We were excited to interview the mother behind Trotters; The first store dedicated solely to children. Catering from top to toe, and offering a fantastic range of clothes, shoes, books and toys, the store also boasts a magnificent hairdressing department with a giant fish tank.
Founded by Sophie Mirman and husband Richard Ross, the first Trotters store opened its doors in October 1990 at 34 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4UD.
‘Since the beginning, our ethos has not changed: to provide superb quality and an excellent shopping experience for both parents and their children’.
1. How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
My children are now grown up. Natasha, my eldest daughter, works with my husband and me in the business. My son William is studying in Toronto and my youngest daughter, Victoria, has just started a job in Sydney. Juggling is slightly easier now than when the children were small, but now involves an awful lot more traveling. When they were small, I was fortunate to have wonderful help at home.
2. What was your inspiration behind your brand: Trotters?
My children! Taking them to have their hair cut and get their shoes fitted which was always stressful experience. I wanted to create an environment that was fun for children and a shop that they felt was their own space. Trotters was designed with that in mind.
WAS FUN FOR CHILDREN AND A SHOP THAT THEY FELT WAS THEIR OWN SPACE.
3. Can you tell us what came first, the idea of hairdressing for children or clothes and toys?
All three, The concept of bringing everything under one roof and creating a fun environment. The clothes we now sell are designed and sold exclusively at Trotters as are many of the shoes.
4. What top tips would you give to any mum on starting her own business?
Be resilient, have patience, make sure you have good help and support at home always put your family first.
5. Can you tell us about starting a business and working along side your partner / husband – How does that affect (pros and cons) the family.
Inevitably, family businesses and family life tend to intertwine, my husband and I have always worked together and it is wonderful now having our eldest daughter woking alongside us. Board meetings tend to be over supper and all three children contribute with their thoughts and opinions. On the negative side, it is almost impossible to switch off completely.
6. What is your favorite ‘hang out’ spot in London with your children?
So many! One of my favorites is swimming in the serpentine with Victoria. She started dragging me there when she was training for a cross-channel swim and although she is now living in Australia I still go in once a week, come hell or high water. My children have made me discover parts of london that were unknown to me. It is such and exciting city to live in with so many different facets to discover.
7. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
Riding my bicycle between the shops. Total me time with no interruptions. I always take the scenic routes.
8. What does motherhood represent to you?
Everything. Motherhood changes your life and every stage represents different challenges. You have to keep your sense of humor throughout teenage years and as they enter each stage, your relationship with your children changes. Now that my children are grown up, we are great friends and enjoy each others’ conversation and company. I am very fortunate that my children all get on very well and are supportive of each other, event though they are all on different continents.
9. What do you love most about London?
The buzz and the internationality of each city. The green spaces. The amazing museums and galleries. The wonderful shopping.
10. What is the best family holiday?
One where we are all pulling in the same direction. Until recently, holidays were in our family home in france. With William in Canada and Victoria in Australia, our holidays are now much further flung, much to the disgust of Chester the family dog.
11. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
Enjoy every moment of motherhood. It is the most special gift in the world.