Back in 2016 the original owners of ChalkKids interviewed TV presenter, charity campaigner, author and all round mum-boss, Katie Piper.
They got to the chance to ask her all about her new range of baby products with My Babiie, motherhood and the importance of believing in yourself as a parent.
See our "Planning for a Baby Checklist" page if you are thinking of having a baby.
Read the full interview with Katie Piper below.
We’re excited about your step into parenting retail and love the nature theme flowing through your products. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
It was quite exciting for me because I have a big interest in design and fashion but becoming a mum renewed my interest in it so much more because I was actually road testing products out with my own child.
When I met up with My Babiie it was so cool to have that creative freedom to say, “well you know, when I was shopping in Tesco I wished my buggy had this.” I wanted it to reflect me, my ethos and my attitude and they gave me massive creative freedom to do that.
I was totally naive when I first started getting baby equipment when I was pregnant. I had no idea just how expensive some of the buggies were. Being a first time mum looking back now I was probably quite anxious, I wanted all the products that I bought to be really safe and I didn’t want to make any compromise on safety.
So I think stupidly I probably paid more than I should of for some of the stuff. Some of the top of the range buggies are great but I found most of them came in either grey, black or navy and that was it!
With my buggies I was able to put some really different designs on them. When I met with My Babiie the main thing was they had the same vision, their main priority was safety over everything and then we looked at the designs.
It was really cool to combine all those things, but still make it a price that you can afford and that you’re not going to feel guilty about or have no money to buy anything else.
What’s been the best part about your collaboration with My Babiie?
Over the last few months we ran a competition for mums and dads to put their babies forward to win a prize of being in the photoshoot for the products. It was really cool as we did it on social media! Loads of people entered and I had the impossible job of picking 3 winners.
We did it all outside in the forest and we had a really sunny day in November. It was good fun and the kids really loved it, we just let them do what they naturally do and then snapped pictures, so it was organised chaos.
We love the inclusion of your Believe milestone cards. What was the inspiration behind that?
It’s my ethos in a lot of the books I’ve written to celebrate the really small milestones in your own personal life, like your own recovery or a development in your career.
I’ve written affirmation books and I’ve shared mantras to help people empower themselves. I think the journey for me of becoming a mother was no different to the other journeys I talked to burn survivors about or people with lack of confidence. It’s all about self esteem and believing in yourself.
I’ve found from talking to other mums, even the most confident self assured person has a confidence crisis when they become a mum because it’s a new area that none of us have the answers to. Although there are loads of books, my experience was there is no book that can teach you the wrong or right way, it’s about finding what suits you.
A lot of products are about the baby, for this I wanted it to not forget the mums also. I wanted my milestones to reinforce that message of ‘Believe’ and that’s why I called it ‘Believe’ buggies, for that self belief.
So long as you have self belief you can go forward in confidence and my own life has taught me you can achieve great things when you’ve got confidence.
I know from myself during the first few months I did a lot of walking, as sometimes there’s not a lot you can do. So I thought when you look down at my buggies you see the logo, you know what it represents. We all need those subtle reminders in our life.
That’s why I use things like affirmations, it’s that reminder, that nudge to try be optimistic, to pat yourself on the back and say, “actually do you know what, I’m doing a really good job.”
Do you have a favourite design?
I really love the khaki one selfishly because I love dressing in neutral colours, khaki green, brown, beige – so it goes with all my outfits. Which seems like a bit of stupid thing! It is classic going with a blue or a pink buggie, but for me I wanted something a little bit different. That was something I really struggled to find.
Now that Belle’s two and a half we just use buggies and I love when I can, with my foot, fold it up into a small boot of a car or take it on an aeroplane if I’m travelling on my own. I like the design to be easy to use.
Has your daughter, Belle given you any positive feedback?
Yes! We road tested the pink buggy on holiday. It’s so funny, it has a pull down hood and so that was her game, pulling down the hood and going, “mummy, where am I?” She loves it and it’s got all the little pockets in it where we can put her books and toys. So it was a good one to travel with and to take out for dinner in the evenings to restaurants.
What would be your ideal family day?
Probably out of the house because Belle’s really active. We live quite near forests and woodlands, so all three of us out in welly boots, running around exploring. She doesn’t like being on reigns or holding hands, she likes to run free so the forest is ideal. We let her run around and go crazy, we chase her, then we know we can come home for a really quiet evening as she’ll pass out and go to sleep.
You’re a huge inspiration and role model to so many women, has your life experiences and recovery influenced the way you are as a mother?
It’s hard to say as I don’t know any other way or what I would have been like if those events hadn’t have happened to me. Unfortunately it’s opened my eyes to more of the dangers in the world and that is something, when I’m parenting, I consciously try not to let pass onto my daughter.
I don’t want to make my daughter anxious or restrict her life because of the experiences I’ve had. So I’d say it’s something I try to be mindful of not over spilling into her life.
We notice healthy eating and fitness is an important part of your lifestyle. Is this what you do for ‘you’ time?
Definitely! Cooking is something I love. Me and my husband cook together so that’s quite a nice bonding thing to do. Nowadays it’s quite hard for me to get to the gym, once Belle’s in bed I can’t really leave the house.
What I mainly do now is work out in the kitchen or in the front in the drive way. It’s always about finding time and when you’re a mum you don’t have time really, so it’s about trying to do things at home. I like reading as well, it’s a nice escapism.
Finally, to any mums having a challenging parenting day, what would your advice be to them?
I’d say you have to have those challenging days because how would you differentiate from the days where it’s all hearts and flowers and going wonderful. So embrace those bad days.
I’ve always said that there’s no such thing as failure or things going wrong, all of it is just practice for success. Success is a journey and not a destination. Don’t beat yourself up about those difficult days, we all have them!
Thank you Katie for speaking with us.
Katie’s range, ‘Believe, By Katie Piper’ launched in November 2016.
It includes a range of pushchairs, travel systems (carry cots / car seats) and a high chair. Exclusive Katie Piper #Believe milestone cards will be included with every order.