This week on Mumpreneur Monday I am delighted and very excited to introduce Penny from Ninery. Penny has set up an online shopping portal dedicated to providing mums and mums-to-be with must have clothing and accessories.
Penny has been a journalist since 2006. She started out in a local newspaper, The Hampstead & Highgate Express. She then went on to work a national newspaper mainly in women's features before working her way through to the MailOnline. She left the Mail online in 2014 after having her second child Joni. Since then she has worked as a freelancer, writing for parenting titles and helping brands create content for their businesses.
When Penny's first child, Archie, was born in 2011 she was struck by how dated and uninspiring the maternity market was. It wasn’t just that the clothes from the main high street players that were boring, it was that the sites that sold them seemed to present them in such a patronising way - branded with stereotypical overly feminine designs that left her cold. She couldn’t find on trend maternity and in particular breastfeeding styles without spending hours searching. It all just seemed so hard! Penny wondered why there wasn’t one stylish site pulling this whole market together to make it easier for mums to find it all. The idea stayed with Penny until she had Joni, when she discovered that even though a few more independent brands had emerged there was still no easy way to find them. She began dreaming of a great shopping site which helped mums find everything they wanted and recognised that they are super cool women with loads of style and lots of different fashion needs as well as a place which would supports emerging, mainly mum-founded maternity brands. It took quite a while for Penny to finally get going on her fabulous idea but in September 2017 Ninery was launched.
I was absolutely fascinated with the concept of Ninery. When I was pregnant with both my boys I was so bored with what was on offer. And as for breastfeeding clothes, well there just wasn't anything that made me feel like ME. I'm neither pregnant nor breastfeeding at the moment but that was my first stop when I visited Ninery. I was really interested to see what they had on offer and the results surprised me. All of the items are so unique and they are items that I would choose to wear when not pregnant. Thats the thing isn't it? You want to show off your baby bump without having to wear a tent. Just because you are pregnant it shouldn't mean that you should have to change your personal style. For me my style is what gives me confidence, its my identity and I have never felt particularly attractive or confident when pregnant or breastfeeding. As well as offering great daytime maternity wear they also have a whole range of maternity wear for special occasions. Beautiful dresses and outfits that will make you feel like a million dollars at a wedding, or party, even with a 40 week baby bump on board. Here are just a few of my faves from their maternity and breastfeeding section.
Ninery also offer a huge range of gifts, kids clothes, jewellery and lingerie to name a few. The majority of Ninery's sellers are mums and to me this speaks volumes. This is a site made by a mum, for mums, with products that are lovingly made BY mums. Mum's know what mums need and what and this site is a perfect example of that. It's contemporary, it's funky and it's unique. Visiting their site is like a breath of fresh air and made me feel like I wanted to buy everything. I'm bored of scrolling through high-street websites online. I'm sure many of your reading this feel the same.
NINERY is still so young but Penny is full of hopes for its future. She explains that launching a business is really scary.
“It's a bit like having a baby really - you can prepare all you like but you never really know how it will go! And just like your hopes for your baby, you dream of the business being successful and growing into something you can be really proud of. There is a lot of work to do but my hope is for Ninery to become a really helpful place that mums know they can visit and always find what they need - whether she's pregnant and looking for something gorgeous to wear that is different from what you'll find on the high-street, or she's breastfeeding and needs every day wear or a special dress, or she's a mum who's looking for cool styles for the school run. I hope that one day Ninery will be the first thought in mum - fashion, so that when a woman enters Motherhood her friends point her towards Ninery”
When I asked Penny how she manages a successful business and motherhood she explained that it's always a juggling act.
“Honestly, I am not sure I do. There is always a ball being dropped and there is always someone or something missing out. I think some women manage the juggle better, but in general it's really hard. There is constant guilt and worry either about things you haven't been able to do for or with the kids or for the business.
I try to fit in work before my 2 and a half year old wakes, but seeing as she's an early riser that very rarely goes to plan. I work into the night and just do what I can when I can. I am learning to try to take it easy on myself and accept that I can't do it all, that my toddler is still young and the day will come when I will have more time! I have got better at asking for help and importantly I have a really supportive husband who has taught me the meaning of team work. I think managing the juggle is all about accepting 'it is what it is', looking at small ways you can ease the pressure and not being afraid to ask for help. It can be easy to shut yourself away when you feel like you're drowning under all that you have to do so now, when I feel like that I try to get out, to meet a friend, have a change of scene or just pick up the phone to someone. It's those small support systems that keep you putting one foot in front of the other when you don't really feel like it”
I am in awe of Penny and what she has created. She is incredibly humble about her achievements and that really shows her wonderful character. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with her and I can't wait to watch Ninery grow. Penny has very kindly offered guilty Mummy readers 10% off their purchase with Ninery. Just use the code GuiltyMummy10 to claim your discount.
I would love it if you could all go and show Ninery some love on her social channels and website.
Instagram - @_ninery
Facebook - @ninerystore
Twitter - @NineryStore
Website - https://ninerystore.com/
The Guilty Mummy xx