Helen Rondo – My Baby and Me

Name: Helen Rondo
Business Name: MY Baby and Me
Website: www.massageyogababyandme.co.uk

MY Baby and Me provides Baby and Toddler Massage and Yoga sessions across Darlington, Teesside and North Yorkshire. I offer group sessions, provide individual consultations and host `Father`s Workshops`, which allow Mums and Dads to experience the nurturing, relaxing, curative fun that is massage and yoga for babies and toddlers!!

I also run Baby and Child First Aid classes for parents and carers. I am passionate about giving parents the tools and confidence to allow them to enjoy the baby days……

When did you start your business and why?:
`MY Baby ` was conceived in 2011. I loved the baby massage courses that I did with my eldest daughter but struggled to find something similar when my son was little. Hunting out my old notes, he and I were often found in a relaxed, post massage cuddle and, as he grew, I used the techniques to settle him in times of stress and discomfort. At 4 years old he still loves the reflexology strokes!
I was looking for a change in career and when a place became available on a trainers course it seemed the perfect chance to start afresh…

What gives your business the edge?:
As an experienced physiotherapist I am able to offer unique advice and adaptations to the massage and yoga routines that accommodates for any postnatal soreness, discomfort or injury the Mums may have. I am able to offer advice and management plans to mums with postural discomfort that may result from breastfeeding, interrupted sleep and car seat manhandling.
I strongly believe that parents need to enjoy the `baby days` , all too often they pass in a haze of busy and doing….

What is the best thing about running your own business?:
Babies, babies and more babies ….
The massage classes are soothing and relaxing and I arrive home serene and calm..the yoga classes are dynamic and stimulating and I arrive home ready to take on anything … and the First Aid classes give me an immense sense of pride. If my teaching saves one baby, child or family from unnecessary stress then I am happy.

And what is the worst!?:
Saying goodbye to the parents and children at the end of the five week course.

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:
There is no typical day, as each day brings a new set of parents and babies and new experiences – that is exactly the way I like it. However recurring themes centre around school runs, cooking, washing and ferrying the children to various clubs and events!

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:
I would like to develop a weekly ongoing programme in both massage and yoga.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:
Its not easy, don’t try to be superhuman and do everything, learn how to ask for (and accept!!) help.
Oh …. And pay the kids to tidy their own rooms…..!

Laura Swaddle – Graphic Design, Scarlet Pyjamas

PrintName: Laura Swaddle
Business: Swaddle/Creative/ Scarlet Pyjamas
Website: www.swaddlecreative.co.uk
Location: Gateshead

Twitter name: https://twitter.com/swaddlecreative

Creating beautiful and powerful design for you and your business.
Specialist in creating unique and bespoke graphic design and illustration for the public, private and third sectors. From branding and corporate identity to promotional materials, websites to annual reports, brochures to exhibition design – whatever it takes to create beautiful, compelling and successful design for your business.

When did you start your business and why?
After being made redundant early last year, I decided now was the time to take the plunge and set up a design studio of my own. I wanted to broaden my horizons and take on a new challenge!

What gives your business the edge?
I’ve got five years of great studio experience behind me where I worked with some really big clients on a worldwide scale which has given me the confidence and ability to take on any scale of project. I also have a brilliant network of suppliers and service providers on hand which means I can offer unusual printing techniques, innovative web solutions and even app building!

What is the best thing about running your own business?
Being able to make the big decisions myself, take on new projects and try all kinds of new things. Also being able to tailor my schedule around important life events has been wonderful!

And what is the worst!?
In the initial stages, I confess to feeling a little isolated but the more networking I’ve done, the less isolated I’ve felt!

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:
I’m still in the early days of my business so there really isn’t such a thing as a typical day yet! That said, my days are really pretty full of answering client questions, developing new products and brainstorming, going to meetings and of course creating designs for my clients!

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?
Imminently, we’re getting a new website and adding a blog – plus hopefully a newsletter before the end of the year! Long term, I’d like to think there’d be another designer added to the team. Generally, I’m just hoping for bigger, better and busier!

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:
I think my main piece of advice would be to stand your ground. Personally, I’ve been surprised at how male dominated the business and networking world is – I don’t want to say how many times people have assumed I’m someone’s secretary/assistant and not a businesswoman! Stick with it and be professional!