LAUNCHING a business when you have two small children to care for would be seen as an act of lunacy by most mums but Pitstone entrepreneur has won national recognition for her enterprise.
Not content with running an award-winning business and looking after daughters Connie, two and Megan aged four, the tireless Katrina Blunt also heads a village pre-school group.
Now Katrina, founder of BelleBelly, has been recognised as one of the top 100 UK mumpreneurs by the national support network MumpreneurUK. The award recognises the hard work and achievements of women juggling looking after children with creating successful businesses.
Katrina, who lives in Pitstone, launched BelleBelly in May 2010 selling breastfeeding belly bands. They are the only belly bands made to fit mums when they breastfeed. They’re designed to help mums to feel more confident when feeding in front of family, friends and even complete strangers.
The ingenious top even helps new mums to expand their wardrobe and save money by avoiding unflattering nursing clothes
turning all tops into breastfeeding tops.
“It’s nice to get some recognition,” said Katrina.
“I’d been concerned about feeding in public about quite a few mums say they are put off doing it in public because of the reactions of others around them. There have even been cases of mums being asked to leave restaurants when they attempt to feed in public.
“I came up with the idea of a top for mums who want to feed discretly and they’ve proved very popular.”
The award follows a very successful year for BelleBelly with a fast growing stockist list including retailers as far away as Australia and expectation-beating sales figures. The product showcased at the Baby Show in London at the end of last year.
Katrina also gives a lot of her time to charity work, running Windmill Pre-School in Ivinghoe as chair of the voluntary management committee, which she does to secure the future of the pre-school and ensure local children get the best start in life.
Her award submission included: “You know you’re a Mumpreneur when you rush home from a Halloween event you’re running at pre-school to tidy up the house for a viewing while packing bags for a week away while waiting for the next shipment of thousands of BelleBellys to arrive. If that’s not a ‘mother who combines bringing up children with running a business’
then I don’t know what is!”
Katrina added: “I am doing what I can to inspire my two girls, demonstrating what a woman can do by juggling home life with creating a successful business. BelleBelly is less than two years old and is enjoying fantastic sales growth, amazing customer feedback and many successful pitches to retailers. I’ve also had to deal with supplier challenges, rising material and labour costs and many, many late nights working. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
BelleBelly products are sold direct via www.BelleBelly.co.uk and via other online retailers including NCT shop, Bras 4 Mums and More 4 Mums.