It's time for another Mama-Made Monday's feature and this week I am shining the spotlight on Sophie & Co.. Having followed this hard working mama on social media throughout my pregnancy and now as a mother myself, seeing her beautiful creations come to life has been wonderful to watch.
I’m Sophie, founder, sewer, marketer…general ‘do-er’ behind Sophie & Co, a clothing brand for small people.
Sophie & Co. launched somewhat spontaneously last year. Though the driving factor was the usual, childcare cost far outweighing my poor graduate salary, I didn’t expect much to come of a few pairs of trousers made for Luna sold via a couple of WhatsApp sales and the odd comment on Instagram! I studied Fine Art at university, badly and with considerable dismay, and had somehow managed to blag my way into a Marketing job knowing full well that I would only truly be fulfilled with my own business that required a good dollop of creativity. Having Luna and subsequently having £100 left (of an overdraft) really whipped me into shape.
My vision behind the brand was to create reasonably priced everyday pieces that looked stylish as well as traditional, stuff that can withstand some grass stains, spaghetti bolognese and a thousand washing cycles but not break the bank. I started with just the one product, a Harem style trouser, and at a pace I can handle with a toddler in tow, I’ve slowly grown to 8.
Running a business without childcare has been no mean feat, 6 month old Luna was a doddle and I’d enjoy fulfilling the odd order here and there with lots of coffee shop meets and park strolls like a true maternity leave queen. As she’s got older routines have changed, her attention span has changed, the business has grown and I’m now reliant on working in her one (hopefully) decent nap and my evenings; totally worth it to be doing something creative, with Luna, and not go back to the office job though. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the year since Sophie & Co. launched, it’s that customers respond to honesty and most are incredibly forgiving of handmade items, especially when they know you’re looking after a child full time too. If I don’t feel the ‘Mum guilt’, I’m usually feeling the ’14 day turnaround guilt’, luckily guilt works as a pretty good motivator.
I’m still amazed & humbled when I receive orders and absolutely love seeing customers share photos of their children on Instagram and Facebook. Instagram especially has been such an important driving force behind Sophie & Co. and I genuinely wouldn’t be doing this now without it. I’ve discovered so many other amazing creatives through Instagram and although it can be stifling seeing the amount of other people doing similar things, I try to remind myself that 50,000 followers doesn’t necessarily equal success. Quite often those business owners have the same struggles…on a larger scale.
I’m currently finalising some prints so the next shop update will be hand printed items (and a couple of new designs for boys) but I also have some limited edition collaborations coming via a newsletter launch in the next couple of months!
Massive thanks to Sophie for sharing the story behind Sophie & Co today. You can find out more about Sophie & Co. as well as shopping the range over on Instagram @sophieandcoshop and of course, the official website www.sophieandco.co.uk.