What we, both new and experienced mothers, have always learnt is that parenthood is a game changer: an unabridged and irremediable one. We gradually forget our old lifestyles, we embrace the bitter taste of guilty feelings as we feel our lives are now all about making choices, we reach exhaustion peaks and we often feed on worries. Yet, what personally enthrals me about parenthood is that pretty often these challenges manage to push mothers raise the bar so high that occasionally some of them end up becoming the same inspirational figures they used to follow for a long time before their own journey as mothers.
These are Mimmi and Selina to me, mums before anything, good deeds embracers and owners of one of my top ever favourite baby and child fashion brands Tao&friends (why? most durable fabric from my toddler’s wardrobe complimented by cool prints is enough reason for me to stick with these cool ladies and help spread the word!)
How did Tao&friends start?
A little bit on Mimmi and Selina’s friendship that turned into a business…
It all started just before Christmas 2014. It was the two of us (Mimmi and Selina) having a bff catch-up dinner in Stockholm. Selina’s daughter Elsa, who is also Mimmi’s goddaughter, had had a very tough start in life and spent her first days at the Neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital where she was born. Thanks to the amazing care she received she is today a healthy and perfect two-year old girl. We wanted to do something where we could give something back and help other children. We had actually always wanted to do something together and that evening we decided that we would launch a kidswear brand together and for every item sold we would be giving €1 to charity to help other children in need. We even came up with the name Tao&friends that first night and the following day we had set up our Instagram account @tao_and_friends
How does a regular day of yours look like now the business is growing?
So far there hasn’t been a regular day! However we are in a really exciting period at the moment preparing to launch our next collection. So it’s busy with finalising the collection, press days, interviews as well as working closely with our charity partners and distributors.
The balance between being your own ‘boss’ and a good mum must have a lot to do with a healthy time management and a bit of discipline. Could you briefly share your own key tips on improving the efficiency of a busy mum’s daily schedule?
Between us we have 3 kids and one “bun in the oven” so between nursery drop offs, tennis lessons and feeding times, it’s a busy schedule! Fortunately our job let’s us incorporate being a mum and we call our kids our “management committee”. We bring them to meetings and 9/10 it works well. Generally though we think you become very efficient as a mother and since we are based in two different countries (Sweden and UK) we also use technology as much as we can to communicate and collaborate. You become not only an excellent multi tasker but you become creative in how and when when you work.
What would you advise the new ‘mumpreneurs’ to keep in mind in the early days of growing their own business?
– Find your A-team
We have definitely had our ups and downs but we are lucky to have each other as support. Usually there is always one who can pick up the other one up!
We have also been lucky to work with people that really support and believe in us and that has made the whole difference.
– Dream big
Everyone has got dreams, you just have to go and try them out!
– Failures are part of the learning curve
You will always meet tough times along the way, the key is how you decide to face them! Use them as a lesson to be learnt and take it as an opportunity to improve.
Which are the 3 ‘I got this from my mama’ lessons you’d like your tiny humans to learn from you and proudly use later in their adult lives?
– you can do anything you like, just believe in yourself
– don’t be afraid to ask for help
– be openminded and always treat people the way you want to be treated, every human has the same value
Your favourite quote…
Have to pick two here…
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
– Samuel Beckett
In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.
– Coco Chanel
We both love being mothers and it definitely changes your view on basically everything. Also Given what happened to Elsa it gives you perspective on what’s important in life.
Being on maternity leave also allows you to “stop” and reflect and be creative! So we probably wouldn’t have started Tao&friends if it hadn’t been for being mothers.
Our next collection (spring/summer) will launch with Alex & Alexa, Cloudokids, Fancykids, Feather & Black (for night wear), Milly Mog.
Oh, a few more words from Mimmi and Selina, reminding ourselves we could do a little bit more while shopping…
Let’s spread the goodwill!
We will be donating a fixed amount of 1€ per item sold to chosen charities.
By making the conscious choice of buying our clothes, YOU will be part of the Tao&friends cause.
Our aim is to introduce one new charity every year. We will chose a charity that is linked to one of our friends, a little someone who has been through a lot and touched our hearts, and help him/her as well as others in the same situation.
There are many kids in need around the world and we want to help out and make a difference!
I am fortunate enough to keep meeting amazing mums who are becoming inspirational figures to everyone around, therefore successful entrepreneurial role models to their tiny humans while keeping their core interests at heart: make the work work around their children, not raising children around work.