We caught up with Lucy Brindle, mum to Maggie (3) and Isla (11 months) and co-founder of children's clothing boutique Lucy & Sam, to find out how she juggles motherhood with business. And how it all began when she started maternity leave...
Tell us a bit about Lucy & Sam
I started Lucy & Sam with three old friends in 2010. We all worked in the fashion industry and realised if we combined our skills and knowledge we would make a really great team. The Lucy & Sam family is made up of myself, (I worked in Product development, mainly for the high street) as well as Sam (who works in finance and logistics) and Suky (who worked in buying and retail).
We wanted to design colourful, practical and hard-wearing clothes that look great, but kids won't be afraid to get them dirty. We all know the importance of getting your children dressed quickly (!) and making sure they're comfortable. But we're constantly evolving and working out what our customer likes!
When, how and why did you decide to change your career?
Starting our own label was always something that we talked about. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I probably wouldn't be able to go back to my previous role, because it involved a lot of travelling. So my first maternity leave was the catalyst for starting our own label!
It's been hard at times, to juggle the kids and what I need to do for the business, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's so lovely when you walk down the street or see a picture of someone wearing something you designed.
What tips would you give to new Mums to help them to make the most of maternity leave?
Maternity leave is fab but don't put too much pressure on yourself to go out to everything all at once. Sometimes, in the beginning, just do one thing a day or not even that! Spend the early part cuddling, napping and getting used to life with a little one.
Once you've found your stride you can find some baby classes to join, go out for nice lunches with other mums and babies, and spend days out at places like The Lido and baby cinema. Or start your own business if you want to, of course!
Are there any other business mums out there who you admire?
We admire all mums! It really is the hardest job in the world and there is no weekend or holiday to recover from it!! But there are definitely some mums that seem to combine motherhood and work really well: Jenny at Mothers Meetings - two kids, a book, countless events and always with a smile. We also love Victoria Donda Perez, the Argentinian MP who was filmed breastfeeding during a parliamentary session. That really does show multi-tasking! What a mumboss!
Where do you shop for childrenswear?
I mainly shop online and try to support smaller brands. Being a South London local, I love Cissy Wears in Hither Green. And we all love Archie's Boutique. Luckily we also have talented friends who make beautiful things like Ali Falcanor at The Bright Company and Alice Aitken at Om Baby so our kids are always looking colourful and comfy.
As a Camberwell local, where do you like to hang out with your family?
We have a dog, so Dulwich and Sydenham Woods are always a great way to spend a morning. Deptford wavelengths is brilliant too, especially when the wave machine comes on! We're also really looking forward to the Big Fish Little Fish event at the Amersham arms in September - baby raving is always fun!
What’s next for Lucy & Sam?
Our first organic and unisex capsule range was really well received, so this is a route we want to explore further. Lots of our customer are asking for accessories and toys too, so this is something we hope to do in the coming seasons.
AND... there are some possible collaborations with the high street coming up, so keep up to date with us on facebook and Instagram for more news!
What’s your key product for this season?
We are fast becoming market leaders for our pramsuits (see below). They'll be on sale at the end of September so we're encouraging our customers to be quick if they don't want to miss out!