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#MumsWhoWorkIt

This week to continue my series #MumsWhoWorkIt I have interviewed Louisa from Born 2 Birth. Louisa teaches hypnobirthing in Ealing.  She is a busy Mum of two and has managed to run her business alongside her day job. Louisa has a passion for helping women to have the best birth they can and it is a pleasure to welcome her on to the blog.

What was your inspiration for Born 2 Birth?

I stumbled across hypnobirthing when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2014. I had no idea what I’d signed myself and my husband up to, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. After learning how to trust my body, and armed with the tools I needed to remain calm and confident during my labour, I went on to have a positive birth which quite honestly changed my life.

People often struggle to understand how you can say that you enjoyed childbirth and I found myself constantly talking about hypnobirthing to anyone who would listen. About halfway through my second pregnancy I just woke up one morning and realised that I wanted to support more women to have positive birth experiences so trained to become an instructor. My son’s birth was so amazing, it blew me away and I knew then that I had to really go for it.

Louisa from Born 2 Birth

Describe a typical day for you?

With two young kids and a 9-5 job, most days involve juggling the logistics of working family life. My evening’s are either spent teaching or getting to grips with social media while half watching something mindless on the TV. At the weekends we try to spend time with friends and family and do our best to keep the kids entertained. (Wear them out in the hope of a lie in!)

What do you think has been the biggest challenge for you starting your own business?

Time. There is never enough time to complete the to do list and sometimes that can be frustrating. I have lots of ideas I want to pursue but after a day at the office, once the kids are in bed, even sending a simple email can seem like a massive task. I try to remind myself that any progress is good and it’s ok to take small steps forward.

How do you think Motherhood has changed you? 

Ok so if we take the obvious city breaks, regular nights out and lazy Sunday’s reading the papers out of the equation, I’d have to say sleep. I now have the ability to fall asleep almost on demand, in seconds. Not only that, I can wake up at the slightest possible sound, go and investigate and instantly fall back asleep again. My children are getting to the age now where I’m not up and down all night but I’m hoping that this is a skill I can maintain as it is really quite useful!

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?

Try and maintain some perspective. I remember when my daughter was first born I literally spent hours overthinking everything. Long sleeve vest or short sleeve vest? Wake up to feed or leave to sleep? Transfer into the cot or leave in the pram? You’d have thought they were life or death decisions when in reality, it was simply the difference between an extra few inches of skin being covered! The key is to do what makes your life easier.

Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Ealing/West London?

With the kids, it would have to be some of Ealing’s parks and green spaces. We’re fans of Northala fields because the playground is awesome and also the Gruffalo Trail at Horsenden Hill is a family favourite. We’re also members at Hanwell Zoo and love going to see the Flamingo’s and getting lost in the maze.

If I get a night off without the kids you’ll find me eating sushi around Ealing Common. We’re spoilt for choice with all the restaurants in Ealing but the authentic Japanese one’s there are my favourite.

What are your handbag essential?

 Baby wipes, kids snacks, more kids snacks and a reusable bag in case I buy anything.

How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?

My main focus up to now has been to teach the Wise Hippo Birthing Programme, a full antenatal course looking at all aspects of pregnancy and birth. My mission is to support as many mums and dads to be as possible and I also have courses tailored for mums preparing for a C-section, or an induction or for babies who are breech. I want to promote these sessions more so people realise that hypnobirthing isn’t just about having a natural water birth, it’s about preparing for a positive experience, no matter what path your birth takes.

On a professional level, I plan to train in birth trauma coaching so that I can also support parents who have been negatively impacted by childbirth and help them to overcome their fears and anxieties. 

What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and accept that everything takes four times as long when you literally have one child hanging off your leg and the other saying the word ‘mummy’ on average 20 times per minute!

What is the one thing you wish you had already known when setting up your business?

So far it’s been a steep learning curve and when there is only you, you have to become an expert in everything which takes time. Aside from the boring stuff like accounting (which is not my forte!) My biggest challenge is trying to get people to understand that hypnobirthing isn’t for hippies, it’s simply about taking the time understand how your mind and body works so that you can prepare for your babies birth  in a calm and positive way.

Tell us more information about your courses?

Using hypnobirthing techniques you will learn how to let go of any birth-related fears you may have and become experts in deep relaxation, allowing you to remain calm, relaxed and in control. You will gain the confidence you need to make fully informed decisions throughout your pregnancy and birth, ensuring that you will always look back on your birth as a positive experience.

And let’s not forget your birthing partner who plays a vital role in any positive birth. They will learn everything they need to know to effectively support the mum to be throughout her labour, from setting up the perfect environment to soothing massage techniques.

The practical side of the course results in you developing a comprehensive birth plan, personal to you, to ensure everyone on your birthing team is on the same page and knows exactly how you picture your perfect birth.

