1. Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.
Madeline Walsh, Founder of online baby and toddler store Me & Buddy. Two children, Darcy aged six and Cillian aged two.
2. What was your inspiration behind your business?
When both of my children were small I found it difficult to find baby and toddler products that were not only supremely practical but also looked fantastic in a modern home. Me & Buddy is a unique place for parents looking for the very best baby and toddler brands, both established and emerging. Even better, it’s all under one roof and we even deliver next day.
3. How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
It’s always a fine balancing act which often feels as though it could tip at any minute! Organisation is key, so I use to do lists and shared calendars a lot. When I started Me & Buddy I knew it would be impossible without good childcare, as my husband also has a very demanding job. So we kept our existing childcare arrangements in place. I work longer hours now than ever but at least I have the flexibility to decide when, where and how I work.
4. What top tips would you give to any mum on starting her own business?
Firstly, have confidence in yourself and don’t be so afraid of failure that you don’t even want to try. I’ve been there!
Secondly, whilst it’s true that an element of success is luck, I’m a firm believer that the main keys to success in business are:
– an honest and rigourous assessment of your chosen market, on an ongoing basis;
– old-fashioned hard work; and
– a fundamental unwillingness to fail.
Also, don’t underestimate the time and financial commitment involved, so allow yourself a decent buffer in both areas!
5. What do you love most about London & do you have a favourite spot with your children?
I love the diversity, the tolerance, the highbrow and the lowbrow! My favourite spot is around High Street Kensington and South Kensington, with the museums and my two favourite shops, Whole Foods and Skandium.
6. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
Those rare but valuable times when my focus is primarily on myself, not the family or the business. I usually find this time when I’m practising yoga and pilates, although I have to stop my mind from wandering back to my to do list!
7. I am a Mum and…
I am a mum and it has changed me in ways I never imagined!
8. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
My favourite thing about parenthood is watching my kids grow into funny, kind, bright little people. My least favourite thing is seeing them poorly and not being able to fix it immediately.
9. Tell us something people don’t know about you.
I’m still a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor. Some things are hard to give up!
10. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – being a mother is a very broad role and one person’s idea of “good” is likely to be very different from someone else’s. Be a mother in your own way, in the way that suits your kids and your family. Also, don’t believe everything you see on social media – it’s very rarely the whole picture.