How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother of four?
Most days I leave the shop at 3pm and do the school run and I try to never work weekends or holidays. I know this won’t be forever but the balance is very important so family comes first and at the moment I am lucky enough to have the flexibility to allow me to do it. I am also quite strict about not answering emails and calls when I am not at work.
These days work can be 24hrs if you let it.
What was your inspiration behind your toy shop Honeyjam Toys?
When we opened Honeyjam 10yrs ago there was very little choice.
Most Toyshops were stacked high like supermarkets and all seemed to sell the same high street brands.
We longed for the toyshops of our childhood with toys that look great and only need imagination (not batteries or apps) to bring them to life.
What top tips would you give to any mum on starting her own business?
Don’t try and do everything yourself team work is the key to balance & very important “when in doubt do without”….
What is your biggest accomplishment in life?
As a mother I’m sure I am not alone in thinking my children are my biggest accomplishment but I can’t say that I did that alone – I couldn’t have done it without my super supportive husband. I am also super proud of what Jasmine and I have created in Honeyjam and looking forward to expanding our own label products. We love designing our own products and it really does feel like and accomplishment when customers love them too.
What is your favourite hang out in London with your children?
Honeyjam of course but when I was a child we always went to China town for dim sum. Sadly my favourite restaurant is not there any more but my kids love Wing Tai at Staples Corner which serve mountains of yummy dim sum and on your birthday will play Happy Birthday and the whole restaurant sings (much to my kids embarrassment). After lunch you can visit the huge oriental supermarket Wing Yip. They have an extraordinary fish counter with live fish and is almost like an aquarium and aisle after aisle of weird and unknown food products.
How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
My favourite ‘me-time’ at the moment is my Friday morning Hatha Yoga class a whole hour out of the pace of life….phone off, nothing to focus on except my breath. So really I suppose I would define ‘me-time’ as the small moments where you just actually allow yourself to switch off.
I am a Mum and I feel proud.
What do you love most about London?
I have lived in London all my life and I love that I still walk down a street and find something new. I love that London still inspires me and even though it is always changing some things never change. Like the Elfin Oak (in Kensington Gardens) every time I go I see something new and I have visited it my whole life.
With Christmas fast approaching, what has been your most memorable family Christmas for you?
The Christmas’s of your own childhood are the ones that you remember the most. When it was truly magic, as an adult you are trying to create the same magic for your children. My childhood Christmas were spent at my grandparents in Northumberland. My mother was one of six children so we were surrounded with cousins and almost guaranteed snow. The whole school holidays were either spent playing in front of a roaring fireplace or sledging outside…it was so fun. Being an 80’s child I particularly remember the Christmas I was given coloured hair spray and spent the whole holiday with red and green hair trying to be a punk.
Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
Everyone mother does it differently and there is no right or wrong way.
My eldest daughter is 22yrs old and my youngest is now 8yrs old and the advice I was given during each pregnancy changed massively. Also to remember that every stage is just a stage whether it’s weaning, potty training, sleeping through the night and each child is different so new challenges will always arise but you will find the way that is right for you.