I am such a fan of this lady and her business! I’ve known Helen for just over a year after meeting through my old business, Little and Fierce kids, and since then we’ve become great friends. In this interview you’ll get to know about the wonderful event she runs and how she started it all off. I’ve been to BabyLoved as a stall holder and as a customer and each time I come away with a smile on my face and lots of goodies too!
Hi, I’m Helen. I’m actually a teacher by profession and have been teaching secondary Physical Education for the last 11 years. I’m really into my fitness and have a love for both squats and sweets in equal measures.
Tell us a little bit about your business
BabyLoved is a local premium pop up event for parents in Preston, Lancashire. It has been going for 1.5 years now and specialises in showcasing the best local independent businesses, along with super services available to families with little ones. There’s also ‘Perfect Preloved’ items on offer at a fraction of the original cost, along with our on site barista and quality cakey refreshments.
Once you had the idea for BabyLoved how did you go about turning it into a reality?
I was super fortunate to have the help of a friend when setting up BabyLoved. Between us, we would meet up to discuss our plan of action, divide up the jobs and then we begun being more active on social media. It really just snowballed from there.
What’s been the hardest part of your life as a start up business so far and how do you overcome those kinds of hurdles?
The hardest thing for me as an events business is knowing that people will attend! I’ve worked really hard on incentives, and what started out as a problem is now a ‘selling point’. I offer free goody bags for all advance purchased tickets as an incentive. All the items sourced for the goody bags are from other like minded bigger brands who want to get their product out there. If you’re wanting a ticket (and your free goody bag of treats), you can reserve one here (use discount code CWS25 for 25% off). Here’s where you can catch all the latest event info too.
I run on black coffee and chocolate biscuits when I’m working, what couldn’t you live without?
Flat whites and protein bars all the way. Oh, and a quality fringe trim so I can see my screen!
When running a business these days, especially when you sell online, you need to build a strong social media presence, which is your favourite platform and do you have any tips for running it?
My personal fave is Instagram as I love the visual appeal of all the squares coming together. This is a great platform for connecting with many of the other local businesses I work with. Facebook is where my main attendee base comes from, so I like to rock both of these social media platforms. I’m always looking for ways to work better on there. I’ve really enjoyed using the survey/poll functions on FB and Insta and have found its yielded some useful info which I have acted upon.
What’s been the best part of running BabyLoved so far? Has there been a ‘pinch yourself to check it’s real’ kind of moment for you?
The best part about running Babyloved has genuinely been speaking with attendees and local business stall holders on the day. Making links and planning for the future with them on the day, is really exciting. I’ve made some really lovely online pals too and connected with old friends from childhood which has been really sweet. I also really love that I’m able to support the Preston Womens’ Refuge through organising a collection of essential items for women and families fleeing domestic violence. It’s super to be able to put my organisational skills to good use and facilitate this collection for them.
Has being a parent influenced the way your business works?
Being a parent has 100% made me prioritise and be really strict on what I will and won’t spend time on with BabyLoved. Sometimes things aren’t as ‘finished’ or as ‘polished’ as I would like but I just roll with it as there’s often more pressing matters to deal with when small people need their Babyccinnos 😉
What’s currently your favourite aspect of your business? And your least..!
I would say my favourite part is connecting with other like minded folk for coffees and passing it off as a ‘business meeting’! The least fun part is before an event and I’m needing ticket sales to reach a magic number in order for my heart rate to return to a normal level.
What’s in store for BabyLoved?
WELL, I’ve got some plans for the not-so-distant future to collaborate with a larger super stylish event! It’s still in planning stages so I can’t share the details just yet but I’m really excited about it and it’s a giant step for BabyLoved. I’m also planning a small re-brand to keep the BabyLoved brigade in events. Currently BabyLoved is aimed at 0-4 but I’m hoping the age range can expand a little to meet the needs of the attendees and their troops of ‘growing up’ people.
Whether practical or inspirational, what is your top piece advice for anyone out there wanting to take that leap and start their own business?
I would say ‘remember who you’re doing this for’. You’re not in competition with all the fabulous insta-brands out there so don’t compare your insides with their outsides. Use these brands for inspiration and aspiration but keep your reality-check-radar on. For me it’s about remembering that I have family and friends to enjoy, I’m a part-timer in business and a part timer in my actual teaching role. I have to remember that my 1 hour or 1 days work for BabyLoved each week can’t be compared to another person’s full time job.
The next BabyLoved event is taking place on 13.5.18 at Hoghton Village Hall PR5 0SG. Top tip – from personal experience I recommend you come prepared and bring cash with you ready to get some fab goodies! Tickets are available to purchase at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/babyloved-preston-13518-tickets-45448313128 and I’ve a special discount code for my readers to get 25% off their ticket price – CWS25
I’m also excited to share that Helen has tickets for you guys to win – one for you and one for a friend!
Enter below to be in with a chance..
(full terms and conditions can be found below)
Find out more about BabyLoved
Want to read more inspiring Start Up Stories? Just click on the image below
Giveaway terms and conditions –
UK entries only
The prize is –
2 x complimentary tickets to the 13.05.2018 BabyLoved event
2 x BabyLoved goody bags
2 x cupcakes
(for one winner)
For more information about the event- BabyLoved
Giveaway ends 6/05/2018 at 11.59pm
When the winner is announced they will have 48 hours to get in contact, if they do not then another winner will be drawn
The winner’s details will then be given to the Babyloved organiser in order for the prize to be arranged
Morgana is a social media coach for small businesses and entrepreneurs, specialising in Instagram and Pinterest. Based in the North West of the UK, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She particularly enjoys a Netflix binge watch and cannot function without black coffee and dark chocolate digestives.