Victorine from Baby Brand - Parents in Business
Welcome back to our first series about parents in business.
In these blog posts, we will introduce you to the achievements of wonderful parents who also run their own businesses. We hope you enjoy finding out about them and what they do.
Business Name: Baby Duet Ltd.
Nature of business: Baby Brand
Years in Business: 5 months
Tell us about yourself..
Hi, I’m Victorine, founder of Baby Duet, a baby-wear brand based in Surrey.
I grew up in Croydon with my Mum, Dad and Sister, we’re really family-oriented and I’ve carried that on to my own family with my two children who are four and nine.
When I’m not working on Baby Duet, I spend my free time with my family, friends and
I enjoy dancing, exercising and listening to podcasts. I also love to travel and have been to a new country every year for the last 20 years.
I’ve always been creative, which is something I definitely got from my Mum. My Mum was a creative person–she was the Queen of Embellishment.
When I was six, I would channel my creativity into making outfits for my Barbies’ outfits out of stuff I had lying around - even Ken was dressed in a boob tube and a skirt.
This eventually led me to study fashion at college and University, and a career in styling and visual merchandising. It was during maternity leave with my second child that I founded Baby Duet.
Tell us about your business..
In winter 2016, I had a light bulb moment. My son was a month old and we attended my cousin’s wedding. He wore this
beautiful print, but because he was dribbling, I ended up putting on a bib that didn’t match. Baby Duet was born; two items that sing together! Matching babywear with prints inspired by my motherhood.
My aim of wanting to share stories of motherhood has meant Baby Duet has grown from just a gender-neutral babywear collection, into a lifestyle brand. I published my first interview for our content series, Mama Duet–stories from mums in the fashion industry, with the amazing Karen Arthur and have some exciting names in the pipeline!
How do you balance work, personal life and parenthood?
This is a question I ask all my Mama Duet guests, so you’d think I’d know the answer - but it’s still a challenge for me to answer because it’s a balance every day.
I wouldn’t be able to run Baby Duet without the support of my network - from my daughter’s friends mums sharing school pickups, to being able to pop round and use my Dad’s WiFi when mine has gone down.
What did you find was the hardest challenge about having a business and how did you overcome it?
To be honest, I know it’s cliche but my hardest challenge is making the time to balance it all.
I’m not really a night owl, so I learnt to wake up early before my kids get up to plan and do all my social posts. Even balancing postal runs, incorporating them into the school run and I moved the cooking and cleaning to times when they were around so I could use the time they weren’t to focus on the business.
How did you find home schooling your children during the first lockdown?
Yes - even delaying the launch of Baby Duet! I found that doing a timetable really helped, and keeping the day short. It helped us to keep a routine, with exercise like most of the country we did P.E with Joe Wicks, then schoolwork in the morning and creative time in the afternoon which gave me the time (and headspace!) to work on Baby Duet.
What are your top three tips for parents who are thinking to start their own business or have just started their business?
If there’s something that you can’t do, get someone else to do it! Don’t feel like you have to be the web designer, content creator, the VA, the copywriter, the accountant. There are only so many hours in the day, so know what your strengths are, focus on those, and outsource the rest.
Network with and meet other women in the same position as you. I’ve learnt so much from the small business communities I’m in.
Invest in people who know more than you do. I’ve worked with mentors and brand consultants whose knowledge has saved me so much financially in the long run.