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mumpreneur the magazine Business


Christmas Gift Guide Take the stress out of Christmas shopping

Carol Smilie

& Annabel Croft

Starting a ‘Pants’ Business

Win Win Win

Competitions Galore!


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Contents 3

Get Mentoring

The Government scheme helping to pave the way for aspiring Mumpreneurs


Christmas Gift Guide


Deck The Halls

A word from the Editor… Hello and welcome to the first print issue of Mumpreneur The MAgazine! It’s that time of year again - the kids are writing their Christmas lists and everybody’s wrapping up warm waiting for snow. Of course, here at Mumpreneur The Magazine we know that this can only mean that all you mums and dads are just starting your Christmas shopping and making sure everybody has a well stocked winter wardrobe! Luckily for you we’ve got some great tips on fabulous gift ideas and stocking fillers. We’re all on the lookout for that perfect Christmas or New Years outfit and luckily enough, we’ve found some stunning pieces for you! As always, we’ve got some cracking comps including £100 worth of childrens fashion vouchers, some great cooking sauces, gorgeous leather boots for the little ones and even some free advertising up for grabs!


Everything you need to take the stress out of Christmas shopping

Our pick of the best decorations in town!

Fantastic stocking fillers for £1!

We take a look at the best british made products on the market

14 Best of British 16 Childs Play

What are those important items needed when having a baby?

18 Successful Mumpreneurs

Find out about those parents building successful businesses from simple ideas...


20 Award Winning Websites

Discover the websites winning awards and find out how you can make yours award winning too!

24 Trendy Tots


The clothes to keep your kids on trend

29 Ready Made Businesses

Thinking about starting a business but not sure what to do? Here are some ready made businesses for you to jump right into!

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31 Tax Doesn’t Have To Be Taxing

In the run up to the dreaded self-assessment deadline, Crunch Accounting give their expert advice

33 Top Tips For Building A Successful Company

The founder of social newtowrking platform LinkedIn gives his best advice for getting started

40 What’s On

Laura Rigney

44 Anna Kennedy



12 Bargain Stocking Fillers




A woman that can’t be stopped!



36 38 Postal Address: Mumpreneur The Magazine Office 7 & 8 94 Bell Lane Marston Green Birmingham B33 0HX Name & Registered Office: Mumpreneur The Magazine Office 7 & 8 94 Bell Lane Marston Green Birmingham B33 0HX Company Number: 08142435


Company Director / Editor:

Sales Director:

Jenny Cross 0161 264 9080

Graphic Designer:

Laura Rigney 0116 2571545

Laura Rigney 0161 264 9080

Follow us on Twitter @MumpreneurUK

Distribution: Media Matters Direct Self Select Distribution

Find us on Facebook

Published by: Mumpreneur The Magazine Limited Printed by: Spectrum Printing Services 0116 246 1717


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It's Christmas!

We realise that trying to find Christmas gifts for the whole family is no easy task. We’ve searched the shops and found the best of the best to make your life a little easier. Sit back, grab a cuppa and use our definitive guide to the UK’s best gifts! sell trendy animal onesies made from  unbelievably soft fleece.  Unlike fancy dress they’re durable, long lasting and make the perfect christmas present Buy one today at and use the discount coupon “mumpreneur” for 10% off!

It’s a Pirates Life and Pretty Princess Personalised Artwork

For home or business! Large selection of Wallpaper Murals, Any Size You Want! Order now from or email

The Knomo Laptop Slim comes in two sizes and is a sleek must-have ‘techcessory’ for girls-about-town who like to swap and change how they carry their laptop. With the Slim you can carry it by itself with the retractable padded handle, shoulder strap or pop it in a larger bag.

From £12 (unframed) A wide selection of personalised artwork, prints and keepsakes available. Childrens Rocking Chairs - Pirate Hoist the anchor and unfurl the Jolly Roger! Our Pirate furniture collection sets the theme for adventure on the high seas and the search for buried treasure! Bold colours create the perfect background for inspiring images of ships at full sail, treasure chests, and mysterious maps where “X” marks the spot! Stylish wood turnings add to the authentic detail! £89.00

from just £49.95

Personalised Carved Wooden Children’s Stools £40.99 6

Handmade Pink & Peach scalloped edge lace knickers Available in sizes S-XL £15 from

This cute teddy can be personalised with a message on each foot, 15 characters per foot. (Suitable for ages 1 year and over). Just £29.50

ROK is the perfect Xmas Gift for Coffee & Gadget Lovers. FREE UK delivery and FREE gourmet coffee. Special offer just £99!

This elegant little fridge is small, sleek and practical. Capable of cooling up to 20 degrees below ambient temperature, it easily stores two large drinks bottles, or four if you remove the partition. Plus, the door has reversible hinges and a magnetic catch - making this stylish fridge an unobtrusive and convenient addition to any desktop, bedroom or kitchen surface.


When something so small...

...means so much

Start my own business? No chance! At least that’s what I thought when I paused my career in recruitment consultancy to have my first baby. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching The Apprentice as much as the next mum and I often wonder how I’d fare on those weekly challenges. But taking a gamble with my own money never appealed quite as much as it would have taking a gamble with Lord Sugar’s. Nope, for whatever reason, I’d fully intended to return to the drudgery of chasing unrealistic targets when my maternity leave ended. I could never have foreseen that the inspiration for my business would follow the birth of my daughter, Lilia, in December 2011. Six months later, with the wettest British summer in 100 years doing its best to curtail our picnic-packed schedule of days out, Father’s Day rapidly approached. I hate to admit it but there’s only so much daytime TV that mum and baby can take so, to battle the tedium, we decided to create Lilia’s dad a homemade Father’s Day card.

We planned to capture a finger-paint print of Lilia’s tiny foot on the front of the card so we could give him a keepsake he’d cherish forever. Something so small that would mean so much... However, when we braved the grey and sodden high street to find what we were looking for, I became increasingly frustrated by the lack of a conveniently packaged solution that would enable us to create that perfect card for dad. I didn’t need a litre of imported fingerpaint. I didn’t need 50 cards. I didn’t need 50 envelopes. Like I say, I hadn’t got Lord Sugar’s budget. And I didn’t really have the inclination or the equipment needed to design, print and fold a professional-looking greeting card. The product I wanted didn’t exist. The experience left me determined to develop a high-quality solution. The remainder of my summer disappeared very quickly, albeit indoors

and out of the rain, and by October 2012 I’d launched my business. In February 2013 I’ll be at the NEC, Birmingham, for the Spring Fair Trade Show (stand 4H30) where I’ll be presenting my brand new range of British-made, greeting card keepsake kits. From a Happy Birthday to a Merry Christmas my range offers many of the seasonal messages that any creative, funloving parent and baby could wish to share with a loved one. Returning to work has taken on a new and exciting meaning. More importantly, Handstamped is attracting a growing number of delighted customers!

Suzanne Quinn


Keep boredom at bay the Pomolumi way! Kids activity packs for boys and girls aged 3-11 years.

Whether it's make-up advice, a Colour or Style Consultation or a Full Image Experience, we have the perfect image and confidence boosting gifts for all the girls. If youare looking for something for the man in your life we have the perfect gift to update their personal or professional image too. From £36.50

Goody Good Stuff uses the highest quality all-natural ingredients withoutany diary, gluten or gelatine! Vegetarian, Vegan, Kosher & Halal too. Available in Ocado, Asda and Waitrose. Greedy Cakes have put together an array of Christmas cake goodies and gift ideas for the festive season. Choose from Christmas themed Cake Pops for parties or gatherings (loved by adults and children), treat yourself to one of our homemade traybakes or choose a selection of gift-wrapped cake gifts to send direct to a loved one.


Special offer... 10% off all orders placed by 16th December! Enter code GCBC12Visit

Add some christmas spirit to your celebrations this year with this vintage-inspired typographic christmas dinner apron. A medley of all your food favourites, it’s sure to get you in the festive mood. Includes favourites such as brussel sprouts, parsnips, roast turkey, stuffing and christmas pudding. This festive design is also available as a tea towel - see related items below. Whether you’re a master chef or more of a beans on toast kind of cook, this apron is sure to add a touch of style to your culinary skills. Made in Britain from 100% unbleached cotton.


Just £36.99 from


Here at Mumpreneur The Magazine, we agree that one of the best parts of the festive season is getting those decorations out of the loft, brushing the cobwebs from the tree and checking that those lights, once untangled, are still working. Getting those decorations up marks the beginning of the Chrismas holidays and it’s pure, unadulterated fun! Here are our top picks for 2012 Christmas decorations...

