In this months MBTribe we spoke to Jenni Shipp, Mama and small shop owner of organic sleeping bags with style – The Baby Sleep Shop. From her beautiful merino wool bags, to fun and playful designs, Jenni has it all under one website where you can transform your little ones room and nights sleep throughout the year.
Name: Jenni Shipp
What inspired you to start The Baby Sleep Shop?
During my second maternity leave, I decided I wanted to build something which could give me a more flexible future to be a full time mum and still have something to pour my heart and passion into – something to keep me sane and give me focus – I was terrified of losing all my skills having so long out of work!
Bedtime is big in our house – we are sticklers for routine and its helped us to build a really happy and positive bedtime routine with the kids – I wanted to build my business around bedtime – creating magical and memorable, whimsical and vintage inspired bedroom and nurseries which little ones would remember and look forward bedtime and story time. I decided to seek out the best quality baby sleeping bags on the market, from across the world as to me these were a huge staple from new baby through to toddler-hood – I am in the process of refining my collection to just two brands, after a couple of years trading, I feel these are the bees knees!
Describe your typical day from AM to PM.
I am currently in the last trimester of my third pregnancy so my day at the moment incorporates a lot more me time which has been a really positive change!
At 6:30am Alex leaves for work and I stay snoozing until Alfie (4) climbs in with me at around 7am, then Nellie joins too and the kids watch some iPad while I shower and dress… then we rush downstairs around 8am for toast and porridge usually with me becoming more naggier as we are usually late by now! Then we walk to nursery which is usually a 20 minute walk (UPHILL!) and we drop Alfie off. Nellie and I then potter off to run some errands, post office runs with orders, shopping in town, swimming etc and then head home for lunch! Luckily Nellie still naps after lunch, so nap time is my work time – I log on for a couple or hours. I need noise, so I listen to the radio all day long while I’m working and mummying! Recently I’ve been better at alternating between having a sit down / nap and working 🙂
Nellie and I then set off for nursery again to collect Alfie and head to the swings before coming home for tea. Alfie has some down time usually in front of the tv and then we head up for bath time. I usually prep mine and Alex’s dinner at the kids tea time… I like slow cook things I can shove in the oven and forget about!! Over the winter I was so chilly I took to hopping in with them for a Mummy bath in the evenings J but now I start bathing them about 6 and fly round the house to do some jobs, or stand in the utility room next to them and do some ironing (fun times!) then its story and bed time at 6:45! I have been so knackered for this pregnancy that I am well and truly done by 7pm 🙂 luckily Alfie is good at entertaining and playing by himself in bed if he’s not quite tired enough yet.
I get downstairs, tidy up the carnage from the kids and finish some work and then wait for Alex to get home, usually about 8pm and we have dinner and veg in front of one of the 10,000 box sets we enjoy!
How has this business helped you to grow as a person?
It has given me confidence in myself and my won decision making. There are many parts of business such as marketing and selling which my previous corporate job as a Hedge Fund EA didn’t allow me to do – I love the diversity of it all. I do find it can be lonely sometimes, especially with no one to bounce ideas off like in my old job – I have been to a few events and made some lovely friends who are also small business owners – they get it as they are in the same boat! The business has really opened my eyes to the wonderful world of small businesses – there are some really talented, special people and brands out there, and I love people who support them (and us!) by shopping small.
What is your favourite design style?
I am probably the opposite of everyone else at the moment and am not hugely passionate about Scandi, modern design for nurseries and interiors. Don’t get me wrong, I love the trend and it has pumped so much style in previously stuffy and old fashioned part of interiors & baby produces, but I have a really strong love for traditional, vintage inspired nurseries and baby things. I love Liberty print and I love whimsical designs and characters, like those in our wallpapers, which I believe little people will remember with fond, warm memories. I love colour and I love the idea that you can add colour and style to a room without redecorating the whole thing with the addition of some beautiful accessories and décor.
In the next 2 years where do you see yourself and The Baby Sleep Shop?
I would love to become more established in the market place so people associate my brand with magical and whimsical bedtimes – I would love to continue to grow the collection to the point where we really do have something for everybody who logs on the website… and to have more Liberty products on board!
What advice/tips would you give to someone wanting to start their own small independent business within the children’s home range?
I would say go for it and give it 100% – it is hard work, and financially tough at first, but if you can think longer term and set realistic targets (to keep you sane!) you will set yourself up for a really positive first couple of years. I think networking is really important and I also think it’s really good advice to not get hooked up on Instagram. It isn’t the biggest sales platform and I find it can be amazing & liberating or, in the wrong frame of mind or in an anxious period it can seem daunting and lead to a world of comparison, which is a totally normal thing to feel… but potentially unhealthy. Do what makes you happy, live in the moment, take it steady and stay true to who you are and how you want your brand to be!
Interview and Copy by Mama
Images by Jenni Shipp