Sophie Woodrow launched Sleepy Doe in June 2016 and quickly gained a largely nationwide following with some international customers from as far as Hong Kong. With over 2500 followers Sophie combines her Instagram page @sleepydoe_bath, sharing a selection of both work and personal posts, including her family life and customer shots. Since the launch this summer 11 stockists in the UK stock Sleepy Doe, with more wholesale accounts lined up for Collection TWO. Customers can also buy direct from www.sleepydoe.com where Sophie wraps and packs orders from her home in Bath. She offers a popular free local bike delivery too - new PJs to your door in time for bedtime!
Tell us about your family
We are Flossie Coco, 20 months, Dan 34, and me 31. Oh and all my house plants - they are a big part of my family.
When and why did you decide to launch Sleepy Doe?
Fundamentally I have always wanted to do something I could call my own. For 10 years I've loved designing for British brands and have been lucky enough to travel the world with them. It’s been awesome to be able to launch Sleepy Doe using my experience in loungewear design and manufacturing products I feel passionate about. Saying that, I'm often out of my depth!
The brand is inspired by my love for childrenswear and beautiful eco cottons that genuinely last wash after wash. I wanted to create a range of timeless designs that can be handed down and aren’t disposable. All aspects of the business, from fabrics to packaging and branding, are carefully considered including our factories; I believe it’s really important to support independent UK factories and know where your clothes are made.
I began working on the Sleepy Doe concept about 2 years ago, but things were placed on hold once I fell pregnant. This extra time turned out to be invaluable in the design of each product; the range I launched changed significantly from my original designs. It’s now less fussy, more practical, softer to touch, and all products are classic and easy to wear – many factors influenced by having my Mum hat on.
It was really important for me to allow a good year of drawing, sampling and developing the brand before signing anything off. All the PJs are a unique fit with a pattern I worked hard with the factory to get right.
How has motherhood affected your career?
Motherhood has given me so many new opportunities and I’ve met some amazing people. It's certainly hard working when you’re trying to juggle an equal mum/work life ratio - but absolutely doable.
What's your top tip for mums on maternity leave?
Enjoy the baby. Relax – there’s nothing wrong with PJ days! That's what I told myself anyway. Also don't feel alone, get out there and meet people - you don't know how they may encourage and inspire you. Remember this is time you will never get back, so savour each special moment. I ALMOST miss those 3am cuddles.
Are there any other home or PJ brands out there you love?
So many! I must admit I have more PJs and loungewear than everyday clothes. I definitely know I'm not the only kids PJ brand out there, but I love how each brand has its own unique style, from prints to colour, each offering something different to the market. They are all inspiring for different reasons and I shop from lots of them; I'm all for supporting independents, especially other mum businesses.
Make us feel better about ourselves. What's your biggest mum fail?
I organised Flossies 1st birthday party on the Wrong Day. I swear she was born on the 15th! It was just a day late so could have been worse...
Are there any other mums who help to inspire you?
Where do you hang out with the family?
Coffee shops, farmers markets, reclamation yards. Dan and I have been lucky enough to renovate some houses, we love rummaging at carboot sales and the independents in Bath such as Owl in The Ivy. We hang out in Bath and love this city but escape regularly to the Dorset coast where family are. We have pals inNorth Norfolk and love Salcombe in the summer - we stay in our friends’ caravan and bob around on their boat then BBQ our own freshly caught mackerel in the evenings. Basically anywhere by the sea.
What's next for Sleepy Doe?
After seeing in our first Christmas as a fully-fledged company (sheesh!) I’m looking forward to developing the range, introducing new designs and ideas. Having only launched a few months ago it’s also really important to take a step back and look at how far we’ve come already, and remember we have manymore people to meet and introduce to Sleepy Doe before taking things forward.
I can’t believe Collection Two is just around the corner, I’ve loved sharing Sleepy Doe with everyone and can’t thank everyone enough for the initial support we've received.