It’s important to realise that the perfect birth does not have to be a 100% natural experience, it just has to be the right birth for you on the day. It’s ok to opt for the drugs if that’s what you decide is best for you, although feedback indicates that women who have completed the course are less likely to need pain relief during labour. Achieving the perfect birth simply means looking back on your experience in a positive way, no matter what path your birthing takes.

The Wise Hippo Birthing programme is 10 hours in total, usually split into 4 x 2.5-hour sessions.

You can attend the course at any point in your pregnancy, however, most people wait until after their 20-week scan. Don’t panic if you think you’ve left it too late, I know mum’s who have attended the course at 38 weeks and still gone on to have a calm and relaxed birth.

Small group sessions (maximum of six couples) enable you to learn alongside other local prospective parents which will give you a ready-made support network during the remainder of pregnancy and once your baby arrives.

Courses generally run on a Monday evening from 7pm in a venue in Ealing.

Group courses cost £325 per couple which includes a workbook for you to keep, access to all the Wise Hippo birthing MP3’s and ongoing support from myself should you need it in the run-up to your birth.

A 25% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking with the balance due a week before the course commences.

For those that prefer, I also offer daytime, private courses in the comfort of your own home and will cover the wider West London Area. If you are located outside of London why not consider a private online course via Skype?

Where can potential customers find Born 2 Birth and what courses are you offering?

My website Born 2 Birth has full details of all the courses I teach and you can also contact me on Facebook and Instagram @born2birth where I frequently post stuff that I think pregnant women will find useful and informative.

 If you enjoyed this blog post you might be interested to read another interview from my series #MumsWhoWorkIt click here

 

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This week on the blog, I have decided to re-start my interview series #MumsWhoWorkIt. My idea for these blog posts is to interview local business women who have set up their own business. To find out what the inspiration was for their business and how they juggle motherhood with running a business. So, this week I welcome Tori & Carrie twin sisters who live in Ealing. They created Nailpad an ingenious way to help you paint your nails at home or on the go.

What’s your background and why did you both decided to start your own business?

Carrie: I have lived in Northfields, Ealing with my husband James since 2010 (with a 2 ½ year break living in Hong Kong). I moved back at the end of 2014, just before my little girl was born. She is now four and I have a little boy who recently turned two.

My career focus has been marketing, specifically in the fields of snowsports and travel – two of my passions. During my time in Hong Kong, I set up as a marketing consultant and continue to do so today, specialising mainly in strategy, communications and events.

The evolution of Nailpad has been in the background since living in Hong Kong. It was only at the start of this year that Tori and I could finally launch properly and bring Nailpad to life.

Tori: I live in St Margarets with my husband Joe, four-year-old son, Mikey and our black lab, Chevvy. Mikey starts school in September: I still can’t believe how quickly the time has flown!

My professional background is HR and Recruitment and, for the last 12 years, I worked as Group HR Director for a travel company. At the end of 2018, it was time to pursue a new adventure and in January 2019, we launched Nailpad.

We’ve always thought it would be amazing if we could have our own business and work together. That opportunity came with the concept of Nailpad: something we are both passionate about.

Tori & Carrie from Nailpad

What was your inspiration for Nailpad?

Tori: I have always loved painting my nails and trying out new colours. One evening I was sitting on the sofa, precariously balancing the bottle between my legs and getting some polish on yet another pair of jeans. I thought there must be a better way to do this: I sketched out the initial Nailpad concept on a piece of paper and we went from there!

Carrie: Tori and I have always loved painting our nails at home – discussing favourite colours and brands of nail polish. Like all our friends, we found holding a nail polish bottle between knees a real hassle – always worrying it would spill. Using a magazine as a surface was just not quite right either: it never felt very stable.

When I was in Hong Kong in 2013, during one of our weekly Saturday Skype calls, Tori showed me an idea she had been working on. It was the very first prototype of Nailpad, cut out in paper. Six years later, after multiple prototypes, design iterations, material testing, pot-holder and product shapes, we manufactured Nailpad. We now sell it on our Nailpad website to help others paint their nails at home or on the go and to make life easier.

Describe a typical day for you?

Carrie: I work part-time on Nailpad and look after the Heidi and Teddy two days a week. When it’s a Nailpad day, I am probably working by 8.30am and cram as much work as I can before pick up at 5pm with the occasional stop to hang up the washing. I either work from home with Tori or at her house, in local cafes and libraries. We recently discovered the British Library – such an immense resource and a fantastic place for inspiration and support for start-ups.

Tori: At the moment no day is typical as I am still getting used to my new routine and not being in an office! Mikey is in pre-school three days a week so that is when I get the majority of work done on Nailpad (either at home, at Carrie’s or a local coffee shop in St Margarets!). I set my agenda for the day and break the day up in chunks and try to stick to it. Carrie and I work together physically at least one day a week and are in constant contact discussing new ideas and what’s on the agenda.

