The wonderful Eve at Baba + Boo talks really honestly about being an introvert, wanting the world to slow down for Mothers (yes please) and building a successful business from scratch…
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Eve, mum to Seth 8 and Louisa 7 and founder of Baba+Boo which is a brand of reusable nappies and other waste-saving products for babies and children.
Q. When or what was your Game Change?
Like lots of mums in business, it was having babies. I was a buyer with a heavy workload and I knew it was never going to mix with having children. I wanted to be a hands on mum and juggling a job like that wasn’t possible. I had my children in quick succession and found it really overwhelming being at home with them. I wanted to still stay at home with them but needed something for me and to also earn some money. So Baba+Boo was born out of a need for that really.
Q. What went on along the way?
So much, it took off quite quickly really. There are lots of like-minded mums who don’t like putting their babies nappies in the bin for them to rot in landfill for 500 years. I started out basically reselling brands of nappies before branching out and designing my own. We now stock a whole variety of products including organic clothing for babies.
Q. Let’s talk money – what went on financially?
The business grew organically at the beginning and it was just a case of laying out a small amount but as my business grew, I needed more cash. Especially when you design your own products but there are minimum quantities you need to order, which is stressful on cashflow. My bank have been very supportive in this aspect. Cashflow is always a worry, even though I work very hard not to worry about it!
Q. How about the ‘balance’ question – how do you as a family hold it all together?
It’s so much easier now the children are older and at school. They were 18 months old and 9 weeks old when I started out. I look back and while it was manic, having something for me is what kept me sane. I have always worked since being 13 and always been creative, so I needed an outlet for this. It was a case of working during nap time and at night. They never slept through the night for years, so I do wonder how I functioned. Must have been adrenalin! School holidays are testing but they love to help now and if you order in August it is likely to have been packed by the real Baba and Boo. The business was named after their nicknames.
Q. Do you feel like you are losing your sh*t on a daily basis and how the hell do you stop that happening?
Not so much now, starting a business with really small babies made me lose all my shit. Every. Single. Day. I look back and they were dark days!! However, it made me learn how to micromanage my time and get the most of the time I had spare. I am very very organised, probably too organised. I have days where I feel like a fraud and I suffer from imposter syndrome. I see the signs of this coming though and take the day off – no social media and just go into lockdown with the kids or a book. Then I am usually fine the next day.
Q. How has motherhood changed you?
Massively. I am an introvert and always have been. Before children, I wouldn’t say anything to anybody, ask for anything – you’d find me hiding in corners mainly. Then the children came along and I knew I had to come out of my shell because I didn’t want them to be like me. Also, I had to be their voice, so I had to speak up for them. I remember going to my first baby group, I was petrified but I felt so good for doing something that scared me. I have tried to build on that through the years and always do things that scare me.
Q. What’s the best thing about what you are doing now?
Getting to be the mum I always wanted to me. I wanted to emulate my mum, who worked 3 jobs but always seemed to be there. She instilled a huge work ethic into me and I want my children to see this. We all love holidays and seeing new places and they appreciate that this is what I work hard for. So they leave me be when I have to work. I always wanted to be the one to do the school runs and I am grateful every day when I take them happy to school and they run out to me after school. That was the main reason I started the business and it serves as a reminder when I am having a shit day and want to give it all up.
Q. What scares you?
Most things, my husband says I am a shitbag! I’m scared of walking into a room of people I don’t know and introducing myself. I am so rubbish at going to events on my own. I need to get better at this although I think that is just my nature.
Q. If you could change one thing for your fellow mothers what would it be?
For life to become slower. I am a huge advocate for living with less and living simply. If we live with less, we don’t need to work as hard and life starts slowing down and we see that happiness is not in things but in memories and experiences. I sound very hippy-ish there don’t I?! Couldn’t be further from me but it is just what I have learnt from decluttering and buying less. I just want the world to be slower, especially for mums.
Q. Are there any bits of your life or career that aren’t quite right but you’ve just had to make your peace with?
My shyness. I know I have missed opportunities because I am rubbish at speaking up but I have accepted that about myself now. I will always be like that and I don’t worry about it any more.
Q. What are you most proud of?
Me. I have fought my insecurities to have a business that makes a difference to the world. Whilst also bringing up my well-mannered and polite children. They are a delight and fill me up to the top with joy.
Q. What do you wish you’d known at the start?
Nothing. You learn as you go along and I have learnt so much. Still learning every day. Probably the best bit about being in business, every day is a school day and I love learning new things.
Q. Have you done any re-training or other development?
Just bits I have learnt myself. I am always doing courses in social media, design and photography. I would like a life long student if I could!
Q. What is the last thing you read?
Jo Malone’s autobiography. I read loads of business books and biographies but this the best by far. Go and get a copy today, it is brilliant.
Q. Do you suffer from imposter syndrome?
Yes, as I mentioned before. But do you know what, answering these questions has served as a massive ego boost and I no longer feel like an imposter now! My 13-year niece did a piece of English homework about an inspirational person and she did it about me. It is up on my pin board in my office to remind me that I should not sell myself short.
Q. What’s the one thing anyone considering Game Changing should know or do?
Just get on with it and do it. Don’t wait for it to be perfect or it will never be done. Do a lean business plan and know your customer and your end goal. Your end goal will change but at least start with one. But just go for it and ask for help. There are so many people out there who have been in your shoes and are so happy to help. I’m one of those people and always happy to help if I can.
Q. Where or how can we get in touch or find out more?
My website is www.babaandboo.com and I hang out on Instagram mainly.
The business Insta is @babaandboo and mine is @belleves.