This week we interviewed the amazing Tillie Mair, the Managing Director of BabyBox London, a luxury gifting service for newborns and new mums. Tillie lives in Richmond with her husband Chris, and their three children, Fred, 4 years, Louis, 3 years, and Arthur, 1 year.
What inspired you to set up Baby Box London, and how to you manage to juggle an ever-expanding business as well as bringing up your little ones?
I have always had a passion for gifting, and with a background in fashion and three children of my own, setting up BabyBox seemed to be the obvious choice of career post motherhood. Time management is key when juggling business and babies. It’s amazing what you can achieve in 5 minutes which used to take you half a day! You need to be passionate about what you’re doing, and not mind working in the evening or weekends.
What’s on your to-do list this week?
The new fall/winter collections are still showing, so all the ones I didn’t see at the trade shows I have appointments to see over the coming week. We’ve got some exclusive skincare news about to be announced which I’m drafting a press release for, I have a photo shoot on Thursday, we are printing some new business stationary which I’m overseeing the artwork for, we have a collaboration with a New York based illustrator due in this week. Besides that, I have some new last minute spring/summer products coming in which I need to get on the website, and I’m pushing our SEO for organic growth on Google which is very time consuming. Mix that in with all the children’s school and nursery commitments, Judo, swimming, football, PlayBall, golf, music, and a dinner date with husband and friends. I need to find some time to exercise too!!!
What’s your idea of the perfect present for a new mama?
Jewellery. We offer a gorgeous personalised bracelet. Also, anything to help you relax, a lavender candle, or our indulgence bath oil. I also used to love it when people brought lovely food parcels with them.
Do you have a favourite family recipe you can share?
After living in Italy for five years, I definitely got the pasta bug! This one is so easy and everybody loves it… Chorizo, prawn and fresh tomato pasta.
It’s all about the quality of the ingredients… Fry some garlic in some olive oil, add the chorizo, let the juices run, add some double cream and let the sauce thicken a little, add the prawns, then the tomatoes, then mix with some cooked penne, season and serve.
What would your favourite family day entail?
Sunshine, a swimming pool and swimming races. Granddad is the most competitive family member, so he is always organising who can jump off the highest board, who can swim the fastest, who can stand on the lilo the longest whilst being shot by water guns, who can catch the ball whilst running into the pool, who can make the biggest splash (me!). Followed by a huge family lunch with BBQ food and wine, good chat and laughter. Heaven.
Which is your favourite family friendly restaurant in London?
We love The Victoria, just by Sheen Gate in Richmond Park. It’s fabulous for a big feast after a serious walk around the park. It has a garden with climbing frame, just in case the children aren’t worn out enough! Also Brick Oven Milano in Chiswick is fab.
What advice would you give to new mamas wanting to set up their own business?
Time management is key. You need to be super organised and great at splitting up your day into family/work time, especially when you work from home as the two seem to merge a bit more than they should! That, and go with your gut instinct always. If you think it’s the right thing to do, do it.
What’s in the pipeline for Baby Box London?
We are just getting started so we have many improvements to make, lots to learn and lots of ideas in the pipeline. I think the possibilities are endless with a business like this, and it’s very exciting!!
What’s the one practical baby product you cannot live without?
Apart from baby wipes, it’s got to be the swaddle. They’re perfect for cocooning newborns in their mosses baskets, you can cover yourself up when feeding out and about, you can use as a sun shade on their buggies, or put on the floor when you’re at friends for a bit of tummy time without staining their carpets with baby sick. I still wear the huge ones from Aden & Anais around the pool! So versatile.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Difficult. I’m not difficult!! I meant that’s a difficult question. I had to ask friends, and the replies (I can share) included – passionate, dynamic, happy, spontaneous and lives life at 100mph. I don’t think I’m spontaneous, as I am a meticulous planner, but I suppose I could plan to be spontaneous!!