MEET THE MAMA // Mary Lord // Squidge & Pip

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Who are you?

I’m Mary, mummy to 2 boys and the Founder and Creative Director of Squidge & Pip. I’ve been totally inspired by my own experience as a mum, and my youngest child being born with a cleft lip and palate helped me design and develop the features of teethers I designed – Squidge & Pip. Proudly designed in Sheffield and Made in Britain!!

Where are you from?

I was born in Doncaster but moved to Portsmouth when I was 3, I’m so happy to be back up north, and have settled my 2 boys into a great school and a lovely community in Crosspool, Sheffield.

What do we need to know about you?

I’m not a trained designer but I do have a passion for quality design, and being creative. As well as being a “Mumpreneur” and a mummy, I am currently juggling a part time job at Hallam University. I also love Yoga and cooking.

Where can we find your business/product?

Locally, Trapeze Kids and B.Biscuit. We also have our own online shop www.squidgeandpip.com, are also available to buy on Amazon and soon to be gracing the shelves in a leading national department store from September…. Be sure to watch this space for updates.

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

I love camping with the children and going to family friendly festivals such as Camp Bestival, it’s such good fun!

What is your top mama tip?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. I used to needlessly worry about the little things, they’re not eating enough, or certain teeth haven’t come through yet for example, but then you quickly move onto the next development stage of worry; when will they crawl, walk etc! Now my children are 4 and 6 there is a whole host of new worries to deal with but I've learnt to relax a lot more. I try to follow this mantra – ‘worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere’

Your mama confession?…

After a rather raucous ‘School mums’’ night out recently, the kids as usual woke far too early (6am) for a Sunday morning and so on this occasion I allowed the boys to watch the ipad in bed so I could doze for a little longer only to be woken again at 8am (yes 2 hours later) by my son telling me the ipad battery had run out…..oops!

MEET THE MAMA // Caroline Armstrong // Healthy You Hypnotherapy

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Who are you?

I am Caroline and I have been living in Sheffield for the last 17 years. I live with my husband and my young daughter who is an amazing little girl. I have a pretty dry sense of humour and love Alan Partridge!

Where are you from?

I am a Yorkshire girl and was brought up just outside Leeds. I moved to Sheffield in 1999 to go to university and have been here ever since!

What do we need to know about you?

I am a trained social worker and have additional therapeutic qualifications in counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, psychodynamic work and hypnotherapy. I have provided successful therapy to a wide range of people over the last 12 years, including spending over 6 years working with the mental health charity Mind, before deciding to focus on hypnotherapy full time. Over time I have developed a specific interest in women’s health and wellbeing and have tailored my work to this. I believe working on your mindset is fundamental in creating positive changes in your health and have seen how hypnotherapy makes significant changes to people’s quality of life.

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Where can we find your business/product?

You can find me on Facebook – Healthy You Hypnotherapy Instagram – Healthyyouhypno twitter – @hypno_healthy Website – www.healthyyouhypnotherapy.co.uk

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

I absolutely love being by the sea with my family. We recently had a amazing autumn break in Wales which involved sandcastles, paddling, running on the sand, listening to the waves and having the wind in our hair. Awesome!

Top Mama tip…

Try not to compare yourself to other people. Motherhood can be challenging and we shouldn’t feel we have to match up to a certain ‘ideal’.

Your mama confession…

I generally don’t buy ‘naughty’ food but I have been known to pinch some of my daughters giant chocolate buttons! They taste so much better than the normal size ones!

Caroline will be coming in to talk at Mama Social on Friday 12th May 10am at The Showroom

MEET THE MAMA // Lindsay Snow / Understanding Kids

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  • Who are you?

Hello! I am Lindsay Snow and run the business Understanding Kids. I use evidence-based research to enable parents to tackle their parenting challenges with confidence and compassion. I have a 3 year old son, Adrian, and partner, Jurriaan.

  • Where are you from?

