Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Hello I’m Amy and I become a mummy to my first in 2012 and again in 2014. So I have two little pickle monster’s: Willa who has just turned 4 but going on 16 and Alfie who is 20 months and is a whirlwind of energy (just thinking of him as I type this makes me tired!)
What’s your business called?
Willa and Bobbin
Can you describe it in one sentence?
A handmade, design led soft furnishing boutique for babies nurseries and children’s rooms: Mobiles, cushions, banners and wall hangings, all of which are handmade with the wonderful Liberty of London fabric.
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
It was one very rainy march afternoon back in 2015 when Baby Alfie was having his nap: Willa asked me to make her a cushion with her initial. Being a liberty print obsessed fabric hoarder (much to my husband dismay!) Willa picked her favorite fabric and I made her a cushion, which she showed everyone! Then friends starting asking for cushions, then their friends started to request them. Suddenly I was in business. Willa is actually my creative director she and Aflie inspire all my products.
How did you fund your start up?
I had been saving for a few years for my husbands 40th (which is this June) I wanted to treat him a huge party etc. So now he will be having beans on toast with a bottle of blue nun for his 40th as those savings went into Willa and Bobbin. Sorry darling!
How do you manage working around your children?
They both are at nursery two days a week and I work any other given moment I can grab. My daughter is incredible: she happily sits at my feet in my studio for hours. I brought her own sewing box so she ‘sews’ with me. She has no idea how her ability to entertain herself and her patients allows me to push forward with my business.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
If they are at nursery I have planned my day the night before – what I have to make and post, emails to reply, social media posts etc. If I don’t plan I end up doing housework and then suddenly its 3pm and I only have a few hours left to work.
If its full time mummy day I hootsuite my social media the night before so I can post much quicker. I generally go out with the children of a morning, have lunch and then Alfie sleeps for 2 hours in the afternoon so that’s when I work and Willa sits in my studio. When Alfie wakes its back to keeping him from doing any Alfieisms (i.e. licking plug sockets, climbing up things he shouldn’t, breaking something, raiding the pantry etc etc), then dinner, tidy up, bath time, hubby comes home he generally puts them to bed and cooks dinner while I work until dinner is ready. Then maybe sit down at 9 or I go back to work until whenever.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
Time – you have to invent time. I have been up until 3am making an order and then back up at 7 with the children. Its hard work but I love it.
Others opinions on what Successful means. To me being successful is taking that leap to start a business on your own in the first place: that is a success and being successful comes from that moment on. Others don’t see your being sucess until your first million!! Umm really?!
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
I can stop and start my work when needed so I can still manage the monsters and the house and life and work.
What are your plans for the future?
To be able to employ someone not only to help run the business but also it can get lonely at times so it would be nice to have another person to bounce ideas off and to chat too! I often found myself chatting to myself!
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Trust your instinct and have faith in what you do. I question myself all the time ’am I good enough’ ‘will anyone like what I do’. You can waste so much time worrying – worst-case scenario is it doesn’t work and you try again
Having a support network with other people in the same situation is really important. These individuals keep you sane when you are having a ‘moment’, they are there to bounce ideas off, or to share any up and coming events or courses or even to just meet for wine! If there isn’t anything in your area then create a facebook page and start a group. I have two wonderful groups of ladies and really don’t know how important they in the advice and support they have given me. As Laura from Muklet would say it’s about collaborating not about competition!’
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I only learnt to sew in 2011 and this is when I found my passion. So my point is saying this is 5 years on I never thought I would have a sewing business let allow own a sewing machine. I had no business plan or anything when I decided to start my business (I’m not saying that is advisable by the way). However I set up my social media sites and put myself out there before I did the serious stuff as I knew if I didn’t do it that day I never would. So I took the leap and here I am!