Bump & Boo event launches in Winchester
More than 60 suppliers of baby and parenting products will be coming together at the Winchester Guildhall this month. Hear the founders of Bump & Boo explain their journey.
In 2016 Catherine and I became first time parents and our worlds changed. As committed professionals, we had grand plans and great expectations that we would carry on our respective careers in teaching and nursing and our new bundles would magically fit into our world.
Everyone says ‘everything changes’ when you have children, and it’s hard to know exactly what that means, until it happens. I remember thinking‘ Yes! That’s what I want! I want everything to change!’ but I didn’t quite realise the magnitude of the comment. Nothing is the same.
Catherine and I both made the decision not to return to our familiar careers and instead, we both started our own businesses. Little did we know it but overnight we became ‘mumtreprenuers’. A phrase often used on social media “Mumtrepreneur” refers to the resourceful women who find a way on earning a living through non-traditional jobs in order to be at home with their families more. We stepped away from our salaried, secure world, into the unknown. Whilst Catherine busied herself setting up her infant massage business, Tactile Tots, I threw myself into my passion of photography and created Hannibal-White Photography. Both our businesses were inspired by and centred around our new passion–our children.
Having lived in Winchester for 7 years and commuting to and from work we found ourselves in the undesirable position of not having many (any) local friends. Antenatal classes thrust us together with other couples in the same position as us and we were lucky enough to form some fabulous friendships but then the reality hit once the new bundle arrived and husbands returned to work... where do we go and what do we do? It was then we unlocked the door to the baby world of Winchester...
Through word of mouth and google searches we found out what was out there for us to enjoy with our little ones, the magical doors to the kingdom of Rhyme Time, the sanctuary of soft play at Lantern’s, the fabulous fun and frolics awaiting you at Baby Sensory...
In December 2016 I became more and more frustrated that it took so long to find out about what was happening in the city and I decided to centralise all of the groups and classes I had found in Winchester in a Facebook page. There were so many and a lot of them were under publicised and under used.
I started sharing daily lists of what was on with my friends and threw myself into the research project, creating spreadsheets and trying to understand the baby class map of the city. The central hub of information gained a large following incredibly quickly and I could see there was a real gap, people with newborns did not have hours to scour google, to find random church websites, not knowing if they were up to date and risk making plans to attend groups and classes they knew nothing about. New parents were tired and needed a quick and easy way to access the information to give them the confidence they needed to get out of the house and meet people. I was doing the work for them and felt immensely proud that I was helping so many people.
Groups and classes were soon getting in touch with me regularly, asking me to review classes, share information and help them with promotion. I was more than willing to help. I quickly made many contacts and friends through the page and could see the sprawling wonderland of opportunities in Winchester for families and new parents. It was astounding how much was out there.
Catherine and I started discussing the way in which we could help these businesses reach more people, how we could offer an opportunity for them to meet face to face, hear more about their services, maybe even try their classes and see what was really out there.
It was during one sleep deprived, 3am texting session (we know all you new mums have them!) it was clear we were thinking along the same lines – a big event for the community to celebrate everything on offer for the families of Winchester.
• Did you know Winchester have a baby cinema club on a Tuesday morning?
• Did you know there is a breastfeeding social once a month?
• Did you know Winchester has a sling library?
• Do you know where there are changing facilities in the city?
• Did you know Winchester has it’s own role play centre and café?
No? Neither did we!
It took becoming parents, days of research, hours of networking and lots of tea and cake to find out what’s out there. We wanted to make it far simpler for new parents in 2018 and beyond.
Catherine and I were both aware of how important it is to help and encourage mums in those early days to know where to go. Through Catherine’s experience as a Health Visitor and my own experience with post natal depression, it became something very important to us. The anxiety felt in those first months as a new parent. The isolation and loneliness it can cause. The pressure of having to feel and be a certain way with your baby It can all be very overwhelming and there is often little support.
We can’t change all of those challenges but we think we can help a just a little!
We sincerely hope that by using our experiences to shape our plans for the future can help the new parents of Winchester. We hope it will instil confidence, encourage friendships, and make maternity and paternity leave an exciting time of exploration and enjoyment in this great city.
Our Bump & Boo event is a culmination of 18 months of work stemming from the Boo & Mummy network allowing local businesses and services an opportunity to showcase their work to the Winchester community.
On Sunday 15th July between 10am and 4pm over 60 businesses will be coming together at the Guildhall Winchester and our dream of sharing all the wonderful things about this city will become true. Stalls, talks, activities, presentations, it is a whole day of celebration for the Winchester parenting community.
So please come down and support us and all the fabulous local businesses.
We are simply two mums, who have learnt a lot in the last 2 years and who wanted the opportunity to bring the parenting community together to celebrate local businesses “mumtrepreneurs”.
Bump and Boo will be officially opened by The Mayor of Winchester at Winchester Guildhall on Sunday 15th July 10am-4pm
Entry: Adults-£2 and Children: Free
The first 100 entrance will receive a free goodie bag with hidden prizes.
Head over to our Facebook page for more information.