Hampstead Business Mums - Wing, BUBBLECHOPS
Wing Yin runs www.bubblechops.com, an online childrenswear store solely focussing on independent brands / designers & producers. In her spare time, she also helps run the Hampstead Mums facebook group as an admin.
Bubblechops is also up for the Little London "Online Retailer" Awards - you can vote for them here.
How long have you lived in the Hampstead area?
Since December 2014, I moved to Primrose Hill with my husband and our son (3) a week before Christmas from Marylebone.
Where did you grow up? Was it similar to Hampstead?
I spent my early childhood in Hong Kong until aged 8 when my family then moved to the UK. We lived in Hornchurch, Essex for the remainder of my childhood (though spent a couple of years living in Norwich before going to Essex again!)
Did you choose to live here or did it just happen that way.
Initially, when we were house hunting we had a rather narrow search perimeter - Marylebone only! It was actually one of the estate agents who suggested we view a place in Primrose Hill, luckily we were open minded enough to see it. We fell in love with the area and our son fell for the garden and that was it!
Describe your family.
I'm in my early thirties and hubby is in his early forties. We currently have 1 cheeky 3 year old son called Theo and we're expecting our second in February.
What’s your favourite thing to do over the weekend.
Having family time, brunching, day trips. All being together again as my husband works very long hours during the week, my son and I hardly see him.
Favourite restaurant in the area?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
London - Primrose Hill & Marylebone. A country house in the Cotswolds. Hong Kong & NYC for the 24 hours convenience
Do you have much family around?
My parents are still living in Essex, my husband's side of the family are up in Yorkshire.
Have you lived elsewhere in London?
Wapping, London Bridge & Marylebone.
How would you describe yourself prior to being a mum?
Sleep deprived banker
How would you describe yourself now?
Sleep deprived but happy
What’s your day to day outfit?
At the moment, maternity jeans with tunic tops. Non-pregnant self: skinny jeans with blouse / jumpers depending on the weather.
Do you bring your children up the way your parents brought you up?
Not entirely, my parents were quite strict when I was growing up. I've taken elements from their approach by putting structure and boundaries in very early but allowing a lot of freedom for my son to explore as long he keeps within the 'rules'.
What languages do you speak in your household?
Cantonese & English
Did you always know you wanted your own business?
I always wanted to have my own business and be my own boss but I never had an idea what type of business I would like.
Please describe your business? When did you start it?
BubbleChops is an online childrenswear store solely focussing on independent brands / designers & producers. Many of the items stocked are handmade and produced in limited quantities which makes the clothes / shoes that little bit more special. The materials used are natural fibres, sustainable and washes very well (I've dressed my active little boy in the clothing and they come out of the washing machine just like new!), it's perfect as a keepsake to pass through the generations.
I started the planning and research in October 2014, developing the website and sourcing the products earlier this year. BubbleChops went live at the end of May 2015.
What drives you to run your own business?
There were many reasons why I started BubbleChops, firstly to offer myself the flexibility to spend more time with my son and to be present in his daily life. It was very difficult for the both of us when I went back to work after maternity leave, I missed Theo terribly and I started to question whether the long working hours were worth it. The other driver was not being able to easily and readily find independent children's brands & producers.
Boutiques existed but aside from the larger ones, it wasn't easy to purchase online and the store would be closed by the time I'm out of the office! I wanted to create something that would help time starved parents who, like me, didn't want to only buy mass produced high street clothing for their children. I've organised the website to be intuitive, easy to use and ultimately to save time. When customers create an account, personalised recommendations are emailed to them based on their purchasing history. There's also free delivery to local postcodes!
Is your other half supportive? In the family home? With the business?
Yes, when I was unsure about leaving the banking industry behind, it was my husband that gave me the nudge to do it when he saw how stressed, tired and unmotivated I'd become. He gave me the confidence to dive into the unknown!
If you didn’t start your own business, what would you have been doing?