Bushy Beard, Wobbly, Stretchy Legs - much fun to be had with this felt Santa! 65cm with legs fully extended £9.99


Deck The Halls 2


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1. Personalised Vintage Style Christms Sign, £39.99, 2. Acorn & Pinecone Heart Wreath, £14.00, 3. Felt GIngerbread Stocking, £28.00, 4. White Willow Christmas Wreath, £14.50, 5. Grey Willow Bell, £3.50, 6. Rustic Heart Wreath, £15.00, 7. Root Heart and LED lights, £12.00,


We are a specialist textile printing company based in Welshpool. We offer a comprehensive collection of cotton and canvas bags , cotton and linen teatowels , and cotton or polycotton aprons , all of which can be sold either as plain goods or embellished with customers’ own designs or logos. Over the years we have built up a large database of satisfied customers, from individuals planning a hen party, through to a substantial number of town and city councils and large high street retail outlets.

Wherever possible, all products we sell are environmentally friendly, ethically sourced, durable and re-usable. In order that we can be competitive in the marketplace most products are manufactured as plain goods overseas then shipped to Welshpool by sea in containers. They are then available to sell as plain goods, or can be embellished by silk screen, direct digital, or heat transfer printing processes. For bulk production we use silk screen printing as this is best for print runs of over 100 pieces and we use water-based natural pigment print colours to give high quality reproduction of customers’ designs.

Our online shop is a hugely successful addition to our print/embellishment business and is where customers can access our full range of plain products. Additionally we give them the opportunity here to purchase all the necessary products, such as fabric paints and fabric pens, to decorate them. Our two workshops in Welshpool give us excellent flexibility in planning print production and as a result we can offer customers exceptionally good turnaround times. Although we continue to upgrade and maintain machinery, and further develop printing techniques there is always further scope for fine tuning and development.

Fancy designing your own bag? By using a variety of our accessories you can easily create a bag personal to you or any member of your family. In the case below we are making a bag intended to be used as a toy bag;

We have a selection of Fabric Paints that can be applied to any of our cotton or canvas bags Or if painting just isnt your thing then we have a selection of made to order hot fix transfers that can be easily applied to any of our cotton or canvas bags

The Clever Baggers Ltd,Fox Buildings,Severn Road,Welshpool,Powys SY21 7AZ-0845 2600 393 01938 530 050 Email: 10

Our Made to order Designs are available to order through our website. – Please allow 2 extra working days for delivery-please put text in a pop up box on the article


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Stocking Fillers


Whether you’re looking for a few stocking fillers for the kids or a gift for a secret santa at work - these gifts are perfect. All for just £1! Where from I hear you call?.... You gotta love Poundland!


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BattleBox have fabulous Action and Adventure Kit made for real Adventures and real Boys. Designed to educate and inspire. From The Dangerous Den Kit to The Great British Soldiers Kit to Telescopic Fishing Rods and Stargazers. Everything the most intrepid of Explorers may need for his next fabulous Adventure in the Great Outdoors.


A great gift for the kids! Available at your nearest leading retailer priced from ÂŁ3





Khaya Bella, a boutique based in West Sussex, designs and manufactures coordinating home accessories, furnishings and gifts, all available through their online store. They have created a collection that isn’t too girly and that will appeal to males too. Each product is handmade by Khaya Bella’s team in the customer’s choice of fabric from the collection. Fabrics have been carefully chosen to complement others so that accessories can be coordinated for a cohesive look. Many preferences are catered for including unisex styles and a range for children and teenagers. “We have gone the extra mile to ensure our home accessories are of an excellent standard. We are firm believers in quality and craftsmanship and have spent time perfecting our products to ensure they not only look great, but the materials used are good quality throughout the manufacturing process.” “Our beanbags, which are our top selling product, have been designed so that there is space for the beans to hug the body and move upwards, supporting the back and neck. They have a strong fire retardant inner bag securing the beans and the zipped cover is removable for cleaning. Our beanbags look and feel very luxurious – they are a generously filled, quality product.”

sleepsuit 100% cotton sizes 0-12 months - £17.99

Currently available to order from Khaya Bella are Beanbags, Lampshades, Floor Cushions, Memo Boards, Bean Pouffes, Cushions, Door Stops, Draught Excluders, Table Cloths, Napkins, Place Mats, Carrier Bag Holders and Tea Towels. Pet Beds will soon be added to the range of products. Orders can be placed online at,

over the phone or via email. Khaya Bella Ltd T: 01903 744215 E:


Bold, Contemporary and Vivid pieces using everyday items to create designs of beauty. Made from hand drawn pins to form a heart and printed light cream on luxurious 100% Cotton Satin. Available in Purple, Pink and Mustard. 43 x 43cm cushion filled with a duck feather pad. Designed & Made In England. £40

Buy British 2012 has been the most patriotic year in recent history. We’ve had the Queens Jubilee, the London Olympics and now the announcement of the impending arrival of the first royal baby from everyones favourite Royals, Kate and Will!

Handmade to order, this stunning Smithfield is an elegantly enhanced Chesterfield sofa. These pieces of furniture are made using technics and traditions passed down through generations and couldn’t be more British if they tried!



Available from

Something different for your wedding day? HOw about this stunning vintage style comb or even better this vintage brooch bouquet... a bouquet made entirely from brooches! We LOVE this! Comb £20 Brooch Bouquet £375

Vintage Telephone Salt & Pepper Shakers £15.00. Funky housewarming gift or simply cool homeware! White porcelain salt & pepper shakers with super black vintage telephone graphic.

They say these things come in three’s but we’re about to prove everybody wrong by adding a fourth, yes a fourth event into the mix... Our Best Of British feature! Whether it’s furnture, homewares, clothing, beauty or anything else for that matter, we’re highlighting some of the best British businesses right here. We all want to help support our fellow mumpreneurs and even those pesky dadpreneurs (only joking fella’s), so before making your next purchase ask yourself if you are actively supporting our fellow business folk. Take a look at some of these fabulously British brands!


Baby K Moses Basket Mothercare

Reindeer and Christmas Pudding Jumpers from Primark UK Available from £9 each!

Child's Play

Pixie & Fluff Infant Rocker £95.00

Having children is an expensive business and the sheer volume of products on the market is nothing short of mind-boggling... especially if it’s your first little bundle of joy! This collection of the beautiful and the practical will hopefully make your shopping experience a little easier.

Both available from

Soft sole navy/pink jodhpur boot £21.00

Mothercare Travel Booster Seat Cream with cushion £36.99 Gluxe Pushchair Colours £149.99

Orla Kiely Yellow Daisy Stem Midi Sling Bag £138.00



Who knew breastfeeding my baby boy would make me an inventor? A deep rooted fear of exposing the tummy he’d left behind, coupled with a desperation to get back into my favourite clothes after an eternity of maternity wear manifested in a simple piece of underwear which made any top a breastfeeding top. I couldn’t believe no-one had thought of it before. But they hadn’t! Quote MUK20 for 20% off at

My lightbulb moment came when I tied cloths around my babies’ necks to stop dribble ruining their clothes, then realised that if I made something absorbent and attractive, I’d have something that looked good AND soaked up drool as well! Then came Skibz (scarf and bib!) - hard work, but worth it! Quote MUMPR20 for 20% off at




Having enjoyed great success from Totseat, the washable, squashable high chair I designed, the best advice I can offer is a: Totseat export – look outside your home market, it’s SO much easier than you think and b: protect your trademarks – don’t necessarily be sidetracked by legal ‘guidance’ on patents – register your trademarks in every market you intend to crack (you can do much of this on a DIY basis for very little cost). Quote LIVEALITTLE15 for 15% off at

Successful Mumpreneurs

We’ve all had one of those moments where we try and find a product or service that solves a common problem only to find that there is no solution. These inspirational mumpreneurs not only discovered the problem, they also created a solution! Not only will you read some fantastic advice that will leave you feeling inspired, you will receive some exclusive discounts too!




