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47 Cantata Drive
Mission Viejo, CA, 92692
United States

Collegiate Kids Store

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Blog Articles

(Mis) adventures in Parenthood, Little League & moving your family 5,500 miles from London to California.

Filtering by Tag: Small business

INTRODUCING: The Letterman Co

Laura Bonnell

You've probably noticed a few changes going on with our brand across social media. Recently we took the bold (& slightly crazy) decision to re-brand our little business from 'Muklet' to 'The Letterman Co'. And we decided to did it right before our busiest time of year - the Holiday season!

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Why it's a great idea to hire an Entrepreneur

Laura Bonnell

I recently went for an interview with a Fashion recruitment office over here in Orange County. After having shown my portfolio, and gone over my CV (or resume as they call it here) I felt the need to explain something that I hadn't mentioned on there. I hadn't mentioned that I had set up my own Childrens brand a year ago, and was in fact still currently working on it... part of me felt I would be shunned from ever working for a Fashion Brand ever again if they knew I had my own business. The Fashion world can be a fickle place!

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Raising inquisitive kids that don't alway do what they're told

Laura Bonnell

 

I've always been a inquisitive kid, you know the type - that one that ask's a million "but, why?" questions. My eldest is EXACTLY the same. "He's just like you, you know?", my husband likes to point out. Often when I'm doing battle with a tidal wave of questions before Mummies morning coffee has had a chance to kick in.

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Caution BUMP ahead

Laura Bonnell

Yeah, I kinda knew it wouldn't be as simple as unpacking Varsity Jackets, and finding where the nearest Post Office was. Setting Muklet back up over here, has become quite the task. Without wanting to sound like a martyr it's been a little difficult even finding time and opportunity to get the Muklet cogs turning.

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The Full Muklet

Laura Bonnell

I was having a conversation with my husband when I declared "Oh my goodness, we're doing this! We're moving to the States without jobs!!", to which he replied "No we're not. You have a job, you have your own business. You have Muklet". It was probably the nicest thing he's ever said to me (apart from maybe, saying yes to marrying me!!). So, it was decided. I wouldn't look for a job. I would fully focus on the business. I would go 'FULL MUKLET'!

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UK to USA - here we go!

Laura Bonnell

It's suddenly here... the move date is looming. I finally have my interview scheduled at the US embassy in London to get my Green card. I'm kinda one of those people that doesn't let myself get too excited or concerned about a major life event until I know it's actually happening for sure. Well, fingers crossed it's happening, and it's happening soon!... I've been putting off this day, but planning it for some time. It's time to relocate Muklet HQ... 

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You have a Friend request from FACEBOOK

Laura Bonnell

I'd kind of fallen out of love with Facebook. When I first became a Momma it was my go to place to catch up on my friends goings on, my place to post 8 million pictures of my brand spanking new baby... last year I started to turn off notifications. I'd started to see people passing judgement, having a rant about someone or something.

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I LIKE YOUR MANIFESTO, LET'S PUT IT TO THE TESTO

Laura Bonnell

If I get the opportunity to talk to people more after my declaration of Mom-dapendence I like to tell them more about my 'WHY' and my 'HOW'. My motivation for taking the leap into running my own business runs deeper than just wanting to do something for myself, and spend more time with the boys (both the smalls and big one!).

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Just don't say the 'M' word

Laura Bonnell

Classic Mompreneur moment - attempting flat shots with Captain Sticky Mitts

Classic Mompreneur moment - attempting flat shots with Captain Sticky Mitts

A few weeks back I headed out to meet up with some local small business owners to share our stories, hints and tips. It's one of the things I really enjoy about running a business, getting out and meeting other like minded people, hearing their stories, telling them yours, and finding ways to help each other out. Meeting in a pub, park, play gym or even my living room with or without the smalls is way way more fun than the stuffy, laborious, angst ridden board meetings I used to have to sit through when I worked in the corporate world. 

