As working mums we always love working with and hearing about the stories of other businesses with a similar ethos. Fellow Devon mum and Founder of Mezaya Baby, Victoria Lowry, gives us the low down on her aspirations, achievements and what it's like to set up a business with a young child in tow...
Name: Victoria Lowry
Career Background: Former professional dancer, Wellbeing studio owner and designer & founder of baby carrier brand Mezaya Baby.
What was the inspiration/ motivation for setting up your business?
When I was pregnant with my first baby, my daughter Annabelle, like many mothers-to-be I did a lot of research into baby gear. The more I learnt about the benefits of babywearing, the more I knew it was something I wanted to try - but finding a carrier I liked aesthetically proved a challenge. I didn't want to feel like I was going hiking, when I was only nipping into town to run some errands or meeting a friend in a cafe. So I set out to create a range of carriers that would blend seamlessly into my wardrobe as well as my lifestyle - minimal, elegant in design and ethically sewn in the UK. I knew if I could find a carrier in which I FELT good, that would be a win win for both me and my baby.
What has been your biggest achievement since launching?
Having the honour to serve new parents in a positive way, knowing that our product is woven into their family story and into their daily life is an amazing feeling. Connecting online with the growing #mezayamum community is awesome - I love having that after sale connection and seeing the mums and babies behind the order number and continuing the conversation.
Where can you buy your products?
You can buy directly from the Mezaya website.
What are your main aspirations for your brand?
To continue reaching new mums and to continue making a positive impact in the world while growing the business. All our carriers are ethically sewn in South Devon.
Where are your top recommendations for places out, both independent and chains that you have found to be baby friendly? (Can be Devon or National)
When I had my first baby and I wore her in her Mezaya wrap or sling, I don’t remember ever feeling unwelcome in any cafes, restaurants or places out. If I timed it right in a restaurant she’s just sleep in the carrier. Using a sling made breastfeeding so discreet that no one ever really noticed what we were doing - I could also sense her cues pretty well having her so close to me so I could feed her or she’d just naturally sleep before the crying started. If i’d arrive with a buggy and take up space that’s when I’d get the looks and feel unwelcome! So I guess to answer the question most places have seemed to be pretty baby friendly...toddler friendly is another matter though!
Are you working on any new launches or exciting projects you can share?
Yes lots in the pipeline! I can’t give too many details at this point but it’s all pretty exciting.
What are the challenges/ good things about starting a business as a mum?
The challenges are always there, time is a huge challenge at the moment as my little ones are still so small and not yet at school or nursery full time. So I try to work as productively as possible during the edges of the day and at night. It’s a constant balancing act keeping life in perspective and to be there for them when they need me.
Do you have any top tips for parents who want to start their own business?
I heard this somewhere and it stuck with me - before pursuing a business idea ask yourself:
- Will it have a positive impact in the world?
- Will it be fun to do?
- Will you be able to make a living from it?
If YES to all three than go explore it!
Who inspires you, both as a mum and as a business owner?
My Mother is inspirational to me - she’s pursued business and raised a family, she’s made of steel and i’m so grateful we live close by and can see lots of each other.
Do you have any stress-busting tips for mums juggling work and family?
Write lots of lists. It really helps release stress when I write everything down. So simple but so effective!!
When you are not busy working, what do you like to do to unwind?
I love studio pilates! The reformer machines are amazing and i’ve found it the best thing for my body after two babies to help me get back into shape. It gives me my one hour a week to myself. I also love making things and need to get creative to fill my soul!