Inspiring Parents: Eve Bell from BaBa and Boo Interview
Welcome to my Inspiring Parents feature. Where I interview parents that have been inspired to do something different with their lives after they have had children. Be it start their own business, tackle a huge sporting feat or change their lifestyles all for the better. You can read more about the concept here.
This week I am interviewing Eve Bell from Baba and Boo. I first came across Baba and Boo when I decided to try reusable nappies for my daughter and some Mums on Twitter recommended them. I bought one of their starter packs and the rest is history! I have been hugely impressed with their nappies, love the designs and they also have fantastic customer service.
1. Tell us a bit about you. Why did you decide to start your own business?
I never had a grand plan. I had two babies in quick succession (the second pregnancy catching me unawares!) and I decided I couldn’t go back to work. While I loved being around to see all my babies firsts, my brain needed some input and it just grew from there.
2. What made you decide to start a reusable nappy business rather than doing anything else?
As I said I stopped working and money was tight, so I looked into reusable nappies. I loved them as most cloth mamas can probably understand. I had experience in buying and thought I would have a look into making my own. I just wanted to make an affordable alternative to help broaden their appeal.
3. What did you do before you ran your own business? Has it helped you in anyway?
I was a buyer so it has helped tremendously. I know the importance of using factories that work in ethical ways and also developing products. Alongside that, during my career, I learnt heaps about branding, so I always knew what I wanted from a branding perspective.
4. You have a very customer service focused business, how did you develop you overall business strategy and ethos?
That’s really lovely of you to say. I have extremely high standards when it comes to customer service. One of my first jobs was customer focused and I am eternally grateful for my manager who taught me the importance of customer service. We very rarely have unhappy customers but we do get emails about leaks and we now have a ‘Director of Happiness’ who works hard to get the nappies fitting and working for parents and babies.
5. As a parent how do you manage running your business around your family?
After almost 6 years, I think I have only just nailed the juggling. It has always been so hard. Especially when the children were young. Starting a business with a 18 month old and 9 week old baby is not for the faint-hearted. I think it sent me do-lally and kept me sane in equal measures. It was always a case of working around their naptimes and working late into the evening. Now it is a bit easier as the children are at school. There are still never enough hours in the day and there are the school holidays to contend with, but we manage a lot better now.
6. Do employ other parents, has this made you think about your flexible working policy as a company?
Yes, there are 4 of us and we are all mums who work around our babies. Our employment contract states that staff are not allowed to come to work if their babies need them due to illness or if it is a sports day etc. Family always come first. School holidays are a juggle for all of us but we work it between us and numerous forms of childcare. We have been known to look after each other’s children to get the orders out!
7. What has been your greatest achievement to date?
Still being here! I don’t look at the big things. I get the most pleasure from the comments on Facebook from mums who are loving using cloth nappies. We’ve won awards here and there but I get the biggest buzz every day that I can drop my children off at school and go and do something I love.
8. And your greatest challenge?
Probably controlling my ambition which burns so brightly. It causes me to worry and stress instead of just enjoying what I do.
9. What are your favourite items from the collection?
Designing our prints is one of the best jobs, but also the hardest. I have to admit, I have a few favourites but I love our Zebra Crossing nappy.
10. What are your plans for the future?
We are full of plans and they are very exciting. I cannot possibly tell you though, sorry!
11. If you could give any advice to other people and in particular parents thinking of setting up their own business what would it be?
Do it! Don’t be daunted by it, just get on it and let it take you where it takes you. You just need heaps of passion and strong work ethic. However hard you think running a business is, multiply it by 100 and you may get an idea of how hard it is.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who are in business. I get heaps of help from people I admire and I am always so grateful. You find that people who run businesses love to impart their knowledge.
So if anyone is reading this and is thinking about starting a business, feel free to get in touch with me and if I will gladly help in any way I can.
Thanks so much for asking me to be part of your parents in business series.
Thank you so much Eve, I found your interview incredibly inspiring! As a Mum who found the juggle so tough I gave up traditional work I think your flexible work ethic is amazing. I think more companies could learn from you. I hope that Baba and Boo continues to grow from strength to strength.
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