What do you think has been the biggest challenge for you both starting your own business?

Carrie: Time is a real challenge. There are so many things with work and family life we want to do, feel like we should be doing or aspire to do. However time just isn’t on our side sometimes… I made the decision to work part-time so I could share more time with the babes before they start school and am really pleased to have done that. It just means the odd night catching up on emails or work.

Tori: There is always so much to do so having to learn how to be ruthless with priorities. Also, we realised early on that one has to tackle many different roles when starting a new business – product design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, finance etc. It’s a steep learning curve!

How do you think Motherhood has changed you?

Carrie: I think my ability to multi-task and prioritise has improved! And also realise that the most important thing in life is spending time and experiences together as a family. Work will always come after that.

Tori: Like all of us, Motherhood has completely changed my approach to life. With a different set of priorities, I made the decision to change my career, enabling me to live a more flexible life with the family at the heart of it.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?

Tori: In the early days, sleep when your baby sleeps and nap when you can!

Carrie: That all young children go through different stages, some of which at the time may seem difficult but (rest assured) they will soon pass.

Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Ealing/West London?

Carrie: I’m a real fan of Gunnersbury Park at the moment – there is so much for children to do – from the playground, lovely café with yummy pizzas and museum, to the walks and adventure trail ending up at the insect farm. It’s always a fun few hours.

Osteria Del Portico for an Italian meal is a favourite for a low-key date night. Great food, service and atmosphere!

Tori: I love heading to Osterley Park. When Carrie and I meet up with our children we go to some of the great parks around here – Lammas, Blondin and Walpole to name a few. Also I do love a coffee at the Fields cafe!

What are your handbag essentials?

Carrie: With two little ones, my handbag is usually over spilling with cars, colouring pencils and snap cards! I do love a little hand lotion and nail file in there though to keep hands moisturised and any chipped nails sorted as soon as I can.

Tori: Lip balm, portable phone charger and a nail file! With Mikey, I always make sure I have a mini figure toy, colouring book and water.

How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?

Tori: We hope that people will see Nailpad in the same light as we see it: as an essential manicure accessory for anyone who paints their nails at home or ‘on the go.’

Carrie: We have plans for new colours and additional product ranges. Currently we mainly sell to the UK market, and are looking to expand into new regions and to look at new distribution channels.

What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?

Tori: Use resources and professional people to help you in areas you have less experience in. You don’t have to be an expert about everything.

Carrie: There is a lot of admin involved but don’t let this put you off! Finance is always an issue. In fact, one of Tori’s roles is to investigate funding opportunities.

So if you have an idea, go for it – if it’s meant to be it will happen.

What is the one thing you wish you had already known when setting up your business?

Carrie: It takes time! A lot of it!

Tori: It’s totally normal for mistakes to happen – learning from them is really important.

Where can potential customers find Nailpad?

Carrie and Tori: We sell a black and pink version of Nailpad on our Website. Why not follow us – on Instagram and Facebook page

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Manage Fever in Children – Guest Post by Dr Stephanie Ooi

February 16, 2019
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Hello! Thank you to Joanne for inviting me to guest post on her blog! I am Stephanie Ooi, Mum to my almost 2 year old daughter Lily and a private GP working at MyHealthcare Clinic in London. I post information about a variety of health topics with a bit of Motherhood in between. There is so much misinformation about health nowadays and I hope to provide some accurate bitesize information for people to refer to! I wanted to go through how to manage fever in children. We have gotten through about 2 bottles of Calpol this Winter period and I commonly see feverish children so I thought it would be a good place to start!

Dr Stephanie Ooi – GP & @the_gp_mum

A note on Calpol and Nurofen:

Calpol is a branded version of Paracetamol. Nurofen is a branded version of Ibuprofen. The branded versions are more expensive, but not any better! Unfortunately the market is saturated with the branded versions, but if you can find the generic versions these are perfectly good to use too!

What is a fever and why does it occur?

A fever is a temperature above 38C.

It happens because the body is trying to fight off an infection and make it harder for any bacteria or viruses to survive. It is not an illness in itself. As a result, you don’t actually have to give any medication to lower a temperature unless your child is distressed or unwell. If they are otherwise happy, they don’t need any medicine!

What can I give to my child to manage fever?

If they are distressed then choose either Paracetamol or Ibuprofen and use it by itself. If one does not work to make your child comfortable then switch over to the other one. If this doesn’t work then you can start to alternate doses of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.

How often can I give medication?

Paracetamol is given every 4-6 hours and Ibuprofen is given every 8 hours. Follow the instructions on the box for dosing. Jotting down the times at which you give medication can help to avoid any confusion or mistakes.

