I love chatting to fellow small-biz owners about what gets them going and what grinds their gears about being your own boss. I have created a series of Q&As with some of my fave small brand owners in the hope we can share some behind the scenes insight into our lives as women in business.
Sa and I met at a Pop-Up Shop eagerly awaiting floods of customers to rush towards us, ready to buy our whole range. Needless to say, as is often the case in the world of retail, we instead spent time chatting all things start-up in the world of kids fashion.
I have to admit I came away from our first meeting with a full-blown girl crush, she is the LOVELIEST, and the Cub & Pudding range is beautiful - go check it out!
Who are ya?
Hulloo, I'm Sarah - although never a fan of people calling me that (aside from there being 4000 of us 80s babies in a square mile, it feels so formal!) so Sa to pals.
I'm 38, I'm mumma to Casper (6) and Edie (3) and Mrs to Glen, a Graphic Designer. We live in Crystal Palace and are constantly threatening to leave the London rat-race for the coast somewhere..but SE London is pretty super..so we'll see.
How and when did you come up with the idea for Cub & Pudding?
Ok so a couple of things led to it the big bang..
I was bored crapless in my job as a PA at a bank. I used to be a Features Writer once upon a time before bills and responsibility beckoned and I succumbed to a better-paid and lack-lustre job instead - a chance meeting with a life coach one day led to her unravelling many ideas of what I could do with myself to release the creativity into my life once more.
I'd always got a kick out of dressing my two kids outside of your 'run-of-the-mill' high street brands - many an hour and many a pound was spent on their European branded leggings and quirky printer gear and I loved it when people complimented me on their style so it felt a natural progression to have a go at creating my own kidswear brand.
Cub & Pudding were the names I gave Casper and Edie when I was pregnant with them - that was an easy win for me for a brand name at least!
What 3 things do you enjoy most in your job as Cub & Pudding Boss Lady?
- I love the flexibility (I do still work 3 days a week at the dreaded bank though) that I can wake up on a Thursday and Friday and the days are mine to use wisely but I'm not answerable to anyone but me..and the bank manager!...
- I love hearing people's comments on C&P wares, it oddly still hasn't sunk in that I've created this brand that's out there in the big wide world - I think you spend soo long back and forthing and tweaking with your designs that by the time they landed in my lap I was obviously excited but they weren't fresh to my eyes any more. Hearing people genuinely excited and seeing their little ones in the clothes I BROUGHT TO LIFE is priceless. That'll never get old.
- I'm in charge of my own destiny. I control the cards, I get to decide what's next and not forgetting the incredible people I have met along this journey. many of whom live in my phone on instagram but who've I been able to share support, woes, advice, laughs, highs and lows with. I've met some truly beautiful women on this journey so far and it's opened my eyes to just how much love there is out there.
What 3 things do you enjoy least?
- The money woes. Starting out just seems to be spend, spend, invest, invest and so much of it is trial and error. You don't know if that course on 'How to be a PR-whizzkid' is going to be a game-changer or money flushed down the loo...it's having the courage to just carry on investing and paying out money I pretty much don't have and hoping it pays off..
- The social media battle. I probably spend 4000 million hours a day on Instagram plugging away to promote the brand and engage with other brands and potential buyers. It's an addiction. Is it worth it? I'm not so sure...
- It being just me. There's no business partner to bounce ideas off and the fact I don't have a fashion background means I am often blinded by process that I know nothing about and Google being my only buddy in those tricky moments. Making decisions on whether to tweak a print a little this way or that way, yeah I can ask the husband but he's biased and will probably say the wrong thing without meaning to so that's a no-go!
Any advice for anyone starting out in the world of small biz ownership?
Always ask for help. Seek it. There are always answers somewhere. I'm a big believer in, 'if you don't ask, you don't get' - people may ignore you altogether, that's fine but you wondering and woeing won't solve a potential crisis. Reach out anywhere you can find an ally. Take inspiration from others who have done the same thing and ask them - making sure you can try and offer something in return, however tiny.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Cub & Pudding? Where do you see yourself in 3 years time?
I dream of a more diverse collection, experimenting with a wider range of fabrics and prints (cost means I'm restricted to a one-colour print at the moment which I want to change). I'd love to be employing a small team by then and be stocked internationally and on Smallable - my favourite luxe kids' site. I plan to launch more quirkly teasers with future collections such an illustrated story book to pair my my passion for reading with the brand's offering. More than anything I want to be widely recognised and widely worn - there feels nothing better than kids wearing my designs and people instantly knowing - "that must be from Cub & Pudding"..!
What’s your favourite breakfast?
On a healthy day - weetabix with strawberries and blueberries
On a non-guilt day - a proper European affair: warm croissants, amazing bread and jam, hot chocolate, yogurt with fruit puree... YUM (I have proper longing to be French!!)
Where can we find you?
Over here - www.cubandpudding.com and @cubandpudding on Instagram
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