The Mumpreneur Who Overcame Redundancy by Starting Pop! Maternity
We are so excited to have added the new maternity activewear brand Pop! Maternity. My favourite thing is finding out the background of the brand and how it came about. Most of the brands we stock all have amazing mumpreneurs behind them and Pop! Maternity is no different. Meet Laura Eyles, the inspirational mumma, business owner, designer and legend behind Pop! Maternity. I am shocked to hear her story of redundancy and struggle to get a job due to child-bearing age, which unfortunately is not unusual in Australia with 18% of women get made redundant while on maternity leave. However, we are so thankful that she created a positive out of the situation and started Pop! Maternity. Here is her story..
Can you tell me who the REAL Laura Eyles is?
My name is Laura Eyles, I’m 34 and I live in The Hills District of Sydney with my husband and our 2 kids, Jenson & Montana. My background and what I know is the tourism industry having worked for 3 of the major tourism attractions and must see things to do in Sydney for over 8 years.
What drove you to create your business POP! Maternity?
In February 2013 I went on maternity leave to have our son. While on mat leave I was made redundant from my job. When Jenson was 2, I decided to get back into work life so I went to a number of employment agencies & had countless interviews. One particular interview I pretty much had the job then and there….and then he asked about my family. Of course I mentioned Jenson who was 2 at the time and that’s when things changed. Needless to say I didn’t get that job because in the interviewers mind I was going to expand my family. SO this put a real dampener on the whole ‘going back to work’ idea. In 2015 my husband and I were chatting and it was actually Dave who came up with the idea of a maternity activewear brand. For 12 months I researched where & how get into the apparel industry, had countless samples made, learnt from my mistakes, questioned many a times ‘if I was doing the right thing’ and finally launched POP! Maternity in October 2016 (Montana was 8 weeks old at the time). I wouldn’t recommend doing this with a newborn!!
What kept me going was the support from Dave and I was attending personal training classes 6-7 times a week which meant I was living in activewear. I was sick of what I was seeing at the shops and seeing all black so knew I was heading in the right direction. I also fell pregnant with Montana so exercising and launching my own activewear brand at the same time was very exciting.
How do you juggle motherhood and a business?
It’s is a juggle to be honest BUT I do love a challenge :)
To be that attentive mum but also trying to reply to emails, send out orders & create new partnerships while taking my kids to pre school, swimming lessons, plays dates etc does mean that once the kids are in bed at night I then open up my laptop and do some work. Of course Id love to have a few hours to myself each day to do uninterrupted work but that’s not reality, well not at the moment anyway and I’m ok with that.
What is the best part of having your own business?
I can make decisions based on what I want & feel. I don’t need to run past ideas (ok maybe my husband for some reassurance) to make them successful. I want to be a success and I want to be really proud to tell our children one day that I created a business from nothing into something.
What is the toughest part of having your own business?
Failure. That’s what scares me the most.
I don’t want to fail I want this to be a successful business because once you purchase that stock and you have it in your house you need to sell it. You put so much time and money into it and no one else feels that pressure except you & your family.
Please share one of your greatest milestones or greatest moments in your business.
Honestly the greatest moment for me was when POP! Maternity launched. So much energy and time was spent on the product, the website and making sure everything was going to go smoothly. To see your own website live and to get that first order was such an exciting feeling. I’m very grateful for everyone who has supported POP! Maternity so far whether it’s direct customers, wholesalers or online retailers.
Have you come across any challenges so far?
The biggest challenge so far is brand awareness. To get the product out and to feel the quality of the capris & singlets has been quite challenging. The quality of our products is something I am really proud of.
What does a usual day look like for you?
Wake up, get myself & the kids breakfast, head to the gym (with the kids) or pre school drop off depending on the day, go home, have a shower, do 2 loads of washing, make lunch for kids, put Montana down for a sleep, make myself lunch while doing some work on the laptop, entertain kids, then dinner, bath & bed routine. Check emails once kids are in bed, have dinner + wine with my husband. Day finished.
What advice would you give to other people out there wanting to start a blog/business?
If you have an idea or inkling to do something then do it. You won’t know unless you give it a go. I’m a big believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ so whether or not you fail the first time get up and have another go because that’s life. Life isn’t meant to be perfect, these failures make us who we are today.
What can we expect in the future of POP! Maternity or where would you like to see POP! Maternity in 5 years time?
We will have expanded our range and our brand awareness. We all have these dreams but I hope one day we are the ‘go to’ for maternity activewear. I’m actually really excited to see where POP! Maternity is in 5yrs time so stay tuned…
Thank you Laura. We are also very excited to see where this amazing brand goes as it is already very popular with our customers and the amazing quality has received great reviews. See all of Pop! Maternity's range here.