Some general advice:

– Encourage regular fluids (can continue breastfeeding as normal)

– Avoid overheating or shivering. If your child is feeling hot then you can take off layers, but no need to strip them down completely. Conversely, do not put on additional layers even if your child feels cold.  Cool baths or sponging is NOT advised (a rebound fever can occur after this)

– Look out for signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, reduced wet nappies, dry mouth, absence of tears)

When should I worry and seek medical advice?

  • If your baby has a fever and is under 3 months old
  • If there is evidence of dehydration
  • If you are worried about their breathing
  • If they have a fit
  • If there is a non-blanching rash
  • If the fever lasts for more than 5 days
  • If they are becoming more unwell
  • If YOU are worried – you know them best!

I hope that you found my guest blog on how to mange fever in children helpful? If you have any questions then please feel free to message me through my Instagram page. Unfortunately I can’t give specific personal medical advice, but I’m happy to answer any general questions!

You can follow Dr Stephanie on Instagram @the_gp_mum for more helpful tips on family health. She also  contributes to the blog Gas and Air set up by Clemmie Hooper from @mother_of_daughters. Who is a successful Blogger, Author and Midwife. Over on Clemmie’s blog you will find some really interesting articles about pregnancy, birth and beyond!

Disclaimer – This article is in no way meant to replace direct medical advice. If you have any concerns about your child’s health or your own health, then you should contact your GP, call 111 or attend A&E.

 

 

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Interview with Amanda Palagina from Toni & Guy – Ealing

October 27, 2018
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I often get asked where I get my hair cut and coloured? So this week I thought I would share my Ealing hairdressing recommendation and introduce you to Amanda Palagina joint Franchisee of Toni & Guy Ealing. Amanda and her Husband Frol took over the salon earlier this year. I would highly recommend Amanda and her team as one of the best local hairdressing salons in the Ealing area. I have been going to the salon for over ten years and each time I am always so pleased with the result! My hair is cut with precision and after consultation coloured just how I want it.

Amanda is a busy working Mum and has two children aged six and two, so I wanted to find out how she balances her working life with motherhood? So I went to interview her in the salon to find out more about her life.

Having my hair cut at Toni & Guy Ealing
Amanda Palagina – Toni & Guy, Ealing

Amanda started her career in hairdressing eighteen years ago. She begun working for Toni & Guy in 2004 and trained at the globally renowned Toni & Guy Academy in London. In 2010 she joined the Ealing salon and eventually become the franchisee in April this year with her Husband.

It was Amanda’s dream to have her own salon and she was determine to make that dream a reality. To become a francisee was a process that meant she first became one of the Managers with her Husband Frol in December 2016. This meant she got a taste of what to expect, when she finally took over the salon this year.

Toni & Guy stock Label.M products

What is the biggest challenge running your own business?

Trying to keep everyone happy including my staff, however I try not to worry about it too much!

What are your top tips to have healthy hair?

A combination of eating a healthy well balanced diet, using good quality products on your hair such as  argon oil. Plus do try to avoid hair straighteners when you can!

Toni & Guy are involved in London Fashion Week, can you give us any insight into the top trends for Autumn?

We have seen lots of of shorter styles for women this season. Pastel colours are still very popular as is balayage.

What’s it like running a business with your Husband?

It’s amazing working with Frol. He totally understands what it’s like working in the hairdressing industry, so we can always share the challenges of the day. The hardest part is organising childcare!

How has Motherhood changed you? 

It has made me become more patient and I am even more determine to be successful, to be able to give my children the best start in life. It has also taught me what real love is!

What advice would you give to new parents?

Enjoy every second! Don’t feel like there are certain places you can’t take your baby, because you really can go anywhere!

What about Mum guilt?

When I go out to work I try to remember that I am doing this for my children, as well as me. Also I am a role model to my kids and they will see that I have a strong work ethic.

What to do you enjoy?

Yoga, is something that I aim to do as much as I can. I love to go to the local triyoga in Dickens Yard. I try to regulary meditate and believe in the power of crystals. I of course love shopping and enjoy a good coffee.

Do you have any mottos you try to live your life by?

“Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself”

“Do what makes you happy, as long as you don’t hurt others”

“Life is short enjoy it”

Amanda with Mark Byron – Head of the Reception Team

You can find Toni & Guy Ealing at 29 The Broadway, Ealing, London, W5 2NP. You can book appointments online or by calling the salon on: 020 8579 1199

Current offers:

25% off for new customers Monday – Thursday

50% off children’s haircuts Monday – Thursday

20% off Students Monday – Thursday

10% off for NHS and airline staff everyday

Thank you to Amanda and her staff for a very warm welcome!

