One of my favourite things about Instagram is the ability to discover amazing brands and connect with the people behind them. I spend so much time focusing on “me” on my blog so at the start of the year I decided that every once in a while I would turn the spotlight onto someone else – in particular women who are both mothers and run their own businesses. My Instagram statistics tell me that 93% of my followers are women (I LOVE this!!) and I am guessing many of those are mothers. Some of those are stay at home mothers. Some are mothers that work full time. Some that do a bit of both. But because you all follow my blog I am guessing most of you have an interest in either fashion or motherhood. Or some sort of combination of both. So during the course of the year I will be interviewing some inspiring women and sharing a few of their top tips – let me know if this is something you like 🙂
To kick things off, I have interviewed my absolute favourite jewellery brand Soru. When I was about 8 months pregnant I came across this brand. I just thought their pieces were AMAZING and I have been addicted ever since. I wrote briefly about it in another blog post back in the summer but lots of you are new to my blog so in case you didn’t see it here is a little background info. Launched in 2013 by Biritish-Sicilian sisters Francesca and Marianna, Soru jewellery is delicately handmade using semi-precious stones and crystals such as agates, moonstones, opals and turquoise, and each piece has its own meaning and natural energy (love this!) They have a loyal following including The Duchess of Cambridge and blogger Limas Wardrobe, and as well as heading up this gorgeous brand they both have exquisite personal style too! I often find myself adding pieces to my own wishlists after looking at their Instagram. I caught up with the pair to see how they juggle motherhood and running their own business.
Tell us a little bit about your Soru – when did you start and how did you come up with the idea?
Francesca: Soru came about after me and my sister had young children and had given up our careers to look after them full time. I had always had a dream to create my own jewellery range and couldnt think of a better person to go into business with than my sister. I also couldnt think of a better time. Our plan was to give it a go while our children were young and see if by the time they had started school we had crated a valid business or not, at which point we would have decided to give up or carry on. My daughter is now in year 1 of school and i am happy to say we have over exceeded any expectations we had.
You run the business with your sister – how do you split the workload?
Marianna: We share many aspects, but there are certain roles we have just fallen into- for example my photography background came in handy for the visuals for the website and Francesca’s expert styling for social media.
What’s the most challenging thing about running your own business? And the most rewarding?
Marianna: The most challenging aspect is that you work around the clock- its not a 9-5 job, you don’t come home and kick your shoes off and relax for the night. But then at the same time you can pick and choose the right times to work around your schedule, rather than being dictated to. There are lots of rewards- watching the business grow ,when our new samples come in its always very exciting to see how our designs look and seeing other women in our jewellery always feel great.
Who is the typical Soru girl? The Duchess of Cambridge seems to be a huge fan!
Francesca: I like to think that all girls can be Soru girls! Everyone has their own individual style and its down to them how they style their jewels. The Duchess of Cambridge is a wonderful role model and always looks stunning, so to see her wearing Soru has been our proudest moment.
How do you juggle being a parent with running your own company?
Francesca: You have to set boundaries! There is always an element of guilt as a working mother but the best thing about having your own business is that you can work times to suit you. Me and my sister are both there on the school runs, we are there for our children when they need us and we are lucky that we also have each other to fall back on and ask for help from if we need it.
Any plans to have more children?
Francesca: Not for me, i had planned on having 2 children (simply because i am so close to my sister). However now i have my daughter i couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Favourite place to go for a date night?
Marianna: A night in a hotel in London is always lovely for date night- we recently stayed at the Rosewood which was great, my husband loves the food at Hakkasan too so we often go there. Also the desert bar a Hotel Cafe Royal is a real treat.
Francesca: We dont get many of these anymore! We recently went for a ‘date day’ to Daylesford Spa. Just what we both needed. We managed to spend some quality time with each other as well as unwind.
Favourite place to go with your daughter?
Marianna: I just spent a night with her at The Savoy near Christmas time and it was really special, afternoon tea and anything involving cake is also a winner!
Francesca:The theater, we both love to go and she gets so excited and inspired when we do.
Favourite holiday destination with kids?
Marianna: St Tropez. We love going to Club 55 with them, its so chilled, they love to pick a trinket from the shop there and play on the beach.
Francesca: We love Italy – the beaches in Sardinia are stunning. The best family holidays we have had so far have been on the beaches of southern Sardinia.
Any old traditions (passed down from your family) or new traditions you celebrate with your children?
Francesca: Every year on New Years Eve I write a letter to myself of all the things i would like to achieve for the new year ahead. I seal the letter in an envelope to open the following New Years Eve and this year has been the first time I was able to do this with my daughter. We both read my last years dreams and looked back at the year together and now she can write herself she wrote her own letter that we sealed along with mine. I cant wait to open them with her on NYE and carry on the tradition for years to come.
Marianna: A new tradition we started for the children at Christmas is that Santa leaves them a present outside on Christmas Eve- some festive pyjamas and book. They get straight into them and we read the book before bed time!
Top tips for throwing a kids birthday party?
Francesca: Hire someone else to do it for you! That way you get to spend the time with your child and make memories together rather than running around the whole time and missing out on the celebrations. Ive learned from my own experiences!
What advice would you give to your child if they want to start their own business?
Marianna: Its VERY hard to begin with- everything is new so it takes twice as long as it should, you will be up all hours figuring it all out, you will have days when you think ‘why and I doing this?’. Then as the hard work pays off, you will see the orders start to come in, you will see how people are loving what you are doing and you will see that YES it is all worth it! Persevere and work hard and you will get there. Also, use social media to its full potential, its a free advertising tool and has helped new businesses build themselves up to great effect.
Stranded on a desert island – what ONE item would you take with you?
Marianna: A Laptop- there isn’t much you cant do on them these days!
Francesca: Oh gosh…. so many answers come to mind here but in reality all I’d really want is a Dolce and Gabbana bikini and then to lie back and enjoy paradise.
Best piece of parenting advice?
Francesca: Take time to listen, go with the flow and most of all enjoy. Enjoy every little moment while watching them grow up as it really is an experience to cherish.
Marianna: Patience, all parents need plenty of this. Also, don’t worry too much – children go through so many phrases as they grow, you may be worrying about something that will only last a few weeks, its all part of the learning and growing process. So if your child has a week of waking up in the night every night- don’t think ‘oh no my life is over I will never sleep again’ as from past experience- the following week they are back to normal!
And finally you just moved into a new office – exciting! Where do you see Soru in 5 years?
Marianna: In 5 years I would like to see our office expanded and to have some staff working for us, I can see lots of exciting times ahead, new designs, new ideas, travel, inspiration….