This week I’m really excited to feature Jen who created Etta Loves to my Parents in Business series. I have followed Jen on Instagram for years, since Freya was little, and I remember thinking at the time how amazing Jen’s business is, producing and selling sensory sensations for babies.
I have loved reading Jen’s business story including the idea behind her business, how she manages to keep work and home life separate, and I’m excited to hear more about her new campaign. Do have a read of Jen’s story below, and pop over to her Instagram and Facebook page to see her beautiful products.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I am a mum of 2 gorgeous girls, Etta and Uma, and the founder of Etta Loves, a baby sensory brand. Together with my husband, we live by the seaside in Essex and I’m very excited to be getting a dog in the new year! Prior to this business I worked for a media agency in London for 18 years, planning advertising campaigns. I started Etta Loves when Etta was born, but remained in my media role for a further 2 years until Etta Loves needed all my time and I made the leap. Because I had built the business alongside what I was already doing it didn’t feel too big of a transition, quite seamless actually and a lot of fun (but pressure too).
Etta Loves was created to turn everyday essentials into sensory sensations, by using the science of what babies can and can’t see to create clever and stunning patterns. The result is that babies are mesmerised and supported in their visual and cognitive development, whilst parents benefit from a priceless moment of calm.
What motivated you to set up your own business?
Back in 2016 I was sitting on my sofa with a heap of muslins by my side, when I realised that 4-week old little Etta was staring at my jumper. It was the first thing I’d noticed her actively trying to focus on and unsurprisingly it was a simple black and white pattern. It kept her feeding for longer than normal (she was a feeding napper!) which I was also very relieved by.
So after a few days of trying to rotate black and white clothing to capture her attention it got me thinking; could I make the most seen items by babies do more to stimulate them and capture their attention? I wanted and needed medical knowledge of babies’ visual development to make them the best that they could be at doing this and of course they had to be stylish for the parents too. So I set out to find an expert and Etta Loves was born.
How do you balance or juggle your business around family commitments?
It can be very hard, but for me it is about trying to have clear boundaries between work and home life. I like to be fully present wherever I am. So when I’m working, I’m working and when I’m home with my children, I’m home with my children (until something urgent comes up either way of course). Right now my littlest’s nursery is closed so I’m breaking both of my rules, but needs must when you have a family so you just have to make it work however you can.
What do you view as your biggest success since setting up your business?
I have had lots of moments of validation, such as our Cowshed collaboration last year. That was a huge moment for me that a brand like Cowshed both knew about my business and wanted to collaborate. but I believe that the best is still yet to come! We have a global collaboration launching in the New Year which I can’t wait to talk about and see babies’ and parents’ response to!
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Try and start it alongside your current job – as in don’t quit too soon so you don’t have the financial pressure which might mean to take shortcuts or focus on the wrong things. So if you can keep your employment, whilst you test your concept and market interest.
Thank you so much Jen for sharing your amazing business story. I have loved featuring you and Etta Loves on my blog, and I wish you all the best in the future.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Cuddledry, Pura, and Blinds Direct Online