The Mum Club Featuring Don't Buy Her Flowers
We all love a bunch of flowers every now and then don't get us wrong but when you have a baby, or a major life event your house can turn into a bit of a florist! Plus sometimes flowers just don't quite cut the mustard. Introducing Don't buy her flowers, the wonderfully thoughtful gifting service that bundles together some of your favourite brands to send someone a TLC package they can indulge in. Making the recipient feel really looked after. We caught up with Founder and one of Instagrams favourite mumtrepenuers Steph to find out a little more about the women behind the brand...
MY NAME IS … Steph Douglas
MY BRAND IS… Don’t Buy Her Flowers. We sell thoughtful gift packages for anyone in need of some TLC – new mums, get well, birthday, bereavement and lots of other occasions. We’re also working with lots of corporates for their gifting requirements, and have developed a Man Package in response to customers asking for it, so things have organically developed somewhat, but thoughtfulness is at the centre of all our packages.
I LIVE IN…St Margarets, between Richmond and Twickenham
I FEEL MOST AT HOME… when we’re mooching around the local area at the weekend and have no plans, nowhere to be and noone to please but ourselves. The kids are always more relaxed which means we’re more relaxed and we then all start the week in a good place.
I AM A MUM AND… I am learning that I am the person that most needs to go easy on myself. I think sometimes it’s positioned that women and especially mothers are really judgmental of each other. In reality, there are a few people like that but mostly we’re just very hard on ourselves, and we go through phases of feeling judged because we’re worried about whether we’re ‘doing’ it right. Our generation are pioneers – we’re trying to juggle more and prove that we can do everything while being excellent mothers and friends and partners and sometimes it’s exhausting. We all need to be a bit kinder to ourselves.
THINGS THAT KEEP ME AWAKE AT NIGHT…everything! I go to sleep fine but tend to wake up and stay awake for an hour or so most nights. My brain kicks in and I start running through my to-do list. It could be whether I’ve signed a form from nursery, have we booked something we were supposed to or have I responded to that work email that was urgent. I’m not very good at emptying my head.
WHEN I GREW UP I WANTED TO BE…a TV presenter. Or a Broadway star.
MY FIRST STEPS TAKEN TO START MY BRAND WERE... I started a blog Sisterhood (and all that) before I started Don’t Buy Her Flowers. Starting the business felt like too big a leap, so I challenged myself to start the blog while I was still in my old job – writing honestly about motherhood and relationships with the idea that we’re all in it together and none of us really knows what we’re doing. It went really well, and that gave me the confidence to quit my job and start the business.
THE HARDEST PART OF MOTHERHOOD IS…just as you think you’ve cracked a phase, whether it’s sleep or potty training or starting school, another one comes along. You are never done. That relentlessness can be overwhelming sometimes.
THIS KEEPS ME SANE...my female friendships. I’ve gathered some awesome ladies over the years, who are all extremely honest and kind and daft and those are the things I look for in a friend. My husband Doug is pretty good at helping me stop and calm down too!
I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT (PHYSICAL OBJECT)... I’m afraid to say it’s my iPhone.
MY BIGGEST RISK...I think it should probably be starting the business, but I’ve realised that even if it all fell apart tomorrow, I have learned so much and am so much more employable than I was before starting. We have been reasonably sensible and built gradually over the first two years rather than putting hundreds of thousands of pounds in to something before we knew it worked. I think as long as you’re not risking your home or relationship starting a business, you will learn SO much that as long as you’re willing to know when to stop if it’s not working, you’ll learn invaluable lessons you can use in so many other areas.
MY BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT...aside from my family, it has to be Don’t Buy Her Flowers. I never planned to run a business, but it’s going so well and those first two years were incredibly hard work. I wasn’t great at stopping and recognising how far we’d come. Now we’re two years in, we’ve grown month on month, we have a brilliantly loyal, growing customer base and now we have premises and staff and I’m building a team that can work flexibly because work shouldn’t be someone’s whole life. It’s really exciting.
MY BEST PIECE OF ADVICE…stay focused. Every business owner I’ve ever spoken to has said to stay focused, and I think it’s important in lots of ways – to not divert too quickly from your original plan and idea, and to not worry about what other people are doing (which is challenging when it’s so visible with social media). I find it really helpful to speak to business owners that have been going for a while – they often say the same things and they’ve been there and done it so it’s sensible to listen!
AND LASTLY A PERSONAL ONE! I WOULD HAVE DONE THIS DIFFERENTLY IN MY LABOUR…nothing! I had two really good labours, which I think probably sounds unusual because a lot of women are terrified of giving birth and I almost feel like it’s showing off to say mine were good, but I think people could do with hearing the positive stories too. Don’t get me wrong, it chuffing hurt, but maybe because my mum was a midwife and had lots of babies, I felt really calm and my body kind of took over.