Over the years we’ve seen many of our clients launch baby or parent related businesses as they progress through their own baby journey. It has been truly inspiring to follow and we’re often in awe of what they’ve achieved! So we’re excited to introduce you to our new series, where we throw a spotlight onto Bump & Baby Clubbers who’ve recently started-up an exciting business or project…
First up, it’s Sophie and Effie, who got to know each other at our antenatal course in Islington. Together they founded, Sleep Thief, a brand specialising in gorgeous zipped baby clothes made from organic cotton.
How did you first meet each other?
Effie: We had seen each other often around Islington, where we live, as we were part of the first-time-pregnant brigade. I noticed Sophie rocking a neon yellow top to pregnancy yoga and thought she looked fun. I was also jealous she still fitted into her pre-pregnancy sports clothes!
Sophie: But it wasn’t until we were sitting upstairs at the Drapers Arms, introducing ourselves to our Bump & Baby Club cohort, that we truly met.
How did you decide to start a business together and what led you to the idea of Sleep Thief?
Sophie: As new mums, we started spending pretty much every day together with our girls who were born 3 weeks apart. Over a coffee and a breastfeed, we were often throwing business ideas around as the thought of going back to corporate work filled neither of us with joy.
Effie: We also constantly complained about poppers on our children’s clothing and why no one had come up with a better idea, so we suddenly realised there was a gap in the market.
How confident were you that you’d be compatible business partners? Were there particular traits that you saw in each other that made you think it would work?
Effie: If we’re honest, we just became really good friends and both had a passion to get the business off the ground. We were adamant that we weren’t going back to work as we knew it, and it was our passion to make Sleep Thief succeed that cemented our business partnership.
Sophie: It was purely by chance that our skill sets complement each other. We found that the delegation of work for the business naturally fell to one or the other. I had a go at the design aspect, and Effie, with her corporate law background, fell into getting things “formally” off the ground. Our little team really does work.
What’s special / unique about your clothes?
Effie: Our suits are all designed around making peoples’ lives easier. The rainbow zip running from ankle to ankle makes for really quick changing. The footens – foldable feet – are great for keeping your baby cool and allowing them to walk and crawl easily, without slipping all over the place. We believe we have created the easiest zipped babygrow on the planet!
Sophie: We are both passionate about the effect that fast fashion has on the planet and the people who live on it. We use sustainably sourced organic cotton from Turkey, which is then milled into our fabric, dyed, manufactured and embroidered in Leicester so that we can keep the eco footprint as small as possible. We also make our suits on the big size so that they will last you longer and, because of the high quality, they can be passed from child to child.
How has your antenatal instructor, Charlotte, been involved?
Sophie: We reached out to Charlotte after we launched as we could see that our suits are useful for newborns – eg with heel pricks, Vitamin K injections and not having to undress the baby fully in those initial days.
Effie: We thought we would get her advice on whether she thought the Mischiefsuit was as useful as we thought, and she loved it (thank goodness!). It’s great to have Charlotte to chat to too about birth topics that would be interesting for our customers.
How old were your babies when you started up the company and how have you managed the work and motherhood juggle?
Sophie: The girls were both just shy of 1 when we incorporated the company in November 2017. Shortly after, we enrolled the girls into nursery for 2 days a week so that we could actually concentrate on Sleep Thief. Before nursery, we’d be shoving them into ball pits and trying to entertain them whilst working on everything! It was really hard!
Effie: The girls are now 2.5 years old and probably more demanding than ever! But we do really love our time with them and try to make the most of it. Every Wednesday we all head out on “Adventure Wednesdays” where we try something new in London. The highlights have been the British Museum, Mudlarks at the Museum of London and London Zoo. Also, the girls love running around so there is always a lot of park time and picnics.
How important has your friendship been to each other?
Sophie: So, so important. Not just in business but in being new mums too. We couldn’t have done it without each other.
Effie: Sophie is by far one of my best friends now. We have honestly seen each other most days since we had the girls and we are always on WhatsApp back and forth about all types of things! We often joke that we see each other more than we see our husbands!
Sophie: People actually ask us if we’re related sometimes!
What does the future hold for Sleep Thief?
Effie: There are exciting things in store for the near future, including 5 new products and a new colour range.
Sophie: We love designing new products for the brand but we won’t just release items that we don’t believe in. We will always keep functionality and ease of use at the top of our design process.