Nearing 33 weeks pregnant and a typical Type A personality, you’d think I’d have everything pretty much sorted for our first-born’s imminent arrival – sadly, not so! I have my hospital bag packed – check. I’ve cobbled together a birth plan based on Google results, advice from friends and gut instinct – check. We have our ‘stork walk’ next weekend – check. But do I feel organised? Heck, no! It’s all a little overwhelming. Talk about information overload – I’m not sure what I should and shouldn’t have done by now and every experienced mum seems to offer different advice ahead of d-day…. Not to mention all the questions I have for when the little bundle arrives. Given my mounting panic, I was intrigued to hear about The Baby Planners – run by former nannies, Gemma and Simone, the company is a ‘concierge’ service for expectant parents facing similar overwhelm to myself through “bump, birth and beyond”.
I’m all ears this week to hear of the inspiration behind this power duo and their innovative company. Enjoy!
Tell me a little about you, your enterprise, your mission!
The Baby Planners is a London-based baby planning and maternity concierge company dedicated to providing support and guidance to new and expectant parents?
What is your vision of your best life?
We would love The Baby Planners to be a big success and be able to branch out into charity and community events – doing work we love that helps people as well as having a happy home life would be perfect.
Can you tell us about some of the challenges/obstacles/fears you’ve faced and how you’ve tackled them.
Simone: I’m a bit of a control freak so delegating tasks and trusting that they’re completed was a problem for me at first but, with a bit of practise, I’m getting better and don’t feel the need to keep checking up…which I’m sure is appreciated by Gemma!
Gemma: I have a big fear of public speaking and talking to strangers, so much so that I missed every class at college where I had to speak in front of a group! I still don’t like it but the more I’ve had to speak to new people for The Baby Planners the easier it’s got.
As for challenges for our company, finding a good balance between work and play has been hard. Having enough time to spend with loved ones and friends as well as looking after The Baby Planners is important and we’ve had to learn to prioritise.
Have you ever thought you had everything planned, only for life to show you an alternative?
Simone: All the time! I’m very much a planner only to have my plans changed at the last minute. I have learned that you just have to go with the flow and that everything happens for a reason.
Gemma: I wouldnt say i have things “planned out” but I normally know what path I’m on. I never expected to do some of the things I’ve done though and I’ve had a couple of curve balls thrown at me, the biggest of which was moving to another country for a few years. It was spur of the moment and if I hadn’t done it my life would be very different now.
Has there been a ‘defining moment’ that has changed your life or your view of life? What has been the nudge in the right direction for you?
Gemma: When my grandmother, who I was very close to, died I realised I could have done so much more by that point if I’d had more focus. It gave me the kick I needed to go out and do the things I wanted to do before it was too late. Figuring out what I enjoyed doing and focusing on those things helped me put the idea for The Baby Planners together.
Simone: Starting our own business has changed my life. I never thought I would have the skills needed to run a company. After many years of former bosses telling me that I had the skills to branch out on my own I finally took the plunge with Gemma and I have loved every moment since.
If you were to look back and offer advice to yourself, what 3 pearls of wisdom would you share?
Don’t waste money on things you don’t really need.
Do what’s right for you and not what everybody says you should do.
Figure out what it is you love doing and do it. It makes getting up at 6am much easier!
Don’t rush. Take your time and all will work out in the end.
Trust your instint.
Communication. It’s vital especially with a business partner.
What book, piece of music, blog, quote or person inspires you the most?
Simone: I have such a diverse set of inspirations that I couldn’t pick just one. However, when I need a pick me up I head over to Tate Modern to spend a few hours looking at the paintings and then head into the members area to look over the River Thames to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The view of London on the Thames never fails to inspire me.
Gemma: I like quotes that give me hope that what I want to achieve in life is possible and remind me that the only person that can make it happen is me – like this one: “The best way to predict your future is to create it” by Peter F. Drucker
Keeping with Simone’s art theme I also really like this quote: “Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso.
Any last words of advice?
Simone: Buy a small note book to keep in your handbag. Jot down anything that inspires you or those random ideas that seem to pop into your head on the journey home.
Gemma: Trust your instincts and make choices that are right for you and your family not ones you think your suppose too. And lastly, if you need help or advice, ask for it.