Towards the end of the meeting the organiser happened to mention her disdain for the word 'Mumpreneur', given that just because you are a woman, with child, why should you be classed any differently from a man who happens to be a parent who runs a small business. In that moment I have to say my heart sank a little bit. Mumpreneur/ Mompreneur was kinda how I thought of myself, that was kinda my 'schtick'. Without being able to use that word I'm not sure I could say all I wanted to say about my business, Mumpreneuring was my business.

After a latte and walk home, I had time to reflect a little. I could understand a little where she was coming from. Wanting men and women to be seen as equals, why should a woman and mother be viewed as anything different or special compared to a man running a small business? I'm yet to ever hear the word 'Dadpreneur'. Now, I would say I do have feminist tendencies, I'm certainly not an all out bra burning, man scorning (well a bit) campaign sign toting feminist, but I do heavily support women's rights, and I do honestly think we've still got a ways to go. 

I was reminded recently of the frustration we have returning to work post children. One woman attempting unsuccessfully to request flexible working post mat leave, and another trying to justify and hold onto the flexible working she had negotiated 4 years ago at a job she loved.

I've now managed to find a little peace with the ridiculousness of post child work situations. (Even managed to do this without the aid of meditation, just lots of moaning, and bitching. Am fully moaned and bitched out now, and diverting my energy into doing something about it). Workplaces should offer more flexibility, and hold onto mums working for them. We have all the technology in place to make it happen, yet so many work places lack the trust and vision to allow it to happen.

I feel I am part of the first generation of kids to grow up with the internet and e-mail (I remember getting my first e-mail address when I went to Uni, yep showing my age!). Naively, we thought all this wonderful technology was going to simplify our lives. In fact we created a heck load more work for ourselves, and raised expectations to achieve more in a working day. We often feel compelled to carry on the work at night back at home because we have the devices to do it.

Now that my generation has had children, we've realised we can't keep up with the expectations of work. Or, maybe we don't want to. So we quit, get made redundant, or maybe we stick it out. Maybe we overindulge on coffee to ensure semi-professional attention span at work. Maybe we leg it to and from work most days, perhaps arriving with 5 minutes to spare before we incur late fees and a call to child welfare (who would that be?!). Ok, I'm making sweeping generalisations, but you get the gist of where I'm coming from right?!

I've found my peace by saying to myself, "Right corporate world, if you don't think we're worth hanging on to, we're gonna start a revolution, and do it our way". If I may steal a quote from my blog-guru Anna Whitehouse (aka Mother Pukka), she pretty much always speaks my mind, just in a much better, more eloquent and quick witted way:

Forget ‘Instamums’, forget the ‘cool mum’ blather, we’re all laughing as much as we’re crying and wondering how long that Thomas the Tank Engine plaster has been stuck in our barnet. We’re in this together – be that Lennie & Co’s FRIYAY t-shirts or Don’t Buy Her Flowers’ packages for knackered new mums and every new parent-run business or blog in between.
We’re just a rabble of mothers who don’t want it all, but want something.
My something is to be with my daughter and pull in cold, hard cash whenever, wherever I can (without it being illegal) – be that in the playground or at my Ketchup-smattered kitchen table.
Career, you’ve been fruitful but it’s time to stumble (not jump – too knackered) off the precipice into something else; something that will involve fighting for flexible working in global brands; fighting for reducing extortionate daycare rates and trying to build a platform that champions parent-run businesses one Instagram post at a time.
quote from Anna Whitehouse's blog post 'I quit' on Mother Pukka

So, Mumpreneur, Mom Boss, Parent run Business, what ever you want to call it, I'm proud to be one. I embrace the title however cliche and overused. Because it's takes a unique skill and energy to keep those plates spinning; school run, after school fun, park trips, sore nips, IG blags, packing gym bags, keeping up with online orders, and ensuring the smalls are not board as.... okay you get the idea! I'm stumbling off to get the muklets to bed and go sew another t-shirt.