It’s been a while since I run this feature but I’m determined to bring it back as I absolutely love promoting small brands and sharing the best of my finds with you. There’s something pretty magical about buying and item that has been lovingly created by someone else, knowing its relatively unique and there aren’t hundreds of others out there donning the shelves of a department store. I also have to give a HUGE apology to Michelle as she contributed to this post months ago but her words got lost in my inbox as I fell into the depths of pregnancy and baby brain. So without further adieu I bring you the lovely Freya Lillie…
I was lucky enough to discover Freya Lillie when Ettie was around 9 months old. She was beginning to pull herself up onto furniture to move around and so I wanted to find her an outfit that was special enough to wear to a party, but which wasn’t going to restrict her movement. As we all know frilly dresses are ever so pretty, but they can play havoc with the determined nature of a crawler! Having a search through Instagram one evening I discovered a beautiful black velvet romper made by Freya Lillie and it was exactly the outfit I was looking for. Luxe enough to be worn to a special occasion, but not too frilly or fancy, it was extremely versatile. The way it was designed also meant that the straps could be adjusted as she grew and so she was able to enjoy wearing it for months.
Since then Michelle’s company has gone from strength to strength with her recently winning a Pirouette Award for ‘one to watch in 2019’. Her collection is beautiful and classic and home to a stylish array of pieces for both boys and girls. All her designs are timeless and built to last meaning they can be handed down through generations (or siblings). Michelle also sticks to a subtle and neutral colour palette making each piece perfect for any occasion. The SS18 collection was full of beautiful pastel tones whilst only this morning I’ve received an email showcasing the new autumn/winter hues which I absolutely can’t wait to look at in more detail now that Ollie is here.
Michelle also only uses natural and organic materials in all her designs making her a truly sustainable and ethical brand. Each piece is made from high quality organic cotton or linen, which are two of the most durable materials on the market meaning that are built to last and able to be passed down through generations. Natural fabrics are also more gentle on the skin and better for the environment in that they do not contribute towards the increased use of synthetic, plastic-derived fabrics which lead to microfibers polluting our oceans.
The Face behind the brand…
Michelle is a thirty something Mum with a love for all things simple yet stylish. I interviewed her asking all about life before Freya Lillie and whether she thinks she’s made the right decision becoming a ‘mumtrepreneur’….
1. In your past life, what was your job before creating ‘Freya Lillie’?
I’ve had a few jobs! I’ve been a sales secretary, an estate agent, a PA, an NHS worker but I was always studying business at college behind the scenes and when I graduated with my BA Hons in Business I became a Business Lecturer and Assessor. My hobby from the age of 19 was modelling so I’ve always been obsessed with fashion.
2. Was there a defining moment when you thought, I’m going to do this’ and become self-employed?
I’d always wanted my own business, I tried before and it didn’t work so used it as a learning curve and when I became pregnant with my daughter, decided to put my love for business and fashion together and be at home for my little girl too.
3. What is the thinking behind your company name?
It’s my daughters name, a little cliche but lots of meaning.
4. Freya Lille makes the most beautiful children’s rompers and now dresses.., Do you have a favourite item?
Oh I love them all but actually, since SS18 has been launched I’m in love with our luxury overalls. I’m thinking of doing them in adult sizes!
5. Describe a typical working day in the life of ‘Freya Lillie’?
There’s not really a typical day, on Tuesday and a Wednesday Freya now goes to nursery so I can get work done as I’m just a one man band! But when Freya’s at home I try and get any emails and tasks done in the morning so I can spend the afternoon on Freya. She loves a babycino and playing in the park.
6. What has been your proudest moment since establishing ‘Freya Lillie’?
Probably launching SS18 this year, as soon as it went live things were selling out all over the place. I’ve had shops from as far as Russia and Australia asking to supply my clothes and now I sell Freya Lillie items in countries across the globe. Sometimes I just take a moment to reflect and think, wow I did this, it’s taken 3 years but totally worth it.
7. How is life juggling a business and your beautiful little girl?
It’s so very hard! Mum guilt every single day. I really do try and spend time with Freya and not just in the same room as her on my phone. Phones are fabulous but a little too convenient. So that’s why I try and separate the day into morning working, afternoon with Freya and work on an evening when she’s gone to bed. But not every night as I have a teen and a fiancé that need a little time too.
8. Do you have any advice for mothers thinking of setting up their own business?
There’s so many many mums setting up their own businesses which is fabulous. I love supporting other mums. But I would say you need to be prepared to sacrifice a lot of your time. It’s not all rosy spending more time with Freya, I have her pulling at my heart strings saying ‘no more work mummy’ but on the other hand you have a business to run too and no one else to do it for you. Also, it takes soooooo long to build up a customer database, so when the sales are far and few in between, don’t give up they will soon start growing and growing.
9. Finally are you glad you did it?
Without a doubt, I feel so proud of what I have achieved. I feel motivated every single day which is great and I’m hope I’m a good role model for my kids.
If you’d like to find out more about Freya Lillie and the beautiful AW18 collection, her website is Freya-Lillie.com or Instagram Freya Lillie. All of Michelle’s pieces are handcrafted and will be delivered within 10 days of making an order. She’s also running a promotion this weekend for 20% Off sitewide. Just enter the code ‘holiday’ at checkout.
Happy shopping xx