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#MumsWhoWorkIt – Interview with Personal Trainer Victoria Dos Santos

July 5, 2018
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This week, I would like to introduce you to another fantastic Mum, who I have interviewed for my #MumsWhoWorkIt series. Victoria Dos Santos recently set up her personal training business, Mum Who Trains. She is based near Kew Bridge and works from home. She has converted her outdoor space in to her very own fully equipped gym, especially for her clients. She really has got an amazing vibe about her, as I found out recently when I went to train with her!

I’m one of those Mum’s who has never really lost the baby weight I gained six years ago! I’m not a fan of gyms (I can tell you I have joined many, but then not actually attended hundreds of pounds wasted I’m sure!) and have been looking around for a while for a solution to improve my fitness and basically just sort of those wobbly bits. So, when I came across Victoria I was over the moon!  She isn’t in anyway one of those scary fitness types. She is kind, positive and most of all a down to earth mother. She knows how hard it is to find the time to exercise when you have young children, because she is in that place too. So grab yourself a cuppa and find out more about this inspirational lady!

Welcome Victoria and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for my blog! What’s your background and why did you decided to become a personal trainer?

I have always loved sport. My PE teacher believed in me and I knew I wanted to do something within the sports industry. I qualified as a Personal Trainer in my early 20’s. I really enjoyed it, but living in Devon at the time with my parents, there wasn’t a market for it. This being said I packed up my bags and went and did my degree. Became a PE teacher for 10 years and off and on did some personal training. Having my first daughter, made me realise the importance of being healthy and active for her. Only was it when I had Alice my second daughter 8 months ago did I think I could make a business out of personal training. I’m doing this for my daughters, so they know that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible and women are just as strong, actually scrap that stronger than men!

Describe a typical day for you?

I wake up with Alice around 6am. Play with her, do my morning yoga flow which is around 5 minutes thats all to help with my positive well-being. Do the school run, then I see my clients. In between clients, I look after Alice and prep my husbands meals (he’s on my eating plan, so I prepare his food for the day.) My clients fit around the school day, so once finished pick Emilia up, clubs for her or off to the pool if its sunny or back home to chill. But the girls to bed, eat supper and plan the next set of ladies sessions for the following day. Shower, bed and at the moment my guilty pleasure is ‘Love Island.’

What advice would you give to a busy Mum who wants to focus more on her fitness?

Do it, make time for you. We don’t understand how vital we are. If we aren’t happy the home is not happy, so make time for you it is essential.

Do you have any top tips for a healthy diet?

Make it a lifestyle change not diet. I will not use that word. I don’t believe in them. What I believe in is eating well for life. It colourful vibrant food, that makes you smile, keep away from the beige (pasta, bread, cake etc) life will be good to you. Eat a high plant based rich plate with plenty of protein and for me lemon water every morning…because it just makes me smile. ? 

How do you think Motherhood has changed you? 

I don’t think it has changed me. I’ve just become a much better version of me. My children bring out the best parts of me.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?

Your time will never be your own again, thank you Mum. I will take that to the grave!

Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Kew/Brentford/West London?

Anywhere along the river near home. A great walk for me blows the cobwebs away! With the kids- getting out on the bikes down to Richmond Park. We tend to spend sunny days at Chiswick Riverside Club at the pool, it feels like you’re on holiday there. A great food market, Dukes Meadows is my favourite every Sunday 10-2pm. Some seriously good cake there (treat day for me!)

What are your handbag essential?

Oh god don’t judge, I don’t carry a handbag! But if I did; lip balm, nuts, sparkling water and my diary!!

How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?

I hope I can remain busy, meeting strong, inspiring Mums and spreading the word, that without some time to ourselves we are not the best version of ourselves. 

What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?

Do it! I don’t have anytime to myself, I rarely sit down, I am constantly thinking of innovative ways to boost my business and help women more. But I could not be more happier!

What is the one thing you wish you had already known when setting up your business?

That there is never enough hours in the day. Juggling my business, kiddie time and husband time is a whole circus act, juggling it all i’ve gone way past that.

Where can potential clients find out more about you?

Instagram – @mumwhotrains

Website (under construction still)

Email Victoria – family2fitness@gmail.com

Are you are a local Mum who has your own business and would like to be featured on my blog? Please do get in touch via email hello@theealingmummy.com

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I created the #MumsWhoWorkIt hashtag because every since I started blogging and completed my Digital Mums training I have met so many amazing Mums who have set up their businesses. They have managed to juggle motherhood with turning their dreams of working for themselves into a a reality. Lisa Karter owner and founder of Clasp London is no different. She too realised that she had the potential to create a business that would fit in around her children and lifestyle. I am so pleased to be able to introduce another talented Ealing Mum to you!

What’s your background and why did you decided to set up Clasp?

