From mums with love: The Busy Box CompanyBy Lucy | June 5th, 2018
- Who are you?
Hannah, creator of The Busy Box Company. Married to my childhood sweetheart, Rob, and mama to Georgie, my little blonde whirlwind. We live in the Yorkshire Dales in an old farmhouse that we’ve been renovating for four years. By day I am a solicitor in a corporate law firm; by night I run The Busy Box Company. I love Grey’s Anatomy, like REALLY love it and that would be my topic if I went on Mastermind. I also love history in a very geeky way. I can talk for England and am always the first out of bed. I wish I’d followed a more creative path in life so I’m trying to channel that into my new business…
- How does motherhood inspire your work?
It gave me the idea for The Busy Box Company. Having moved from a corporate job into motherhood, one of the things I found challenging was filling my days on maternity leave. I also worried that I needed to do more with George when we were at home playing but I struggled for ideas or to find the products I wanted to create gorgeous, interactive, non-plastic playtimes. So I started work developing my business concept: fun, creative playtime delivered straight to families in beautiful packaging that fits modern family life and style. And it continues to inspire me because I Know I am always working towards spending more time at home with my family, which is where I am my happiest!
- How do you achieve your work life balance?
Still very much working on that one! One thing I always do is make sure I’m home from my day job in time for bath time and a story, because reading a bedtime book is my very favourite thing to do with George. But so far I have not found a balance. Taking some time away from everything recently (work, business, toddler, husband, house renovation etc!) made me realise I need to use my time more efficiently and have more quality time with my family so these are the things I’ve decided to trial to see if I find more balance:
– set aside time each evening to work on my business and allocate tasks at the beginning of the week
– have one phone free day (ok maybe just an afternoon!) each week
– use my commuting time to listen to podcasts or read a book instead of scrolling or watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy on my phone
– investigate a yoga class
- Where does your support come from?
My husband – he runs his own business and always has ideas and suggestions for me. He sees things in a totally different way to me (he’s way more practical) and has the business experience that I am still trying to develop.
I am also very lucky to have an incredible support system of close friends and family. We live close by to both sets of granparents, who help us out with childcare every week which helps with my mum guilt and financially too. I also have two amazing sisters (one close by, one in London) and a lovely sister-in-law who offer me so much support.
- What is the best business advice that you’ve been given?
Cash is king. An oldie but a goodie!
- What’s the best part of running your own business?
Being able to be creative! I have loved putting together my brand and enjoy creating and developing that every day.
- If your child were a fruit, what would they be?
A little juicy raspberry.
- If you could create a hashtag that summed up your life, what would it be? Oh god I’m rubbish at this sort of thing!
- We all love a bit of social media indulgence (stalking), who are your top 3 accounts to follow?
@inpolife (makes me smile every single day) @mauds_house (Scandi home gorgeousness) @where_learning_meets_play (beautiful, inspiring)
- What are your favourite things to do with the kids in your local area?
We go to the beauty that is Bolton Abbey a lot – rivers to paddle in, huge woods, great paths for trikes and pushchairs. It’s an absolute winner (unless it’s sunny and a bank holiday, in which case every man and his bloody dog go).
Hesketh Farm is another firm favourite. The farm is so friendly and really honestly, educational, teaching children all about animals and farming in true Yorkshire style.
Billy Bobs ice cream parlour takes some beating for their play area, play barn and Yorkshire Dales ice cream milkshakes.
- What are your favourite bedtime stories?
Well, George and I probably differ on our favourites! ‘Digger to the Rescue’, ‘The Digger and the Flower’, ‘Goodnight Digger’ (Georgie, obviously!); ‘Under The Same Sky’ a beautiful Britta Teckentrup book, any of the Shirley Hughes books or ‘Oh no George!’ (Mine, although I have a serious children’s book addiction so it’s very hard to play favourites!)
- How do you relax?
Slobbing on the sofa watching box sets with my husband (are you even a parent if you don’t do that?!), power walking, reading or having a bath with Milton Brown Ylang Ylang bubbles (because it reminds me of our honeymoon and makes me happy in a second).
- What are your top 3 picks from Acorn & Pip?
The natural Storie stool – we are currently putting together a new design for George’s big boy bedroom (his nursery is no more thanks to the latest stage of our renovation work) and this will definitely be featuring as part of a creative corner. I just know George will love hiding things away in it!
The playpa colouring paper. Such a genius idea – it looks amazing in a playroom or bedroom and is perfect for inspiring little imaginations!
The ‘Letters £ to my Baby’ – I love this for recording special moments and thoughts. There are so many lovely products on the market now.