I was born in Ireland and moved to Hertfordshire, near London, when I was 6. While at uni, I went to Switzerland with the Erasmus programme where I met a Dutch guy. I then moved to the Netherlands where I completed a Masters and then a PGCE in Bilingual and International Education. After a few years Jurriaan took a job in, of all places, Hertfordshire :s We lasted another 3 years there before he fortunately got a position at the University of Sheffield where we both now feel very much at home.

  • What is your brand?

Most of the parents I work with are medical professionals, academics, teachers and business managers: people who are used to being knowledgeable and in control in their professional lives and then find that life with kids requires a slightly different measure of success. Some choose to attend a workshop because they are struggling with specific issues, like sleep or undesirable behaviour. Others just love to know what is going on in their kids’ heads.

  • What do we need to know about your brand?

You’d be amazed at how much guilt we’re all carrying around due to an inaccurate or incomplete understanding of parenting research. Access to the Internet has only made this worse. However, what seems to really matter to kids is that their caregivers are relaxed and confident. How their mum parents them might be different to how their dad or grandparents do it, and there is rarely need for everyone to be as consistent as the media would have us think. My workshops are non-judgemental because only you are the expert in what helps you to be the relaxed and confident parent your child wants you to be.

  •  Where can we find you?

Through my website www.understandingkids.co.uk and www.facebook.com/BabyCalmToddlerCalmSheffield 

  • What do you like to do as a family in Sheffield?

You can usually find us hanging out as a family at the local climbing walls. Adrian and Jur enjoy visiting the animals at Graves Park while I’m working at weekends

  • Top mama tip?

So much advice out there is not backed up by peer-reviewed research so if anything doesn’t sit well with you, there’s a very good chance you don’t need to do it! If in doubt, ask the advice-giver to explain why something is important. Only then will you know if it is relevant to you and your family.

Lindsay is coming in to talk at Mama Social on Friday 28th April 10am at The Showroom and will be focussing her talk on the subject of baby’s and toddler’s sleep

MEET THE MAMA // Laura Wood // Photographer

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Who are you?

My name is Laura and I own Laura Wood Photography. I have an almost 2 year old named Arthur and he’s the reason I finally, at the age of 30, decided what I was going to do with my life. I started taking photographs of him when he was born and quickly realised how much I loved photography and decided to learn more. The love of being able to capture moments with my son, teamed with knowing that I absolutely didn’t want to go back to a hectic career in retail, meant that I started my own photography business last year.

Where are you from?

I’m from Wath upon Dearne in Rotherham and, aside from a couple of years in London, this has always been home. There seems to be something about Yorkshire that always brings people back!

What do we need to know about you?

I worked in fashion for a large chunk of time and had some pretty big jobs for a while – I loved it but not enough to be away from Arthur quite so much. I still love fashion and have more dresses than Diana Ross… alas, only 50% of them fit these days!

As a photographer I am drawn to atmospheric and moody images, and the old places and things which evoke a sense of nostalgia. I certainly wouldn’t describe my approach to photography as ‘light and airy’…I tried it for a while but it’s difficult to do minimal when you’re a clutter-bug and hoarder.

Where can we find your business/product?

Instagram: @ourkiddo and @laurawood_photography

Facebook: Laura Wood Photography

Web: www.laurawoodphotography.com

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

We love to travel and to be out and about as much as we can. I have always loved being outdoors but never fully appreciated it until I saw the way my son responded to nature. We also tend to gravitate towards any place at which Arthur can play whilst his Dad and I sit and have a drink together.

Top mama tip…

When Arthur was smaller and the day wasn’t going as planned I would take him out in the car for a nap along with my hair and make up stuff. I would sit and get ready in the car whilst he slept – it was the only way I could transform from bog brush to human on most days.

Your mama confession…..

Sometimes I hide in the toilet when my boyfriend gets home from work, just so I can have a break.

