Single mamma business, Manners London, and how it all began...
Having my own business is the best and the worst thing I ever decided to do, well, it was anyway. But as I grow a little older and try and be less extreme in all parts of my life (which hasn’t come easy, but change takes a little minute… right?) the highs get better and brighter and the negatives have become more manageable, or in fact nearly obsolete. With a bit of self discipline, like not checking emails after 8pm and giving up working weekends at the market to be a Mum it just gets better and better!
Anyway, today is definitely a day where working for myself is the best thing I’ve ever done as I climb back into my bed at 2.43pm, eating the half a cereal bar I found in my coat pocket that my kid must have snuck in there yesterday, (or the day before) and write a blog about how I got here and why I’m bloody grateful to be. (And still make it to school on time)!
So, my old story started with a bit of woe-is-me, but fuck that (sorry, I need to get all my swearing out before I click into Mum mode, bare with me) so now I’ll start just after the bad bit, which began, when I arrived in London. Alone with my son, a rapidly fading tan, a heavy heart and a few clothes I’d designed for myself, having left Bali very quickly and unexpectedly I needed a plan, fast.
Here we were, me and him and a very small box of clothes (all in size M & L) and enough money to last me a week max. Everyone of course suggested I look for a job immediately, but I just knew in my heart that my days of working for someone else were over, so, I rocked up at Portabello Rd market with a plant (for décor!) around 15 items of clothing, a 5 year old assistant and begged them for a stall and prayed that women with medium sized top halves and large sized bottom halves would walk by. And they did!
And that was the start, my dream to create a range of clothing that fit women of all sizes and made them feel amazing had begun!
In Bali I was pretty miserable, partly as I felt like a giant monster (which really knocked my confidence) so, I started designing a few pieces for myself that made me feel confident. Not just with their cuts but because of the insane fabric I created. It sounds like such a little thing but dressing in clothes that fit my body and made me feel good about myself, gave me a bit of my power back in a time when I felt utterly powerless.
So that was it, I wanted to create a range that did just that, with items that women could confidently wear without a bra, and feel crazy hot and empowered AF! I dared to imagine a world where women felt confident in their own skin like I was finally starting to.
And so Manners London was born, and the best bits are not just eating stale biscuits in bed or being able to make my own schedule as a single parent but in working with incredible women (and meeting them every day). There is something truly magic that happens when women lift each other up and without the support of all the women I’ve met along the way I sure as hell wouldn’t be right here now and for that I am truly, truly grateful. xx