Posted on September 22 2016
'Life in childrens eyes is simple & magical – that’s my inspiration'
Tell us your start up story? How and when did you begin?
I worked in the fashion industry since 1999 when I graduated from University after studying Fashion Design at Manchester University. I worked in design starting my career at French Connection kids wear and moved into ladies wear, working for other companies such as Miss Outrage and Sonneti.
After many years in design I started working at London College of Fashion & South Essex College lecturing part time. I’m constantly looking to be inspired and find it hard to sit still.
Through my career I have stayed in contact with many people, and after having children I decided to start Mr Wolf, so some of the talented individuals I met along the way became a part of the journey.
What does your brand stand for / what is important to you?
I am proud to say we are made in the UK. Mr Wolf is mainly unisex clothing designed and manufactured with love in the UK. All people involved in the business understands kids. We all have children and listen to what our own children want from clothing. Mr Wolf is about kids looking good but also being able to have fun. The clothes are wearable, comfortable, wash well, and most importantly kids love them.
How did you come up with your name?
The brand name was difficult. I decided upon a nostalgic idea of old school games, using the 'Whats the time Mr Wolf' game as my inspiration. A wise person once told me "fall in love with the product, not the brand" and this concept stuck with me. The brand name remains secondary to the product, we always focus on the product being the best it possibly can be.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love that work can fit around my family life. I’m proud of the brand and love that the whole family have got involved.
What keeps you motivated?
My children keep me on my toes when it comes to design, they tell me their thoughts and I listen to what they like and say about the products. Their friends are also instrumental to the process, if they like what we are doing then we know we are on the right path. I find running my own business very obsessive, it’s like an adrenalin rush to see a concept come to fruition.
What inspires you?
The outdoors inspires me, the seaside, the woods, animals and wildlife. Watching my children finding fun in the smallest things opens my eyes to what’s going on around me. Children think the whole world is a playground and it really is! I wish I could see things as they see them. My youngest child makes up strange names for objects, I have no idea where the names come from but I love them. She is so sincere when she talks about these strange names but to her, that’s normal. Children make friends in a playground within seconds, adults don't do this. Life in children eyes is simple & magical – that’s my inspiration.
Tell us about the theme for AW 16?
AW16 is called 'Bears in The Wood'. The story is about midnight woods walks, discovering animals hidden within the woods at night. The bears are hidden within the knots in the wood grain and other woodland animals hide within the rain drops.
How do you keep the balance in your life?
Balance - what balance? My life feels crazy and chaotic but is never dull. I try to separate work life and home life but working from home makes this almost impossible. I make sure I take the kids to school and am there for all their momentous occasions and then work is squeezed in between. There are lots of late nights working after the children go to bed. My husband is great at organizing me, he gives me lots of lists!!
What do you do with your kids when you're not working?
We spend much of our time outside. Living by the sea means we go to the beach a lot, cycling, picnics in the park, and generally spending lots of time outside.
What are the key items you have in your handbag that you cannot live without?
My phone is always with me, I'm useless at answering texts and phone calls but am totally obsessed with Instagram. I also never leave home without my lip balm or MAC red lipstick for a night out!
Any busy mum / dad survival tips?
I’m not sure about survival tips. I think life with kids is one big balancing act. There are no hidden secrets about getting it right but making time to listen to the children, help with the homework, read the bedtime stories as often as possible is enough to keep them happy. That and a big glass of gin & tonic at the end of a busy week!