Sam from The Little Angel Mamas | This Woman Rocks!
For Sam from The Little Angel Mamas, becoming a Mama led to tragedy as her little girl Emmy died at just three weeks old. But Sam found help through meeting families via Instagram who had lost babies and wanted to talk about their loss, a really difficult, often taboo subject to discuss. Sam was so inspired by her Instagram community and in wanting to help eliminate baby loss taboo, she created a fashion line to remember Emmy and the hundreds of families that have lost their babies too. She really is an inspiration!
For Angel Mamas, by an Angel mama xx
‘I lost my beautiful daughter Emmy in November 2018 at just 3 weeks old, and from then my world has crashed down around me. I am still grieving but everything I do is for my daughter and for the angel babies. I met a wonderful set of women and parents online and I wanted to do something special and meaningful moving forwards for them and all the parents to angels. The pain a parent goes through in losing a child is phenomenal. I wanted to create a brand which showed that we are angel mamas, we are proud of our babies and always will be. Babyloss taboo needs to go, and hopefully, through this clothing, I can help a little with that. The clothing will also make you feel closer to your angel, it does me anyway.’ Sam
Tell us a bit about yourself and your career background?
Hi I’m Sam. I grew up in Swindon (yep, the office) and went to uni in Nottingham at Notts Trent then decided to move to London. I’d always wanted to move to London so there was really never another option for me! I was born and grew up in Scotland until I was 5 but I can’t remember too much. Only when I go back I get an overwhelming sense of .. home! I quickly went (fell) into recruitment in 2012 after finishing a degree in law but not massively enjoying it. I’d heard recruitment was a good way to make money and it did end up that actually I worked my butt off and earnt quite a bit more than most of my friends in my early 20s. However, I’ve always been somewhat of a butterfly and whilst money used to excite me I always wanted to go travel the world. So I left. Left the UK. My friends, family etc for an adventure across Asia and Australia! It was absolutely amazing, I can’t even put it into words but all I can say is when I am travelling, I am happy Sam! However, being sponsored in Australia wasn’t meant to be and I found myself back in the UK in September 2017.
What inspired you to start your business?
I met Si in October and by March we were together and pregnant! I think Christmas might have helped with the lovely falling in love part 🙂 So that was all full of excitement and I was so so excited to be a mummy late last year.
However, our little girl was just too precious for this earth as tragically she passed away from a genetic disease at 3 weeks old on November 30th. So Emmy, my daughter, inspired me to create the Little Angel Mama Collection.
Emmy together with the hundreds (sadly) of mamas and families I have found through the #insta network who have also lost babies or children. I wanted to be able to make clothes that were ‘ fashionable’ so to speak and you could rock and chill in them every day but as a mama to an angel. When I was pregnant I was so excited to wear all the mama clothing and now Emmy had passed these clothes didn’t seem right for me. Or any of the mums or families that had lost their precious babies. Hence TLAMC was created.
Right now I’m working part-time alongside TLAMC which works well so we will see how the collection goes in future! I absolutely love it and that the ladies and families get so much comfort and joy wearing a jumper ‘ mama to an angel’ or ‘ my angel made me a mama’ is amazing. I’m also doing tops for twins and other family members too like daddy and nanny to an angel. Can you describe a typical day, where you work, what your responsibilities are, timings, are you an early bird or night owl? When I’m working at home for the collection, I’ll get up around 8 and walk my dog first! Then I’ll have maybe an hour on my phone doing social media bits and then it’s down to business so sewing and packaging the collection and creating new designs for the future, sourcing clothes for the designs (embroidered and printed) to go on. Some of my tops are organic as I’m pretty passionate about this and whilst I know not everyone can afford or has the interest that I do in it, I wanted this to be a part of what I do and helping the environment by using recycled and regenerated cotton. All day I will do the collection til around 5 and then I’ll dash down to the post office before it closes with my big bag of packages! They know me by name there now 🙂
How did you fund your start up?
I funded my startup through savings and overdraft (right now) hopefully this will look more attractive in the future (my bank balance I mean) but statutory maternity pay is pretty pants! Ha.
What do find most difficult about being a woman in business?
Right now I don’t find anything difficult about being a woman in business, I find it absolutely inspiring, empowering and a whole lot of fun. I haven’t come across any difficulties and have only had positive feedback so far, so I am very lucky for that.
Do you have/make any time for yourself? What do you do? Is it important to do this?
I find time for myself in the evenings but I must make a day or so a week for myself as well so usually that will be Sunday when I will just relax or see friends for coffee or brunch.
What do you find the most rewarding about being a woman in business?
I think my biggest achievement so far is being in the metro newspaper. I was so happy about that and felt really proud to get Emmys name out there and raise awareness of baby loss. I have also arranged angel mama meetups where women can meet in groups across the UK and have a safe and informal space to talk about our babies and also let our hair down. I really love that.
What have you got planned for your business in the future?
Plans for the future is a tough one really because the business is in such an infancy stage! I know I’m planning on doing tops for IVF mamas too and then rainbow babies and twinning outfits! So lots going on here at TLAMC and very exciting but right now I’m just trying to take it day by day.
What three bits of advice would you give to women wanting to start their own business?
Three bits of advice to a woman looking to start her own business would be: 1. make sure you do your research. 2. Make sure you have the funds. 3. Go for it! I used the internet a lot when I was starting out TLAMC to research and also spoke to around 10-15 other small business owners through Instagram who really helped me! Like really! Thanks, guys 🙂 it is really great to share positivity through Instagram and I’m loving that so far. Imagine you had an amazingly profitable year and you could go on your dream holiday. Where would you go? If I had a massively profitable year first thing I’d do is donate some of it to some of the smaller baby loss charities, we have already donated £100 but looking to do lots more in the future. However, I haven’t been on holiday since I returned from travelling in 2017 so I would LOVE to go to South America for 2 weeks travelling. I’m really hoping to do something like that over Christmas! Sam x You can see Sam’s amazing creations for TLAMC www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TLAMC