I started a business with a baby: Jill Taylor Ali of Tulahberry Mother & Baby

  • Tell us a little about your business

We started Tulahberry Mother & Baby when our daughter was 1yr old.  Tulahberry is a natural, organic, skin kind mother & baby e-commerce website; we sell babywear and toddler clothing, shoes, accessories, skin creams and lotion all suitable for mums and babies – we use organic cotton and bamboo and as much as possible organic and fairtrade ingredients.

  • What was your job before starting your business?

My previous job was in a Complementary Therapy Clinic as an admin assistant.  I have also been a Complementary Therapist for many years but took ‘time out’ for another baby.

  • How did you go from your old career to your new business?

The decision came about when I was forced out of my job after requesting more flexible working hours and my boss was unable to offer me anything other than my traditional working hours.  (I worked part time hours in the middle of the day and child care costs became more than my earning potential) My job then duly ‘disappeared’ and I was offered a shift pattern that was totally unsuitable.

  • What were your reasons for starting a business?

Starting my own business was a way in which I could contribute financially and emotionally as well as being able to spend as much time as possible with my baby (I now also home school my oldest child with Special Needs).  It is also a way in which I can regain a bit of ‘me’ without feeling that I am away too much.

  • Did you use any childcare?

I work around nap times and in the evenings mostly – however my mum also has my daughter 1 morning a week and in September she will start pre-school one morning.

  • How did you get your business idea?

Our business idea came about partly from my roots in complementary therapy and partly due to the fact we had a new baby and we all have sensitive skin and allergies. It just seemed to ‘make sense’.

  • What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?

The challenges mainly have come from cash flow without the need for bank loans. We have found the suppliers that meet our needs quite easily.  Obviously the biggest challenge is the economic climate and lack of spending power for everybody.

  • What training, information or advice did you need to get started?

We spoke to business link and to the bank, wrote a business plan, did seemingly accurate financial predictions and spent a lot of time researching businesses and working from our beliefs.  It is no good starting a business you don’t wholeheartedly believe in.

  • If you could give one  piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

For other mums out there wanting the freedom and flexibility to work from home I would say “go for it – but with patience”.  It takes a long time, determination, belief in yourself and your idea.  But fitting it around a baby, childcare, illnesses, lack of sleep, etc is hard work.

Starting Tulahberry has been a dream come true and if I can do – so can you… Good luck x

www.tulahberry.com

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