MOTHERHOOD INTERVIEW: CECILIA CROSSLEY
Cecilia Crossley, Mother to Isaac (6) and Sam (3), started out her career as a Chartered Accountant in the City. Once she became a parent she felt compelled to help other children around the world to have a fair start in life. Today due to her determination and vision she has helped support hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children around the world via her not-for-profit business, From Babies With Love. Here she shares with ParentFolk her story and take on Motherhood:
Tell us what you do for a living and how you got started?
I’m founder of From Babies with Love, the baby brand that donates 100% of its profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. I started From Babies with Love by working evenings and weekends, whilst working for an international development charity.
Where did your idea for your business come from?
When I became a parent, watching charity adverts about the hardship children face all over the world made me determined to make a difference. The emotions connected with becoming a parent fuelled my belief that every baby should have a fair start in life, no matter where they’re born. I was out shopping for organic baby clothes when I thought to myself: if I could buy beautiful baby products and know the profit helps children in need, why would I buy anywhere else? And so, From Babies with Love was born.
From Babies with Love speaks to the powerful emotions parents feel for the welfare of children universally. It also appeals to style-conscious parents who want beautiful products. From Babies with Love satisfies both desires in a unique, memorable way.
What challenges have you faced being a mother and running a business?
When I work long hours or away from home I miss the children terribly. Thankfully I don’t have to do so very often.
What would you most like your children to learn from you as business woman?
My eldest son decided to gather all his old toys and set-up a charity shop on his little picnic table in our garden. I was so touched. I don’t know where he got the idea but I love that it occurred to him to raise money to help others.
What has running a business taught you about yourself?
It’s been an interesting experience learning to feel comfortable outside of my comfort zone. Having started my career in the City as a Chartered Accountant, I’ve moved from an environment where I was continually trained in a specialised area, to one in which I create and invent every day – with no experience, no text book – I’m always in the deep end. Not worrying about that, indeed enjoying these situations is something I’ve had to learn.
Do you ever feel torn between juggling home and work expectations?
Continuously. I think every working parent does.
How do you manage these situations?
I work flexibly, and feel lucky that I can. I collect the boys from school twice a week; for me this is a good balance.
When the end of the week comes around what do you look forward to the most?
I must admit that I don’t have that clear sense of distinction between a working weekday and fun weekend. Although I know the feeling from previous jobs, at the moment I have a lot to look forward to every day.
Quick fire Q’s:
What’s your top tip for any mother wanting to start her own business? I think being surrounded by supporters is important. Be they non-executive directors, mentors, stakeholders from clients to suppliers, having people to celebrate successes and figure out failures with is really helpful
Spring/Summer or Autumn/ Winter? Spring/ Summer
Dinner at home or eating out? Eating out
Plan everything or act on impulse? My heart says act on impulse and my head says plan!
Current read? I wish!
Favourite product from your collection and why? Our signature Little Kisses print, designed using the kiss from our logo to create a contemporary take on the polka dot, is now in an organic babygrow and knot hat in stylish French Grey. We like to say the baby is literally covered in kisses!
Shop online today and play your part in helping orphaned babies around the world.
Suitable for children aged 12 to 24 months, the collection features five adorable characters, including the Stork, Jellyfish and Whale, as well as designs that complement From Babies with Love’ existing garment range – the Duck and Monkey. These adorable cuddly toys not only bring hours of comfort and joy to their owner, but are also considerate to the environment and help provide much needed care to less fortunate children around the world. Made in the UK, the designs are digitally printed onto GOTS certified organic cotton with luxuriously soft organic velour backing, and filled with an upcycled fibre which has been produced from reconstituted drinks bottles in Scotland; helping reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill. 100% of profits from every sale are donated to help orphaned and abandoned children worldwide.