I'm super excited to announce today's guest writer. I met Rachel, two, maybe three years ago now at Mama's Collective event and later collaborated on a new baby giftset with her and Lisa from Mama Knows (if you don't know what I'm talking about, please do check it out). She is a beautiful lady, both inside and out and also creates the most beautiful children's crochet clothing and accessories that my children have been lucky enough to model. Rachel shares similar values to me in that she hopes to create affordable, sustainable products that will become heirloom pieces which puts her at top of my favourite brands list and I'm sure, after you've read her inspo, you'll soon agree too...
I’m Rachel, 40 year old wife, and Mum of four children. I own Gooseberry Fool, a small brand of baby and children’s clothing and accessories, designed and made by me.
This week I’m reading: The wild other by Clover Stroud, inspired to read this after listening to the griefcast podcast with Cariad Lloyd. A book about Clover’s life and the journey she has been on since the age of 16 when her Mum was left brain damaged following a riding accident. It’s an account of love, loss, family and healing which I can hugely relate to.
Watching: Since getting Netflix we have got into binge watching series, we no longer seem to watch terrestrial TV. The current series we are enjoying is designated survivor, an American political drama. Prior to that I finally watched Downton Abbey, which I had never seen. I absolutely loved it. I always like to have something on to listen to or watch whilst I’m working and this was perfect.
Listening to: I love all podcasts, a few of my favourites are….dreaming and doing with Nicky Raby, Happy place by Ferne Cotton, What she said, Ctrl Alt Delete and Woman’s hour. And having received the Paloma Faith album for Christmas I am enjoying that.
Stalking: Instagram is my favourite social media platform and a few of my favourite accounts are Elinor @Nelliequats for beautiful girls clothing and @cloth another great shop for ethically sourced kids clothing, Kairit @Isabel_london for stunning captures of family life, @the_Mamahood for independent shopping, Jenni @it’s_a_family_life for interior style and Gemma @a.little.wildflower for the most beautiful photography that always inspires me.
Wondering: How and in what way I can grow my business ethically and sustainably in order to keep up with demand.
Going: To watch my daughter’s ballet presentation for her recent exam. It’s not very rock and roll, but it’s typical of my life and a moment I know I will feel very proud of her achievement.
Wearing: My new watch that I received at the weekend for my birthday from my Brother, a lovely Ellie Beaumont one from @Belifestyleboutique, along with a recent black linen dress purchased from @kemitelford since establishing my own brand I have further understood the importance of supporting small brands and love finding new people to support.
Cooking: Being a Mum to four children who all seem to have a better social life than me…I have to be organised with food, and the winter months particularly mean my slow cooker gets a hammering. So this week I will be cooking gammon in it, a Japanese beef casserole and a slow cooked chilli which the kids adore. We also love rice pudding cooked in it.
Drinking: Having consumed far too much alcohol over Christmas I am trying to be good in terms of alcohol consumption, though will be having a couple of glasses of red wine over the weekend. During the days I tend to drink tea. I like clipper tea as its Fairtrade, and I always enjoy a good mug of chai latte.
Looking after myself by: Starting back at my Pilates class after the Christmas break. I can’t wait to get back to it. I love my hour a week to myself here, and as I suffer with a bad back I really do benefit from it.
Spending my money on: Sadly a new boiler after ours has packed up! Not the best way to start the New Year!
Grateful for: My family, the home that I have and being able to work from home. My daughter has been poorly this week and therefore off school and I am so grateful that I am able to be at home to look after her.
Working on: A wholesale order which is being shipped to Japan! And also working on some new designs for the spring/ summer…watch this space www.gooseberryfool.me.uk and also working on simplifying our house a little. We seem to accumulate so much stuff and I am a sentimentalist which doesn’t help, but we are going to try to work towards simplifying things a little which I hope in turn will help us feel a little less stressed.
Trying to be a better person by: Thinking of others before myself.