I’ve been a West Londoner all my life, but I’ve lived in Ealing for fourteen years. My husband and I bought our house in Northfields when we decided to start a family, and we now have two sons, aged 8 & 5. Before I had kids I worked in the fashion industry for many years – I’ve got a degree in fashion design and was working as a Production Manager for couturier Stewart Parvin when our eldest arrived in 2010. As soon as I became a mum I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to the crazy hours I was working before, so I chose not to return after my maternity leave finished.

Last year when our youngest was in nursery I started to think about a return to work. It was a nerve-wracking prospect after seven years of being at home full-time with the kids! I researched and even applied for some part time roles but just felt that I wanted something more challenging and rewarding than the types of jobs I got offered.

I decided to start my own business and spent some time mulling it over. I knew it had to be something I could feel passionate about, but I was also aware of the risks involved in developing a high cost product, like a clothing line. I’d had some experience with setting up an e-commerce jewellery range in my previous job, so that seemed like a viable option. Clasp was born last September, on the day I waved both sons off to school for the first time.

Describe a typical day for you?

My day starts at 6.30am when I get woken by the kids. I check my emails, then get the boys fed, dressed and off to school by 8.45. I’ll then either head into the co-working office my business is based in (The Workary, above Hanwell library), or into town for a meeting. On a good day I’ll squeeze in a quick run or a yoga class first. I work until 3pm, then it’s back to collect the kids from school. A flurry of after school activities, dinner, homework, a bit of housework, then bath and bedtime for the kids. Occasionally I’ll work in the evening for an hour before settling down in front of the TV with my hubby and a good box set. I do try to give myself some down time in the evenings to unwind from the day.

How do you think Motherhood has changed you?

Well, I’ve certainly got a few more grey hairs! On a more serious note, it’s helped me prioritise – work is important, but family comes before everything. It’s made me more appreciative of the relationships I have in other parts of my life – whether you’re a new mum or setting out in business, having a support network around you is absolutely vital. I’m very grateful for my family and friends.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given about Motherhood that you would like to share?

Everything is a phase! There were nights when I sat up for hours with a wide awake baby and I thought they would never, ever learn to sleep. They did eventually! Children change so quickly and every tricky stage is replaced by another. You learn to roll with it!

Where are your favourite places to go with or without kids in Ealing/West London?

We have annual passes to Kew Gardens which is a great place for families – we’re always discovering new tucked away places we haven’t seen before. Northala Fields is a favorite too. For a night out without kids, I love Tapelia in Northfields – it’s a fab tapas bar with great decor, a lovely ambience and delicious food.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

My claim to fame is that I appeared on Blue Peter in 1990, doing a book review. All I can say is I’m glad it was pre-digital TV – I’ve lost the VHS!

What are your handbag essential?

Tissues, lipstick, hand cream, sunglasses, a pen. I’m a low maintenance kind of girl!

How do you see your business developing over the next couple of years?

I hope to expand the range of products offered – I’d love to launch a range of children’s jewellery, and personalised pieces. I’m currently approaching independent boutiques in the area about stocking the collection, so I hope to be selling across the country in a couple of years.

What is your favorite piece from your range?

Ah, this is tricky! I love the Petite Linked Hoop Stud earrings for every day, plus I alternate between the Feather Duo Pendant Necklace, and the Compass Pendant Necklace. I’m lucky I have one of everything in the range!

What advice would you give to other Mums who are considering setting up their own business?

Absolutely go for it! I honestly thought at one stage I might never have a career again, but I’m so glad I took the plunge. I’ve learnt so much in a really short space of time – it’s stressful sometimes but it’s really re-energised me, and I’m discovering skills I forgot I even had. My 8 year old is really proud of what I’m doing which drives me forward.

What is the one thing you wish you had already know when setting up your business?

That it won’t happen overnight – everything takes longer than you think it will, but that’s ok.

Where can potential customers purchase your jewellery?

You can order online through the website – www.clasp.london

I’m also appearing at various markets and events over the year – details on our Facebook page. The next one is the In Cahoots Night Market at The Green, W7, on Saturday 19th May. There will be lots of other local independent brands, food, drink and entertainment for the whole family, plus the pub is showing the Royal Wedding. I’m in discussion with local gift shops too, so watch this space!

Would you like to win this stunning piece from the Clasp London collection? Head over to my Instagram for a change to win this polished circle pendant necklace in stirling sliver worth £58.00.

Disclaimer – This is collaborative post, however all views and opinions are my own and an honest reflection of the products.

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#MumsWhoWorkIt – The Ealing Mummy Meets Glenda Shawley

November 13, 2017
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This week, I would like to introduce you to another Ealing Mum who has developed her own business and brand. Glenda Shawley runs a successful company called the Training Pack, where she provides training and consultancy to help other businesses grow. She has also written an insightful book Founded After Forty. The book gives plenty of help and guidance for a new business start up. This strikes a chord with me, as I am over forty! I believe now is the perfect time for me to start my own business!

