Meet Sara, mummy to beautiful Layla and owner of 3 businesses. Ihave had the pleasure of getting to know Sara after meeting through the Stamford Mummies group a few months ago and today we had a chat about what it's like being both a parent and a business owner.
Hi! Please introduce yourself
I’m Sara, mum to Layla – nearly 2! I run 3 small local businesses from home. The first, Mamabox is an online gifting business that focuses on the wellbeing of new and expecting parents, with a special focus on caring for women in the post-partum period. Our gifts contain loads of beautifully selected pampering items and treats just for them. I also teach pregnancy and post-natal yoga locally in Stamford via Mamamove and finally, with my partner Helen - I am one half of the Stamford Parent&Baby Show events team!
Have you always lived here?
I am and always will be a Northerner – originally from the wonderful city of Manchester! However, I spent 7 years living in South East Asia followed by a stint in London. I have been in Stamford for just over 2 years and love the beauty of the region; the pace and the community feel of the town.
What made you start your business?
I had a busy career in the fashion industry working for brands such as Christian Louboutin and loved it! I was lucky to travel lots, host and attend glamorous events and be part of new developments. However, as is the case for many of us, I knew that having a family would not be compatible with my chosen career - and had to make a tough choice. Opportunities for women with families in the workplace is something I feel passionate about and I think we have a long way to go in order to maximise the abundant skills and talent that so many of us have nurtured and developed in our 20’s and 30’s. That’s why I wanted to initiate the Parent&Baby Show. Helen and I could see all these wonderful businesses and amazing, creative and shrewd women on social media and wanted to find a way to bring these together and support them and one another.
In terms of Mamabox, after having Layla I couldn’t believe the toll it took on me physically, mentally and emotionally. As I was already in my 30’s I thought I had a good idea of what becoming a new parent would be like – but in reality I was clueless! There was this culture of ‘bouncing back’, entertaining lots of visitors and having it all together and I just didn’t feel anywhere near that. I wanted to create something that put the focus back on the new mother, who has just been through pregnancy, birth – sometimes a major operation and a major identity shift, in some cases. This is something that is a big focus in many other countries, particularly in the East, where it is a priority to heal and nurture the mother after birth but not so much here, yet.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
The autonomy to help and support others is a massive motivation for me. I feel very fortunate to have a home, family and everything I need and always wanted to find a way to give something more back to those who didn’t. Now, for every Mamabox gift we sell, we use a chunk of the sales to buy and send care items for the hospital bags of new mothers who have very little, often refugees and asylum seekers who have been trafficked or suffered gender based violence. I am currently working on other projects to support women and in particular, mothers in need and hope in the future I can give more back in a bigger way.
Has becoming a parent changed the way you work?
Yes! I am a natural procrastinator, so with less time on my hands, I have definitely got better at getting things done. I put timings next to my to do lists now and tick off the small things first so I feel like I’m getting somewhere!
What do you hope to do in the future?
It is my dream like many of us to find the right balance of being the best mum I can be whilst doing work I love. Hopefully with plans in the next few months, Mamabox will grow and develop further and the Parent&Baby Show is a roaring success - so that we can continue to do more events and new initiatives in the future!
If you could get a message to your self in the past before you became a parent, what would you say?
At the beginning I would tell myself: It’s ok to find this hard and it WILL get easier, even wonderful!
What other local businesses do you use?
Lots! Starting my own companies has made me more conscious and aware of supporting other businesses knowing the love, care and time that goes into creating the products/services. I shop in Stamford for gifts where possible and try to use the local markets and stores for at least some of our groceries. Very occasionally, I’ll save up and treat myself to a nice top or pair of shoes from Cavells in Oakham! I am looking forward to doing a bit of shopping at the Show next month, there are loads of really lovely and quirky online brands that are based in the region and it will be nice to touch and feel the items and see them in person.
Where can we find out more about your businesses?
Stamford Parent&Baby Show
Please take a look at the event below, book tickets and see the list of exhibitors and various special offers and freebies below!
10% discount using the code StamfordMummy
Pregnancy yoga is held every Monday evening, 6.15pm at The Children’s Garden Nursery