She can sing, she can dance, she can act… what more can this wonder woman do?! Oh, right! She can also make the most adorable baby clothes, cushions and bows. Meet my friend and ex-colleague, Lauren, and her business The Ginger Unicorn. Already sounds magical, doesn’t it? I met her at White Stuff in Cheltenham, where we both used to work. I’ve been wanting to feature her on my blog for a little while now, so I thought, what better way to do this than by having a Q&A?
She’s even very kindly gifting Amy Louise Writes readers 10% off your first order. Just quote amylouisewrites at the checkout!
How did ‘The Ginger Unicorn’ start?
Hello! My name is Lauren. During maternity leave, I discovered that maternity clothes were so dull and simple. I am not a spots and stripes kind of person. I like patterns, clashing colours, and comfy clothes. So my mum and I decided to make/upcycle some clothes to suit my fashion, and my ever-growing tummy.
This gave me the bug for making my own clothes – something I have ALWAYS wanted to do. Unfortunately, by the time we got our act together I was about 30 weeks pregnant and so didn’t really have time to make the most of our little maternity collection. My focus then shifted to baby clothes.
Tell me a bit about you…
I have always been a ‘creative learner’. The decision between doing fashion and musical theatre at uni was a tough one, but having been involved in the theatre world from a young age it was most familiar to me, so I chose that route. However, after a few months auditioning once uni was over I very quickly realised that uni did not prepare me for the outside world of ‘show-bizz’ and I made the decision to pack it in, as family life was far more important to me than any career. I wanted to settle down and have a house and a baby, and being involved in such a flamboyant, pressured, travelling world, with unsociable hours, I decided I couldn’t have both.
I soon after managed to get myself a job as a Visual Merchandiser for Gap, then onto Display Assistant Harvey Nichols, and finally Visual Manager at White Stuff, before taking maternity leave to have my baby, Amelia.
Amelia is my world. She is my absolute inspiration. The main reason for starting up this business was to create a better life for us. It allows me to work from home so I can spend as much time with Amelia as I can, before she goes off to school. I have a few precious years that I will be making the most of. Plus, I get to see her in clothes I’ve made for her… she’s my little model for all the prototypes.
What or who inspired you to start making jewellery/cushions/baby clothes? Or has it always been a hobby of yours?
I’ve always wanted to make my own clothes, I just so happened to find a reason to do so. Mum has always been an inspiration, and my Nanny, when she was alive, was always so creative. Constantly knitting, she handmade most of her children’s clothes (some of which I’ve been handed down to put Amelia in, so special).
Where did the name, ‘The Ginger Unicorn’ come from?
I am obsessed with unicorns, and I love ginger hair… So much so that I dye my ash blonde hair ginger… simple as that.
What products do you enjoy making the most?
Definitely baby clothes. They don’t use much in the way of materials as they are so tiny… and you can get away with crazy colours and patterns. I love love love to make matching ‘mummy and me’ sets. Who doesn’t want to match their little ones?!
What is your most popular product?
Probably my baby trousers. They are unisex, and super comfy. They also grow with the baby, like most of my clothes, rather than just the 3 months when you buy them in the shops, due to their super stretchy waist bands and baggy legs.
Where do you sell your lovely items?
I started by selling through Facebook to friends and friends-of-friends. It was a super way to get started and it was going really well. So, recently, I delved into the Etsy world, too. Although it’s little more expensive (as Etsy take a cut) it’s easier to manage and means that I get paid as soon as someone places an order.
Are you going to be at any upcoming craft fairs/markets?
I shall be at a few Christmas markets, but the dates aren’t confirmed yet… So like/follow my page on Facebook and I’ll be making announcements on there.
How do you balance family life and your business? Are there any challenges?
There are always challenges with any job and with any family. Kids themselves are a challenge. But I think the best thing for us is to spend as much time as a family as we can and not to take for granted this precious time we have together. I work when she sleeps, at nap times, and during night time. The struggle is allowing enough time for my husband, too. But we seem to be in a good rhythm at the moment.
How and when did you learn your skill? Have you had any training, or are you self-taught?
I’m self-taught. I don’t really do well when following instructions. Like I say, I’m very much a visual learner. So reading directions or instructions, even when baking, slows me down.
Mum has been my main support and inspiration. She’s taught me all I know with my sewing machines, and we even make our own patterns, taking ideas and inspiration from patterns we have bought… Some maybe aren’t quite right, so we tweak them to make them work for us! It’s really quite cool to say all the patterns are ours too.
Don’t forget you can get 10% off your first order when you quote the code amylouisewrites through Lauren’s Etsy shop or Facebook page!
Thank you so much for reading! What do you think about Lauren’s creations? Do you have an Etsy shop, too? Link it below!