This week in the London Mums Project, we hear from Rochelle Milligan, founder and Director of Bambino Merino - 100% natural baby and childrenswear company. (I really love our Bambino Merino products, especially the pyjamas, read here.) Here's what Rochelle has to say...
Where in London do you call home: A quiet little corner of Wandsworth, SW London, tucked away from the surrounding mayhem.
Tell us about your business and reason for starting it: I was inspired to launch Bambino Merino following the unexpected premature birth of our son James in 2005. Like all parents, we were given lots of beautiful baby clothing, however although some of it look cute, it was made form polyester or other synthetic fibres which don't breathe. Aware of the dangers of overheating and concerned about our special care baby, we quickly discovered that breathable natureal fibres are preferable to synthetic alternatives. After finding our son hot and sweaty in the sleeping bag he was wearing, I decided to create a range of sleeping bags and clothing - all made from natural, temperature-regulating merino.
You're a mum to how many: Two - a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old business. Both are growing up nicely.
An ideal day out with your child includes: buses, trains, boats, parks, sunshine, laughter and the making of lasting memories.
Favourite neighbourhood spot: The sunny side of Old York Road, our local little high street.
And if you're up for a little trek across London, where might you go: South - on our bikes to Barnes for a coffee or to Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon for a picnic in the summer. North - to Hampstead Heath or Regent's Park. East - to St Katherine Docks. West - to retail heaven at Westfield.
The baby/child product you can't live without: For helping little ones sleep through the night, you can't go past merino swaddle wraps and sleeping bags from Bambino Merino (Of course I would say that!). For kids, mini micro scooters are indispensible - our main form of transport around London. We even take ours on holiday with us.
You're taking a break from kids today. What do you do with your freedom? Sadly, I'd usually use the opportunity to work! But once that was done then some time at home with a cuppa and a magazine would be bliss. Either that or a child-free shopping day along King's Road or to Westfield.
Your favourite place to shop for children's clothes and toys? For babies - Baby e in Chiswick and Ealing, Pure Baby in Fulham, Blue Daisy in Hampstead, Membery's in Barnes or Bebe Bisou at Westfield. For children - Letterbox, GLTC, ELC for toys, H&M for clothes (cheap, cheerful and always changing).
Everyone's hungry and you can't be bothered to cook. Where do you eat: Pizza Express every time. It's just down the road and consistently satisfying.
A night out with your partner. What might you do sans kids: Don our glad rags and head for our favourite bar - Artesian at the Langham Hotel. Or stick with our jeans and wander down to our fab local Moroccan restaurant - Doukan.
Your favourite London-discovery: The Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens.
Favourite place to shop for mum: Selfridges.
Your tips for juggling work + family: Try to schedule separate blocks of time for each, but be flexible and accept that the line between them will be blurred at times. Accept all offers of help!
Thanks Rochelle! If you'd like to find out more about Bambino Merino, go here.