Image: Emily Gray Photography

I was 27 and living in Berlin when I had my first baby, Odin. I had been working as a self-employed handbag designer in London but ahead of getting pregnant, decided that working 12 hour days and using the glues (for leather) was not compatible with having a baby so closed my business and moved to Berlin to get pregnant.

During my pregnancy I started cutting up jumpers and making clothes for my baby, so I’d already started Mini Magpie in a way. I was sewing all through the pregnancy, but my business started when I moved back to London, when Odin was 15 months. I turned my out-of–control hobby into a business, buying unwanted jumpers and sewing them into little outfits for babies.

It was the obvious thing to do; my whole life changed anyway once I decided to get pregnant, it was a process that changing career was just one part of. I had to slow down, to work for myself, but also I became really strongly aware of the environment, health and the future we are creating for our children. I was concerned about the new baby’s impact on the planet and wanted to do something eco-conscious and ethical I could be proud of.

My whole life changed once I decided to get pregnant, it was a process that changing career was just one part of

Before I decided to get pregnant, I thought I could give my baby to someone else to care for after a couple of months and work like a normal person. As soon as I started reading and finding out what exactly having a child would entail it was obvious I needed to give up quite a bit of my life for this baby, so being a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ was my first impulse. But because I love making things it crept back in and now I feel I have a good balance.

Odin is now five and Perseus is two, and my husband and I have shared childcare between us over the last few years. Having a husband who is freelance is the reason I could be flexible. Even when they were small, and I was the main carer, it is his flexibility that enabled me to work between. My work is something I love so I don’t feel guilty going to my studio. Without it I would be really stressed out. 

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