My good friend Sarah and the mum of my three gorgeous god-children, started her own business, ‘Blossom and Bear’, a couple of years ago. She is super talented and has worked incredibly hard to build her business online, through the instagram community, at craft markets and she’s now selling on www.notonthehighstreet.com. I am so proud of her and amazed at how she continues to do it with three kids!
Along the journey she has introduced me to some great online and independent businesses run by creative mums just like her who are doing what they love to help fund family life. And the stuff they sell is super cute, stylish and you’re not going to see it everywhere.
I am now a big fan of shopping independent (and have also become a partner of Blossom and Bear) and i’m all for supporting these great multi-tasking mums.
I love this quote,
‘When you buy from a small businesses, you’re not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home, you’re helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team Jersey, a mum put food on the table, a dad pay a mortgage or a student pay for college’.
So before you shop at a massive chain store, have a look to see if you can support a small business first and get something way more stylish and original in return.
Here are a few of my favourite small mum-run businesses to get you going and a little note from each of them about how it works for them.
Blossom and Bear
As mentioned above Sarah sells online and at craft markets. She hand makes the majority of what she sells too.
Gorgeous prints, teething necklaces (mumma beads) crochet booties and much more! My home is full of these beautiful things. I can’t help it 🙈
‘Running Blossom and Bear allows me to be creative in developing new products, meet new people and foster new relationships whilst still being able to work around my children and be at home with them. Sure it means I work most evenings and whenever my children nap, but it’s worth it to be able to make and create and love my work, yet still go to sports days and assemblies, stay home with my baby, pick up my children from school and meet friends. I love seeing where my products end up and when I get some good feedback it’s such a boost to think ‘I made that…and someone loves it!’
Mum of two Anna started her shop online and now has a real life shop on North Street, Bristol. I visited it for the first time a couple of weekends ago – full of dreamy home wares and things for kids too. I could literally buy everything.
‘I started the shop after setting up a website about 18months ago, I had quit my job as a solicitor and I wanted to try and do something which would allow me more time at home and to be my own boss. I am passionate about all things interiors and homeware and so my website focuses on bringing together a lovely little collection.
My goal was eventually to have a bricks and mortor shop too but I intended this to be far down the line, not 12 months after starting the website. Fate intervened and a derelict unit I had my eye on came up for rent. I knew it was take it or lose it so I went for it! 3 months on and it’s the best thing I ever did. I have two members of staff and when I am stuck for childcare the kids hang out in the shop with me!’
Mum of two Lowri, runs an online shop and is also on www.notonthehighstreet.com, selling a great selection of beautiful things for kids and mamas alike. I especially love her party collection and this great print below.
‘I started the business in November 2013 when I was pregnant with our daughter (our second child). I’d returned to work part time after having Wilf and felt thoroughly UNinspired by my job. I’d always dreamt of having a business which stemmed from my creativity and eventually, after countless conversations with my family, my sister told me stop talking about it and just do something.
Personalised vests and products that I make personally, remain a central part of my shop but it has since grown to include a wider, carefully curated range of gifts for little ones, their Mums and homes. I love sourcing new products including many from other small creative businesses. Working with other small business owners, many of whom have now become good friends, is something that has been a huge added bonus in starting the business.
It’s a constant juggling act as I’m also a full time Mum to my son and daughter (4 and 2). Wilf starts school in September and Anwen will have a few mornings at nursery so the dream of ‘normal’ daytime working hours might just be achievable. Naptime and evening working is so common for small business owners, especially those who are Mums, but it can be exhausting!’
Check these lovely ladies out on their websites and instagram pages. You’ll be sure to find amazing pressies for your kids, your friends or just yourself. We mums need a little treat now and again (or if you’re like me, daily in the form of chocolate).
I also hope that these small business mums inspire you if you were thinking about starting something yourself. There are around 300,000 (and rising) established businesses run by mums in the UK. You can choose your working hours, have less childcare costs and be your own boss. So go for it, these ladies are proof that it’s worth a shot!