Move your mind away to the ugly nursing armchairs that are so commonly available and let me introduce you to an armchair company that not only makes your home look beautiful with it, but they are super comfortable, chic and you can keep them forever and ever… because no one will know that they are for nursing if you don’t tell them!
BABY GREY is here to stay! Never ever buy another nursing armchair again, and yes, i’m talking about you IKEA! haha!!
Sofie Hepworth, founder extraordinaire, is a mama of one and has just recently quit her full time job to focus on her now FULL TIME business! If that’s not brave, I don’t know what is..however, with chairs like hers, there’s very little risk of it not succeeding, they are GORGEOUS. Winner of the Smallish Design awards 2017 for best interiors product and offering the highest quality fabrics and design, Baby Grey really is a must have for your nursery.
I spoke to Sofie to know more about her and her brand:
What’s your background?
My career prior to Baby Grey was in HR & Resourcing and I have spent the last 12 years working in all things people related, within the Technology space for large corporates and Investment Banks. I have always loved my job and was lucky enough to work for some firms who were fairly forward thinking when it came to flexibility and supporting women in the work place. But nevertheless, when I returned to work after having my first child, I was a changed person and I really struggled with the juggling act of being a career Mum. There’s a constant feeling of doing a half-ass job of everything in your life, which is not something I felt that comfortable with and I struggled being the Mum who had to leave at 4pm to pick her kid up in my ‘work life’, and the Mum who left her kid at nursery all day in my ‘Mum life’!
What made you start baby grey?
I love interiors (TheStarWhisperer needs to butt in here and tell you to visit her IG page where you can see how she’s done up her current home… it is amazing…!) and have spent what feels like a life time doing up houses only to sell them and start all over again…but that’s another story for another time 🙂 . Friends and family had always told me I should be doing something with interior design but I never felt I had enough talent to compete with some of the incredible designers I followed with admiration, and whilst I was passionate about it, it wasn’t something I felt I could succeed in so it had always just been a passion and a hobby.
However, For as long as I can remember, I have always had a burning desire to own my own business and do something with the more creative side of my brain but I just never had ‘The Idea’ that I felt passionately enough about to make the leap. When I fell pregnant for the first time the ‘nursery design’ excitement went in to serious over drive and I spent weeks Pinteresting my life away. My experience of being pregnant was that you are totally clueless on what to buy and where to find all the beautiful things you see on Pinterest but can’t actually blooming purchase anywhere. I quickly learnt that the Australians are light years ahead when it comes to beautiful Baby décor and every furniture item I wanted to purchase was either in Australia or Norway, and I felt doomed to end up with the generic Mothercare bedroom unless I did something drastic like sell a limb for international shipping LOL.
The one item I searched high and low for was a dreamy rocking nursing chair. I was horrified at the options available on the British high street, looking like something straight from an old peoples home and I just couldn’t get my head around the lack of options for something functional yet Beautiful too. Sadly that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and my nursery dreams went on hold for a little while.
Fast-forward 18 months later and I brought my beautiful Baby Boy Teddy into the world, and guess what, there were STILL no stylish but crazy comfy nursing chairs on the market, so this time I decided something had to be done! I registered Baby Grey as a company in October 2016, 6 months into my maternity leave with little more than an idea and a dream of becoming the UKs number one brand for nursing chairs. I sketched some designs and started doing research via Mum groups and online forums on what Mamas want. It took 6 months to find a manufacturer and work through some initial designs to produce a product that I could actually sell. In April 2017 I sold my first nursery rocker via Instagram and was still working furiously on getting a website and some professional images to get me going seriously. The response from those who found me was fantastic and validated everything I was trying to do.
The Baby Grey website launched in July and I continue to work furiously on new designs and growing the brand in to something I hope British Mamas will love.
What are the daily struggles you face as a mama with a business to look after?
So I’ll be honest, it’s really blooming hard and certain things have to take a back seat right now (like shaving my legs, getting my nails done, finishing our blooming house project or going on holiday) but it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly productive us Mums can be when we put our minds to it and I often wonder how the heck I have actually got this far. There’s a lot of late nights and working at nap times and if it wasn’t for my amazing husband, I am pretty sure I would go days without eating. You have to decide when you are going to Mum and when you are going to work and then you MUST stick to it. Personally I don’t think the two mix too well and I try to get most of my work done on the days we have child care or at bedtime so that my time with Teddy is just that!
I am still learning how and when to put things down, how to manage the crazy world of ‘online business’ where there is no where to hide….when do you get a break?!! but I am SLOWLY getting better. The key is being organised and realistic. Set achievable goals, focus on the things that HAVE to get done and learn to accept that you WILL go to bed each night with things you need to do but that it’s OK!
You recently quit your job and making this full time… AHH AMAZING.. tell me more!
I had a career that I enjoyed and was good at, so quitting my job wasn’t something I was going to do lightly, but once I had started selling Baby Grey rockers I realised that I had an opportunity at my fingertips to grow a business that has the potentially to be something pretty special. I had an awful period of 3 months juggling both and I just decided enough-is-enough and that unless I made the bold leap into full time business owner, it wouldn’t take off quickly enough and someone else would come along and do it better than me. So I just ripped the plaster off really quickly and handed my notice in. It’s pretty frightening but I believe in what I am doing and I don’t want EVER to look back and think ‘what if’ so here I am …..eeeek
And lastly but by no means least, what is the hardest thing you’ve had to do?
Oh gosh, they just keep coming but I think the hardest thing had to be just starting! You have an idea and it seems so big and crazy that you don’t think it’s possible and doubt creeps in. I had the Baby Grey idea for almost 2 years before I finally had the courage and the drive to just do it! Once I put myself out there and told people what I was trying to achieve then things started to happen. Pushing through the fear and making an idea reality is the biggest boulder to climb in going it alone. Once you have done that, you are already half way there!
Hats off to this super amazing mama and business woman!