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Mama You Can: Jo Harris

August 24, 2017
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Hello and welcome back to another week of Mama You Can, a series started to started to share inspirational stories of Mama’s who have changed career direction, started their own business or negotiated a more flexible role to fit in with family life.

This week we have the lovely Jo Harris a fellow Surrey Mummy who has recently set up her beautiful business Tilly and Cub. I’ll hand over to Jo to tell her story…

Mama You Can: Jo Harris

Hi, I’m Jo, Mama of 2 3/4 year old fiesty little girl {Tilly} and neary 6 months pregnant {with Cub}. I reccently established my Business aka my third baby; Tilly + Cub.

We stock beautiful handwoven, natural fibre, fairtrade Moses baskets as well as Homeware baskets, Changing baskets and some cute hand selected pieces. Our Business not only supports the talented makers of our baskets, but the various Charities we give a percentage from each sale to.

When did you decide to change direction in your work life?
Prior to Motherhood I was an Osteopath and whilst pregnant I was teaching Clinical Pilates in a fantastic Multidisciplinary Physio Clinic in Australia. It was never my intention to be a stay at home mum, however my daughter was born prematurely. So I literally went from teaching a class one evening to Motherhood and keeping vigil by a humidicrib the next. With one thing and another, returning to my old role just never happened. And whilst there are plenty of challenges to being a SAHM, ultimately I am so grateful for the time she and I have had together. 


Running my own Business was something I’ve always wanted to do, but Tilly + Cub has evolved Organically when the time was right. Whilst I thought a lot about what I would do next, most ideas didn’t gel with the type of Mother I wanted to be. Many ideas I’d had either involved long hours away from home or intensive study. Nether of which worked right now for our family.
The actual concept of Tilly + Cub all happened very quickly, and it’s all still very new so I’m learning every day. The support from other Small Business’ has been wonderful and I feel I’ve been really warmly welcomed into a community of incredibly talented business women, and wonderful customers.


I think you can talk yourself out of anything, sometimes you just need to go for it. Often, successful people and businesses aren’t the ones with the most revolutionary concepts- they just took the chance, gave it a try and kept on going!


How did you feel in the lead up to the decision? 


I have certainly felt a bit frustrated and lacking professional direction in the past year, so it’s been wonderful to find my passion. 
When I placed my first basket order I said to my husband: we know loads of pregnant people, they’ll make great gifts if they don’t sell. But I think I believed deep down that other people would love both the look and story behind the Baskets as much as we did.
I’m very fortunate my husband is my number once supporter and having had nearly a decades experience running his own business, he can act as a great mentor too- although our styles are quite different.


Now you have taken the plunge how are things going?


I am loving it. After nearly three years, doing something for me, using my brain in a different way, building something from scratch. I love the community on instagram and how businesses support one another. And I really cherish my customers. Being a little part of their pregnancy/adoption journey is such a privilege and joy.


What advice would you give to other Mama’s who are thinking about making a change to their working life?


1) You can do it! Take that first step.


2) There’ll never be a perfect time, but at the same time there’s no rush to do “it all”, especially with a young baby!


3) You’ll never look back on your life and think you spent too much time with your kids. 


4) Motherhood changes you, and this can apply to Career wise too. But that can be a good thing, I believe I am more empathic now, better at multitasking and able to run on far less sleep!!


5) If you love what you do it truly won’t feel like work. I genuinely don’t feel like this is a job, despite often being up until the wee hours and at times juggling like mad. Because it’s such a pleasure to be part of, and I am grateful for that everyday.


You can find out more about Tilly and Cub on Instagram.

Mama You Can will be back next Thursday, until then why not read some of the other stories…

  1. Mama You Can: Kelly Pike
  2. Mama You Can: Julie Clabby
  3. Mama You Can: Claudette Anderson
  4. Mama You Can: The Baby Service
  5. Mama You Can: Property Potential Surrey
  6. Mama You Can: Lylia Rose
  7. Mama You Can: Amy Blackwood photography
  8. Mama You Can: Sunita from Lucky things blog
  9. Mama You Can: Jess Haworth
  10. Mama You Can: Claire Gillespie
  11. Mama You Can: Sarah Pool


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