This week I am really excited to introduce Sophie to my Parents in Business series who created Sprout, a wonderful hub for new and expecting parents to reward themselves with a discounted treat, and wow, there are some lovely products on the website for new and expecting Mums. I wish that I had known about this when I was expecting Freya and Bertie.
I loved reading Sophie’s story about how she got from A to B, and how she ended up setting up Sprout. Do have a read of Sophie’s story, it’s super inspiring and makes you realise that there is a lot to setting up your own business.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I’m Sophie, mother to one (soon to be two) and living in London with my husband. I started my career in retail after graduating from Cardiff University. I went from retail to recruitment and then progressed into HR. When I took maternity leave in 2018 for my first son, I came up with the idea of Sprout having found a new interest in the community of motherhood and the journey that it involves.
Sprout is the first ever discount platform exclusively for new and expecting parents. Membership is for 18 months and mothers can join at any point between pregnancy and their baby turning one. Your membership gives you access to discounts across leading brands and retailers. The concept is all about supporting new parents who are preparing for and adjusting to life with a newborn while dealing with the challenge of maternity/paternity pay.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
I have always wanted to start my own business but just have never had an idea I have wanted to pursue. My husband has his own Company and I have always been really inspired by him. When I came up with the idea for Sprout, it quickly became a concept that I felt really passionate about; supporting new parents at a really tricky time and the more people fedback that it was a good idea and something that was needed, the more motivated I became. I found having a baby really tough and adjusting to maternity pay was a financial pressure which we really had to plan for. My spending habits changed while on maternity leave and it just seemed crazy that there wasn’t anything out there like students get when studying, offering new mothers discounts on brands to get them through that first year.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
It is definitely a tough one to do! I am lucky in that my son goes to nursery three days a week, so I have those days to really focus on Sprout. The other days are more of a balancing act where I work when he naps and in the evenings. I try and switch off from it all at the weekends so I can have as much family time as possible. My second baby is due in April so that will present a new challenge, but I am sure it will all work out! It helps that I enjoy working on Sprout, so it doesn’t feel like a chore in anyway.
Since setting up your business what’s been your biggest success to date?
I think just getting to where I am now with Sprout has been my greatest achievement. A year ago, when I came up with the idea, I had no idea where to start. People would ask me technical questions about the concept, and I didn’t have the answers because it was only an idea at that stage. Fast forward and I have launched the business with brands on board and customers signing up which feels incredible. I’ve had to have so many different hats on throughout the process and it has been such an amazing learning curve!
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Do your research on the idea. Find out who your competitors are and talk to everybody you know about it to get feedback and establish whether the concept is needed and one that people would want to engage with. Surround yourself with experts! There is no way you can have the answers to everything and just because it is your business doesn’t mean you need to know everything so don’t be afraid to ask people for help or advice. It is ok to not know it all and sharing ideas helps you create a great network of inspiration which will be so valuable long term.
Thank you so much Sophie for being part of my series, it has been lovely to feature you and I wish you all the best in the future.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: email@example.com. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Talented Ladies Club, The Shoe Consultant, and Baba+Boo.