I’m excited for you to get to know this cool mama, Carrie Anne from Mere Soeur. If you haven’t heard of her brand, Mere Soeur before you NEED to check it out. I know lots of you have been loving my Strong Mother travel cup, well this is the lady behind them and so much more mama merch that you need in your life.
I’m Carrie Anne, I live in North Wales with my little boy River (15 months). His papa lives in Essex and runs a barber shop in Hackney. We all come together every fortnight for family time. I get by on jugs of coffee and chocolate based baked goods the rest of the time.
Tell us a little bit about your business
Mère Soeur is a lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering mums, celebrating sisterhood and offering a little something different. We have totes, tee, pins, mugs and I’m about to launch a bunch of brand new products over the next month or so!
How did you come up with the idea?
I was so inspired by the mama community online and the growing sisterhood I knew I had to create something to celebrate all things mermaid and put across the message of sisterhood and how important it is to understand and help each other. I basically started designing products that I would want to buy and I’m just glad other people like them too!
Once you had the idea how did you go about turning it into a reality?
Before I started Mère Soeur I knew next to nothing about business, printing, designing etc. I knew what i wanted to do but had no idea how to do it. There are services available and people who are waiting to answer your questions and give you guidance. Your local job centre is a great place to find out what services are offered in your area. It’s so worth it. I now have a business mentor, funding and a wonderful accountant!
Have you made any mistakes or got any regrets?
I’m always making mistakes. Every day I make mental notes to ‘do things differently next time’ or ‘make sure that doesn’t happen again’. It’s all part of the process but I don’t have any regrets. You have to mess up to improve and there’s no point going over and over things you just have to brush your shoulders off and move on to the next thing.
Best thing about running your own business?
Definitely the flexibility. Having the opportunity to be with River as often as possible, taking a day off midweek to go to the beach or even just nip out for a lunch date with the little guy is what makes it all worthwhile. After that I’d say that creating something you love and feeling passionate about what you’re doing is priceless. Exhausting, fun, daunting but priceless. Lastly, the feedback from customers and being part of such an incredible community totally warms my cockles. Getting to know the mamas and their families online and in “real life” is just the best.
The hardest thing?
The thing I find most difficult is having to squeeze little bits of work in throughout the day. We’ve just started 1.5 days of childcare but up until now it’s been a case of using naps, youtube breaks (don’t judge me!) and bedtimes to snatch a bit of time to work. Hopefully I can be more efficient and more present now we’ve found a great nursery.
What inspires you?
The open arms of sisterhood, the online community of mamas we’re so lucky to be a part of, creative people working hard to make it happen with or without babies! These ladies….. @thecostasisters @tibaandmarl @craftedsisterhood
Any advice for anyone out there thinking of starting up their own business?
Go for it! Don’t be deterred by how long everything takes or how well everyone else seems to be doing. Basically, don’t let ANYTHING stop you. If you have to take it slow then so be it. You’ll get there. Everybody starts somewhere and there’s no reason you can’t make it work.
Listen to your body. It’s great to be bursting with drive and ambition and ideas but letting yourself burn out will put you out of action for much longer than a little bit of ‘me’ time will. Treat yourself, you deserve it!