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 interviewee is with Katie Malkinson, mum to two children (aged 12 and 10 years old)
Today, Katie shares why taking each day as it comes, (whether the early days of motherhood, or juggling a busy business with family life) is so important but also having plans, goals and outsourcing are helping her maintain that balance
Katie is the owner of Little Big Sports, which, she says, was inspired by her sports mad children. It specialises in sports equipment especially for children (including football goals, Strider balance bikes, golf practice nets, cricket bowling machines, tennis nets etc)
She lives in Hildenborough, West Kent.
Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the job you’re now doing?
I’m a mum of two living in the same village I grew up. Before children I travelled the world and lived in London with my husband but the draw back to the countryside was strong.
My children are the inspiration behind Little Big Sports. Not only did they give me the initial idea they were the reason I left behind my career in advertising in order to be my own boss and build a business whilst having flexibility.
My then, four year old son was responsible for the moment of inspiration which led to Little Big Sports. An obsessive cricket fan from a very young age he was bought a cricket bat he could hardly lift, let alone hit a ball with. It stopped his enthusiasm for the sport in its tracks. It was obvious to me that in order to ensure that sport is fun and to become a normal part of life as well as allowing children to develop their game it was vitally important that they played with equipment especially suited to their age, size and ability. However, it was hard to find age specific sports equipment and little advice was given on age suitability by online retailers. The seed was planted. Lots of research and hard work followed resulting in ultimately the launch of Little Big Sports.
Tell me one interesting fact about you?
Although I never really considered myself a runner, I ran the London Marathon in 2017. An amazing, amazing experience. Not to be repeated but never will it be forgotten.
Please can you share 3 tips for managing the juggle of motherhood, life and business?
1. Organise your week. I spend time on a Sunday night looking at the week ahead. It helps me prioritise and focus on what’s important as well as working out the logistics of the week ahead.
2. I often find that juggling the children, a busy life and Little Big Sports results in so much of my time is spent tackling admin (life and work) and orders rather than growing the business. To counter this, each day, I try and achieve three tasks that will drive the business forward and stop me being so internally focussed.
3. When time is pressurised and the to do list is overwhelming I outsource admin, website support and dog walking! It helps rebalance life a little, drive Little Big Sports forward and gives me valuable time to spend with the children which wouldn’t be possible if I still worked in the corporate world.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a new mum?
There is so much expectation on new mums to return to their former self incredibly quickly. Not only is this unrealistic it adds unnecessary pressure. So my advice would be to take each day as it comes. The early months for me were a rollercoaster; wonderful but totally exhausting and bewildering at times. Enjoy the good days but don’t be afraid to ask for help or cancel plans. Take time to enjoy.
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?
Silver. It adds sparkle to an outfit. Particularly loving my new silver boots at the moment. They make me smile even on the gloomiest of days.
What’s your favourite activity to do with your children?
A walk with our wonderful dog followed by a trip to a café or lunch in a pub
What do you like to do for some me-time?
Running as it totally clears my head and rebalances me. It can be such a mental struggle to actually put my trainers on but running always lifts my mood. I also make plenty of time for socialising with friends and family. Running your own business can be solitary so for me it is important to have time to chat and laugh.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Katie. I think so many mums have ideas when they have their children, but to go forth and set up your own business to fulfil that need is truly inspiring!
Your tips for managing the everyday juggle and focusing on the bits that make a difference is great advice that I think we could all be reminded of sometimes when that juggle feels a little overwhelming!
If you've enjoyed this interview, make sure you check out our other "March of Inspiring Mums" series here