Thea Evans and Denise Milner used their time during lockdown to take a leap of faith and launch their online business My Rockabye, an online marketplace that brings together a whole host of independent brands selling items for babies, toddlers and growing kids, despite growing uncertainty in the economy.
The two Suffolk-born mums’ have been developing the idea for some time now, but with Denise being furloughed from her fulltime job and Thea welcoming her second child, it presented a unique opportunity for their emerging business.
The childhood friends, who grew up in Halesworth, Suffolk, went their separate ways after high school, but always kept in touch. Denise spent two years in Singapore, whilst Thea stayed local. Ironically, they both ended up in recruitment, just miles apart.
The concept was founded by Thea, although she emphasises it is Denise’s skillset and sales experience that brings My Rockabye to life. And, after months in the making, they launched their new business and exited the corporate world for good.
My Rockabye is an online marketplace similar to the likes of Esty and Not on the High Street, but they only partner with independent baby and children’s brands.
“I decided I wanted to start a marketplace years ago, then life took over and the idea was put on the backburner.”
“Years later, after my first son was born, it seemed there wasn’t a go-to place online for all the wonderful brands I had unearthed when I was dressing my first born.”
“Then, Denise and I chatted one day, and we decided to work together on something creative. Neither of us had felt fulfilled in corporate jobs, and although parenthood was rewarding, the desire to create our own business still burned strongly. So, the partnership was the natural next step, like a jigsaw fitting into place,” Evans explained.
There is real enthusiasm amongst millennial mums to be their own boss to ensure they can achieve the all-important work-life balance, while still generating an income to support their growing family.
Denise is mum to two girls and Thea has two boys; between them the pair have consumer experience across the board.
“The idea had been created pre-lockdown, however being in lockdown certainly helped us bring the idea to life.
“Since the pandemic, we are seeing a huge emphasis on supporting independent brands, which is at the core of our business.”
“To have so much time at home, juggling parenthood and home schooling, developing the business has been really refreshing. The more we discussed it the more confident about it we became,” said Milner.
This year has highlighted the power of coming together, and with community at the heart of My Rockabye, both Thea and Denise are passionate about representing independent brands and spreading small business love.
“We are lucky enough to have an amazing selection of brands to launch with. These range from weening equipment to personalised and handmade clothing, to more established luxury brands. We also have a few unique brands that offer more specialist products,” comments Milner.
With the closure of many high street stores, the duo are proud to back the ‘small shop’ movement, building a community of small business that provide an alternative to mainstream children’s brands. With the recent shift in consumer buying, pushing more businesses online, both Denise and Thea are confident that through social media, influencers and a deep knowledge of digital marketing they will see their business flourish.
You can shop MyRockabye here: www.myrockabye.co.uk
Instagram – www.instagram.com/my_rockabye