I recognised a gap in the market and I couldn’t wait to fill it, passion is the key! I created my first ever TotsBots from an old towel over 12 years ago and now TotsBots is the UK’s leading cloth nappy manufacturer. It’s wonderful to know that we have helped save the planet, parents pennies and ensured the little ones look super cool and have a fluffy place to pee in! Quote MUMP15 for 15% OFF at 18

I was struggling to fit a fiddly foot muff on an unexpectedly miserable day when I decided there must be a clever solution that was easy to fit, would work on all modes of transport, fit all ages and be fully waterproof – Eureka! The Go! was invented and is now saving parents space, time and money. I think ‘Invented by a Mum’ is the greatest endorsement for any product. Quote MUM15 for 15% off at



Snoozeshade I have really enjoyed taking SnoozeShade from just an idea that would benefit me personally to where we are now - a global brand that is helping parents all over the world. SnoozeShade has won several consumer and industry awards, both in the UK and globally, so it’s tremendously satisfying to know that the hard work I’ve put into growing the brand is paying off and I feel excited about the future. Quote MUMP20 for 20% off at

The Wheels On The Bus Rebekah Nash tells us how her journey on the Childrens Party Bus began.... Since setting up this business in 2010, it has taken me in directions I had never thought of. We offer fully supervised parties contained within our Double Decker Bus for children aged 2-8, and we offer “Just for Fun” play sessions too. We were approached in the winter of 2010 by a local charity to see if we could offer play sessions to the local children whilst families accessed valuable information. This has proved to be really good decision and we now offer our Play Bus to local charities on a not for profit basis, I am pleased to be giving something back to the community.

Contact us on 01527 570093 or 07772359043. Find us on Facebook or email us at:

Calling all


If you are seeking a better work-life balance, then find out how you can become a Mumpreneur. It could open up a fantastic new world to you. You could join the growing number of mums, in the UK and around the world, who have built hugely successful businesses around raising a family. accountants etc are now developing their own business giving them quality of life as well as a great income.

Award-winning Bright & Beautiful is transforming the life of working women, with:• Franchise opportunities that enable professional women to achieve a £50K+ income but with flexible family-friendly hours. • Eco-friendly domestic cleaning and housekeeping services to manage the homes of busy working families.

Bright & Beautiful is: • A proven business with 30+ franchises around the UK • Perfect if you want to work from home • An opportunity to earn a sizable income • A perfect fit around caring for your children and being a great mum.

Join our diverse group of franchise owners:- former nurses, teachers, sales executives, bank managers, HR experts,

Franchise owners DO NOT clean, they employ a team of professional housekeepers and train them according to the Bright

& Beautiful procedures. As a franchise owner your time is spent networking locally, building relationships with clients and managing your team. You need to be a people person with a good eye for detail and a passion for great client service. Bright & Beautiful train you in all aspects of running the business To request an information pack email : Or call: 0845 241 0818 .



Winning ickle bockles Websites In these days of modern technology, the internet, smartphones, tablets and all other techy gadgets, it’s never been more important for business owners to get their websites just right. Launching a website that incorporates all of the legal requirements is hard enough but alongside that you also need to ensure that it’s attractive, user friendly and above all appealing to your buyers. This is no easy task especially when the cost of developing the perfect online presence can become more than you ever bargained for. The team and expert panel behind Mumpreneur UK have the unenviable task of judging websites based on a multitude of different criteria. Creating a website that is lucky enough to win one of these sought after awards is no easy task but it can be done. Each of the following businesses are all very different, as are their websites, the only thing that connects them is the fact that each of them has been awarded one of these prestigious awards. Take a look at what they’ve done to be included within this elite group!

Bronze Silver Gold 20

Cath Atkins has her hairdresser husband Dean to thank for providing the inspiration behind Ickle Bockles. Over the years Dean’s clients repeatedly requested smaller bottles of salon professional shampoos and conditioners to take on holiday. Apart from the occasional promotion, the salon shampoos and conditioners were only available in standard size bottles.

Tall Maternity Store Tall maternity brand Mummy Long Legz has responded to customer requests and increased its size range catering for ladies up to size 30. Owner Gillian Epworth has also opened a second store, Mojo Maternity which specifically caters for plus size ladies and their maternity needs.

Gillian said: “We received a number of requests from ladies feeling very let down by the high street asking us to offer a wider range of sizes so we immediately got on with the task and increased the tall maternity range up to size 30. We then took the decision to launch Mojo Maternity; a separate website dedicated to plus size ladies in regular lengths. Over 40% of the female population in the UK is size 16 plus and we have responded to the need for well-fitting, stylish maternity wear in Subsequently, when the airlines reduced the larger sizes. The feedback has been fantasamount of liquids that could be carried onto tic prompting us to add new products and planes to 100ml in light of events of 9/11, they employ an additional sizing specialist” decided to source some good quality 100ml bottles which sold extremely well within the salon.

Having worked in Marketing for many years, Cath quickly saw the potential to brand and sell their bottles to a wider audience and set up . The range was expanded to include different size bottles and pots, travel accessories and, more recently, their own range of 100% natural travel size toiletries. Cath says “Dean works long hours in the salon but, as a stay-at-home mum I love that I have time to run the Ickle Bockles business when our two girls (8 and 4) are at school. I’ve put a lot of effort into getting our website ‘just right’ and am delighted it has won a Mumpreneur Award.”

Tall Maternity Store and Mojo Maternity firmly believe in achieving the perfect fit so invest heavily in design, studying body shapes and thoroughly testing their products prior to manufacture. Their experience of non-standard sizing ensures their products are well fitting and comfortable whatever your shape. Mummy Long Legz tall maternity clothes are sold exclusively through www.tallmaternitystore. You can pick up the entire Mojo Maternity plus size range at www. and Gillian is always on hand to offer advice on any of the styles and help find your perfect fit.

FamilyTripFinder Selene Cutler is the founder of family holiday company is unique as it gives parents the tools to custom build their own holidays. All the information needed to organise a holiday in France, Spain or Italy are here, delivered in easy to find, user-friendly way. is a one-stop resource for families who are planning their next holidays. It is full of vital information: from where to sleep, eat and play, to local maps, photos and much more. You will know exactly where and what you can do on your trip. Nothing seems to be a miss and if you want to be super organised you can even book the table from the list of restaurants, recommended by families who have been there before you. How do I book? is not a travel agency and does not charge any fees to users. is a website that gives you the tools to find your ideal family holiday, and the facility to book your holiday either directly or via one of their partners. What are the benefits of using Familytripfinder. com? www.familytripfinder. com has made finding, researching and booking a child-friendly holiday a lot easier, saving you bags of time. “For many a family holiday can be an expensive purchase, to maximise the chances of having a great family time, it is important to know what your options are and what is there for the kids to do, before committing yourself”.

Allium B Smiley Petz Allium B was launched in March by sister team Clare and Mary Burgess, both former senior executives at Topshop, out of their frustration at not being able to find dresses they liked at prices they could afford. The result is a niche brand of exclusively designed limited edition dresses. The range is about understated, wearable dresses given an edge with gorgeous detailing and fabrics - Liberty silk inspired by a Pointillist painting or a hand-stitched statement neckline.

We share a passion for dresses, but as our styles have grown up, we’ve found it increasingly difficult to find grown-up but affordable options to match - dresses that aren’t too young, too old, too short or too long.

A few years ago I was in search of somewhere warm, safe and cosy for my dogs to stay when I went on holiday. After all, that is what they were used to at home, so why should their holiday be any different. However, after quite a bit of research, I discovered there was hardly any choice out there, apart from cold noisy kennels, which were not an option for our four legged family members. Being a dog lover and having owned dogs all my life this prompted me to start my own business, providing dog owners with luxury dog holidays for their 4 legged friends, which is how Smiley Petz became established. Back in 2010 we started offering fantastic breaks, where dogs actually get to feel like they are holidaying at their best friend’s home. They are immediately treated as part of our family and made to feel extra special. They go on fantastic walks, receive Immeasurable amounts of love and cuddles and also get to relax in a cosy, warm atmosphere.

Like most women we don’t have time to waste - we want versatile dresses we can throw on for an instant outfit. We refuse to compromise on fabrics, so we use only gorgeous silks, cottons and georgettes, with prints sourced from Liberty and Italy. The profile of the brand is really flourishing, helped by Stella Loves and our Mumspreneur Web Award, which we are delighted to win. We love nothing more than seeing someone try on one of our dresses and look and feel truly beautiful.

In addition to being licensed by our local authority and providing 24/7 care, as an extra bonus for peace of mind, we also provide a Petz blog on our website for owners to check in on their canine companions during their holiday.


How To Create An...

