Tell us about your business and the type of products you sell?
The Wild and The Tame offers nature inspired handmade goods for babies and toddlers. Centred around beautiful limited edition fabrics, our collection includes Cot and Moses Basket Blankets, Swaddle Blankets and Age Milestone Blankets, complimented by accessories and nursery decor including Bibs, Teething Rings and Framed Nursery Prints.
I launched the business last summer, whilst pregnant with my second son (as if my hands weren’t about to become full enough!), and I handmake all of our products in my home studio.
How did you come up with the idea and what motivated you to go for it?
I’ve always been creative but after studying furniture design at university, I moved into a fast paced PR career in London. When I became a mum and we started a new family life in the Kent countryside, my own creativity was rekindled as I searched for a better work-life balance. I found that baby blankets and accessories in the very specific style I was looking for were few and far between on the high street, so I decided to take the plunge and start creating them myself!
What is your best selling product?
My bestsellers at the moment are Bibs and Teething Rings, which can be mix and matched to make perfect gift sets. They’ve been really popular since launching in February.
What do you love about running your own business and what do you find hard?
I love that starting this small business has given me the opportunity to get back in touch with my creative side – making beautiful things and having others appreciate the time and love that’s gone into them is so fulfilling! It’s also great to have the flexibility to work around looking after my two little ones, although the reality of that is a REAL juggling act at the best of times!
What kind of Boss Mum are you and how do you manage the juggle?
I would say “very organised chaos” best describes how I work at the moment. I’m an absolute perfectionist at heart but becoming a mum really taught me to let go and go with the flow a lot more, so I now try to practice this in my work life too.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
My original intention was to focus on this as an online business, however attending a few craft shows and markets confirmed to me the huge potential and benefits of face-to-face sales. You just can’t beat the impact of customers seeing and feeling the quality of products in person – I love seeing the smile that spreads across their faces when they feel just how soft our dimple minky fabric is! So this year I’ve committed to regular craft shows alongside building the online business.
How do you define success?
Success for me would be for The Wild and The Tame to grow to the point where it keeps me busy enough not to return to full-time work and where I’m able to take someone on to help with running the business. I’m also working towards having my products stocked in retail shops.
What has been a particular highlight for you since starting your business?
I’m particularly proud of attracting the attention of Tatler magazine just two months after launching, who invited me to feature in their luxury children’s gift guide series. It was amazing to see my little brand in such a prestigious magazine.
What’s next for your business?
I’ve just launched some new limited edition fabric prints. Next on my list is a summer fabric release and the launch of new Framed Prints. My head’s also buzzing with plans for at least two new products to add to our collection by the end of this year.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about setting up their own business?
Go for it! I’d been wanting to start my own creative business for years but kept putting it off until I realised that there really is no ideal time. Life is busy, especially with children, but I think that’s made me value time more and become more efficient.
What is your favourite Social Media platform and how has it helped in your success?
Instagram has been really great for me. There’s such a sense of community, both among other independent business in the baby and toddler market as well as ‘mummy bloggers’ and influencers who really recognise the importance of supporting small businesses.
Who inspires you?
All working mums really, whether running their own business, working from home or in a traditional job. I think anyone who manages to juggle the demands of motherhood with something else they’re passionate about is doing amazingly!
Thanks for giving us an insight into life behind The Wild and The Tame Chantelle, we love having you as a Member of the Tribe.