This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to introduce to you Debbie who has created this amazing business; Little Bundle Box for parents to capture the important milestone of the birth of their child, whilst also treating parents during this special time. I must say that they are a beautiful gift and would make a lovely treat for parents who have just had a baby.
I loved reading Debbie’s story about how she and her Mum have set up the business together (two heads are definitely better than one), and how they have made a success of it. Becoming a parent definitely makes us re-evaluate our careers to find a role that works around family, and in Debbie’s case she did just that.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
Hi, I’m Debbie, Co-Founder of Little Bundle Box an online baby gift business. My professional background is in Design, Editorial and Management, with a splash of Production and Marketing for good measure. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a varied career working mainly in the Publishing sector and then for an Aussie skincare brand in Melbourne. I’ve utilised those skills and experience to launch Little Bundle Box, from liaising with manufacturers who produced our signature Keepsake Cases, designing EDM’s, writing up press releases, to packing our gorgeous gifts.
I currently live in Manchester with my husband Rowan and daughter, Ariana (2). We lived in Melbourne for 9 years, moving back in 2017 to be closer to family. Australia is such an amazing place to live and work, but the pull of family was too great once Ariana was born. There was also another major reason to move back – to set up Little Bundle Box with my Mum. We offer beautiful baby gifts in stylish keepsake cases, which can be purchased conveniently online. Our unique little suitcases are completed with a white leather luggage tag to record baby’s birth details. Perfect to hold those special mementos that mark a child’s milestones through life. We wanted to cater for customers who were looking for something different to nappy cakes or wicker hampers and baskets.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
I left my full time job as a Creative Manager in 2015 to go freelance just prior to my pregnancy. Juggling a demanding role with IVF cycles was leaving me feeling burnt out and Rowan and I felt we weren’t getting anywhere. I needed more flexibility and some downtime. Amazingly a few months later, the next IVF cycle worked and I was pregnant. Working at home was fantastic throughout my pregnancy and when Ariana was born, I knew I wanted it to continue, but I also had the burning desire to set up my own business; to be my own boss and build a brand from the ground up.
My Mum flew to Melbourne to help out with Ariana and indulge in being a (long-awaited) Nana. She had taken early retirement that year, but was already feeling restless. She still wanted to continue her career in some capacity and we started talking about how wonderful it would be to set up a business together. On one of our pram walks we began discussing keepsake boxes for Ariana and with growing excitement, imagined starting our own baby gift business offering beautiful gifts presented in special suitcases. That spark of an idea led to us taking the plunge when I returned to the UK. Eighteen months later Little Bundle Box was born.
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
Ariana goes to a local childminder three days a week, which gives me dedicated time on the business. On the days I’m with her, I try to be fully present (although I can’t help a quick peek at my emails now and then). It was a hard time going through IVF and now even on the worst ‘terrible two’s’ days, I am so very grateful for her. Every day I tell Ariana, ‘thank you for being here’ which she probably thinks is funny – after all, I live here Mummy! Once she goes to bed, I work another hour or two before some personal downtime. Running your own business does mean working unsociable hours – customer emails come through at all times of day and some of our suppliers are mum run businesses too, who email after their kids bedtime. I’m happy to work nights to keep building the business I’m passionate about. Of course my Mum works full-time and keeps everything running smoothly on my non-work days, plus my husband Rowan will take Ariana out at the weekend if I need to catch up on work. I’m lucky to have a fantastic support network, but always wish there were a few more hours in a day!
Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?
I feel like we’ve just launched, but it’s been 8 months of trading now and each month our sales have grown, which is so motivating. Our first baby show at the SEC in Glasgow was a resounding success. We made a healthy profit and the feedback was sensational. After months of product sourcing, designing and finding a manufacturer for our Keepsake Cases, then creating our gift bundles, it was so reassuring and literally thrilling that they were so well received. Some of the feedback from that event also encouraged us to add a ‘build your own’ gift bundle section to our website. So alongside the ‘set’ gift bundles, customers also have a choice to mix and match products to suit themselves and their budget.We have three more baby shows planned for the first half of this year, are looking to expand our range, and have some great articles about the business coming up in the press, so watch this space!
What are your top tips for parents who are thinking about setting up their own business?
Research your chosen area of business thoroughly and work out what your point of difference is. What makes you or your product stand out from the crowd? For us, it’s our signature Keepsake Cases and the high quality baby products we sell. Also keep chipping away every day. Building a business takes time and dedication. Write down your goals and keep visualising your success especially on your down days.
Most importantly love what you do and remember why and who you are working so hard for.
Thank you so much Debbie for letting me feature you and Little Bundle Box on my blog. I loved reading your story and all the best of luck for 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Space at 61, Freshly Spiced, and Hesford Media,