Make-Up Hits The Big Time A w ar d W i nni ng W e b sit e is the one stop shop for cruelty free, organic, natural and Vegan cosmetics, skincare, brushes and kit essentials. The site selects products for their performance as much as their eco/ Vegan credentials so you’ll find cult brands from around the world including Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and their Lip Tars, Sprout (fans include Gwyneth Paltrow), Fevour and Everyday Minerals (a favourite of Hollywood’s Anna Faris) for PETA approved bases, eyeshadows, cheek colours and brushes, alongside popular brands such as Butter LONDON (fashion friends include Victoria Beckham and Alexander Wang) and Lime Crime. Mumpreneur Gold Website award winner Julie Burford set up Cocktail Cosmetics five years ago and 2012 saw the site rebranded with a sleek new look and easy to navigate format, as well as the addition of gorgeous brands including the full range of Adesign brushes, Australian brand Alexami, Fevour and Eye of Horus for which Cocktail Cosmetics is the exclusive UK stockist. The site is a must visit for anyone who buys make-up or skincare with the best the industry has to offer, all packed and shipped within 24 hours (Monday to Friday). Gifts with purchase, free UK delivery on orders over £50 and speedy delivery make this the perfect shop for busy mums who don’t fancy traipsing round the high street. Come and find Cocktail Cosmetics online at On twitter @cocktailcosmet and on facebook 22

Winning an award can be a great boost to your business, but is your website up to the standards needed to be an award-winning website? for an example of excellent use of photography by award-winning websites!

Expert Coding You may be surprised how different a website can look when viewed using Internet Explorer instead of Chrome or Firefox instead of Safari if not created properly.

We’ve asked Sadie Knight from Glassraven web design for some pointers on what sets aside an award winning website from just another website... A website should work no matter what! Make Regardless of the sector you are in, successful websites share many of the same elements...

Content The content is what your customers are coming to your site for! Your website needs to have concise, meaningful content which is appropriate to your customers interests. Divide it up into sections to make it easy to scan read, and lead them through into other areas of the website for more where this is relevant. Make sure you provide enough information for people to make an informed decision – this is particularly important for ecommerce websites.

Keep it Current Nothing looks worse than a website with out of date information - a blog which was last posted on over a year ago, pages with broken links, events listings full of past events (and none in the future). If you include this kind of information on your website – keep it up to date!

Design / Visual Experience Design is a very personal thing, everyone has different preferences, but what is appropriate for one sector is often not suitable for another. The design should be of high quality and be appropriate for your audience – this will help to establish trust in your business. It should support your content, but not be overwhelming. Good quality photography is important – especially on ecommerce websites! Take a look at and www.lovethelit-

sure you test your website in different browsers, ideally validate it against the W3C web standards.

Ease of use Your website should guide your customers through – be it an ecommerce website where you provide an easy buying process, or a service website where you lead them through the services which interest them. Clear call to actions on each page will greatly assist in this – whether it be guiding them into the next page of information, or into the next page in the checkout. This leads me into my final point...

Intuitive Navigation Keep your navigation consistent and easy to use – make it clear to your customers what area of the website they are within to aid them in browsing. Ensure the most sought after information is easy to access from anywhere in the website (and make sure it is accurate and well-presented). Recruit friends and family to look over your website and see how they use it – this can be eye opening! Good luck! I hope to see you sporting the Mumpreneur UK award on your website very soon!

By Sadie Knight, Glassraven Web Design

Trendy Tots

Wonderful organic cotton penguin print long sleeve T shirt in malibu blue. Children love the fact that the cotton appliqué wraps around the back of the top - so much more interesting to look at ! £15.99

We all want our children to look good, the problem however is that it usually costs a small fortune to keep up with current trends. Luckily, we have tracked down some amazing boutiques that offer not only on trend pieces for your little ones but they offer these gorgeous garments at affordable prices!

Here’s hoping you can find some beautiful bits to kit your kids out over this festive season!

Your kids will love splashing around in the puddles in these Charlie the Dashound rubber wellies ! £24

We absolutely adore these vintage inspired tutus with lace layer detail by new British label, Loola & Goo. They’re pretty special and would look perfect for any special occasion or equally worn everyday with a pair of boots or converse. Because we all know how little girls love to wear tutus! £45.00




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You’ll never shop in the same way again BABY GIFTS - MATERNITY TOPS - MUM & DAD GIFTS - 100% ORGANIC



T: 01403 754040

The Mini VIP Treatment

In a previous life, Michelle Webb was a product development professional with a hectic corporate lifestyle. In 2012, things couldn’t be more different – she’s a full time mum with her own fashion business. “I have two young children, Josh who’s seven, and Jessica who’s three,” she says. “When Jessica started pre-school, I wanted to go back to work. I had a desire to work for myself and an idea for something that I knew could really take off.” After feeling frustrated at the lack of quality clothes available on the high-street, Michelle – who’s from Hartford, Cheshire – developed a plan for a children’s clothing business selling

fashions for girls and boys from new born up to the age of eight. “When I found out that there was a local shop up for lease, I jumped at the opportunity to grab it,” she says. “I set out to open a store that stocked a unique range of attire for kids, with prices ranging from high-end to affordable. I wanted to deliver something with a completely different offering to anything you’d find on the high-street or in a big chain shop.” Michelle’s dreams became a reality in March 2012, and nine months later she is successfully running Mini VIPs, a collaborative shop and online store ( “We provide a really customer focussed experience, both at the shop and on the web. We want people to feel relaxed and find what they want easily. Our level of service is exemplary because we want to build great relationships with people in the community, and beyond,” says Michelle. “I love helping new parents and excited grandparents select outfits for their little loved ones. It’s also a great talking point with other mums in the playground.” Mini VIPs’ selection includes clothes from renowned brands such as Emile et Rose, and from contemporary favourites such as Lily and Sid. “I aim to stock the designer brands for those that want them, whilst providing exciting new ranges that are reasonably priced,” says Michelle. “I’ve also taken on a premature range, which is for sale both in store and

online.” The shop has been going great since its opening and Michelle now employs two assistants, as well as getting a

helping hand from friends and family. “Having my own business means I can work the hours that suit me – I can be back home to help the kids with their homework and get dinner ready,” she says “Life is very much a juggling act, but I am my own boss and I have a great support network.”

For more information, go to www. or visit the shop: 33 The Green, Hartford, Cheshire.

Darla Dress Stunning party dress, perfect for Christmas day. 100% Organic Cotton £40

Chesterton Chunky Jumper Bamboo/ Organic Cotton Knit £35 Classic Boys Jeans Bamboo/Organic Cotton Denim £25

Reversible Daisy Gillet £30.00



Making A Name For Yourself Did your mother ever tell you if you did a certain thing ‘you’d get name for yourself?’ Did it make you want you want to do it more, or was that just me? The thing is, having a name that people know instantly is incredibly powerful. How often do you hoover the floor? Does housework give you such a headache that you take a paracetamol? Do you use an escalator at the mall and buy sellotape to wrap the presents? Or have you bought everything online, Googling the best sites for gifts? Can you spot the trade names in these questions? “Hoover”, “Paracetamol”, “Escalator”, “Sellotape” and “Google” of course. These brands are now so synonymous with those product that they have become the word we use to describe items or activities. I never ‘Nurofen’, ‘Scotchtape’, ‘Otis’ or ‘Bing’, and even though I ‘Dyson’ I still hoover with it! As mums we know that long before our children can read, they recognise that particular shade of purple chocolate wrapper (we kid ourselves when we ask ‘how do they know’?) My youngest daughter can recognise the blue and orange box for a certain biscuit and stages a full-on tantrum if I try to fob her off with an own brand box which is more orange than blue; “They’re just as delicious darling” I say, sounding very convincing. She then wails “but they’re not Jaffa cakes Mummy!” True, they are chocolate orange sponge cakes from Sainsburys and half the price of McVities! So even at the age of two, my daughter is already making choices based on brands.

it and to shout like a banshee on your behalf if they do. What is a trade mark and why should you brand your product or business with one? A trade mark is a word or logo which distinguishes one product from another and which is an easily recognised as the source or origin of the product. Trade marks can be unregistered (™) or registered (®) words, pictures or logos in black and white, colour and even in

“Investors like to see registered marks when considering whether or not to fund a business.” 3-D. Also, sounds (like the Intel or BMW themes) and even smells (like Chanel No 5) can be registered as trade marks. The mark is registered according to the type of goods or services it will be used on, but there are 45 classes of registration to choose from and your goods or service offering will almost certainly fall into one or more of these classes. Registering a mark is a simple process whereby the mark is examined and advertised, before being officially acknowledged by that national trade mark registry as distinguishing your goods or services from someone else’s. Trade marks can be registered in the UK Intellectual Property Office if you only plan to do business in the UK for now, or as a Community Trade Mark (“CTMs”), if your business is Europe-wide. Once your business is established worldwide, you might even want to register it at the World Intellectual Property Office as an international trade mark in up to 78 countries worldwide!

