Balancing business and babies is no easy feat. In the coming weeks we’ll be interviewing Mums from all walks of life, who have started a whole range of business’ from their kitchen table.
We love supporting Mumpreneurs here at Life Unexpected and have really enjoyed hearing and sharing their stories. We hope that these interviews will inspire you as much as they have done us!
Today we are interviewing the beautiful Lucy from Lala & Pom.
Tell us a bit about your business? Why and when did you start it?
My business is called Lala & Pom and I started it two years ago. We design colourful merino hats and accessories for kids. I had taken redundancy from Boden after ten years and had taken the summer off.
As Christmas approached I started to think I needed to do something in order to buy Christmas presents and so this spark of an idea to do something for myself started. Around that time the fur pompom was really kicking off but I am against fur so started to research luxury fake fur pompoms. I also started making pompom wreaths and garlands to sell at Christmas fairs.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have two children, Lara is 3 and Archer is 6.
Where do you like to work from?
I have to work from home, when the kids are at school and nursery, so I grab an hour here and there when I can. I also have a three day a week job as a marketing manager for my husband’s business – a photographer/illustration and CGI agency. I would kill for an office where I can keep all the samples and bits of wool somewhere rather than the garage!
How do you balance both work and family life?
It’s tricky, when I’m working I see them for about five minutes in the morning and they are usually in bed when I get home so that’s tough for both myself and my husband. When I am at home we have breakfast together and dinner when we can and weekends are all about kids activities and trying to relax.
What is your vision/dream for your business?
I’d love to get it in shops but wholesale is a whole other business, but either way I would love to grow it so I can have a bigger range.
What have been your biggest challenges so far and how did you overcome them?
Keeping up the energy and mojo all the time. Dealing with suppliers can be tricky. One particularly bad fair where it rained so hard that the gazebo leaked and everything got wet including me and my friend and we didn’t sell enough to cover doing it. BUT I use this as my creative outlet and I enjoy it so I keep going because I love it.
What has been the highlight of running your own business?
People asking me for interviews! Getting in Smallish magazine, my first order that wasn’t a friend!
How did you fund your business?
I used a small part of my redundancy money to start it of and begged my many long suffering friends for their help and graphic design and photography skills
What advice would you give to other mums starting a business?
It’s going to be hard work, but when someone says they love what you do that is such a buzz. I certainly found that I had to do something for me and this is a great outlet for that. Be realistic about how much money you will make and do your research.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
On my days when I’m not at the day job, it’s getting up with the kids at 6am and doing breakfast, school work, taking pictures for social media before Lara goes off for nursery, and I have a few hours before I collect Archer from school so admin etc.
Do you have any tips to banish the mum guilt we all feel?
I wish I did! I always worry I’m on my phone too much or I let them have too much time on the iPad but really they are happy and loved and I’m happier being busy so I’m hoping that they grow up quite balanced individuals!
Do you ever get the chance to have time off for yourself? If so, what do you like to do?
I try to get time off when I can, I organise the odd weekend away – recently went to Lewes for a night with my friend who sources vintage homewares and clothes. We had the best time – I had a bath and snooze in the afternoon before dinner and then a lie in before breakfast. We looked in shops that would be nightmare with the 3 year old! Was bliss. I missed the kids and called them before bed but it was so needed. We all need a bit of me time and we shouldn’t feel bad about that!
Thank you so much Lucy for this inspiring interview! It’s so lovely to hear how other mums do it and to know that we’re not alone in the mum guilt area and when we’re trying to balance it all. Be sure to check out Lucy’s gorgeous website Lala and Pom here and don’t forget to check out our review of one of her fabulous hats here! Keep your eyes peeled in Autumn as she’s adding some adorable berets to the stores hat collection!
What did you think about our interview with Mumpreneur Lucy from Lala and Pom? Let us know in the comments below.