I first met Emma in a Facebook group a few months ago, it then turned out we had mutual friends in real life and ended up meeting in person at the most recent BabyLoved shopping event. She is just as lovely as I expected that she’d be. Emma’s store, Mrs Rawlinson, has the most gorgeous gifts for new mums (and us old mums too!), from gift boxes bursting with luxury goodies, to sleep mist and teething jewellery. It’s a must if you’re looking for a gift for a new mum or a mum that deserves a little treat. I enjoyed finding out how Emma started her business and learning more about how she runs it. Enjoy!
I’m Emma, a down-to-earth mum of two with a love of unique products to help women through pregnancy, birth and new parent life.
Tell us a little bit about your business
When I became pregnant with my second, my first-born was just 9 months ( I know, I know, what was I thinking?). Having kids in quick succession meant that i needed to sail through pregnancy and once baby was born, heal fast so I could be the best version of me for my children.
However, when you become a new parent, it’s always baby that comes first. The sleepsuits, the comforters, the baby bath are all gifted for your new bundle of joy. Yet, quite often, as the body and brain goes through indescribable stress and emotional turmoil, it’s the mums that require the little pick-me-ups.
I manically Googled a number of products and potions. It really frustrated me that quality products made with mums in mind weren’t available in one place online in the UK.
Soon after giving birth I decided to do something about that. Little did I know it would be so well received.
At Mrsrawlinson.com you can find everything you need from anti-morning sickness sweets to breast milk enhancing herbal tea. There’s also a selection of unique and beautiful gifts for your friends and family, all of which place new mums front of mind.
Once you had your business idea how did you go about turning it into a reality?
I talked to a number of small businesses whose samples really impressed me. This was quite tricky as I didn’t have a website, or a brand, or any sort of financial support. However, once I had those initial conversations, everyone was quick to agree it was a great idea and so I placed some orders, became a stockist and carried out a bit of a soft launch. I’m now trying to find some time to take it further and help the thousands of women across the UK access beautiful products and gifts.
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?
Wow there are many; time, finances, children being sick but I’d say the main one for me is the tendency to compare. Every person I speak to who has done a similar thing, whether they are huge sellers or small makers got a little side-tracked with comparing themselves to established businesses or influential social media personalities. Sitting there scrolling though social media and giving yourself a hard time for not having as many followers or boxes of orders piled high is just not conducive. Keeping things real and bringing my focus back to why I did this in the first place is the only way I’ll be successful.
I run on black coffee and chocolate biscuits when I’m working, what couldn’t you live without?
Well I’m still up during the night thanks to my little one so it’s definitely not sleep. I think I’d go crazy if I stayed within four walls so the one thing I couldn’t live without would be fresh air.
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?
I was late to the Instagram party but I love visually stylised things and so this platform is perfect for me and the products I sell. I feel that it has become a little crowded and using the stories feature will help small businesses to get seen and bring a brand to life.
What is the best part of running your own business? Has there been a ‘pinch yourself to check it’s real’ kind of moment for you?
As I’m so new to this, I can hand on heart say I’m not expecting to make a a lot of profit, my intention is simply to ease others through new parenthood without any fluffiness. When I receive messages from mums who have loved the products and they have made life a little easier for them, I do a little happy dance.
Has being a parent influenced the way your business works?
Massively. Being a mum has changed nearly every aspect of my life. I resigned from my PR and Marketing role at an agency to allow myself more time with my children but I felt the need to challenge myself to launch and run a small business too. I have a very good memory of how I felt during pregnancy and of course all the savageness that comes with new mumhood.
Running a business as a ‘one girl band’ means you have to be, and do, everything from managing your budget and accounts, being the buyer, being good at sales, as well as being the IT department! What do you do to manage your time and what tips do you have for avoiding being overwhelmed?
Get some experienced, lovely and most importantly real people around you. I count myself extremely lucky to have met and connected with some new friends. Regular coffees and gins with people who have done this all before keep you grounded and ensure you aren’t driving yourself to exhaustion. Big up here to my wingwoman, Erin at Pops and Ozzy and Amy Cheadle of the Northern Dough Company.
What’s been your favourite item or range that you’ve stocked so far and why?
Oh eeeek too hard. They are all essentials for different reasons. Pregnancy bon bons for morning sickness, healing bath tea for recovery from birth and sleep mist for the insomnia.
Got any plans for new boxes or products in the pipeline?
Absolutely. I will be growing the collections to offer much more for pregnancy related issues, post-birth healing and also a special edit for breast feeding mums.
Whether practical or inspirational, what is your top piece advice for anyone out there wanting to take that leap and start their own business or even start up an online store?
Whatever the idea, good ones tend be based on what you enjoy, what people will buy and something that improves on what’s already available. Don’t attack it without a strategic plan though or you’ll soon feel overwhelmed.
I’m super excited that Emma has given us a couple of her lovely gifts for a giveaway, her award-winning hair elixir by Evolve Beauty AND the Chocolate Society’s blonde chocolate and crushed espresso bean bar.
Enter below to be in with a chance of winning these lovely treats
(full terms and conditions can be found below)
Have a browse around Emma’s store
Want to read more inspiring Start Up Stories? Just click on the image below
Giveaway terms and conditions –
UK entries only
The prize is –
1 x Award-winning hair elixir by Evolve Beauty to help repair the postpartum hormonal hair. Made with Moroccan organic Argan oil, organic Baobab and Tahitian Monoi.
1 x The Chocolate Society’s blonde chocolate and crushed espresso bean bar.
See them here –MrsRawlinson
Giveaway ends 18/03/2018 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
Anyone that does not complete the compulsory entry will be disqualified
The prize will be sent out to the winner by MrsRawlinson
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.