December 05, 2014
So we've been thinking we would love to start interviewing some of our favourite women in business to find out some fun things about them and find out what makes them tick. We weren't sure where to begin and we've also decided to start this at the busiest time of year so Andy has decided to begin the series by interviewing Nat. If you have any suggestions for questions or future interviewees just let us know. Thanks :)
Where did life begin? In hospital in Mülheim, Germany in 1983. I was born to an English mum and a Dutch dad.
Favourite childhood memories? It has to be playing on the swings with one of my younger sisters when we were growing up.
Favourite drink? I am prone to a nice coffee. Two favourite local places to drink and chat are Marmadukes on Norfolk Row (Sheffield) and Tamper Coffee on Arundel Street which is really close to the office.
Night in or night out? In!
What's your favourite song at the moment? I don't really have favourite songs but I really like Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard. Their music really chills me out.
Favourite place or holiday destination? We went to Bora Bora on our honeymoon and it was the most amazing places I've been to. The water in the lagoon was beautiful.
Favourite item of clothing? Hmm...not sure really. The first thing that came to mind, oddly, is tights. Don't ask me why!
Favourite beauty product? I use coconut oil a lot and it is so versatile. I love using it to take make up off my eyes, and knowing it's 100% natural makes me like it even more!
When did you start your own business? At the start of January 2014, a little later than we had hoped although we've been talking about starting a company for a couple of years. We have no previous experience so we've had lots of helpful advice from friends and family.
Best thing about running your own business? Doing something I feel passionately about and expressing it the way Andy and I want to.
Most difficult thing about running your own business? There is never enough time in a day, but I guess that could be the case even if you weren't running your own business. :)
What are some of your favourite things about being a mum? Hearing your little one say 'mummy' for the first time and reaching out for their first hug is a pretty special aspect of being a mum. But also the never ending giggles and joy it brings to our home.
How do you balance being a mum and running a business? Tbh, I'm not sure. I have to be really organised with my time and make sure that I don't overcommit. I find that really difficult though.
What does a typical day look like for you? Andy and I get woken by a little monkey between 6-7am every morning and we then have family time in our bedroom where we drink tea and milk together whilst having a chat with Jesus about our day ahead. We then have our breakfast and get showered, and make our lunch. Andy then leaves the house for work at around 8:20 - 8:30 on weekdays. I then have activities planned with Alfie between 9:30am - 12pm after which we whizz to the office for our lunch and his nap. During his nap time (around two and a half hours) I then get my business work done. Alfie will wake around 3 - 3:30pm and he then has a bit of play time in the office whilst I get jobs finished off, or we will meet for a small play date with local friends between 3:30 - 5pm either at home or out and about, or run orders to stockists in the local area. Alfie and I will then head home for his dinner and bath time which is around 5:30 - 6:30pm and he then looks forward to a little 5 minute episode of Thomas the Tank Engine whilst cuddled under a blanket and having snuggles with me. I particularly love that time because he is a bit of a wriggle bum most of the time! He then goes down after a little story at about 7pm. My evenings are then filled with making dinner, house work, further business work, down time, meeting with friends and having a quiet night in with Andy.
Who is your biggest inspiration? I know many people look to famous icons at this point, but honestly, I draw my inspiration from Jesus, and my friends. I can think of one of my friends whose manner makes me so peaceful. In a world where everyone is shouting to be the best or better, I find myself knowing with her around that who I am is enough. I think that's pretty special.
What are you looking most forward to next year? My sister is getting married - wah! And at the start of 2015 our business will have it's one year anniversary! Crazy! Those are two pretty big landmarks I am looking forward to.
Why did you start the company? Well... in short, the cosmetic industry is moving towards cheaply made products containing an alarming cocktail of chemical ingredients and (many) brands that put constant pressure on women to look younger. Pregnancy propelled me to read about the why's as a lot of the high street products I was using made me feel sick at their smell. I then became increasingly convinced that coming back to nature was the way forward - ethically, sustainably, and from a cost perspective. Finally, my son was born 6 weeks premature. At about the time of his birth my husband Andy read a dreadful statistic on Twitter by UNICEF that 20,000 children die of preventable causes each day. Knowing that my 5lb 3oz son may not have survived had he been born in a developing country broke my heart. Needless to say that we wanted to start a business that did people good in many ways - especially women and children. The flexibility for creative outlet and family life was also very appealing.
What would be your perfect day off? Uhh... a lie in would be lovely (although I do love hearing those early morning calls to come and be fetched from the cot!) followed by a run and a nice hearty breakfast - not a cooked breakfast mind you! And then a read in front of the fire or out in the sun... depending on the season. Maybe a coffee or lunch date with a friend or my two lovely boys, followed by a walk out in the countryside. And to finish the day, a cozy meal at a local pub with friends or just my hubby. I do quite like flowers too... so if they featured somewhere in the day, I wouldn't mind. ;)
Favourite quote? I don't really have favourite quotes, but something our elder at church said recently has stayed with me: 'You invest in your character and let God bring about what he wants to bring about.'
Photography by Lucy Aspray at Everthine (http://www.everthinephoto.com/)
Location: Padley Gorge.
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