Etta Loves began after a bit of a lightbulb moment for Founder Jen Fuller. Whilst feeding her 6 week old daughter who she noticed was mesmerised by the patterns on her black and white jumper, Jen realised there was a lack of eye-catching products to specifically catch the attention of babies (whilst being stylish for parents in the meantime, naturally!)
The collection ranges from super soft bamboo muslins to sensory playmats, teethers and comforters. Each Etta Loves piece features prints designed to support and enhance babies’ visual and cognitive development (in other words, these gorgeous muslins will stimulate and entertain your little one whilst you enjoy a moment of calm – it’s a win win if you ask us!)
We caught up with Jen to find out more…
TELL US ABOUT ETTA LOVES… HOW DID IT ALL COME ABOUT?
Our products are uniquely designed with science to support babies’ visual and cognitive development, so in a nutshell the patterns and colours are designed to the millimetre based on what babies can and can’t see as their vision develops.
Its conception was all rather unintentional whilst on maternity leave with my first daughter Etta. She was around 6 weeks old when I first noticed her staring intently at the patterned black and white jumper I was wearing whilst feeding her, ignoring the plain muslin flung over my shoulder. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment as I didn’t understand why essential products that were in her eyeline day in day out, weren’t being designed to create wonder in her eyes. I became fascinated by what she, and babies in general, could and couldn’t see so set out to understand whether I could recreate the magic on her face by turning omnipresent baby items into sensory essentials, and Etta Loves was born.
THERE’S MORE TO EACH EL DESIGN THAN MEETS THE EYE. TELL US WHY AND HOW SCIENCE IS AT THE CORE OF THE BRAND…
Yes absolutely, that’s what makes our patterns magical. We use very precise measurements, provided by Laura our consultant orthoptist, based on what babies at a certain age can and can’t see and build them into a range of scales for either our newborn–4 months or 5+ months patterns. We also take into account the colours that babies can see at various ages, shapes they show a preference to and the result is stimulated, mesmerised babies and a precious moment of calm for parents.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE BRAND’S NAME?
I must confess I was in the throws of sleep deprivation when I conceived the brand, but it’s named after my first daughter Etta, and it was started because she loved this particular jumper, so Etta Loves seemed like an obvious choice. Having had a second daughter now I’m scrabbling around for a new business idea so that she doesn’t feel left out…
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
With chocolate in it. Mocha or iced mocha for me, but only before midday or else I am genuinely awake all night!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY…
Little Etta is 3 and even little’er Uma has just turned one. It’s certainly hectic and unpredictable in our household but I’m loving seeing Uma’s personality shine through, and their relationship as sisters is either super cute or in need of a referee.
We moved to the seaside just before Uma was born and it’s such a lovely and inspiring place to spend our time.
TOP TRICKS FOR JUGGLING MOTHERHOOD AND BUSINESS?
I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is to be as flexible as possible and make sure that I know exactly what is urgent vs. what can wait. I say this because invariably on the days where I’ve set myself up a huge to-do list I’ll get that call from nursery to say that one of the girls needs picking up for whatever reason, and my day or week has to shift and adapt.
I’m also a huge fan of using WhatsApp for the wider team – so I have whatsApp groups with my fulfilment partners, my PR lady and even the factory who make all our products. It enables me to fire off things quickly and from anywhere, which means that less things get missed and decisions can be made quickly.
On that, my final thing would be to trust your instincts. I don’t have the luxury of time to spend too much of it thinking about the myriad of things that make my business tick over, so by working more instinctively I am more efficient and effective, I hope…
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
The cuddles, always the cuddles. And the moments that sneak up on you and make you cry happy tears.
…AND HARDEST THING?
The unpredictability. I just want to be able to go to bed and know that it’s my choice when I wake up! Or have a plan for the day and not have it derailed, but that’s the nature of being a parent and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU – BUSINESS OR PERSONAL – FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?
This is now the big run up to Christmas, and with our newly expanded range of comforters, blankets and teethers I’m hoping that it will be a positive year for us.
We have an exciting collaboration planned for spring 2020 so we’re in the midst of designing and planning that too.
From a personal point of view I’ve just made the jump to being self-employed (I’ve always had a full-time job as well as running Etta Loves) so I’m hoping that I can have a bigger impact on the growth of Etta Loves whilst freeing up time to spend with my girls.
LASTLY, FAVOURITE ETTA LOVES PIECE?
Oh that’s tough. Can I have two? In which case it’s our new zebra comforter and also our terrazzo print knitted blanket – I’m obsessed with both of them at the moment.
GO TO: ettaloves.com
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Inspiration/Image Credits: ettaloves.com