Being a mum can be hard work, especially when you run your own business – but Grantham entrepreneur Hannah Clarke is on a mission not only to build her company, but also inspire other mums to build their own careers as well.
Hannah, a mum of two from Grantham, is the owner and founder of Apples and Pips, which is a bespoke gifts and hamper company specialising in organic and eco-friendly mother and baby items.
She said: “My background is in special needs education, primarily with young people with autism. I was teaching them life skills and employability skills and then I fell pregnant with my son and had him in 2014 and I knew that I wasn’t going to go back to my old job.
“My dream was to be the stay-at-home mum, raise my son, go to all these mummy groups and be a housewife and that was all going to be wonderful and then work part time in a coffee shop. But my brain had other ideas.
“I didn’t take to motherhood as naturally as I thought I would. I just found that as challenging as parenthood was, it wasn’t intellectually stimulating for me and I needed something to keep my brain going.
“I then started my blog and made some money through copywriting and I had my daughter soon after that.
“At that point, I really did start to suffer with post-natal depression and it was really a case of ‘right, I need to sort myself out now because I am not currently being the best mum, wife or version of me in any way, shape or form’.
“From becoming a parent I became aware of a lot of independent UK brands doing lovely products and a lot of them were organic and eco friendly.
“In 2016, when my daughter was four-months-old and my son had just turned two I launched Apples and Pips to help share all these gorgeous products that I had used myself.”
Since starting her company, Hannah has donated 10% of her profits to a charity called MAMA Academy, which researches and aims to help reduce still birth rates in the UK.
As well as selling a range of baby products, Apples and Pips has also become a social enterprise, with Hanah launching a ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ scheme, where notes and vouchers are handed out to everyday parents to let them know they are doing a good job despite the struggles of parenthood.
Apples and Pips now also sells carefully curated hampers and gift sets for everything from breast feeding and mums-to-be to IVF care kits, with £1 from each hamper going to charities related to each hamper.
Hannah is now looking to teach other mums about eCommerce, digital marketing, social media and blogging at workshops to help them upskill into digital.
In doing so, Hannah wants to give parents the opportunity to get out of inflexible working hours to enable them to spend more time with their families and still earn money and build a career.
To find out more about the workshops, click or tap here.