So how do you get to the stage where your product is the most recognised one of its type or the go-to product of choice? The answer is probably split 30% product and 70% branding. I am not a marketing consultant and I can’t help you Where a registered trade mark is come up with an excellent brand particularly valuable is that it allows name that catches the mood of you to prevent anyone else from using the moment and will look fresh for the same or similar mark for their same or similar business – meaning the next five years. “Even though I near lookalikes and copycat I am a trade mark lawyer and it is my ‘Dyson’ I still hoover.” products and domain names used by competitors can easily job is to work behind be dealt with. Trade marks are the scenes to make sure the brand you also valuable intellectual property choose to introduce to the world is which can be sold as part of protected; to prevent others from copying


your business exit strategy and generally investors like to see registered marks when considering whether or not to fund a business.

“Having a name that people know instantly is incredibly powerful” The UK Intellectual Property Office has lots of useful information on their website about trade marks with a ‘quick facts’ leaflet ( and a step by step guide to registration ( Next year will your business be in my list? Will your nappies be the only name in reuseable? Will your furniture, accessories or interiors be the ones gracing Vogue and Homes & Gardens? If your product is good and your brand is strong, there is every chance they will! If you want to talk through the possibility of registering your brand as a trade mark, or if you are worried someone else is using your brand without permission, you can email me for a free consultation on launchpad@ or If you have a question about your business start up, I will happily refer you to one of my colleagues for a free initial consultation as part of our business “Launchpad” service.

Joanne Frears is a solicitor and head of Intellectual Property in the Creative, Technology and Intellectual Property team at Jeffrey Green Russell Limited


Call Julia TODAY on 0843 658 0055

How would it feel to have hundreds of new customers calling YOU? Get social with BrambleBuzz to bring your business to life. You know that every business needs new customers, fresh opportunities, great rapport, market research and strategic partners. But did you know that the right approach to social media can provide them all?

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Do you love fashion and jewellery? Are you ambitious and driven? If you answer YES to all of the above then becoming an Independent Stella & Dot Stylist could just be what you are looking for. For an initial investment of just £169 you can get a business in a box! Once received, as me as your sponsor and mentor I will help train and guide you to ensure that you too, like me, can run a successful Stella & Dot business. Within the first month you can start earning straight away. Earn between 25 & 30% commission on your sales. Earn free jewellery too.. Be part of a global company and receive 24/7 online training together with local monthly team meetings. Be among an entrepreneurial group of women and find out how we are all currently succeeding and moving forward with our business. You will be self employed but with the constant back up and support of Stella & Dot UK and me as your sponsor you will never feel alone or isolated. I really would like to tell you more so please email me your contact details and I will be in touch. Are you ready to literally change your life? I am excited to hear from you!

Contact me:Penny Stein

Whether it's make-up advice, a Colour or Style Consultation or a Full Image Experience, we have the perfect image and confidence boosting gifts for all the girls. If youare looking for something for the man in your life we have the perfect gift to update their personal or professional image too. From £36.50

Business Opportunities

Want to start a business but not sure what you’d like to do? There are many opportunities out there ready for you to jump straight into. Here are some of our favourite....


Spice Up Your Christmas

Ever tried cooking an authentic Indian meal but struggled? This is where Previns come in, with their new range of Indian Spice Kits everyone can recreate a true Indian eating experience in the comfort of their own home. Previns, founded in 2011 by Managing Director Niraj Bhatt, is named after his father Pravin Bhatt who was an Indian musician and passionate cook. Niraj is sharing the soul of his father by allowing everyone to explore their inner passion and cook exciting food bringing friends and family together for a social dining experience. Each Spice Kit contains the finest quality herbs & spices blended to a traditional family recipe, which has been handed down through generations. Also included is an easy to follow step-by-step recipe card together with a list of required ingredients, which you simply add to cook each delicious dish. Choose from Chicken Curry, Bombay Potato, Masala Fish, Chicken Korma and Lamb Kebabs. Previns plan to launch the next range of 5 kits by Christmas consisting of Chicken Tikka Rub, Lamb Keema Curry, Aloo Gobi (Potato & Cauliflower), Chickpea Curry and students favourite Baked Bean Curry. Buy online at or see the website to find your nearest stockist.

Buy online at or see the website to find your nearest stockist.


Great Ideas!

You have the opportunity to win £50 worth of cooking spices courtesy of Previns!


All you have to do is email with the subject line ‘Previns’. Include your name, and contact details so we know how to get in touch if you win. Deadline for entries is Friday 18th January 2013 at 4pm. Good Luck!!

Tax doesn’t have to be taxing... but it certainly can be! Undoubtedly one of the most stressful periods for any fledgling business owner is when the time comes to complete their first Self Assessment tax return. Depending on how your business is set up, your income may not be taxed “at source” (i.e. through the PAYE system), so your Self Assessment is your chance to let HMRC know how much money you’ve made in the previous tax year, so they can calculate how much (if any) tax you owe. It may not all be bad news though - if you’ve overpaid tax in the previous year, your Self Assessment is your opportunity to let HMRC know, so they can give you a tasty refund! The key to successfully completing your Self Assessment is a mix of accuracy and punctuality.


HMRC, and this must be done by 5th October after the tax year you need to file for. So, if you have started a business since April 2012 you will need to register for Self Assessment by October 5th 2013. Once you have registered with HMRC (which can be done over the phone in a few minutes), you will receive a Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR for short). Unfortunately this must be posted to you, which takes a few days. Once you have your UTR number, you can register for HMRC Online Services, the portal through which your Self Assessment can be completed. Unfortunately to do this HMRC must send you an activation PIN which - you guessed it must be sent in the post. See why you need to plan ahead? Once you have activated your HMRC Online Services account you are, finally, good to go.


So now you have your timing sorted you need to make sure your Self Filing a Self Assessment is The key to successfully Assessment is as accurate not something you can just completing your Self Assessment as possible. To do this you sit down and do - there need financial records is a mix of accuracy and are certain tasks you must lots of financial records. complete beforehand punctuality. The main items to (in some cases months consider are all the tax forms you received beforehand) in order to be in the year you are completing your Self able to file. Assessment for - P45s, P60s, P11Ds etc., and records of all your income. This doesn’t just Your Self Assessment covers the previous tax year, so if you are completing one right now it mean income from your business. However will cover April 2011 to April 2012. If it is your you received money, HMRC needs to know about it. It could be through investments, first time filing you will need to register with

buy-to-let property, or money you received from abroad. HMRC isn’t just interested in your incomings though, they need to know about your outgoings too. This can be obvious things like business expenses, but can also include things like interest paid on credit cards (make sure you order statements in advance - banks often make getting past statements an arduous task), charitable donations and the associated Gift Aid, and any “payments on account” (meaning payments you’ve made towards last year’s tax bill).

Remember: Submission date is also payment date The submission deadline of January 31st is also the deadline for any tax you owe - meaning if you complete your Self Assessment at the eleventh hour and find out you owe thousands you could be severely out of pocket. For this reason it’s always advisable to get your Self Assessment done early - if you find out you owe a ton of tax, you’ll have time to do some financial planning and make sure you can pay it. Every tax cloud has a silver lining though, and if you file your tax return early and find out you’re owed a refund, you’ll be at the head of the queue when HMRC begins to dish them out!

Jon Norris is a freelance writer and Web Editor at online accountants Crunch

If you need a little more help with your Self Assessment, there is plenty to be had online. HMRC run webinars for sole traders, or you can check out Freelance Advisor’s 5-step guide.


