Our "March of Inspiring Mums" interview series celebrates women who are doing some amazing things, whether through business, a campaign or just being fabulous! - hope you enjoy the "March of Inspiring Mums" series!
Our latest interview is with Dara Stringham, a women's tailor and designer with a motto of "there is no perfect size, only the perfect fit". She has also launched a gorgeous range of scarves to tie in with International Women's Day with inspiring quotes printed on the silk.
Dara shares with us why boundaries, support and self-care enables her to juggle her business around her 3 young daughters (aged 2, 5 and 8).
She lives with her family in Isleworth, North London although hails from a multicultural background...she is British-Canadian-American, describes herself as mid-Atlantic and grew up in Germany!
1. Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the job you’re now doing?
I've loved fashion and making clothes for as long as I can remember so I think this profession was a natural choice for me. What I love about tailoring is the opportunity to make women feel amazing in the bodies they have by creating clothes that fit them perfectly. The fashion industry tells us so often that we are not good enough as we are – that we should be thinner in order to be beautiful. I believe that there is no perfect size only the perfect fit. Seeing the impact this approach has on my clients is wonderful.
I also work from my home studio so that I can structure my work around my three daughters. I love the flexibility being self-employed gives me. I can do this my way and be there for my children when they need me. It does mean frequent late nights and weekends working, but it suits me.
Tell me one interesting fact about you?
I have a multi-cultural background. I am British-Canadian-American, but grew up in Germany. My parents worked for an International Development organisation so I was introduced to people from all cultures and walks of life from an early age. I think this has made me very open minded and interested in other points of view.
On a funny note it means that I have an indecipherable accent. I call it mid-Atlantic!!
Please can you share 3 tips for managing the juggle of motherhood, life and business?
- Boundaries: I find it really important to have clear boundaries around my working space and time. It's important that I value my work and block out distractions. I work from home so it's easy to get roped into things that are not a priority.
- Support: It is vital to have someone external that help you stay on track and avoid overwhelm. Either a coach or a business mentor. Friends and family are great for emotional support, but they can also keep us stuck in our patterns.
- Self-care: Whether it's 10min of yoga, journalling or time to read - building a little bit of me-time into your day will help you stay energised. It's easy to neglect this area and I don't manage it all the time, but I have felt the benefits when I have done it.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a new mum?
Ask for support! Parenting is hard and sometimes we can be so in the thick of it that we are not able to see the simplest solutions. Don't feel like you should know better and however small the problem is share it with someone you trust.
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?
Blue-green / teal / turquoise. The colours make me feel happy.
What’s your favourite activity to do with your children?
I love reading to my kids. I have always loved books and snuggling up with them, reading a great story is my idea of bliss.
What do you like to do for some me-time?
I love seeing exhibitions. Getting out and about, window shopping, feeling inspired. I never get tired of that. :)
Thank you Dara for sharing your story and telling us a little more about you and your business. Your International Women's Day scarves are a true celebration of women, which is not only inspiring but also comes across as your passion through the tailoring work you do.
If you've enjoyed this interview, make sure you check out our other "March of Inspiring Mums" series here