 

Laura will be at Mama Social on Friday 24th March, 10am at The Showroom

MEET THE MAMA // Sarah Herrett // Baby Sensory

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Who are you?

Hi, I’m Sarah. Mum to 3 awesome little puddings, Charlie who is almost 5 and 1yr old twin girls Lily and Jessica. Together with my fabulous friend Helen we run Baby Sensory in Sheffield. We run classes across the city that ignite imagination and stimulate all of the senses for babies from 0-13 months

Where are you from?

Originally from Wetherby I moved to Sheffield 15ish years ago, met a boy, and stayed!

What do we need to know about you?

In addition to running baby sensory in Sheffield I am a charity fundraiser. I specialise in community, corporate, events and major donor fundraising. I am really lucky I get to do 2 things I love at work. Fundraising is great and I get to work towards something really important and then in my baby sensory classes I share so many amazing experiences with mums, dads and babies! I love rugby league, playing the cello and the way all my children snuggle on my shoulder when they are tired.

Where can we find your business/product?

You can find us online at www.babysensory.co.uk and click on find a class or on facebook www.facebook.com/babysensorysheffield Or you can contact us direct on 07922595414 or email Sheffield@babysensory.co.uk

Your favourite thing to do as a family?

Our favourite thing is going out into the garden and enjoying the outside. We are really lucky and have a long drive my son can ride his bike up and down and we can get tents, paddling pools, playhouses, toys, picnic blankets out and have a picnic too in the back.

Top Mama tip…

Your children are bigger than they were yesterday so hold them close while you can because before you know it they will be all grown up…and buy a sling – total lifesaver!

Your Mama confession…

I have a secret stash of chocolate somewhere my hubby would never ever find it…..no more clues just in case he is reading this! I hate when people say negative things about my twin girls…and have been known to be a bit rude in my responses occasionally (and only when super tired and the question/comment is particularly daft!)

Sarah is coming in to Mama Social on Friday 10th March – 10am at The Showroom

MEET THE MAMA // Noor Hibbert // thisisyourdream.com


Who are you?

My name is Noor. I am a business and life success coach for mummies on a mission to create a business they love around being an awkward mother.

Where are you from?

I’m a born and bred Londoner who ended up living in Rotherham after falling In love with a Yorkshire boy whilst working in Ibiza when I was a club rep!

What do we need to know about you?

I am a qualified business and executive coach and self confessed mumpreneur. I left my job at 31 weeks pregnant to pursue my dream of entrepreneurship and started an online Amazon business. Although I had success (my brand has been featured in GQ and Tatler and even going to Hollywood to The Oscars celebrity gifting suite), my dream was to be a coach so I set out to do that and it’s been the most amazing journey. I work with women who are ready to make their dream lives non-negotiable ,ready to give up their BS stories and transform their mindset. I support women in reaching their highest potential and I love being part of the transformation and watching them build businesses that give them freedom to live life on their terms.

Where can we find your business/product ?

You can find me at www.thisisyourdream.com and on Instagram @mumprenoor. I also have a facebook community called Mumpreneurs on a Mission.

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

Singing Disney songs in my pjs with the girls and going on holiday. Travelling is a big part of our family life and I love to be away at least 5 times a year as I really enjoy that quality time together.

Top mama tip…

Give up finding balance.. there is no such thing when you are a mother. Strive for harmony and free yourself of mummy guilt that stops you pursuing your dreams or reaching your full potential.

Your mama confession…..

After an intense 40 minute labour ,when the midwife asked me if I wanted to know what sex my baby was, I took a look and said  ” oh it’s a boy!” and when she exclaimed No! and moved the umbilical cord- I have to admit I was actually really happy as I secretly wanted another girl!!!!

MEET THE MAMA // Grace Tindall // Scandiborn

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Who are you?

Hi! I’m Grace, I’m mum to Harry, 15 months and married to James. I’m the founder of Scandibørn, an online kids concept store selling Scandinavian inspired nursery and kids interiors, clothing and mama gifts.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from the south, near Milton Keynes…I met my husband James (Sheffield born and bred), moved north and never looked back. I absolutely love living in Sheffield.

