Last year at a local event I had the pleasure of meeting Louisa, from One Little Bear and seeing some of her very early creations. They caught my eye then and have continued to do so. So I was very pleased when she agreed to be interviewed for our small business spotlight. Louisa's interview also highlights the importance of flexible working for families and the tough decision that many of us make about our careers.
What was your inspiration when starting your business?
As the end of my maternity leave approached I was faced with a tough decision. I loved my job, but it was full on. If I were to return, it would have to be full time, late nights, and a long commute. I couldn’t cope just seeing my girl at weekends. My husband and I took a long hard look at our finances, we decided we could just about get by if I were to stay home full time.
This is when I decided to start my little business. Yes - hopefully it would generate a little extra disposable income to help us out but it was also something I wanted to do for me. To give me another focus other than ‘full time mum’, to keep my brain ticking over until I do eventually return to my career, to learn new skills and to have something to fill the otherwise huge CV gap. Any stay at home parent will know what a challenging role it is but it is not necessarily clear to future employers.
The specific product offer was chosen after finding a lack of non-conventional, bright and playful nursery décor whilst decorating my own child’s nursery. I wanted my child’s room full of colour. I definitely didn’t want to conform to baby pinks and blues! While searching for a baby mobile all I could find were quite boring basic designs or ridiculously expensive handmade mobiles. I wasn’t prepared to pay £100+ for a mobile.
This was my first item I made. My mobiles are from £38 including free UK Shipping
Bear and Mobile - £50
New line- Frame - £8.50
Describe a typical day?
The best thing about running my own business is getting to spend every day with my daughter. It is hard work juggling everything at times; I worry that at some points in the day I am distracted by work and she is not getting my full attention. I hope to grow my business gradually as my family grows. Right now I can fit my work into evenings and weekends, hopefully as business progresses I will have more work and more time to work whilst my daughter is at Pre-School and then School. I hope that my business will be successful enough that it will warrant continuing full time in the future. I would love to be able to `work my own hours so that I can take my kids to school and pick them up and never worry about missing a school play or sports day. My mum worked for herself and was always there for any school events, I felt very lucky as a child to have that and I would really love to have the same for my children.
What is your background and where are you from?