Our "March of Inspiring Mums" interview series celebrates women who are doing some amazing things, whether through business, a campaign or just being fabulous!
Our latest interview is with, not just one, but two inspiring ladies... Jemma Scanlan and Gill Gunbey, both from St Albans and the owners of Little Active People, an online one stop shop supporting children’s mental and physical health by providing knowledge and products which promote active bodies and active minds. Between them, they have 4 children (ranging from 3 - 7 years old) who are the inspiration behind their business.
Today, Jemma and Gill share with us tips on how to juggle business whilst also looking after their young children and why focussing on the positives plus recognising the modern day pressures, on us as mums, as well as our children is key.
They are also running a brilliant Happiness campaign, celebrating all things related to feeling and being happy... so make sure you check out the links at the end of this interview.
Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the job you’re now doing?
Both of us were career women (Jemma was a manager at M&S and Gill a Service Manager at Heathrow Express) but once the children came along, we were finding it hard to get the work life balance right – we always felt that both areas were suffering. We met doing the preschool run 3 ½ years ago with our eldest and got chatting as we were both pregnant at the time. Over a cuppa we discovered that we both had a desire to set up our own business. It took a while to work out what that would be but gradually Little Active People took shape.
We made the scary but exciting decision to leave our jobs and from September 2018 began to work on the business full time. The driving force behind the business was our mental and physical wellbeing of our children – there are so many modern-day pressures! We created the one stop shop to help save parents time searching for everything needed to help support their children both mentally and physically – there are so many great products out there.
We also provide lots of information, tips and advice for families to support their mental and physical wellbeing. We really enjoy researching new ideas, which we know will have a positive effect on our children.
Tell me one interesting fact about you?
Jemma - played rugby for OA Saints and got through to the Premiership
Gill – has been in the Guiding movement since she was a Rainbow and co-runs a Brownie group in St Albans.
Please can you share 3 tips for managing the juggle of motherhood, life and business?
- Plan in some ‘me time’ every day or plan time away with your friends. It really helps our headspace and we find we are much more patient with the children.
- Write a to do list and plan it in. That way we can relax knowing that it will get done and we won’t forget.
- Encourage independence for your children – not only is it a great skill for them to have and boost their self esteem but will mean that you don’t have to do everything and will give you some time to do a bit of work or have a bit of me time.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a new mum?
Gill – don’t compare yourself to other mums. With my first, we were struggling with feeding so we didn’t get out much. I kept thinking of all those mums out having a coffee in town and feeling like I was failing.
Jemma – don’t beat yourself up over things that you are not doing but focus on the things that you are. With my first I felt like everyone else was being a great mum but then I looked at what I was actually doing myself and realised I had a happy child so I was being a great mum too!
Colour can make a real difference to our mood - what’s your favourite colour? And how does it make you feel when you wear it?
Gill – Purple. I feel calm and in my comfort zone.
Jemma – Red or green. It makes me feel positive and happy as they are bright colours.
What’s your favourite activity to do with your children?
Gill – I love to travel. Seeing new places or catching up with friends and family around the world.
Jemma – obstacle courses. The children both love them.
What do you like to do for some me-time?
Gill - Spa treatment or break. I can’t be distracted by any jobs that need doing and can really relax.
Jemma – having the time to do what I want without others demanding my attention
Thanks so much ladies for sharing your inspiring story with us. Mental health is close to my heart and is so important that we include and recognise it not only as mums but also with our children.
I'm also thrilled that Jemma and Gill asked to stock my Haila Rose products and gift sets...you can go direct to our range here
To find out more about Little Active People, their range of products, and their happiness campaign, check out the links below:
If you've enjoyed this interview, you can read our other blogs and "March of Inspiring Mums" series here