10 top tips for building a successful company

By Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn Rule #1: Look for disruptive change If you’re about to start on a new venture, ask yourself: What is becoming possible or necessary that wasn’t possible before? Is a new product or service able to take over an existing market or create a new market? When I co-founded LinkedIn the tech industry was in a deep depression. I looked at all the opportunities created by the Internet and had the idea that eventually everyone would need a professional profile online. The disruption was that people were able to directly reach the best candidates rather than hoping for responses from a listing in the paper or an ad on a Web site. Rule #2: Aim big Regardless of whether a start-up is targeting a big idea or a small one, it will still require the same amount of blood, sweat and tears—so aim big! What is “big?” It is a new product or service that creates or dominates a significant market. Rule #3: Build a network to magnify your company People tend to think that behind every great start-up is a single entrepreneur with a whizbang idea. The reality is great companies are built by a number of people with talent who are surrounded by amplifying networks. The most successful entrepreneurs bring in advisors, investors, collaborators and early customer relationships. Rule #4: Plan for good luck and bad luck You should always assume you will have both good luck and bad luck with your new company. Good luck is not as simple as “it worked out.” Rather, this is when you discover a great opportunity and can quickly shift to go after it. Bad luck is what happens when your first idea doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean failure; it means you need to pursue plan B. Rule #5: Maintain flexible persistence Very often entrepreneurs are given conflicting advice: “Be persistent! Stay committed to your

vision!” or “Pivot on key data! Know when to change!” The challenge is to follow them both, but know which advice is most appropriate for which situation. You must know how to maintain flexible persistence. Rule #6: Launch early enough that you are embarrassed by your first product release With my first startup,, it took us nine months to launch the first product. That was a disastrous mistake. We wanted to have all the detailed functionality right away, including social controls to people could decide to connect or not with the people in their networks. We wanted everyone to “Ooh” and “Aaah” about how terrific the product was. We wasted a bunch of time and it put us months behind on more important problems that needed to be solved, such as how to get our product in the hands of millions of people. From that I learned, if you are not embarrassed by your first release, you’ve launched too late. Rule #7: Aspire, but don’t drink your own Kool-Aid Target excellence, but be very careful about blind trust or belief in your theories. It is important to launch as early as you can in order to learn how your customers use your product or service. It is equally important to identify measurements that tell you if your aspirations and vision are on target. You should also get feedback from your network in order to iterate the target, the product and/or the service. In other words, maintain your aspiration but always look for good perspective on how you are doing. It is very easy for creative innovators to get caught up in their own story rather than learning where they should be headed.

Rule #9: Pay close attention to culture and hires from the very beginning Your first hires set your culture, so make them good ones. These first people hire the next people and so on. The old wisdom was that you needed people with a decade more of experience in your start-up. The things a smart person learned a decade ago won’t help you now – you’re doing things that have never been done before, and the world and the competitive landscape are changing at hyper speeds. What you really need are people who can learn fast. Rule #10: Rules of entrepreneurship are guidelines, not laws of nature Do not pay too much attention to rules set by other people. Entrepreneurs are inventors. They are successful when they make something work for the very first time. Sometimes in order to make something work, you will drive over the guardrail of one of these rules. Entrepreneurs sometimes just make new rules.

Rule #8: Having a great product is important but having great product distribution is more important I meet a lot of entrepreneurs who think the best product is the most important thing and that the best product should always win. What a lot of people fail to realise is that without great distribution, the product dies. How will you get your product in the hands of millions or hundreds of millions of people?


Annabel: It’s a business supplying pretty, cotton breathable pants that is aimed firstly at teenagers but ultimately all menstruating women who want that little bit of extra security during her period. We have created a unique product that both Carol and I felt was a gap in the market place. Where did the inspiration come from?

Perfect Pants... Period.


What do a former professional tennis player, a bubbly television presenter and that dreaded time of the month all have in common? The answer... Diary Doll the latest celebrity designed product to hit the market. Wondering what it’s all about? We caught up with Carol Smillie and Annabel Croft to hear the story behind the latest ‘Pants’ product... So, Diary Doll is your new joint venture! Tell us a little about the business.... Carol: DiaryDoll Period Pants are lightweight, soft and pretty pants that have a secret bonded waterproof yet breathable panel that runs from the front waistband to the back waistband. They’re not absorbent, but are worn together with your normal protection during your period, but they ensure there are no embarrassing leaks onto either your clothes or bed linen.

Carol: Annabel and I have spent a lot of time in Portugal over the years on holidays with our families, and a chance conversation about dealing with periods as both mothers of teenage girls and as pre-menopausal women, developed into a fascinating discussion, from which DiaryDoll Period Pants were born! Annabel: My mother gave me a pair of what I would call “special pants” during my time on the tennis tour when I stayed in many hosted families to save any embarrassing moments during the night. Carol and I have been great friends for years and enjoyed joint family holidays in Portugal and it was during a chance conversation that I mentioned it to Carol while she was buying packs of throw aways for her daughters. As businesses go it is a little unusual, what has been the general reaction from the public so far? Carol: I’m amazed at what some women are prepared to put up with. It’s a silent subject, yet so many really suffer and either keep it to themselves or share with their closest friends. We are supposedly a developed nation, yet we are so backward about a problem that affects almost half the population. Other nations see it as a coming of age, a celebration yet we treat it as a dirty little secret. I’m sure if men had periods, they’d have found a solution long ago! Annabel: We have had a fantastically positive response from mothers and daughters alike who all think it’s a brilliant idea and cannot understand why it has not been done before. The

simplest ideas are the best ones. The feedback following the tour which has been wonderfully supportive. starts in January and ends in December. I have to adWhat has been the biggest stumbling block so mit that Carol has far? driven this whole project to where it is now. She has Carol: Honestly? Male newspaper editors. They amazing energy, positive ideas, see it all as a bit ‘icky’. In an age where we hap- is very thorough and has done pily buy pants that make us thin for a night or all the graft. I feel dreadfully put gel in our bras, and can openly laugh about guilty about that but Carol takes doing so, it’s sad that the one subject that af- charge and I just chip in an idea fect every woman and is not a lifestyle choice, where I can but perhaps that’s is swept under the carpet. Surely we owe it to a good partnership. If we were our daughters to protect them from playground both pulling in opposite directaunts and potential social suicide if they ever tions - we may not be where we had an accident and leaked onto their clothes? are at now with the product. Not rocket science, just real life. Annabel: I think it’s been hard for editors Has anyone given you a piece to overcome the subject matter of women’s of advice that really helped periods which in our society is a bit of a “taboo” you? What was the advice? subject. Other cultures celebrate it but we tend to hide away and ignore it like it doesn’t exist. Carol: We have had incredible support from Scottish EnterHave your found that your families have been prise and Business Gateway, supportive? government-based initiatives here in Scotland. They immeCarol said: Our daughters have been great, diately saw the potential and helping with social media, background re- gave us financial support with search, focus groups. Mine have even mod- developing the website and distribution, and elled on the website! Our husbands have brought in various experts in different fields to embraced the business side of it, and de- talk to us and offer advice. We still meet them spaired at the male attitudes, and our poor every month to keep them updated with our sons have had an education like no other! progress. Annabel: Yes, incredibly supportive and been Annabel: Actually yes, we were advised to keep involved in the whole process of ideas and crea- control of the product through direct selling on tivity behind the brand. The meetings started the internet and I think it has been good advice. right away in Portugal and all the girls were enthusiastic and now are spreading the word to all What advice would you give to other start-up girls out there. businesses? Carol: Do as much market research as possible We all know you both from T.V., does this busi- before ploughing too much money in. Listen to ness mean that you have put your media the results, even if it may not be what you want careers on hold? to hear. There is so much help out there, if you just ask in the right places. Carol: Not really, Annabel is flat out with Annabel: Do the due diligence before you set out commentary work, and I do a lot of and take as much advice as possible so you leave corporate stuff, but we both still have agents no stone unturned and ideas are two a penny but and can easy fit TV work around this at the bringing them to fruition takes drive energy and moment....ask us again in a year’s time! commitment so you have to believe in your idea. Annabel: No, I am snowed under with TV and commentary work in the tennis world Now is considered a tough time to start a

business, do you have any contingency plans to ensure you go from strength to strength? Carol: Good question! The one thing I always harp back to, is that we’re all born, we will all die and women will always have periods, no amount of economic change will affect that, and if we can bring them security and confidence at that time, they can get on with worrying about everything else! Annabel: We are both following up every lead and it seems that Diary Doll has a life of its own which tells me we are onto something - hopefully it won’t come to that.

To find out more or to buy a pair visit


Questions you may never think to ask your travel agent… How long does it take to get there? It can be easy to forget to consider how much time is lost in getting to your destination. Once you factor in flights, a two-week trip suddenly becomes ten days if you’re going to Australia, for example. You may not want to spend a long time getting to your holiday destination if you don’t have adequate time to wind down and enjoy yourself before heading home again.

