I’ve long wanted to start a series of interviews with female entrepreneurs here on the blog. I love hearing how a business has come to be, what drives the person behind it and I think it’s important to support independent retailers whether on the high street or online.
So for today’s Fashion Fridays post I’m super excited to feature the lovely Carla from online boutique Mama et Moi as my first interview.
Carla spotted that I have a thing for dungarees and kindly sent Caspian a pair from one of brands she stocks at Mama et Moi. We love these unisex corduroy and wool overalls from Hackney based company What Mother Made. They are super versatile. I paired them with a colourful scandi vest for a funky and fun look and created a more classic outfit by pairing them with a checkered shirt. Which do you prefer?
They have adjustable straps, so should see us through a couple of growth spurts and lots of detail in form of pockets and contrasting lining. They move well with Caspian and he’s very comfortable to play and explore. They’ve already become a firm wardrobe favourite.
Overall (pun intended) I was really impressed with the quality and from speaking with Carla I suspect that this is very important to her and something you can except from all the products she carries in the shop.
Scandimummy: “Carla, welcome to the blog. Tell me a little about yourself?”
Carla: “Thank you for having me. Okay, a little about me… I have three gorgeous nieces and one handsome nephew who call me Auntie Boo Boo (don’t ask!) I believe that family and friends are the most important things in life, and with love and laughter we can overcome anything. One of my passions is to travel and I think that could have a lot to do with having grown up in Canada so the travel bug got instilled early on. I have visited Asia and Africa which I love, and my parents lived in Spain for 11 years. I love to read and my secret guilty pleasure is taking the children to the cinema to see the latest kids films, because maybe I want to see one or two of them, too!”
ScandiMummy: “Ha ha, that’s a great excuse to indulge and often the children’s movies are fantastic and very entertaining, so I’m with you on that one. I love your shop Mama et Moi, how long have you been going?”
Carla: “Thank you. We are still in the baby stage of the business. We are relatively new having only launched Mama et Moi six months ago but the idea has been in the planning stages over the last couple of years. I very much believe in timing and that things happen when they are supposed to. I am very excited to be able to share our journey and hope everyone will love Mama et Moi as much as I do.”
Scandimummy: “How did you decide on the name Mama et Moi?”
Carla: “I have known over the last few years that I wanted to open a boutique for mums and children but the biggest obstacle I faced was actually finding a name I loved and one, everyone could relate to. Names would come and go over time, until literally one day the name just hit me. I would love to have some extravagant story to share but I really think being very family orientated myself and the connections I have with France and Spain possibly helped. I found myself saying the name Mama et Moi over and over and thought it’s the one. I love it! I thought the best thing to do was to put it towards my toughest critics, my nieces and nephew ranging from 2 up to 7. I must admit the looks I got when I asked them were funny, as you can imagine, but all that week they kept saying Mama et Moi. It was very catchy to them, so I knew it was the right choice!”
ScandiMummy: “What made you choose children’s clothes and maternity wear?”
Carla: “I have always loved children’s fashion and I think I got inspired more so when my nieces and nephew were born as I always wanted to try and find that something different for them to wear, that je ne sais quoi that would also offer them comfort and a chance to be unique. I also wanted to incorporate mums as again it’s so hard to find good maternity clothes that offer style and variety and something I really hope to expand.”
ScandiMummy: “Yes, I wish your shop was around when I was pregnant as I did struggle to find exactly that in the later stages. How do you choose which brands to feature in the shop?”
Carla: “There are several points I look for when I source brands for Mama et Moi. I love the European style which is one reason why I’ve gone with the brands I have. But I also believe we have some amazing talent here in the UK. Rachel Riley is a gorgeous designer with her vintage style inspiration and Little Butterfly London organic products are amazing, great for both Mama and Child. Good quality is very important, too. We want the clothes to be comfortable without comprising on style and to be as natural as possible.”
ScandiMummy: “I love this about your shop and that is exactly what I found with the dungarees from What Mother Made, too. The quality is exceptional. I understand social responsibility and giving back is important to you as well?”
Carla: “Yes, I’m very passionate about wanting to give something back where we can. Whether that is through the brands we use or being able to give back in other ways. For example Patachou has their Spreading Smiles concept which we are so happy to be able to support. They will give an item of clothing to a child in need for every three items they sell. They are very keen on developing their social responsibility project and we want to help support them and hope our customers will too. Other brands like Pigeon Organics also have great social responsibility and again a brand we are very happy to work with.”
ScandiMummy: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Carla: “My little mantra has been from small acorns big oak trees grow and I truly hope in five years time we can keep growing Mama et Moi and I am very excited to be starting on this journey and see where it takes us.”
ScandiMummy: “Thank you for coming on the blog. It’s been a pleasure talking with you and learning more about Mama et Moi. We wish you all the best for the future!”
Carla: “Thank you so much.”
If you are looking for something different either for yourself, your children or as a gift I can’t recommend Mama et Moi enough. Happy shopping!
What do you look for when buying clothes, toys and accessories for children?