Interview with Jen Fuller | Founder of Etta Loves

I met lovely Jen from 'Etta Loves' at a Mothers Meeting for women in business. Our babies were enjoying the floor space of Shoreditch House and generally going wild with Tomy Eggs.

Etta Loves: The first baby muslin squares specifically designed to stimulate babies’ cognitive and visual development, and they’re fabulously stylish to boot. Find out more here

What do you do? How would you describe your working life? 

By day I work as a Managing Partner for a big and wonderful media agency. After bedtime I plan, maintain and fulfil my newly launched business Etta Loves. And I am always trying to be the best mum to little Etta, who I spend Mondays, evenings and weekends with. It’s literally all just changed as I’ve just this week returned to work work after 9 months off on maternity leave…

Did you show any early signs as a child that indicated that you would end up where you are today? 

My close friends all say they knew that I would end up running my own business, which is what I’m attempting to work towards now, but they also knew I’d thrive in a sociable career, which is what my media agency role gives me. I have always been a highly excitable chatterbox, so have always gravitated towards jobs that need that kind of energy.

Describe your morning routine

My phone alarm goes off at 6.45 and I creep into the shower so as not to wake Etta, although normally she’s downstairs with Chris by then. Quick flinging on of pre-picked clothes and a dash of make-up before making sure Chris has everything he needs to drop Etta at nursery, and that he hasn’t dressed her in anything too wild… Then after kisses all round I head off to the tube around 7.30 to be at my desk by 8.15 with a cuppa and some marmite on toast. 

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from and when do they arrive? 

I’m a huge fan of interior design, typography and textiles, and I make sure I take in my surroundings wherever I am. But mostly it’s from a gut feel about something, or a random conversation or encounter that sparks excitement in me and I’m off! I get a lot of ideas when I’m meant to be focusing on something else, so can often be seen scribbling down totally unrelated notes in a meeting so as not to forget what flew into my head.

When motivation wavers, how do you get back on track? 

Dark chocolate mostly, and the knowledge that it will come back. Sometimes I just have to accept that I’m not in the mood or that there are more important things to be attending to at that moment in time, but generally I’m very driven if it’s something I believe in. The thing about starting my own business is that my motivation is for a more balanced life with Chris & Etta, which to me means time as a family. So just looking at Etta’s little face gives me a bit of a lift, sickly as that sounds.

What is the best thing about your job/lifestyle? 

It’s all new at the moment so it’s hard to say. I think the sense of not knowing where Etta Loves will go is genuinely exciting. And I hope I’m going to be able to find the balance between work and play, but that’s what is keeping me awake at night at the moment.

If you could do something else for the day- what would you do? 

I always wanted to be an interior designer, but I’m not sure that’s my dream day. Can I perhaps sit in a spa and have a little snooze?

How do you overcome any challenges in your working life? 

Talk talk and talk some more, that and maintaining my belief that things happen for a reason, which helps me turn negatives into positives, or at the very least neutrals.

How do you celebrate your successes? 

Launching this business is my first big success since having Etta, and whilst I have a bottle of fizz in the fridge which my wonderful friend and muslin designer gave me, I’m just not sure when it’ll feel right to open it. I’m more than likely to just treat myself to some slightly more expensive cheese and a nicer bottle of red wine to consume on the sofa once Etta is sleeping like somebody else’s baby.

Do you have any tools/resources or rituals that you couldn’t live without? 

I discovered Headspace and the practise of mindfulness during a particularly anxious period of my pregnancy. This is something I’ve continued as I’m acutely aware that anxiety is something that sneaks up on me then sucker punches me square in the face. Other than that I couldn’t be without things that keep me connected; so WhatsApp & Instagram mostly. They are perfect for making you feel like you can achieve anything and that you are supported, by friends and strangers alike.

Which books from your bookcase would you recommend? 

To be honest with you I haven’t read much recently. My favourite throwaway fiction writer is Peter James, as he always delivers a healthy serving of crime fiction. I also enjoy the right kind of self-improvement book, so am reading Step Up Club at the moment, which is cementing what I know I need to do, and motivating me to get on with it.

What are your daily essentials to make you feel ready? 

Texts with my favourite people to stay connected and inspired. Kisses with Etta and knowing she has everything she needs. Comfy shoes are a must as I feel like all my walking has a real purpose now. And a clear view of what I need to achieve that day, and what I can let slip if I need to.

What advice would you give your teenage self? 

Be kinder to your mum, she’s a diamond. Study a bit harder but don’t panic about not going to uni, you’ll find your path. And I’d congratulate myself on my friendship choices, they’re keepers for life. 

Where would you like to be in 5 years time? 

I’d love Etta Loves to have taken off and for the brand to be synonymous with developmental, stylish items for babies and their carers. Who knows, perhaps it will be my full time career! I want us to be breathing cleaner air (read that as a move to the sea side), and I hope that my phenomenal support network is still holding us all up high. Finally I would like to be raising a strong and kind little lady, with a firm love of animal print…

Thanks so much to Jen. Find out more here and follow on Instagram

 

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