A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JO LOVE – FOUNDER OF LOBELLA LOVES

DAY IN THE LIFE, motherhood

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Lobella Loves is a newly launched online shop full of beautiful treasures for your little one. Behind the digital shop front there is more! Founder Jo Love has built a business designed to make a difference and donates a percentage from every single sale to Cocoon Family Support, a charity supporting families suffering from pre and postnatal mental health issues.

Jo has also launched an amazing campaign called ‘Notes of Hope’ where she donates handpicked gifts to mothers receiving support via Cocoon, accompanied by a handwritten letter of hope from a mother who has been through a similar experience.

The response to the campaign has been overwhelming with supporters and postnatal depression survivors submitting letters sharing their personal experience with the condition and a positive message for those currently suffering. I can only imagine how comforting it must be to receive a lovely gift and a heartfelt letter of hope from someone who has been through it.

I love businesses that seek to help and support others and especially love the story and concept behind Lobella Loves, so when Jo invited me to choose a gift I jumped at the chance to be involved…

…Choosing which gift from all the options on the site was the hard part but eventually I settled on an amazing bright and fun neon cactus light! Jo kindly sent me one as well as sending one to a Mum currently receiving treatment for a perinatal mental health issue (either in hospital or on an intensive treatment programme). I only hope that when the Mum receiving it switched it on it brought a smile to her a face, as it did mine.

I think you’ll all agree the Notes of Hope campaign sounds pretty special. I certainly did! And I wanted to know more about the woman behind it all, partly because I’m nosy and partly because she sounds bloody amazing!! So what does a day in the life of a Mum running an online business and charity campaign look like?!

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This is the first post in my new ‘A Day in the Life‘ series where we get a sneak peak behind-the-scenes into the real lives of interesting and inspiring entrepreneurial women. Here Jo Love shares what life is like for her as she juggles her young family with running Lobella Loves….

I WAKE UP …very unnaturally anywhere between 5:30am and 7am depending on when my human alarm clock (otherwise known as my two-year-old daughter Bella) wakes up and starts singing the ‘Wheels on the bus’ on repeat at the top of her lungs!

MY TYPICAL DAY…starts as soon as the toddler whirlwind opens her eyes! The morning routine is a pretty chaotic dance between me and my husband trying to get everyone up, clean, fed and out of the door with minimal tears and spilled porridge. I have been known to come out of an important work meeting to find rouge Weetabix smears across my front. Luckily most of the people I’m meeting these days are parents themselves.

After childcare drop-offs I’ll usually settle into answering any emails I haven’t gotten to the previous day. I love the variety of entrepreneurial-life as no two days are the same. One day I can be in town socialising and networking with the Insta-mums or working from Google Campus’ co-working space in the City the next! This is very different to my previous, much more routine, life as a lawyer.

Until launching Lobella Loves I worked as a corporate lawyer for the best part of a decade, and although it was an incredible career, my new world feels far more suited to lifestyle and my entrepreneurial spirit.

Every day, whatever else I may be doing, I am on Instagram. I am an addict. It’s somewhere I find my beautiful products and wonderful sellers, but also an incredible support network. Many connections that started in the virtual world have now crossed the dividing line and have become my real life friends. If you’d said to me 5 years ago some of my closest gals pals would be people I’d met on the internet I would have called you crazy!

AFTER WORK…when you run your own business it’s hard to know exactly when work is done for the day. There is always something to do. However recently I’ve tried to get much better at switching off the laptop and having some time out. Self-care was for a long time a completely alien concept for me, now I actively try and switch off and have some me-time. Lately I’ve started using the Headspace meditation app which has really helped me get the most from those precious moments of chill.

THE WORST PART OF MY JOB…Is realising I only have a certain amount of time and therefore I really have to prioritise what needs to get done and when. In a similar way, I’m learning to get better at delegating and knowing when and what to give to someone else.

THE BEST PART OF MY JOB… Is being able to help other Mums struggling with mental health issues. We donate money from every single sale to Cocoon Family Support, a charity helping support Mums with perinatal mental health illnesses. I suffered badly with postnatal depression after the birth of my daughter, so when setting up the company I had a really strong urge to help others and it was a great tonic for me and helped my recovery. Giving back helping to fight the stigma and helping other mums have become part of the DNA of the company. My mantra is IT’S COOL TO BE KIND!

