We have been chatting to one of our lovely retailers, Madeline from Me & Buddy…
When did you start Me and Buddy?
The idea for Me & Buddy had been building for a few years, as I realised after having my daughter, then my son, that there was a gap in the market. I decided in April this year to leave my career in finance, started working on it full time at the end of May and launched it on 1st September. It was a busy summer!
Tell us a bit about the business?
I’ve always loved the quote from textile designer William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”, which I think is a great approach to buying for your home. But once you have babies it becomes really difficult to live like this, as they need so much stuff which is often neither useful nor beautiful.
I wanted to change that, so I created a new kind of baby and toddler store with a wide range of baby and toddler products that have to be beautiful and useful. These products fit into parents’ lifestyles and their home’s modern aesthetic. I knew that other parents would love to be able to find these great products all under one roof, without having to pay multiple shipping charges or waiting for them to arrive from far-flung corners of the world.
How many children do you have?
My daughter Darcy is about to turn six and my son Cillian is 21 months. My nickname for each of them is Buddy, hence the name of our store “Me & Buddy”. They are both lovely kids and, despite being four years apart, they absolutely adore each other. I hope it always stays that way!
How do you juggle family and business?
Good question – 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 to do it without good childcare, as my husband has a very demanding job. So, we kept our existing childcare arrangements in place and I treat Me & Buddy as a full-time job. In fact, I’ve worked longer hours on Me & Buddy than I’ve ever worked and I have to make sure it doesn’t spill over into family time.
Best thing about running your own business?
I love that I have the final say over all decisions, and I’ve been surprised that rather than finding this scary, I actually have complete confidence in my own decisions. It has been incredibly empowering. I also love the flexibility and being able to go to my daughter’s plays or my son’s football classes without having to ask anyone for permission. I have gone from being a risk-averse accountant to being an entrepreneur on an unpredictable but incredibly exciting and fulfilling journey.
Favourite Mama Designs product?
I love them all, but my favourite has to be the Babasac. It is totally Me & Buddy – baby gear that is beautiful as well as incredibly practical. I love that it is a year-round sleeping bag with an extra layer that zips out. So it is fantastic value as well as being totally gorgeous. In fact, to celebrate our partnership with Mama Designs we’re currently offering 10% off both the Babasac with yellow trim and with turquoise trim until 14th November – just use the code BUDDYBABASAC10 at the checkout.
Thanks Madeline! x