What do we need to know about you?

Apart from my obvious love for Harry, James & all things Scandi, i’m a keen runner (although currently out of practice!) and hockey player. I’m definitely a perfectionist and self confessed workaholic which can be a blessing and a curse at times. I started the business with no industry experience or contacts and after 10 years as a Management consultant its been lovely to start using my creative side !

Where can we find your business/product?

You can find us at www.scandiborn.co.uk, @Scandiborn on Instagram & Twitter

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

Like all working mums I struggle to find the balance between work and home, Sunday is set aside as a family day for us and we’ll go for a walk in the peaks with our dog and then home or to the pub for Sunday lunch.
Top mama tip…

Be KIND to yourself – you’re are always doing a much better job than you give yourself credit for.

Your mama confession…

When Harry was first born (5 weeks prem) he was having problems keeping his temperature up and after a few days it still wasn’t getting better. Then..the midwife found me feeding him expressed milk straight out the fridge as I didn’t know I needed to warm it…YES, that’s how little I knew about babies! Mama fail!

MEET THE MAMA // Jo Humphrey // Mind Baby + Soul

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Who are you?

I am Jo… Partner to Lee who is an International Event Manager and away from home lots and Mama to Ruby who is 2 and getting more amazing (and mischievous!) by the day. We also have a dog : The Funk and a cat : Tracey. Both are rescues and very special in their own, unique ways!

What do we need to know about you?

I am a Sheffield girl, born and bred and proud of it. I went to University in London and Manchester but there was never any question then of me staying away after I’d graduated. I am not going to spend all my days here, however. Sunnier climes are calling and we hope to move abroad at some point in the distant future…

What is your business/Product?

I am the owner of MIND BABY + SOUL : teaching Baby Massage and Baby Yoga and also Kids and Family Yoga. I have been doing this since retraining and finishing maternity leave in the summer of last year. I also own MINI RAVERS as of March this year and run monthly public and regular private themed disco and sensory parties aimed at little ones from 0 to pre school age. I LOVE MY JOBS and am so glad I have finally found something that suits me!

Where can we find your business/product?

Please note that both my websites are being rebuilt at the moment so aren’t really a shining example of my businesses just yet but : mindbabyandsoul.com miniravers.co.uk The FB pages are better, until the new websites are launched in a couple of weeks : facebook.com/mindbabyandsoulsheffield facebook.com/sheffieldminiravers

Your favourite thing to do as a family…

When Lee is home and we are both not working (which is all too rare these days!), we love to go out as a family, walking somewhere with the dog and we love to go out for food, too. A perfect winter Sunday, for example, would be a nice walk in the peaks, looking at trees and streams and wildlife with Rubes, followed by a nice roast dinner and a glass of wine somewhere… bliss!

Your top mama tip…

If you’re having a tricky time… JUST BREATHE. Whatever you may be going through right now, you need to know that it IS normal, you are NOT alone and this WILL pass. Which sounds a bit cheesy, I know. Trust me when I say it’s surprising how much clarity can be gained if you can just down tools for 2 minutes and regulate your breathing. Having suffered a fair bit with PND and PTSD, I genuinely speak from experience and would be more than happy to discuss it further with anyone who may be interested. Also, BE KIND TO YOURSELF. If you need to put your feet up, do it. If you fancy a slice of cake, have it. If you want a duvet day, go for it. You can be a much more effective lover of others if you love yourself, first.

Your Mama confession…

Eek, I must confess to getting Rubes into bed at the earliest available opportunity when Lee is away, in order to buy myself a little extra ‘me time’ in the evening! Daily, I’m up at 6am to get some work done before she wakes up and I work again when she has her afternoon nap so an extra few minutes to put my feet up and maybe even enjoy a glass of wine after her bed time is not too much of a crime, right?! 😉

 

Jo is coming in to Mama Social on Friday 4th November – 10:30-12 at The Showroom

MEET THE MAMA // Rachel Medina // The Snowdrop Project

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Who are you?

