Eve Bell is the Founder of Baba+Boo – the best selling reusable nappy brand on the market.
She’s helped save millions of nappies from going to landfill over the years.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’ve worked since being a waitress at 13, through university and had my fair share of rubbish jobs when I left uni until I started my career as a buyer. A career that came to end when I became mum to Seth in 2008. Having decided that I didn’t want to leave him, and with another baby on the way, I made the decision to leave working life and be a stay at home mum. This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Having two babies in quick succession was so so hard!
So what do I do? I start a business as well. I often blame hormones and tiredness, but I think my work ethic wasn’t being satisfied in the world of babies. I needed something for me. I had a new passion for cloth nappies and starting something that made total sense to me. My dad watched the bin like a hawk when I was growing up and never let us throw anything away that could be composted or recycled. This is why I found putting disposable nappies in the bin so wrong. I knew I had skills to design and make the nappies but the rest was the steepest learning curve of my life. But, starting Baba+Boo was my best decision for me, and for my children!
Ten years on, I am the Founder of Baba+Boo and work on the creative side of the business within a team of five awesome people.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Nope, I never had a plan and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. However, learning is my passion and I always thought that I might go into teaching but I was so shy, I couldn’t do that. I found my feet as soon as I had the children and then I started Baba+Boo and found a way to be inspired every day, which is the best way to live in my eyes.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Having been a business owner for 10 years, I’ve experienced so many challenges along the way. However, the last few months have been the hardest challenge I have ever faced. Running a growing business, with a team working remotely, and with two children homeschooling, has been insanely hard. Over the years, I’ve worked hard building a business that I am passionate about, whilst also wanting to be there for my children, and this has been a real challenge, but nothing has been as hard as the last few months.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
My goal with starting a business was to ensure that I could be at home with the children, while following my passion and dreams. I ultimately wanted to do the school run every day! My youngest child leaves primary this July and that is the biggest achievement, it has been so hard to juggle everything but I did it!
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
My drive probably. I am not good at giving up, and I have honestly tried lots of times. I am so passionate about what we do here at Baba+Boo and that is what keeps me going every day, and also awake at night! I’ve always been an environmentalist with a passion for the planet, so when it comes to my business, my children are such a driving factor. Helping to create a cleaner, greener future for future generations is something which keeps me going, even when things get tough.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I’ve had an official mentor in the past and she was brilliant at really teaching me the fundamentals of business. I was an accidental businesswoman so I needed the guidance. As we have grown hugely over the past 2-3 years, getting a mentor is on my to do list, it would be amazing to have someone who is on the outside looking in, and I think this would be hugely beneficial to me. Saying that though, I learn from everyone I surround myself with. I am a sponge and I love to be inspired.
I would love to be a mentor to someone else, I have been pulled up the ladder by so many wonderful people and I would definitely love to pay it forward. Helping is one our values at Baba+Boo.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
As a female business owner, I would say that affordable childcare would go a long way in bringing positive steps towards gender equality. Along with flexible working hours and supporting new mothers by making it easier for them to return to work, in a way that suits both them and the business.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
My favourite quote is that ‘good things never sit inside your comfort zone’. I sat in my comfort zone for far too long and if I could give one piece of advice to my younger self it would definitely be to continue to push yourself and do things which push you as a person. Nowadays, I continually seek to grow and do things that scare me.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
At Baba+Boo we’re on a mission to help parents live simpler, more sustainable lives. How are we going to do this? By making reusables normal. We want to show parents that they’re not only kinder to the planet, but they are also super simple to use. We want to show that reusables can fit around the parents and not the other way around!
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