 20years just does not appeal , it’s not changed in the 15yrs I’ve been in it so I’d be a fool to keep believing it will!

    Looking forward to the future! X x

    1. Vicky what an amazing career change, really bloody good for you. What industry are you in if you don’t mind me asking? and yes adrift – that’s the perfect word. I’ve felt like that for a long while, if you don’t fully believe in what you are doing why carry on – change it or move on. I hope everything is going well with number 2 xx

      1. Thanks Charlotte, I work in the contaminated land industry as a remediation specialist. It’s an industry that I think has had its peak and now the projects left are the truly difficult ones which is why they’ve not been tackled! And clients don’t want pay or spend the time and are purely interested in the bare minimum to avoid prosecution rather than protecting future environments and people. I know that’s the same for many industries and I’m under no illusions that teaching will all fluffy clouds and rainbows but I need to do something!

        Two is ok, a constant juggling act but I think 8 months in we’re getting there! We had a rough start as he was 7 weeks early and I had an emergency c-section but he’s a right old chunk now desperate to crawl!

        1. Vicky I think you are making the right decision – it’s so difficult to work with anyone who doesn’t have the same morals. Or by the sounds of things, any morals. I’m so glad to hear he’s a chunk! x

  17. This sounds like such great news Charlotte. Well done for always having integrity and staying authentic to the Rock My brand. I’m really looking forward to seeing the changes and to have you back 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Jess, hope you are well! I did receive your message – so sorry for not coming back to you, I will ASAP!

  18. Well done Charlotte, I’ve always followed your journey – I’m old old school way back in the YAYW days I remember reading your wedding story when we were members.
    Change is massive and terrifying too. I’ve just opened up a ladies fashion boutique on the high street. I have a glimmer of hope that one day the street’s will be bustling again.
    You have to follow your dreams and I look forward to your next chapter.

    1. Marlene! It’s exactly folks like yourself that needs to be on the highstreet. I genuinely think lovely independents who genuinely care about their customers and have a unique offering is the way forward. Combine some pleasure shopping with coffee and a cake and then it’s a day out, which I miss. I have everything crossed for you and your new venture x

  19. What a beautifully honest post and such exciting news!! I’ve been following Rock My since 2014 when I got married and RMF was invaluable when I had my 2 babies in 2015 and 2018 (where tf has the time gone?!!). I was so sorry to hear what a tough year you’ve had as a family but to be able to announce something so positive at the end of it just shows what an amazing woman you are 🙂 The new headquarters look amazing, loved the insta stories!. We’ll all look forward to hearing more next week. 🙂

    1. Laura I have no idea where the time has gone – I think of 2014 as not that long ago…and it was 5 years (!). Thanks so much for such a sweet message and I’m glad you like the offices – they really did just kind of come along at exactly the right time. I’m sure you’ll be seeing many more stories antics! x

  20. This is amazing news all round. As someone who has had to deal with family health issues on and off for many years I admire your resilience and not chuck the towel in. Can’t wait to see where you take things next and wishing you all a healthy future. Sx

    1. Thanks so much Sarah, I really appreciate the resilience comment, it’s such a compliment. I hope your family health issues are manageable and improving x

  21. How exciting! I always love your openness Charlotte – feels like you try to give an honest picture of what running a business can be like. I find it fascinating and I’m sure anyone who’s wanting to do or doing something similar will find it massively useful. Can’t wait to see what’s next 😃 xx

    1. I try and write about what I would like to read about….selfish I guess (!) ha ha. I always joke maybe I should one day write my memoirs….the things I could tell you! x

  22. Yessssss to more content! I’ve missed it so much and tbh have been waiting for the day where you might say you were winding things up here on RMS too. So glad you’re not.

  23. Long term fan here- RMW during my engagement, RMF when I had a baby, and RMS for everything in between. I miss the regular posts, and really pleased for you! Congratulations.

  24. I have followed since the beginning of RMW but since RMF was stood down I’ve been more of an insta follower. So looking forward to seeing the new offering! x

  25. Woohoo go Charlotte & Adam! I was worried it would be an announcement that you were leaving the company behind and thank goodness you aren’t, you are Rock my!! Can’t wait to see what the future holds 🙂

    1. Bless you Jo! Adam and I were a condition of the sale (!) I’m pretty sure the buyers weren’t drunk….🤔🤷🏼‍♀️😂 but it’s nice to be valued.

      Now we can build the company we always wanted, we’ve definitely got our mojo back. Here’s to the future, and a virtual cheers to you!

  26. Welcome back. When you say some team members are going, who is staying? Naomi presumably if she’s seen the office but what about Lauren?! She always had such classic taste on a shoestring. And I know other Lauren left a while ago but it’d be good to get her back if she left because the old owners were so stagnant.

    1. Rebecca! How I’ve missed you. I think you might be one of our most long-standing followers – we need to buy you a 10 year celebratory T-shirt. When you say other Lauren do you mean Lolly? She left over 2 and half years ago, I’m sure she’s moved on to a much less stagnant working environment by now – I know she was renovating properties and with such exceptional taste (her bathrooms we featured on here are still my favourite) I’m sure she will be doing a stellar job.

    2. Oh yes I hope Lauren is staying on as a contributor! Her taste and budget tips are right up my street and I think she’s been an integral part of the blog content. Positive news for the Rock My brand though, well done

  27. A bit late to the party but just wanted to say hurrah!!! I have been feeling a bit sad recently that the blog has lost its feet a little but this sounds fantastic and I look forward to seeing and reading about all the changes in due course (plus fingers crossed for Rock My Family, I have really really missed that one!!!!). Hope it all goes well – and as always thank you so much for your honesty and openness with your readers 🙂 xx

    1. Never late Annie! Yes it’s been a challenging time over here, lots of changes made, difficult decisions an so on, but ultimately we’re moving forward which is the main goal. Thanks so much for sticking with us x

  28. There she is… hello you,
    I am so far behind in life – my real and digital! (what day is it?!) I am so thrilled to hear of the next phase of Rock My. Bring on the freshness and the future

    Nxxx

    1. Hello you! I could have told you the whole story over Prosecco brunch (how long do you have?!) ha ha ha. Hopefully I’ll see you before Jan though – although it’s just around the corner, where has 2019 gone?!!! xxx

  29. Late to the party, but just wanted to say I’m so pleased to hear this! I absolutely adored this blog when it had the daily posts – it was a regular read for me on my commute to work and made the early starts a little easier to get through. As others have said, I’ve been here since the early days of RMW (I remember your first re-design of the site and I have a framed invite on my wall that I made for our wedding based off a tutorial from RMW) I cannot wait to read your next post this week on what the plans are – and the possibility of Rock My Family being revived? Best news ever. I’m on mat leave and whilst there are an abundance of apps and forums out there for new mums, I haven’t found one yet that has the same tone as RMF did. I referred back to the archives multiple times when looking for baby paraphernalia as I have always trusted yours and the rest of the team’s judgement on most things. Here’s to the future!

    1. Hi Jo, never late – and such a long term reader! I remember those invites, Adam made and photographed them at his old flat! time flies. It’s great to have feedback on the trust element, I’ll be explaining more about the integrity of the brand on Thursday x

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