We are so completely in love with Made By Nanny and their rather fabulous range of baby and children's clothes and accessories. They are our featured business this month at Walter & May, read on and you can hear more about their story, what inspires them and how great it is to work with your mum!
We are Made By Nanny. We're Judy (who is Nanny) and myself Amanda, a mother-daughter team that was inspired to start up this little project after one of my sisters and I had our first children, and turned Mum into Nanny.
Making bits and pieces has always been a bit part of our lifestyle and we have grown up with watching our own Nan knit and sew and create gifts and presents. This was passed down to generation to generation, with Mum/Judy really taking this skill and running with it. Blankets for new arrivals into the family, knitted stockings for Christmas, and sundresses for summer holidays were part of a family tradition my Nan started and are now carried on with each little family that grows and grows year after year.
So when my sister and I found we were expecting and told our family, the knitting needles were out straight away and mum was busy making us each a newborn blanket as our little tradition dictated. It was something our Nan had done for us so meant a lot that Mum could now do it for our babies. Newborn blankets were soon closely followed by little knitted cardigans and booties, and then more blankets and more cardigans... two very lucky little granddaughters where well kitted out by the time they arrived in August and October of 2014.
It wasn't till almost a year later and when on a family holiday to the south of France that the idea of 'Made By Nanny' started to sound like an actual possibility, and not just a little family joke made when another knitted or handmade item appeared from Mum's sewing room. Both my sister and I had been looking for summer clothing for the babies for our holiday as we knew it would be hot, we'd be in and out of the pool/car/shops and wanted something comfy, easy to wear and of course also fashionable. We couldn't find what we were looking for in the usual shops so, as always, Mum came to the rescue and whipped up some rompers and sundresses. Whilst on holiday we started pushing Mum to share her creations on social media as we loved them and thought others needed to see how talented she was too.
My career background is in Art/Design and Fashion Visual Presentation so I jumped at the chance to do this side for Made By Nanny and we started the profile as soon as we got back from France.We initially started with the intention only to share pics and ideas but pretty soon we were being contacted by people for orders and the idea of an actual business was quickly becoming real, and a little bit scary. It's been just over a year since we started now and still can't believe we have a range of products on offer.
Our most popular item has been The Baby Pack, something that we both love, a newborn gift set consisting of a handmade knitted cardigan, hat and matching booties. We also offer The Classic Cardigan, an item that our girls have in pretty much every colour and size, and is a firm favourite. This summer we have worked together to developed our ideas and design for the sundresses and rompers and have been overwhelmed by the response and orders coming through. Still have to pinch ourselves each time an order pops up.
Working as a family business of course has it's challenges but for us it definitely makes us a stronger team. You don't have to hold back even if its the silliest idea, you can say what you think without offending anyone and midnight sewing sessions in your pjs are absolutely part of the norm! I think it also helps that we both have very clear sides to the business that we can work on. Mum is by far the skilled hands-on one with the knitting and sewing, and I love being behind the scenes handling the photography, styling, website and social media pages. It's a good mix of the understanding of both worlds. One of us knows the technical side of creating handmade items and the other likes to bring a fresh look to it and hopefully appeal to my peers and follow mums who now do their shopping online and through unique brands found on social media.
We definitely feel inspired by this new image of handmade and creative people that is emerging through platforms such as Instagram, the community is fantastic and making handmade something very special and on-trend.
Looking to the future, which seems quite daunting as we like to take one day at a time, we would love for Made By Nanny to keep gently growing and growing and keep us both busy. We completely cherish being lucky enough to do what we love everyday for our own little business, it's a pretty empowering feeling and something I would recommended everyone to go for if the ideas are running around in your head but you're waiting for the right time. Go for it today!
From my mum's point of view, I'm sure she would also say the same regarding the number of grandchildren too, the more the merrier. Maybe even at some point we may have to introduce a boys range if a grandson arrives... and with four daughters, her odds are pretty good!