Glenda strongly believes in the power of networking and is group leader for the Chiswick and Fulham branches of Fabulous Women and Marvellous Men. She also has been supporting Mums who want to re-train in social media marketing (which is something I am passionate about) and recently has been working with a Digital Mums trainee.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to another Mum who wanted to start her own business? 

Find something that you are both good at and enjoy. That other people will be prepared to pay sensible money for, because it won’t be easy juggling everything.  You’ll need the motivation that comes from happy customers served by a fulfilled business owner.

Which business women do you admire and why? 

Bryony Thomas of Watertight Marketing. She has developed a methodology, written a book and built a business around a marketing methodology that is logical and grounded. Plus she walks the talk.

Where do you see your business going in the next 5 years? 

I want to be known as a chief encourager for people starting and growing a business after the age of 40. I’ll be offering training and consultancy online and offline with a range of options from short online training modules through to a residential business inspiration ‘retreat’.

 

 

Why did you decided to become involved with Digital Mums? 

My brand is all about helping people to run a business on their terms so this fit perfectly. One of my objectives this year was to delegate more and I’ve been struggling to work out what I can delegate. So working with a Digital Mum was a perfect project for me to experiment with whilst also helping someone else out.

How long will you be working with your Digital Mum? 

The programme is about 6 months but we have the option to make it a commercial deal after the programme.

Is she working on your brand The Training Pack or also Fabulous Women too? 

My Digital Mum is working on raising awareness of the Training Pack brand, another Digital Mum is doing the same for Fabulous Women. Both our Mums are in the same peer group,so that they can support each other and benefit from the overlap in the two businesses.

You can follow Glenda on her various on her various social media platforms:

Twitter @Glenda_S

Facebook @TheTrainingPack

Instagram @glendashawley

 

If you or someone you know would like to be featured on my series #MumsWhoWorkIt then please do contact me via my email: hello@theealingmummy.com

 

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#MumsWhoWorkIt – The Ealing Mummy Meets Helene From Croque Maman

June 13, 2017
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For the first in my series of interviews for #MumsWhoWorkIt I am very pleased to introduce you to Helene from Croque Maman. Helene is an Ealing Mum who initially started Croque Maman as a blog just over four years ago and since then it has developed into an online boutique selling a beautiful range of baking kits, table/kitchenware and children’s accessories.

Helene, thank you for agreeing to share your story with The Ealing Mummy. Tell us a bit about yourself and how Croque Maman came about?

I’m a Mum to twin boys living in Ealing and originally from France. Back when I was on maternity leave when I was living in Chiswick I was part of an NCT Group and it turned out I was the only Mum from France. The other Mums in my group were always intrigued about what I was feeding my boys, so I started to share my recipes and tips. One of my friends suggested that I start a blog to share my ideas on feeding children in the French way and it grew from there.

What did you do before you had Children?

Before I became a Mother I worked in marketing and branding, so both aspects of my previous career have been extremely useful in moving my business forward.

When did you decided to take the next step and move something that was a hobby into a business?

Once my Maternity leave came to an end I decided that a return to work in my previous career would not offer the flexibility that I needed to care for my boys. This is when I realised that I could turn my love and passion for encouraging other parents to feed their children a varied and healthy diet into a business.

I invested in some training which included a food photography course and also was involved with Google Campus for Mums, which was an eight-week programme where I met other Mums who were developing their own businesses.

Tell us more about the products you sell in your on-line Boutique?

The products that I stock are all sourced independently from France. They reflect my love of good food and healthy eating.

I sell baking kits that contain organic ingredients and are prefect to have at home when you would like to do some impromptu baking or even for a special occasion.

I also have a range of high quality kitchen accessories and tools. I believe that having tools and implements in the kitchen that make your like easier to prepare fruit and vegetables, that way you are more inclined to make dishes from scratch.

My diverse range of products also extends to small toys which can be played with at the table and are something you could keep in your handbag when you are out and about.

Tell us about one of your favourite products that you sell?

I particularly love the large bibs, they are really handy with slightly older children who still need to protect their clothes from spillages at the table, but want to feel more grown up and not feel like they are wearing a bib.

French toddler bib, organic cotton – Lion £15.95

What advice would you give to other Mums who want to start an Online Business?

I would say try to find your niche and something that your passionate about and also stay true to yourself. This might mean turning down some opportunities if they don’t fit with your brand.

Where do you see your Business going in the next five years?

I would like to develop my own range of products to sell in the boutique. I also want to continuing blogging and sharing my recipes online too. So watch this space!

