Profile of a working mum – Laura Riley and Jane Grove, Owners of Little Clogs Holidays

Name:  Laura Riley (41)

Jane Grove (42)

Number of children:  L – 2 (ages 3¾ and 2¼)

J – 3 (ages 3½, 7 and 9)

Job title:  L – Owner /Founder

J – Owner/Founder

Duties: L – Building affiliate relationships and managing the affiliate accounts, PR (pitching to journalists and travel/parenting publications as well as baby/toddler brands for guest blog opportunities and competitions etc), brand development, content creation, writing blogs and social media posts, managing paid ads (facebook and google), liaison with web developer and building website, responding to customer enquiries, accounts, business and budget planning.

J – Website development and content creation, creative direction, social media posts and customer enquiries. In addition to the brand development and content areas of our company I am also lucky to be on the ground so to speak in The Netherlands. Because of this I can visit resorts, attractions and places of interest at first hand. I can also keep us up to date with local information, internal travel and seasonal events.

Hours: L -20-25 hours a week

J – In addition to setting up and running Little Clogs I also have a part-time job in education. This means that my hours vary week by week so as I can give ‘my best self’ to each role.

Childcare arrangements: L -Both children are in nursery for 2 full days and otherwise I work evenings and weekends when required.

J – Two of my children attend school full-time and my youngest goes to pre-school three mornings a week. Due to my working hours this means that they also have a child minder after school too.

What I love about work: L – Being my own boss, the opportunity to be creative and working in an industry I’m passionate about (travel). I love that we’ve found quite a niche and love talking to people about it.

J – I enjoy being challenged and learning new skills. Little Clogs has allowed me to tap into my creative side and passions whilst being able to build a business with my best friend. I enjoy the exchanges we have when discussing future plans and our ambitions for our little business.   

What I find difficult is: L – Having enough time to make the most of social media and therefore build up a big following. The brand is only 6 months old though so I also think this will come organically.

J – Juggling all aspects of my family and work life. However, I tend to compartmentalize my life so as I can give quality time to each. We are perfectionists at heart and we can sometimes mull over the smallest detail until we agree it’s just right…. At the same time this makes us both so proud of our product.

My working life would be easier if… L – I had more time!

J – Time!!! We always need more time.

Work/mum life balance: L – I’m lucky that Amelie and Jonas go to nursery 2 days a week and so I have those days dedicated to work. As we have an online business I have to do everything from my computer at home and that does sometimes eat into family time.

J – Our brand is still so young so at times it is hard to predict what the rhythm of work will be in the future. At the moment I have to make sure I put my phone down and whole heartedly focus on my children when I have the chance and then when it is time to dedicate myself to work I just put my head down and stay focused.

How having children has changed the work I do: L – I now realise how much time I had before having children! So, I think it’s made me work more productively and efficiently. Without children I doubt I would have seen a gap in the market for baby and toddler holidays to Holland and Belgium and so Little Clogs might never have been born!

J – Having children hasn’t completely changed the work I do as yet, but it has given me a thirst to tap into all of my resources and to find the right working future for myself and my family as ultimately, I work for them as well as myself. My children love being actively involved in Little Clogs too as they get to visit the holiday parks and attractions with me. Their insight is really valuable to our brand.

If I wasn’t doing this then my fantasy job would probably be… L – a wine taster/buyer with occasional visits to French châteaux! I speak fluent French (and like wine!).

J – Don’t know why but I always fancied being a swimming teacher. Any dreams or ambitions have always involved travel so Little Clogs suits me well. I get an insane amount of enjoyment from making other people excited about their holiday plans and giving advice where I can.

Mojomums helps mums get their mojo back – what advice would you give to mums who feel they have lost theirs? L – That it will come back! Babies take up a LOT of time and brain space and it takes a while for a creative window to appear once you do find a little more time to yourself. Also, I think having a child/children gives you more skills than you might realise so post babies you’re rocking it more than ever before! You’ve gained valuable management and negotiation skills!

J – Don’t try to be the old you!! The Mummy that you have become should be embraced. You still have all the qualities you had before and more. Perhaps the real challenge is to find what suits your new you rather than doubting your worth.

Anything else? L – Take the time after having babies to reassess what you want to do in case it isn’t going back to what you were doing before. It’s a natural time to review life! Make the most of this time and follow your passions.

J – Try to remind yourself of your goals and stay true to them, don’t feel you have to compete with others just stay focused on one step at a time!

Little Clogs Holidays offer baby and toddler holidays to Holland and Belgium. Using local knowledge to bring you the best baby and toddler accommodation, attractions and toddler friendly activities.

 

 

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