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A Berkshire Mumpreneur // Louise Allison

Louise Allison is the face behind Wonder and Wren, a conscious baby & toddler clothing brand. During this Berkshire Mumpreneur interview we find out more about Louise, her business and how she manages to juggle work and family life!

Tell Me Briefly About Your Business?

I run Wonder & Wren, a conscious baby and toddler clothing brand. Our organic fabrics are gorgeously soft and kind to littles one’s skin, our adorable prints spark curiosity and imagination and our styles are designed with practicality in mind.

We offer our range in sizes from Newborn, up to age 3-4 years. Everything is made in the UK (initially I made everything myself in my studio, but I am pleased to say I now have some support with some of my production which is amazing!). We have a selection of unisex prints, so there is something for everyone, making the perfect baby gift or outfit for your own little ones!

Wonder and Wren Mumpreneur
Tell Me Briefly About Yourself and Your Family?

I live in Tilehurst, Berkshire with my husband Paul and our daughter Evie, who is almost 3. 

I have always been obsessed with clothes, and I studied fashion, both at College and University. I also travelled the world (although over 10 years ago now!) & still love to see new places, although admittedly spend more time exploring places in the UK these days!

Wonder and Wren Mumpreneur
When Did You Set Up Your Business and Why?

After working in the fashion industry for a while, I quickly learnt how bad the fashion industry can be for the environment. I then went into bespoke bridal wear for many years, where I was making to order, and therefore only producing what was needed.

After having my daughter, I knew that I wanted to create a business that better suited family life, and so Wonder & Wren was born in 2022.

It was really important to me from day 1 to consider the impact when making decisions. Therefore, all of our fabrics are organic and printed using eco-friendly techniques, our packaging is recyclable and we are soon to launch a preloved scheme to encourage circular fashion. These things do all add to the cost, but most of my customers are happy to pay that little bit more, knowing they are getting good quality clothes that have been made responsibly. 

As well as being an eco-conscious brand, I also wanted to create cute and playful clothing that will be cherished, reused and create magical memories.

What Do You See as the Benefits of Being Self-Employed?

There are so many benefits of being self-employed. The most important one for me is flexibility. I know if my daughter is ill, or an appointment comes up, that I don’t have to keep asking work if it’s ok, I can just reschedule my own work, even if that means catching up in an evening or weekend. 

I also love being part of the self-employed community. It is so inspiring and energising being around and hearing about others businesses – which is why I love Berkshire Mummies Networking! Everyone is just so supportive and I really enjoy getting the opportunity to collaborate with others too.

Wonder and Wren Mumpreneur
How Do you Manage to Run Your Business and Look After Your Family?

The juggle is real a lot of the time! But the flexibility makes it worth it, as does the passion for what I do. I currently only have childcare two and a half days a week, so there is a lot to get done in a short space of time. Thankfully I have a really supportive family and we share the responsibilities, and I am lucky enough to have a husband that loves cooking which helps! 

If have a bit more work to do, we make time to work around that. Equally, I do make sure I have days where I do stop completely to unwind and focus on family time, usually on a Sunday – and I love my Mondays and Fridays with Evie too!

What are your Top Tips to other Parents Considering Setting Up Their Own Business?

I would say really think about what it is that you are going to be doing and make sure you really love it. Although I love being self-employed, it isn’t the easy option, you do have to put in the hours and it can take time to see it pay off. 

Also, getting involved in the self-employed community really helps, as well as making useful business connections, sometimes just a chat about something you are struggling with, or running an idea past someone is really invaluable. 

Lastly, find some accountability, where there is a friend you check in with each work day to let each other know how you are getting on, as some days procrastination can take over and it’s hard when you have no one there to motivate you! 

What’s Next For Your Business?

I have a lot of exciting plans for the business, I have been working with a coach to really figure out what I want my business to look like – and I am excited to say we will be launching a membership full of perks for new mums, along with a subscription service and a preloved scheme – coming soon! 

I also have plans for some lovely new products – but I am trying to learn that I can’t do it all at once, so this may be next year – but I am very excited! 

Wonder and Wren Mumpreneur
Finally, What are your Three Things to do as a Family in Berkshire?

Evie loves animals, so we love a trip to Beale Park, Odds Farm or Wellington Country Park.

I grew up in Finchampstead, so California Country Park is a regular place we visit too. It’s lovely to walk round the lake, go to the park and finish with a coffee or some lunch. 

Finally, we love a woodland walk in Sulham woods, which is down the road from us. It’s just good to get out in the fresh air!

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