You can find Helene over on her Blog and you can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest @croquemaman

 

Helene kindly gave us one of her reusable colouring in placemat sets to try out. This clever item will keep your little ones busy at mealtime and comes with five erasable colouring pens and a superhero wristband. It is made from high quality soft silicone and is easy to clean, you can even pop it in the dishwasher. You can see here how much my Daughter is enjoying it!

Reusable colouring in placemat set – Cactus £20.49

 

Would you like to be featured in my #MumsWhoWorkIt Series? I am always looking for Mums to interview. I welcome Mums to contact me who have started their own business. You must live in the London area, as I like to come and meet up face to face. If you are interested then please contact me at: hello@theealingmummy.com I would love to hear your story!

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This is my first official post as The Ealing Mummy and the first in my series of posts for #MumsWhoWorkIt. My plan is on a weekly basis to interview another Mum who like me has either re-trained or has set up her own business. This week I wanted to tell you about my journey from someone who had only every used social media to share my child’s photos on Facebook, to now a fully qualified Social Media Manager.  I am really excited to have re-branded and combined my original blogs which were Mummy of the Suburbs and Ealing With Kids. I wanted to write this post to firstly explain what I have been doing since September 2016 (as I have been off the blogging radar so to speak) and secondly to let you know what my plans for the future are.

My blogging journey started back in July 2016, so officially I have been blogging for almost a year! I started Mummy Of The Suburbs having absolutely no idea about the blogging world and very little knowledge of social media. The blog did fairly well and I gained a reasonable following and managed to have two articles published on Huffington Post and even got interviewed by local BBC radio. Like many things in life, one thing lead to another and I soon realised that social media was something that really intrigued me.

Digital Mums had popped up in my Facebook feed a number of months previously and I had looked into it, but at the time I didn’t really understand what a Social Media Manager did, so I dismissed it. However once I started to write my blog it became apparent to me how powerful social media was and how by using it in the correct way it could make all the difference to your following. So once again Digital Mums stood out to me and this time it was the right time for me, because now I knew I wanted to learn something new and I took the next step and actually applied for their Social Media Manager course!

The application process involved writing a short piece about how you could “Do The Hustle”. Digital Mums call it their mantra and I think you have to have this special type of self belief to be successful in the world of digital marketing. For my example I wrote about how I set up a small business back in 2015 and how I managed to convince another business to work with me. Sadly that particular business didn’t work out, however I learnt a lot of useful lessons from it. After I had written my piece a member of the Digital Mums team contacted me.  We had a chat over the phone. and talked about why I wanted to do the course and the commitment that was involved. Shortly after this I was accepted on the course and I was over the moon to be started something new!

My course begun in November 2016 and from the start I was introduced to five other Mums who were also doing the same training, they became my support for the next seven months. My peer group didn’t live nearby, but that didn’t matter because we had weekly meetings online and shared messages in a WhatsApp group. The training material was all formatted on an online platform and was a mixture of written lessons, videos and quizzes. Each week we focused on a different topic and we really did start from the basics in social media and as the weeks went on we built on our knowledge.

The idea with the training is that you build a grass roots social media campaign from scratch and that is where Ealing With Kids came from. I knew that I wanted to write about activities with children in the area and I also wanted to support local businesses too, so that is what I focused on. By completing my training with Digital Mums I have learnt so many valuable skills from understanding the basics of setting up all the social media platforms, from creating a campaign and running it on a day to day basis, to developing an understanding of the analytics used in the background to measure success and improve performance. I could go on and on as my learning curve has been steep, but what I really what to convey to you is that is possible to learn to work in a completely new field.

We often hear how it is common to embrake on a new career in your thirties or forties, well I am proof that it does happen. I trained to be a Registered Nurse when I was eighteen and almost twenty years later here I am starting a career in something completely different. It feels refreshing and exciting to have learnt a completely different skill and I have managed to do it at the same time as working part time as a Practice Nurse and of course being a Mum to my five year old Daughter. I have to tell you the truth it has been a real challenge to study, work and be a parent all the same time, but with hard work and determination it can be done!

So back to the present, you may be wondering why I decided to re-brand my blog? Well the reason behind it is that when I was running my grass roots campaign I blogged about local businesses and activities for children in the Ealing area and to my surprise these local posts were much more popular than anything I had written about general parenting on my other blog, therefore I decided that writing about my local area should be my niche.

My goals for the future are to have a successful blog and to start working as a freelance Social Media Manager. I have come a long way in the last eight months and I am looking forward to living a more flexible lifestyle. I will continue with my Nursing role, but I am hoping to take on less hours and focus on my passion for writing and helping other businesses grow their social media following and presence.

If you have any questions about my training with Digital Mums #WorkThatWorks then please do contact me! Or if you would like to be interviewed for my #MumsWhoWorkIt series then please let me know.

Cuddle Fairy
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