What are the benefits of an airport lounge pass? There can be precious little to do at an airport between checking in and taking off if you have bought all your souvenirs and don’t fancy sitting in crowded departure lounges. In these days of heightened security, you may have hours and hours to while away before you board the airplane. Investing £16-£20 in a couple of hours in an airport lounge could be the answer. They can be a haven of airconditioned peace and quiet in busy airports, and they have recently opened up to all travellers not just business people bound for that big meeting in Beijing.

Which check-in option is right for you? The days of arriving at the airport three hours before your flight leaves to queue up for hours


at the check-in desk are numbered. With so many different ways to check-in you don’t always have to spend time in line. However, with so many check-in options, it can be tough choosing the best method. Why not ask your travel agent to advise you on the best option for you.

How do I stay healthy on holiday? Many of us forget that visiting an exotic destination carries with it some health-related risks, and what about jetlag? Most passengers experience some form of jet lag after trips of more than four hours either east or west. Travel agents are some of the most welltravelled people in the world and have a wealth of tips for coping with jet lag. My top tip is to change your watch to the local time of your destination immediately after boarding the plane so that you become accustomed to your new time several hours before arrival.

Are there still late deals to take advantage of? The days are gone when we could jump on a flight the following morning after paying £99 to go away for a week. Although I know that people still do book later, I don’t know if they are getting a “deal” as if they would should they book in advance. Especially when you know with most tour operators you can get a free child place as soon as the brochure is launched which in itself can be a huge saving. My honest opinion is if you can you should try to book in advance you have more time to save for your dream destination and you’re more likely you to grab that deal.

Can we take a picnic on the plane? The range of food available on airlines has improved vastly in recent years, but for fussy eaters and those on a budget there is always the option to pack your own lunch. Some airlines offer free drinks and snacks, and your travel agent should be able to advise you on this.

By Leighann Kirby, Travel Counsellors

Stay In...

Scarborough Scarborough was Britain’s first seaside resort and as such has a lot of history including its Castle which overlooks the town dividing both the South and North Bays. The Brunswick Centre and many other local shops make Scarborough a popular choice for shopping trips and there are many other popular tourist attractions in the area such as the North York’s Moors steam railway based at nearby Pickering, with Whitby and Filey only a short drive away but accessible by either by local road or rail networks

The Outlook Hotel

The Outlook offers a quiet relaxing break with four star high quality accommodation, a good reputation for its food and is fully licensed with a well stocked bar. the Hotel overlooks Peasholm Park with the sea beyond, we have a private car park for residents offering 24hr free parking. The Hotel is well situated within easy walking distance of all resort amenities. The Open Air Theatre which is the largest in Europe is very close as well as there being three other Theatres in the Town, The Futurist, Spa Theatre, and the Stephen Joseph Theatre which often performs plays by Alan Aitkbourne who is native of Scarborough 01273 364900


Is Your Wardrobe On Your Side? Being a mum is probably the most multitasking role there is on the planet. Then throw into the mix running your own business, you are bordering on superhuman status. But have you ever stopped to wonder if your wardrobe is keeping up with you in all this? It’s a funny question but I often ask my clients is your wardrobe a nightmare or a lovely sanctuary whenever you have to rush out for a networking event or balance the school run with a client meeting. How do you feel as you juggle both roles in your life? Some feel that they always op for comfort and practical but they’ve lost that loving feeling for what they actually want to wear. Others say, with their bodies in a state of flux they can’t work out what items work and which ones to let go of. Does this sound like you? Being an entrepreneur requires you to put yourself out there in an authentic and often vulnerable way to sell what you have to offer. Often as a mother you’ve put yourself bottom of the list of priorities in order to make everyone else happy. This is often evident in the wardrobe department. I help mumpreneurs get comfortable in their second skin so that you consistently show up and present the most memorable and confident version of themselves. Many women use my Wardrobe Diet sessions as a way to help them get their wardrobe back as their ally and not their foe. So stop fighting with your wardrobe and follow these 4 easy steps: •Take some time out to name and claim your signature style - It’s all about personality clarity - just who are you? Look at yourself, take some time to identify what makes you smile, when did you look your most fabulous and why? What textures, shapes and fabrics do you adore? What images come to your mind? Jot down key words or phrases and create a signature statement that resonates with your heart. What are you best qualities you want to wear on your style sleeve? What you want is to storytell through your clothes what’s the first impression you want to give to clients about you? • The Devil’s in the Detail - You need clothes 38

that are going to sell you and make you feel confident. So reconnect with your beautiful body again. Do you know the right type of jackets that suit your body.... what about dresses that hide your paranoid spots (you know those areas that we all have and we try to hide). Pay attention to the colours that drain you vs the ones that make you sparkle. You know those days when everyone loves what your wearing or you suddenly look so well. • Tackle the Skeletons in the Wardrobe - it’s about tackling the history and memories behind some clothes which either make your heart sing or sad...what to keep and what to ditch. Ask yourself these starter questions: • Do I love it? - does the item lift your energy and makes you feel good? • Does it represent the woman I am today? - not who you were a few years ago or who you will be right now...that’s who clients are meeting.... this lady today! If it doesn’t work here it may be time to let go an make more space in your wardrobe and life for something more positive. • Banishing the one hit wonders...Think about creating little families of clothes that multi-task with each other and work in harmony. What are your ‘grab and go’ outfits that help you nail that meeting or casually work with the school run and the quick Skype call. By creating outfit combinations from what you have you will start to see what the gaps are and then you can shop accordingly. This really helps to prevent those one hit wonder purchases that you later look back on with the‘What on earth was I doing’ stare. Go on, give these steps a try in your wardrobe. You will begin to create a wardrobe that will be your best friend through thick and thin. Samantha Clarke is the

Chief Creative Architect at Zukuri UnLtd & Style Architecture Academy helping female professionals and entrepreneurs get ‘visible’ in their business. Stop shying away behind your clothes and get out there and show clients what you are made of. By helping clients know their style, cut the clutter from their wardrobes and shop smarter; she gives ladies the power to walk their walk with confidence and pride. - Bespoke 121 Wardrobe Diets & Shop Smart coaching - An online academy dedicated to help female entrepreneurs with specific advice on how to build a personal brand style & wardrobe for success The Wardrobe Diet audits and restyles your wardrobe so that balance is restored. I assess your wardrobe, life and business, look at your shopping patterns and set some future goals. Move over ‘I have nothing to wear’ as we create ‘grab & go’ outfits effortlessly for work or play and help plan how you can shop smarter in the future to fill the gaps.

All That Glitters Christams and New Year are one of the few events we can go over the top with our clobber. We don’t think it’s fair that the glitter and sparke usually end p on the Christmas tree so here are our favourite sparkly shoes, dresses and accessories for the festive season.




1. Diamante Bangle, Next £16 2. Ivory Geri Shift Dress, Next £85 3. Gold Cuff, F&F at Tesco £6 4. Draycott Gold Shoes, Dune £90 5. Glitter Clutch Bag, M&Co £20






WIN! FREE ADVERTISING Do you have a business that you’re trying to promote? We’re offering one lucky business the chance to advertise and promote their company completely free of charge in 2013! Not only can you win the space to advertise within Mumpreneur The Magazine, we will ensure you have our entire design team at your disposal, creating you the best, business generating and brand awareness raising advert they can. The prize will include a full colour, quarter page advert within three issues of Mumpreneur The Magazine within 2013.


Mini VIPs is a friendly children’s clothes shop that aims to delight our customers with excellent customer service for both parents and children.

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ount Kick C ands s Wristbeach l Note tenata £3.50 our An y r fo icker REE nd a F k ation auntthekic m r fo in rther For fu e visit ww Pleas

How To Enter:

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How To Enter:

Send your contact details including name, email address and telephone number to with the subject line “Mini Vips” 41


How do you get your business seen and heard when... Running a fully-functioning business can be an extremely daunting task for any entrepreneur and trying to do this whilst juggling family responsibilities and day-to-day life at home can make it almost impossible. But women are best known for multi-tasking (!) and there are many women who are mums too, that have successfully started out their own business venture. Unfortunately however, this is sometimes where the journey begins and ends. Like for many small businesses, the key to gaining business momentum and growth rests on marketing the business and telling the world what you can do!