I am Rachel Medina, mum to Alex (almost 4) and Eva (almost 2). My husband is called Victor and we live in Birley (out by Crystal Peaks). I am the Local Coordinator at the Snowdrop Project.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Maine in the USA. I came to Sheffield in 2007 to do an MA at Sheffield Uni. I did move around a bit growing up, so soon, Sheffield will be where I have lived the longest! I get to go home to visit family about once a year, where I stock up on my American goodies.

What do we need to know about you?

I have absolutely fallen into the career path I’m on, and I am completely in love with my job. I have a BA in History and an MA in European Historical Archaeology. I happened to find what has become my passion through some temp work I did after completing my MA. I did a bunch of rather random jobs temping as an administrator until I worked for an organisation called Refugee Support. I got managing their office and learned more about what they did to help refugees in Sheffield with housing and integration. Within six months I got a job with them as the Lifeskills Tutor at their supported accommodation Foyer teaching and coordinating life skills and independent living sessions. Without that experience, I don’t think I would have ended up where I am now!

At the moment my life consists of working and running around after Alex and Eva, but I have hobbies as well, including knitting, crocheting and painting. I also cannot resist a conversation about politics, British or American. I really enjoy listening to other people’s perspectives and experiences!

Where can we find your business/product?

Our website is: www.snowdropproject.co.uk

Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SnowdropProject at the moment we use facebook the most, so give us a like!

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What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

My kids love basically anything we do all together. They are happiest when we all go to the park or just stay home and play together, but so far our favourite family activity is taking the kids to Yorkshire Wildlife Park to see the animals.

Top mama tip

Be honest with yourself and with others when it’s tough. Find some friends who you can be real with, during both the good and the difficult things, and commiserate regularly!

Your mama confession…..

Should be confessions!

I have been known to let my kids eat cereal for dinner and put them to bed early on nights my husband is out of town to maximise some peace and quiet for myself. It’s like a treat for them and for me!

I once forgot that it was picture day at nursery and both my kids were dressed like house elves…seriously every item they were wearing was either stained or had holes in! Surprisingly we didn’t buy any of those photos!

Alex also loves AC/DC and once sang, ‘Thunderstruck’ for show and tell at nursery – his favourite line is ‘I was shakin’ at the knees/I was covered in bees’… I haven’t corrected him.

 

MEET THE MAMA // KELSEY BARRIE // WELEDA

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Who are you?

I’m Kelsey Barrie and I live in Ridgeway (just on the Sheffield/Derbyshire border) with my 2 sons, Louis who is 19 and Lucas 15

Where are you from? 

I’m Sheffield born and bred and wouldn’t want to be from anywhere else!

What do we need to know about you? 

I’m a people person and all my previous jobs have involved working in and looking after teams.  Taking my redundancy from a well known high street Bank after 20 years service in 2012 gave me the perfect opportunity to address my work/life balance and choose a completely new career path.

I joined Weleda in April 2013 as an Advisor and have enjoyed every minute.  I now also look after a team in Yorkshire, Scotland and Northern Ireland and I can honestly say I have never working with a group of more inspiring, supportive and welcoming individuals – we are a family in every sense of the word.  My job gives me the opportunity to share my passion for natural health and wellbeing with others, helping people find a more natural way to feeling better

Where can we find your business/product?

https://www.facebook.com/Wellbeing-Advisor-Kelsey-Barrie-South-Yorkshire-482291915224955/

What is your favourite thing to do as a family? 

Well my boys don’t seem to want to spend as much time with me these days…..so family meals out or just even sitting down for together together give us precious time to talk and catch up

Top mama tip…

be the greatest you are capable of being

Your mama confession…..

having to replace eggs at Easter that have been bought for my children but I’ve inadvertently eaten!!!