Welcome back to ‘Interview With A Mum In Business‘. Today I’m introducing to you Hannah, creator of kids activity brand ‘The Busy Box Company’. She is also kindly giving away one of her busy boxes to a very lucky reader. You can enter the competition at the bottom of this post.
If you are new to this series, welcome to ‘Interview With A Mum In Business’. Regular readers of Life Unexpected will know all too well how passionate I am about supporting Mums who have launched their own business. I am a work at home Mum myself and my day job sees me helping small businesses to run and grow their social media accounts and to share their brand stories. I wanted a way to help even more, so I launched this series as a platform to showcase some of my favourite Mum run brands with you and to show you how they balance it all.
If you are a Mum with a business and you wanted to take part, get in touch by dropping me an e-mail!
Interview With A Mum In Business Featuring: The Busy Box Company
This weeks I’m so excited to interview Hannah. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know how much we love busy boxes and busy bags. We love them so much we’ve even had a go at making our own.
My favourite thing about Hannah’s boxes though, is that they are all themed and that they are made with products that will last and that your kids will enjoy playing with again and again. I also think they make amazing, unique gifts, so if you are stuck for present ideas definitely go and take a peek at her range. You will love her boxes!
Today Hannah will be sharing with us a little bit more about her business, the products she creates and how she balances business alongside the juggle of family life. Over to you Hannah…
Tell us a bit about your business? Why and when did you start it?
The Busy Box Company online store centres around activity boxes for babies and preschool children. It is all about making playtime fun and interactive, using beautiful products that fit in with modern family living. I also stock individual items, like aprons, a range of toy storage and certain of the standout products from the range of Busy Boxes.
My business idea started whilst I was on maternity leave. I had just been made redundant and, having been used to working in a busy corporate environment, was looking for a way to engage my brain in a different way to my day-to-day role as a stay at home mum. Life never quite goes to plan though does it?! By the time I’d launched my business I’d been offered a new job so I was working four days a week too!
How did you get the idea for your business?
My little one is incredibly busy! He gets stuck into everything and doesn’t engage with one activity for long. Around the time he turned one, I started looking for activities with play choices, engaging toys and attractive branding but I couldn’t find products that looked and felt how I wanted them to. So I curated my own collections, working with lots of amazing, socially responsible brands!
Where do you like to work from?
I always work from home (usually during nap time!) or on the train on the way to my day job.
How do you balance both work and family life?
I find the balance quite hard, especially because my business is something I do, as well as being a mummy and having a four day a week job! I always put being George’s Mummy first and try to keep time on my phone around him to a minimum, especially because I only get one week day with him each week. Usually I catch up on emails and post on social media on the train on my way to work and pack up orders after tea!
What is your vision/dream for your business?
I’d love to eventually branch out into a cafe/event space where I could showcase my products and the ideas behind each box. A Busy Cafe! For busy babies and their mums to come and spend time together.
What have been your biggest challenges so far and how did you overcome them?
Finding time and energy. For the first six months of this year we undertook some major renovations on our house. I allowed it take my focus away from my business in a big way. Now that’s pretty much completed, I’m so excited about getting back to investing some serious energy in my business. I’ve got lots of exciting plans for the blog. Firstly for a new box designed for travel with children under 3 and new additions for the Little Beginnings range (for newborns). I think the key is loving what you are doing – then it doesn’t feel like work at all!
What has been the highlight of running your own business?
Hearing that my lovely customers have bought or gifted a Busy Box and that it has been used to have fun with! That’s always amazing to hear/see on Instagram.
How did you fund your business?
I funded the set up mostly myself with a little help from my amazingly supportive parents.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I don’t really have a typical ‘day’ because my days are spent working as a solicitor! My business has to fit around that. So it usually means emails on my commute and packing in my pjs!
Do you have any tips to banish the mum guilt we all feel?
Oh that’s such a tough one!! This Autumn I have made a list of experiences I would love to share with my little boy and husband. Conker collecting at Fountains Abbey, a kite festival and a trip to Chester Zoo are all on there. We won’t get to do something every week but I think planning special (not necessarily expensive) things to do together helps you feel less guilty on the days when you are working/running to the post office.
Do you ever get the chance to have time off for yourself? If so, what do you like to do?
Not very often! At the minute the only time I’ve been making is to squeeze in a manicure every few weeks – something about painted nails just makes me feel more together.
What is your favourite thing about the products that you create?
They are all about having fun and making memories with little ones.
Thank you so much Hannah for letting me interview you! Hannah is is also kindly giving away a busy box of your choice to one lucky winner. How much would your kids love one of these? To enter, simply fill in the rafflecopter below.
How brilliant are these Busy Boxes and how wonderful is Hannah?
I love the idea of the ‘busy cafe’ and I cannot wait to see the new travel and newborn range that Hannah is creating. Especially as we are a travel mad family and we have another baby on the way. I’m definitely getting a few of these boxes for my daughter to play with and my baby to be.
You can find out more about Hannah and The Busy Box Company here:
That’s it for today’s interview. If you missed last weeks interview with Colleen, illustrator and kids homeware designer behind ‘Little Carousel’, you can catch up with it here: