The Mum Club Featuring Tease & Totes
We are huge fans of Tease and Totes, not only do they make brilliant apparel that empower women they also donate a percentage of each item to some fabulous charities such as Worldreader and Maggies. Their instagram page is drenched in GIRL POWER! Which we are ALL about.
MY NAME IS … Natalie Bardega
MY BRAND IS…Tease and Totes - an empowering platform for women on the rise
I LIVE IN…North London
I FEEL MOST AT HOME….With my family and friends or by the ocean.
I AM A BRAND OWNER AND..A twin out of 4 sets in our family and I’m also Dyslexic
THINGS THAT KEEP ME AWAKE AT NIGHT…Probably like lots of people, the current state of the world and the impact it has on the next generation, that definitely keeps me up at night.
Also running your own business is tough, it’s hard work and can be long hours. Sometimes at night I’ll remember something I need to do or I didn’t do that day so I will email myself which helps clear my head as I know I won’t forget to deal with it the next day! I also find late at night self-doubt rears its head; is our message getting out there, are we making a difference to our community? But then I will get a message from a customer on how our product made them or their daughter feel or how our recent interview inspired them which helps crush any doubts with what we are doing.
I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP…I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I guess I always wanted to be a mother and although that hasn’t happened for me yet I‘m lucky to be a very hands-on auntie and Godmother.
When I was 17, I thought about becoming a social worker I did a placement with my local council which was a real eye opener and to be honest I found it tough there was a lot of procedures / paper work and red tape to get through which was frustrating. It made me question whether I was cut out to do it. I definitely wanted to do something where I could help people so in the end I did psychology with sociology at University. When I left uni I still wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to take so I took a job working in a retail store to get money and luckily for me it was below the Head Office which meant I interacted with the owners and CEO who offered me a position in the Buying Office, I found I loved it and ended up working my way up the ladder!
MY FIRST STEPS TAKEN TO START MY BRAND WAS…Researching what was out there in terms of competitors, we found we were in a unique position as we didn’t want to be just another fashion brand but rather an empowering platform that gave voices to women. We wanted to increase the visibility of women who were doing amazing things and to show women and the future generation that they can be anything that they want to be.
We found nothing else existed at the time so we set up our online platform, sourced ethically made tops, designed some empowering slogans and started our weekly interviews (we have done over 150 now) with the likes of Commissioner Dany Cotton, the first woman to be awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal; Olympic gold medalist Kate Richardson-Walsh, Captain for GB and England Women’s Hockey; and entrepreneurs such as Emma Sinclair, who was the youngest person to launch an IPO (initial public offering on the stock market) in this country.
THIS KEEPS ME SANE…Being with my nephews and niece. Children always make you see things in a simpler way, they uncomplicate and put my life in perspective I guess.
I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT (PHYSICAL OBJECT)…Besides my family I would have to say iPhone for my music. I love how music can make you feel, it can lift you up when you need it, comfort you and most importantly make you dance. To me music is good for the soul. It also helps me work, I’ve never been one to work in silence. I have a very eclectic taste in musicbut luckily my sister bought me some Beats headphones so I can now listen to my music loud while I work without disturbing anyone else, although I have been known to sing along and trust me my singing voice isn’t great.
MY BIGGEST RISK…Definitely quitting my job a few years back with no idea what I was going to do next.
I had been working for a high street retailer for over 14 years and was in a very well paid position as a Buying Manager but I had become disillusioned and unhappy. I found that I was working very long hours and was actually myself sick with stress and worry so I took the decision to quit with no clue what I would do next and no job to go to.
All I knew was that I wasn’t in a happy place so I had to make a change and take some time out. So I packed a suitcase and off I went to travel across America for 3 months by myself. I started off on the west coast and travelled making my way to the east coast, stopping for a few days in each place along the way. It was the best decision I made, it was incredible journey, I rediscovered myself. Not only could I do it alone but I became passionate about photography, nature and reading, it completely reset my life.
MY BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT…
I would say finding my passion again and starting Tease and Totes. After I returned from travelling America, I realised that I still loved fashion but had to find the right company to work for, I wanted a brand that had heart. After looking at what was out there and talking to my twin, we decided to join forces and passions and set up our business.
MY BEST PIECE OF ADVICE…Follow your passion, whether in life or in your career, you should do it with passion.
I WOULD HAVE DONE THIS DIFFERENTLY…Nothing. I think everything that has happened, whether by my choice or not, has made me the person I am today and I think I’m doing OK. You can’t look back on your life and say what if, you can only look forward, own your life, how you got there and be exactly who you are.
Links for Tease & Totse