I’ve started a brand, like a real life fully fledged business. I still can not believe I’m typing these words. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to start my own business, more specifically a clothing brand. It took becoming a mama for me to get badass and find my inner brave to make those dreams a reality and launch Family Merch.
Before we get into this you’d better get comfy and make a brew, cos this may take a while.
Let’s take things back to 2009. I graduated uni full of optimism and a 2.1 in Fashion Business. I was dead set that I’d be a fashion designer with my own boss lady business. I’d been with my now husband for 9 years and we got engaged that summer and moved in together shortly after. During my time at uni I worked part time as a youth leader for a local charity. The manager retired and long story short I applied for his job and got it. I told myself I’d be stupid not to take it as we had a wedding to pay for and a tiny damp ridden maisonette (behind an Indian take away) to furnish and pay rent for. I figured I’d take the job but look for a role in fashion later. That fashion role never happened. Over the years I worked my up the ladder for various youth charities.
The thing is I always had a need for a more creative outlet. So I’d occasionally make my own clothes, I started a blog, a youtube channel and taught myself video editing. It was fun, exciting and for a while fulfilled the need to be creative.
In 2016 I became pregnant with my eldest Gray and as much as I enjoyed the blog and youtube channel it wasn’t quite enough. I’d also been promoted and found that my work load was increasing meaning less time to be creative and ultimately be with my family. The seed’s for Family Merch were planted while on maternity leave with Gray. I had loads of idea’s buzzing around my head for possible products and designs but I had no clue where to begin with it all. To be honest I spent the next 2 years going back and forth with the idea of a brand based around families but just didn’t have the details laid out. I tried enlisting friends to partner with me, as the idea of going solo as a boss mama was pretty freaking terrifying. Despite my efforts to recruit a business partner from my tiny circle failing I kept the idea alive.
Then earlier this year I came to a realisation no one was going to care more about this than me, and I could do it alone. I’d made a decision that I wanted to find a way to earn a living while being there for my family more. My day job had become increasingly demanding and I just needed a change. I settled on starting with t-shirts. It’s funny once I came up with the concept of my first slogan (Wonder Mama, I'll share the story behind that tee soon hun) the brand name and a number of other pieces fell into place.
During the latter part of pregnancy with Jude, when I wasn't at my day job, I continued to develop design idea's and searching out suppliers. Pregnancy with Jude took an unexpected turn which slowed things down a bit. Once Jude made his appearance and we were settled at home, I picked things back up again. Before I knew it, I'd bought a web domain, got samples made, social media handles, I even got an accountant! Family Merch was legit and so a brand was born.