Here at Smarts, we recognise that though many small business owners may have the aspirations for growth, time restrictions mean that they have to prioritise the running of their business. For many, therefore, simply knowing there is someone available to provide advice and support on how to package and relay news of their product or service beyond their four walls would be invaluable. PR and marketing, however, is often viewed as a huge business leap that requires large-scale investment to see deliverable

• You’ve got to pick the kids up from school • You’ve got to take the little one to football • You’ve run out of milk • Oh, and you’ve got a business to run!

results. It’s also not seen as a tool that can effectively help businesses when they are still going through growing pains or their early years of business. Though these theories are largely incorrect, taking baby steps is key. There are a few steps business owners can take themselves that require little effort but will see measurable results in getting their business out in the public eye.

where there will be like-minded people. For example, attend trade shows where you would like your product/service to be shown, speak to the people there and learn from those retailers you are trying to reach.


Get your product/service rated: There is no better endorsement than to have your product or service rated. Yes, you may have to give something away for free for a while, but having valid viewpoint Get to know your local newspaper: Regional and local on your business offering can be newspapers are always interested the tick-in-the-box that prospective in you as local people. Get to know customers need in order to spend their money with you. It can also the journalists, tell them about have wonderful effects on your your business venture, they will internet search engine rankings as more than likely want to run a story about you and what you have more people will be endorsing you and driving traffic to your website. on offer.



Utilise social media: Never underestimate the power of social media. Set up a business page on Facebook, tweet about your business news regularly and blog. You will see your website visitors increase dramatically and more people will engage with you and your business offering.


Network: Get to know the people in the know! Put yourself forward to attend events


Acknowledge the competitor landscape: It is always worthwhile seeing what your competitors are doing, or have done in the past. Learn from their marketing and PR ideas that seemed to work well in your mind and always think, how would I do this?

business owners find their feet in the marketplace. At Smarts, we have introduced a service designed to give small and medium-sized businesses – including mum entrepreneurs - the opportunity to benefit from marketing and communications expertise.

The new service, called Smarts Start, aims to offer a completely tailored solution for businesses needing a communications strategy. So, if you recognise your business needs to be shouted about but you are just not sure how to go about it, feel free to give us a call to discuss your requirements. We are very friendly! Tel: 0121 456 3199

Of course, beyond these five simple steps there is a lot more that can be done to help small

Tel: 0121 456 3199


A woman that can’t be stopped! As we say goodbye to 2012 and look forward to the new year ahead, one woman has continued to drive her campaign for autism awareness forward, capturing the hearts and minds of many, succeeding in new projects and being recognised with one of the highest honours in the land in 2012 – this woman is of course Anna Kennedy!


ampaigner, author, blogger, Founder of Hillingdon Manor, Director and, most importantly, Mother of two boys, both of which have autism and Asperger’s, Anna Kennedy is a wonder woman. For over 15 years she has used her passion and determination to campaign and achieve fair education and treatment for those affected by autism and their families. Mortgaging her own house to set up Hillingdon Manor School, a specialist school for those with autism, Anna has gone on to establish other education institutes including West London Community College and boasts an international following, providing a voice for families everywhere. This year Anna hasn’t slowed down, in fact, she has had several successful drives, including creating awareness of the bullying of autistic children in mainstream schools, organising the first ever ‘Autism’s Got Talent’ show, which was a runaway success and topping off the year by receiving an OBE from Her Majesty The Queen! “It was a wonderful moment when I received my OBE from The Queen, she was very polite, friendly and it was amazing to be recognised for something I have been doing for over 15 years! I also met Actress, Kate Winslet, who expressed interest in working with me in the near future!” commented Anna. So, 2012 has been impressive but what does 2013 hold for Anna?

Hillingdon Manor students express themselves through print Hillingdon Manor students have transferred their experiences to the written word, penning honest and endearing experiences of being an autistic teen in the hope it will help guide and help others. A guide to everyday hurdles written by autistic teens for autistic teens charts the everyday challenges they face and advice on how to best tackle them. Written by a group of autistic students for their Young Enterprise project, the aim is to help other students who have found themselves in tricky situations. “Speaking as the Co-Founder of Hillingdon Manor School I have no hesitation in confirming that this book is one of the schools greatest achievements. It provides advice from the people who matter, namely the young pupils who are affected by Autism Spectrum Conditions. I am very proud of the achievements of these pupils and look forward to them making their mark in this world, starting with this book.” Anna Kennedy OBE


Education What once began as a search to find her autistic sons the education they deserved has now turned into Anna herself,delivering opportunity and hope to others by establishing several establishments…

for all…

Baston House School: Reducing the Effect of Autism on Learning Having celebrated its first successful year in 2012, Baston House is an independent special school for children aged from 5 to 16 years old, the School’s goal is to break down the learning barriers encountered by students. By providing a tailored education, the specialised teams who work there can then help your child to become as independent as possible, preparing them for life after school. The school’s approach combines autism-specific techniques with child-centred strategies, focusing specifically on developing and improving communication and interaction skills. These are taught through positive interventions, with excellent facilities and the potential to enable pupils to reach their full potential, inside education and into the future. For more information contact 0208 462 1010 or email

Hillingdon Manor School Hillingdon Manor is an independent specialist school for children on the autistic spectrum between three and a half and nineteen years of age. Located over three sites, the school offers a unique mix of education and support to pupils within a wide spectrum of needs and abilities. Personalised teaching and learning within an autistic specific environment allows pupils’ individual needs to be addressed completely and their capabilities fully realised.

West London Community College Situated in Uxbridge, West London Community College is a wellestablished Independent Living Skills provision for adults with an Autistic Spectrum Condition or Asperger Syndrome. Using a person centred approach, we are able to meet the complex and specific needs of our students. Each individuals programme is designed to promote the students intellectual, psychological, moral, social, cultural, physical and creative competencies.


Success Story of

2012 Autism’s

Got Talent! Taking place in May next year, Autism’s Got Talent showcased the unique talents of those with autism and giving them a huge stage from which to display their wonderful talents. This superb show was the talk of the town, with even wellknown personalities showing their support on the night, including Esther Rantzan, singer song writer Lynsey De Paul, the voice of Britain’s Got Talent Peter Dickinson and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow among a 600-strong audience who were amazed by the talent of young performers who live with autism. Anna said: “A good show demands a great line up of talent and the young people smashed it on the night. It was a proud night for me, parents and families with lots of tears, laughter and fun. We can’t wait to stage it again next year and are looking for new talent now - I suppose I am the Simon Cowell of the autism world.”

Encouraging future generations…


the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, many children are scared to excel with 11% having stopped singing, 8% drama and 9% dancing. 8% have even quit sport for fear of being bullied. Achievement in crucial academic subjects is also being stifled with 1 in 10 (12%) children saying they have played down their ability in science. Maths is also taking a hit, with almost 1 in 5 girls (18.8%) and more than 1 in 10 boys (11.4%) deliberately underachieving to evade bullying. Nearly half of the performers who took part in Autism got Talent this year have been in bullied in school or within the Community and turned to Performing Arts to help them get through their awful experiences. Anna Kennedy Online is now looking for talented children and adults with an autism spectrum condition to participate in next year’s show on May 11th 2013 at Mermaid Theatre London. Anna added: “We already have some strong acts coming through for next year’s show having seen some of the auditions already! This year’s show was such a success that we can only build on it and get better, so we encourage those with a talent to apply and get involved!”

Research has shown that more than a quarter of 11-16 year olds (27.3 %) have quit an activity they enjoy because of bullying, and almost half (49.5%) have played down a talent for fear of being bullied - rising to 53% amongst girls.

Please contact Lisa Robins for further information on 01895 619734 or lisa.robins@

Despite the popularity of programmes like X-Factor, and Great Britain’s achievements in

To order your copy please ring Lisa on 01895 619736 or email

On sale now…’Autism’s got Talent’ 2012 DVD £20 inclusive of postage and packing

anna k

26 DEC – 6 JAN


LONDON THE O2 26 DECEMBER 2012 – 6 January 2013 • Motorpoint arena Sheffield 28 March – 1 april 2013 MANCHESTER ARENA 4 – 7 april 2013 • BirMinghaM nia 10 – 14 april 2013 • glaSgow Secc 17 – 21 april 2013 METRO RADIO ARENA NEWCASTLE 24 – 28 april 2013 • weMBley arena london 1 – 6 MAY 2013 nottinghaM capital fM arena 15 – 19 May 2013 • liverpool echo arena 22 – 26 MAY 2013


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