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My wedding photography business grew while I was Xchanging

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  • Sally, 54, was in between stages of life. After separating from her husband of 26 years and their business falling apart, she was without a partner, security, a job or a place to live. She came across The Room Xchange. As a result of our Matchmaking Service, she was matched with a wonderful, young professional couple. After just a short while Xchanging, Sally built her wedding photography business to the point where she is now renting her own apartment. Xchanging enabled her to have a soft place to land when life was tough. Women over 50 are now the fastest growing demographic for homelessness in Australia due to separation and divorce. Although Sally wasn't homeless, she was without a permanent place to live. Xchanging enabled her to get things in order without having to worry about how she was going to pay to live.

    Here's Sally's recent update

    I had found myself in a very vulnerable and unpleasant situation. After having lost my financial independence following a business failure and having separated from my husband of 26 years I was left wondering how I could survive on my own. I wanted to build my wedding photography business that I loved immensely but was trapped in the reality of needing to find full-time work in order to pay for my living expenses. This, of course, would leave me with little or no time to grow my business. Given that I was 54 and the fact that I had no formal training or qualifications to find a good paying job, I felt scared that I'd be unable to find a way out of the situation I was in. I was relying on my wonderful friends who provided me with a bed and somewhere temporary to stay. However, being a temporary solution, it was also not healthy for my state of mind. Feeling like I was a burden was following me around every day.

    It was in July 2019 that I first discovered The Room Xchange and quickly saw the amazing opportunity it provided. I could find a place to live, and for 14 hours work in lieu of rent and food, I could commit the bulk of my time to grow my business. I made the necessary inquiries and after a very short time was matched with my hosts. Catherine and David are a young professional couple who were finding it difficult to manage their home as they were spending most of their time working on their businesses.  They needed help with cooking vegan food and helping them run their household. I could do that. After all, I ran my own household and cooked for my own family for years!

    I remember the night I moved in with Catherine and David. I felt so relieved as for the first time in over 2 years I had my own space, a cupboard to hang my clothes and the security on knowing it would all still be there tomorrow. My state of mind shifted overnight! It was amazing!

    Catherine and David were very good to me. They encouraged and supported me and never failed to show their appreciation for the help I gave them. I will always be grateful to the difference they made to my life while I Xchanged with them. My confidence both personally and professionally grew exponentially and it is no coincidence that in the subsequent few months I found myself with leads and inquiries from clients. I could never have predicted this transformation!

    Fast forward to November 2019 and I am now renting my own apartment! And I absolutely LOVE it! In the space of only 3 months, I have grown my business to the point where it now supports my living costs.  There is no limit to what I can now achieve. My life looks very, very different from what it was in July and for that I am truly grateful to The Room Xchange and my wonderful hosts, Catherine and David.

    Story and photography by guest, Sally Batt.
    To find out about Sally's wedding photography business click here.
    You can find Sally on Facebook.


    If you find yourself in between stages of life and just need a soft place to land, sign up as a guest on our platform. If you have a home with a spare bedroom and in need of some help, sign up as a host. It's a wonderful experience, you get the help you need and you can feel good knowing you've made a difference in someone else's life as well.

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