Boobs, business and being busy

Sam Mackley became  a mumprenuer in 2006 when she launched her breastfeeding clothes business – Mummy Looks Fab.

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We specialise in maternity clothes that also have discrete nursing openings and our best sellers are dresses for christenings and weddings, as these tend to be the kind of occasions new mums feel most self-conscious about feeding in public. Its also a time when mums need to be sure they are getting excellent value for money, and a dress that will help you look fantastic through your pregnancy, during breastfeeding and afterwards is worth its weight in gold.

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The business was originally borne out of my need to find something to wear to a family wedding in America. I didn’t want to wear clothes that I felt strange in and all I could find were rugby tops or t-shirts with poppers across the front. I was breastfeeding my 6month old son and didn’t want to be remembered as “that woman that kept disappearing off to feed”, but I also wasn’t sufficiently confident about public breastfeeding to just whip out a boob where ever I was. I was getting increasingly fed up with the lack of choice when I found a few designers in Hong Kong and the Far East that seemed to have all the right ideas. Trendy, flattering designs, easy access breastfeeding and great quality materials for longevity. The big problem was finding them for sale in the UK!
I decided I could do something about this, so I spent the last of my redundancy money on some stock, grew the website and we were off.
Since then, although the business has grown steadily, I would not say it has been easy. Working by yourself from home can be isolating and you have to be very disciplined to make sure the jobs you hate get tackled as effectively as the ones you love….Choosing from next seasons collections – Nice…Doing the annual stock check…Not-so-nice…..
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I have found the best way to keep on top of things is to make sure I have a great support network around me. Childcare, accountancy, social media – these are all things I have needed help with and through recommendations I have been lucky enough to find people that are not only very effective but also very understanding of the extra challenges that being a mumprenuer can bring.
I love what I do and along the way I have been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people that have really helped me increase my skills base. I recently became a fully trained bra fitter through bras4mums, so now I can offer my customers maternity and nursing bra fittings as well as a wide range of bras to choose from.
I also do part time work for other small businesses who need book keeping and VATsupport but can’t sustain a full time role. Through Sussex Office Services I have been able to help other little businesses like mine with some of the most stressful areas of managing your business finances. Mummy Looks Fab continues to grow organically and this year we are launching a new range of clothes based on all the best bits from our previous collections.
Being a mumpreneur is not easy, and there are some days when I wonder why I didn’t just go “back to work”. It may have been easier, it would certainly have been more lucrative and absolutely less stressful, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t have seen anywhere near as much of my children while they were growing up, and I certainly wouldn’t have met so many fantastic, like minded, interesting people.

The best part about being a mumpreneur is not having the foggiest clue what the next few months may bring, but knowing that no matter what, I can fit it in around my family, and do it on my own terms.

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2 Comments on “Boobs, business and being busy”

  1. Oh I had such a hard time breastfeeding my datugher, I hated it and it never felt ‘natural’, and I had postnatal depression… I stopped at 8 months on the advice of my doctor, and when I was pregnant with my second I decided that I would try breastfeeding and quit as soon as I felt that stress again… and I quit at 3 weeks! Was sooo happy to feed him with the bottle, and he was happy and felt loved and secure, and yes Daddy loved the feed snuggles too. But there is so much judgement, it’s as if you are feeding your child poison!www.lifes-a-bach.blogspot.com

    1. You’ll get no judgement here. Every mother has to go what they can at the time. 8 months or 3 weeks of breastfeeding is all tremendous and you should be proud of that! 🙂 Claire

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