Name: Sally Bunkham
Business: Mum’s Back!
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Industry: Consumer Goods
Reason for starting? I began Mum’s Back when I realized, having had two babies just one year apart, that all the “new mum” gifts tended to focus on the baby. I felt like it would be nice to offer mum a present purely for mum. After all, she is the one that has just grown a tiny baby and gone through childbirth! My other inspiration for starting the company was that I suffered terribly from postnatal depression following the birth of my second daughter. This bleak period helped me to realize that I want to focus my time on helping other families going through something similar. I also want to raise awareness about postnatal depression and help PANDAS Foundation’s mission to help women realize that “it’s ok to not be ok” as mothers.
How do you define success? Success for me is about freedom. I want to be able to have the freedom to enjoy time with my family and raise my beautiful daughters, as well as work on becoming financially stable through my business. I want my business to be a success in raising awareness about the issues that surround motherhood, specifically mental health issues, as well as bringing in enough money to support me and my family.
I am currently working on expanding my hamper range for Mum’s Back. I currently only have one launch hamper available, but there will soon be another four beautiful hamper options in my product portfolio. My next steps are to get my shop front in order for notonthehighstreet.com, where I hope my market reach of customers will expand rapidly. I am also working on my strategy to help raise more awareness about postnatal depression and mental health, and I am planning a campaign that will feature other mothers who will explain how they got themselves “back” (in whatever form they like) following motherhood.
Biggest success: My biggest success so far was when notonthehighstreet.com got in touch with me to tell me that they would love for me to become a partner on their site. I love what they do, and I knew that it would be really hard to become a partner with them. For me, them wanting me to work with me was a fabulous endorsement of all my hard work.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My biggest issue is balancing work with life. I have two daughters under 3, so they are both still very dependent on me. I have to really focus in order to get ahead in what I do. I have to have very defined lists and priorities each day, and I have to be agile enough to change plans at the drop of a hat. When the children are ill, for example, I have to be able to drop everything and care for them. I have learnt that, in times like this, the best thing to do is focus on all the things I AM doing, and not the things I am NOT, otherwise you can get lost in a sea of negativity!
My experience of postnatal depression really shaped my business. I had the concept for Mum’s Back well before that experience, and I knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted it to look. However, it wasn’t until I had gone through that very bleak period of my life when I experienced postnatal depression that I realized that my business could actually reach out and help others going through something similar. I had not appreciated at the time how much of a positive thing this would actually be. It has allowed me to own my story and actually make it a part of my brand. It is incredibly empowering to be able to turn such a negative thing into something positive. Knowing that I am helping a fantastic charity also gives me that added fire in my belly and helps fuel that drive to succeed.
Who is your most important role model? I gain most of my inspiration from other mothers. It is so hard to balance work and life and it is easy to be plagued with guilt about all the things we are not doing. Since becoming a mother myself I have huge respect for all those other women juggling and spinning plates like there’s no tomorrow. I think there should be far more respect and admiration for mothers, and I think our roles are often downplayed by society. Parenting is not easy, especially when it is paired with trying to run a business.
Edited by The Story Exchange