Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
My name is Hannah, I’m married to Phil and we have two children. Toby is 2 and was born in July 2014, then our daughter Martha joined us 6 months ago in May 2016.
What’s your business called?
It’s an online shop called Apples & Pips
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Hand picking the best products for parents, babies and toddlers
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I’ve been self employed since February 2015 when my maternity leave ended and I handed my notice in at work. I was working as a freelance blogger, copywriter and social media manager but the niggle to own my own business grew and grew. After Martha’s birth I decided to go for it and with my husband’s full support (and several months of building it!) Apples & Pips launched in October.
How did you fund your start up?
Because of how I’m working I’ve actually not had to put too much money in up front. My husband is a graphic designer and web designer so I told him what was in my head and he made it into reality. The main up front costs have been a template for the website, business cards and leaflets and money for store vouchers as giveaways during my launch party and that money just came from our household finances.
How do you manage working around your children?
Badly! Toby goes to nursery twice a week and stays overnight at my mum and dad’s once a week too so I have about 3 1/2 days a week where it’s just Martha and I. It was pretty easy when she was a newborn but at 6 months old she obviously needs more play time and stimulation now and I am struggling to juggle her needs, work and household chores.
My plan is to create a daily schedule and literally divide each day into time slots for everything from working to eating, chores and socialising. I’ll let you know how I get on!
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
As I’ve mentioned, this has become harder for me to balance lately, but a ‘normal’ work day goes a bit like this:
9am: I drop Toby at nursery. Martha sleeps on the way home so I sit in the car on the driveway and catch up on emails and social media.
10-12: I’ll generally alternate between precariously balancing my laptop on my lap or the arm of the sofa whilst I’m feeding Martha, working whilst she plays in her various chairs/bouncers/play mats and playing with her.
12-1: When Martha has her second nap I try to grab some lunch and do a bit of housework.
1-3:30: Much the same as the morning, processing orders that have come through, scheduling social media updates, blogging and looking after Martha before we head out at half 3 to pick Toby up.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
Time is my biggest challenge because I know that a business doesn’t grow on its own and customers don’t just appear out of thin air.
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
As challenging as it can be, I love that I work around the kids, that there’s no pressure to stop breastfeeding Martha so that she can go to nursery, I can drop off and pick up Toby and I will get out what I put in.
What are your plans for the future?
10% of my profits are donated to MAMA Academy, a charity which works tirelessly to reduce the UK’s stillbirth rate and help more babies to be born safely. The rest is staying in my business account and my plan for the near future is to start buying stock in of the most popular products (I currently sell on a drop ship basis). Long term I’d love to produce a few products of my own such as candles, stationery and maybe even baby clothes designed by Phil.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Expect a hell out a lot of work for very little return at first. Running your own business is not a quick way to earn money and not is it easy, but if you prepare to put the work in and be strict with your time and your money then it’s amazing to see the fruits of your labour start to flourish.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Only that I adore my shop, that I’ve had amazing feedback and it’s my third baby so if anyone wants to look for gorgeous products and gifts for a parent, baby or toddler then go and check it out.