We chat to Hollie de Cruz, creator of yesmum® cards and founder of London Hypnobirthing.
Hi Hollie, So tell us a bit about yesmum and what you do?
“I’m Hollie de Cruz, the Founder of London Hypnobirthing and the creator of yesmum® cards. I use my Instagram platform @theyesmummum to inspire and promote education, equality and empowerment opportunities … with a healthy sprinkling of positivity. I’m also mum to Oscar who’s 6 and live in South London with him and our sausage dog, Ruby.”
When did you launch the business and what was your inspiration?
“Well it all started with London Hypnobirthing which I launched in 2011 providing full hypnobirthing courses and workshops. In hypnobirthing we use a lot of positive affirmations as a way of ditching the embedded fear we have around birth and reprogramming the subconscious mind with positive messages about the experience. When we change the way we think, the way we experience things changes and I see this every day in my work with women (and myself). My approach to teaching has always been mindful and woman-centred. I hate any kind of “one size fits all” approach (especially in pregnancy) and I am not prescriptive about what a positive birth looks like, because I know how much it varies from woman to woman. I think my approach means that the women I work with know I genuinely care about them and am there to hold and nurture them through their pregnancies. That’s really lovely, but then it’s a bit like I disappear when they’ve had their babies, so I really wanted to create a tool that they could take with them through to motherhood and help continue all the positive, self-appreciation work they’d enjoyed in pregnancy. And that’s where the idea of YESMUM cards came from. I thought I’d just make 50 packs and see if any of my clients wanted to buy them, as well as giving some to friends to try out. They were more well received than I ever could have imagined, and it just goes to show how much we need this kind of simple positive reinforcement in our lives. When I put them on Instagram I had loads of people tagging their friends and saying “we need these” and it kind of took off from there. I now have 14 different ranges … and they’re not just for mums!”
What was your background?
“Before having my son I was working in a very male-dominated environment at a big corporate design agency. I worked really long hours, juggled stress and fun in equal measure and lived for the weekend. My pregnancy was completely unplanned, and I found that all quite frightening. None of my friends had children, in fact I’d never even held a newborn baby, let alone looked after one. As such, I felt pretty scared and disempowered. Then I stumbled upon the concept of hypnobirthing about half way through my own pregnancy and even though I was cynical at first it became a real game changer. Oscar’s birth was such a positive experience that I knew from the moment I held him I wanted to be involved in spreading the word of such an empowering movement for women, and that’s what inspired me to quit my job, train to become a hypnobirthing teacher and start building a business that I could run more flexibly around motherhood.”
What does a typical day look like?
“My days vary so much so I wouldn’t say any two are the same. Running my own business is amazing and testing in equal measures. I feel genuinely privileged to do something I love every single day but the sheer amount of work and responsibility can be overwhelming at times. I have to wear all the hats, so in one day I can go from teaching to studio logistics, to finance, admin, bookings, social media, design, print buying, marketing – crikey, it makes me a bit nauseous just writing the list! I hate how much I’m on my phone/laptop at times, but I’ve recently created an office space at home and taken on an assistant which has been brilliant. Having another pair of hands/brain and a space for my work self and a space for home/family self has been pivotal for my wellbeing, my family and the productivity of my business. I tend to start the day by taking Oscar to school and then a long dog walk, then come home and fire up my laptop for a day of work. I try and switch off in the evenings with a bit of yoga or a bath and am always in bed by 11pm. I’m a big believer in the power of a good night’s sleep!”
Where can we find your yesmum® cards?
“All our ranges are available at www.yesmumcards.com and we ship to every continent on a daily basis. We now have 14 ranges available (and some more in the pipeline!) providing positive fist-pumps for a real range of people from pregnant ladies, mothers, fathers and entrepreneurs, to kids and teens, right through to people struck by trauma or grief. Our latest range is yesmum® self love to help people with self-esteem and positive body image, which is one of my favourite ranges yet.”
Thanks Hollie! xx