We’re excited to announce the launch of Mini-La-Mode, a fantastic new e-boutique, a quintessentially British baby and nursery brand founded by Fee Drummond. Fee features here as our mumpreneur of the week, giving us the low-down on life as a mother and successful entrepreuner.
1) We’ve followed Mama-La-Mode since it started and now we’re drooling over the new Mini-La-Mode collection. Tell us more about the business and why you came up with the idea?
I spent part of my teenage years growing up in India with super soft Indian cotton voile quilts and muslins, with hand embroideries and timeless delicate detail – elements which I have worked with for years in fashion, and now that I am a mother, are even more important to me for my baby. Given that I wasn’t satisfied with what I found out there, and that we have a lot of manufacturing experience with various fabrics – I decided to design and make it myself!
2) What advice would you give to mamas wanting to start a business?
I think it’s important to evaluate how much time you want to spend working vs being mummy, and design a business structure that caters to that, as it is all too easy to create a monster that requires more and more of you when starting a business. The worst scenario to create for yourself is to be doing both jobs badly, when your attention and focus is compromised between family & work which is very stressful and unhappy making.
3) You’re a bit of a pregnancy fashion guru, what’s your top tip for looking stylish when pregnant?
I think the most obvious tactic that goes against one’s body conscience when pregnant is to wear fitted clothes rather than loose or larger sized baggy clothing.
If you hug and sculpt the top, then go loose on the bottom and the same vice versa; loose on top and fitted below, then the proportions of your new silhouette are enhanced and naturally balance.
4) What’s your number one beauty tip?
Sleep! I am actually terrible at it, so not sure my face would be a good example… I am an eternal list writer, and have to empty my head of notes and lists before sleep to ensure I don’t wake up worrying about things I need to write down and do. When it comes to mother’s beauty within our often sleepless and hectic lifestyles, I find facials or masques to revive and nourish are essential pick-me-ups. Taking time out to look after yourself is important too – being ragged at every edge is not good for anyone in the family.
5) What’s your favourite holiday destination?
South of France and Italy – in the summer there is no place better than old school Europe. Lunch is my favourite thing about holiday – good food, rosé and a nice soft view… What could be better.
6) What’s your must-have baby item?
Ooohh – so hard! I am now biased to our range of course, but our Pima cotton babygrow’s with scratch mittens are perfect as the Pima cotton is silky soft to touch but also enables their skin to breathe completely naturally which is so important in the beginning. The adorable little embroideries and teency feet on sleepsuits get us all cooing in the office as we unpack shipments ! Fortunately I have number 2 the way so can indulge in a new little wardrobe all over again.
7) What’s your tip for a good work/home life balance?
Focus, focus, focus. I have found that since having a baby you can get double the amount done when working, with your maternal subconscious propelling you forward to get jobs done in order to get home quicker to play. Therefore that working time, if really targeted and defined, can be much more compact and effective than just working 9-6 or on general office hours which often have so much dallying time.
8) What’s your ultimate family day out?
Going for a walk at home with hubby, dog, baby in the backpack or papoose and walking all over the new forest and beach – the farm yard and ice creams are big highlights (my son’s, not mine!), followed by a good Sunday roast.
9) What’s in the pipeline for your Mini-la-Mode Empire?
Well, it’s pretty exciting really. We’ve started with age 0-2 and a core 100% ceritifed Pima cotton baby range, and for the coming seasons will be introducing new fabrics and extending the collection to casual and occasion wear, as well as extending the age group up to kids.
The real focus remains on sourcing hand made products in high quality fabrics, so for example for our knitwear we are working with hand knitted Peruvian Pima cotton or alpaca with lovely detailing and embroidery. I would like to think of all of our items as modern classics to treasure through generations, as well as being practical and well priced. Our nursery and bedding range will launch next season too – a really exciting element for me as it brings together all of our hand block printing in India on muslins and super soft fine cottons for sleepsuits, quilts and accessories.
10) How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Dedicated and loyal, hardworking, with a natural desire to strive for perfection and then cosy up at home in a family nest.