“Also, the fact that I have breastfed 3 children for a combined 54 months makes me think that I have some idea of what I am talking about and trying to achieve. My 8-year-old daughter’s always saying to me don’t give up mummy, soon enough more people will know how good your clothes are and they will start to buy more. This I can only hope for and how can I not push on with such encouraging words?!”
I was upset to learn that the UK has the lowest rate of breastfeeding mums in the world. I’m of the opinion that each family – and perhaps more so each mum – should do what suits them and their needs. Though I wish there was more support for breastfeeding mothers here.
Having recently discovered Stylish Mamas, a new UK fashion brand that specialises in breastfeeding friendly wear. The black Bella dress I wore to BritMums Live this year is so soft and comfortable not to mention super practical with zips to allow easy access, when you have a hungry baby on your hands. So I was keen to learn more about this new company and it’s founder, Amelia.
ScandiMummy: “Hi Amelia. Welcome to ScandiMummy.com. Firstly, tell me… What made you start Stylish Mamas?”
Amelia: “It was a combination of different things but ultimately it was my love of fashion. I adore fashion and I think how someone dresses says a lot about them. It’s important to take care of your personal image and not lose your identity, especially after having a baby, as it’s quite easy to do so without even realising it.
I wanted clothes that made me feel good and represented my personality even as a breastfeeding mum. I am very particular about what I like and usually struggle to find clothes that I like. So one day I started playing with the idea of how I could make my own clothes breastfeeding friendly. I thought how about just adding a zip on either side..! That way I can still wear my clothes and keep my style. And so the concept was born and I just took it from there!”
ScandiMummy: “What has been the hardest part of getting a business off the ground?”
Amelia: “Trying to make it work with 3 small children, a husband (who is more like a child himself, haha, and working long hours). Also, running a household and making sure everyone is happy and fed on time! There’s been months where I’ve survived on four hours sleep a night and questioned my decision to start a business.
Being a new brand and clothing line is very hard. People are usually very skeptical and it all comes down to building that level of trust where your customers feel comfortable enough to want to buy products from you. With so much global competition and technology around, people are less trusting when it comes to small and new brands, which is understandable. It’s up to you to build relationships with your buyers and reassure them that you are genuine and have their best interest at heart.
Some days it feels like challenges seem to be emerging left, right and centre and on other days it feels like I am slowly getting there which is what keeps me going. Also, the fact that I have breastfed 3 children for a combined 54 months makes me think that I have some idea of what I am talking about and trying to achieve. My 8-year-old daughter’s always saying to me don’t give up mummy, soon enough more people will know how good your clothes are and they will start to buy more. This I can only hope for and how can I not push on with such encouraging words?!”
ScandiMummy: “How do you think fashion can help new mums have a successful breastfeeding journey?”
Amelia: “I like to think that fashion is a representation of who we are as individuals. More often than not, when someone has a baby we tend to lose our identity in all the baby chaos and most of us tend to put our self-image on the back shelf which is very understandable.
Your new baby literally turns your entire world upside down and fashion is usually the least of your worries. Our message is that it doesn’t have to be! Sometimes just putting on your favourite top or dress can do wonders for your self-esteem which is very important when you start breastfeeding.
With so many challenges that come with breastfeeding, taking care of yourself so that you also feel good about yourself should be a priory, even if it’s just putting on your best outfit. Sadly most people tend to ignore this and think that it is just trivial.
There is more to breastfeeding than meets the eye and a positive self-image plays a more important role than most people realise. At Stylish Mamas we try to keep this in mind and design clothes that still have a touch of feminism with the practicality of easy access to accommodate your breastfeeding needs. I think more often than not, fashion plays a big part in our self-esteem. Someone’s more likely to take care of their personal image when they feel good about themselves which is very important especially after having a baby. You need to pamper yourself a more to get there but it’s something worth some serious consideration.”
ScandiMummy: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Amelia: “I would like to think that in five years time we will be a common household name that people will associate with breastfeeding. I like to think that every mother out there deserves to look good. We are always happy to engage with our customers and listen to their feedback. After all, we are trying to meet their needs so who better to tell us what they want!
We also have a blog which looks at different topics within breastfeeding and hopefully our audience will find this helpful and insightful during their breastfeeding journey. It’s always a good idea to have that supportive community around you when you breastfeed. Whether be it online or at your local centre because having somewhere where you can go and voice your concerns is very important. So hopefully in five years we will also be that community for breastfeeding mothers while still providing stylish breastfeeding clothes as well.”
I love how discreet this dress is. It simply looks like he’s having a cuddle even though he’s actually latched and feeding here.
You can find the whole collection here.
If you enjoyed this interview check out the rest of the series of interviews with female entrepreneurs.