My name is Marianne Valiente, mum to a little boy who’s just turned 4 and a little girl of 1 and have been married for nearly 8 years. Before becoming a mum, I had a career in Financial Crime, which I thought I’d go back to after my maternity leave, but I decided to become a stay at home mum instead.
I now own and run Feed Me Mummy, a new company selling the breastfeeding vest that I designed. We also stock some great books on breastfeeding, weaning and cooking for children, as well as a range of bibs.
I came up with the idea for the Feed Me Mummy Breastfeeding Vest after I had my second baby. Breastfeeding was going well this time and I needed to find some decent, affordable breastfeeding clothes that didn’t look too frumpy. It was quite a shock to find out how expensive breastfeeding tops were, and how they didn’t do the job as well as I would’ve expected them to. With all the expenses of raising a family, I wasn’t prepared to spend a fortune on lots of new breastfeeding clothes when I didn’t know how long I’d be using them for. Also, because I felt quite nervous about breastfeeding in public, I wanted something that would cover my post-pregnancy tummy and chest too. I got out my sewing machine (which I hadn’t used since my ‘A’ Levels when I studied Textiles!), set about experimenting and the Feed Me Mummy vest was born.
Whilst I love looking after my children and being a mum, I’ve got to admit, it is nice to be able to exercise the ‘baby-brain’ now! Also, knowing that my vests are helping mums to feel more confident about breastfeeding in public and being able to provide something more affordable for breastfeeding mums is really rewarding.
It hasn’t been easy though. Trying to juggle being a full time mum and business owner is hard work, and more often than not means long evenings on my laptop. Taking phone calls with two young children wanting your attention is the hardest thing and my time management skills are still work in progress! I always dreamt about being able to start a business and be able to work from home, but I never expected it to happen when it did. I had an idea and felt I just had to see it through. I hope that one day my brand becomes one that mums instantly recognise and it would be my dream to have my vests sold at major retailers.
If you’ve had an idea for a business and are debating on whether to do anything about it, then why not just go for it? Although building a business is very challenging, especially if you’re running a family full-time too, it is very rewarding. You will also find that there are many people out there that are dedicated to helping mums in business, and building up your network early on can be invaluable.