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And what an awesome mantra that it?? I think we could all do with a IT’S COOL TO BE KIND slogan tee!

Big thanks to Jo for being the first Mama to take part in my new A DAY IN THE LIFE series! I hoped you liked reading about Jo’s day as much as I did! I’m sure many of you will relate to the juggle/struggle and the difficulty with taking time out when you run your own biz. I certainly struggle with allowing myself time for self-care and knowing when to delegate to others.

If you want to find out more about the amazing work Jo does through Lobella Loves and how you can get involved and support (or just to browse and shop) make sure you visit Lobella Loves.

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HAYLEY’S IN THE (MOTHER) HOOD

In the (mother) hood

Meet Hayley. She’s the owner of Southwood Stores which, if you’re not already familiar, is the kind of online shop where you want to buy everything on offer. She’s also the woman behind cool clothing label Gray by Southwood Stores, which celebrates strong women. She’s an original, real-deal Mum Boss and even once owned an ice cream van! She’s Mum to two boys (one of whom is already an adult) AND she’s been married for 20 years (woweee). Oh, and I almost forgot to mention; she’s not yet 40.

Read what this amazing Mama has to say about her experience of Motherhood…

Hayley

Name: Hayley Southwood

Location: Whaddon, Bucks

Number of kids: 2 boys

Names and ages: Jake age 16, Callum age 18

Was motherhood planned, a lovely surprise or somewhere in the middle?

All I ever wanted was my own family. As a teenager if I’m brutally honest this was my ambition… To have a proper family. That’s where it all started. I met my beautiful hubby when I was 15 and he was 17. My dream was to get married and start a family. I wouldn’t choose this path for my boys but Paul and I created a family that we are so proud of. We got married when I was 20 and I had Callum at 21.

Initial feelings on finding out you were pregnant?

We were all over the moon, my Mum was bloody brilliant about it now I look back. She had told me you can make mistakes at 20, 30 or 40 and as long as I was happy she was happy. My Dad who wasn’t in my life very much had very different opinions. That I shouldn’t settle down and I should travel. At 20 there was no way I was brave enough to travel. My boys are brave and strong at 18 and 16 and been off around the country because they have a stable strong upbringing. It wasn’t like that for me.

What was it like having your children young?

Being married and having my boys young has given me confidence in my abilities. My husband studied whilst we had babies and got his masters degree. I opened my nursery school at age 25. Determined to give my boys a good, solid, secure life. I worked around my boys but was always there to drop them and pick them up from school.

What is it like now?

I still work so I’m home when they get in just so I can make a cup of tea with them and here them moan about their day. We like it this way.

Gray by Southwood Stores

What was pregnancy and labour like for you?

Being pregnant was the best thing, I bloody loved it. Apart from the stretch marks, my size 8 child like body got stretched so bad. My tummy bled every day. My boys were pretty huge! 8lb 10oz, and 9lb 7oz.

Labour was beautiful with the first born, I’d say period pains. The second bloody awful, he was huge and facing the wrong way. I used gas and air for my second baby!!!!!

What’s the best bit of being a Mama?

Watching them grow into young men has been amazing, truly amazing and I feel very privileged to be their Mum.

We are a team, we work it out together and I’m sure we’ve all said things we didn’t mean but I’m so proud of my little family. They have given me the confidence and determination to start all of my businesses.

My eldest still calls me MAMA when he’s being nice!! The youngest won’t let me get out the car when I collect him from school. Life is just the way we like it!!

Anything else you’d like to share?

I own Southwood Stores and blog at Breathe Happiness.

Southwood Stores

Massive thank you to Hayley for sharing her experiences! What an inspiration!! Be sure to check out her store, you won’t regret it (although your credit card might) and visit her blog, Breathe Happiness.

If you’d like to feature on the blog as part of the ‘In the (mother) hood’ series, please get in touch by emailing thedoublemama@gmail.com.