We chatted to Natasha Kaplinsky OBE as she gets set to launch her new Mum & You baby beauty and product collection
The story behind new mum and baby beauty collection Mum & You is a simple one. The founders Rajiv Chandra, his wife And and TV presenter Natasha Kaplinsky wanted to create a company where supporting Mothers and their children became integral to everything.
As an ambassador for Save the Children Natasha has travelled the world and witnessed children failing to reach their potential across continents and economic divides and been struck by the contrast and privilege of her own life, and that of her children, and believes deeply that we all have a responsibility to give back.
Meaning she wanted to be part of a brand which, at its heart, offers underprivileged children an alternative, hopeful future. We caught up with here to find out more...
Natasha Kaplinsky co-founder of Mum&You
Hello Natasha, please tell us about yourself and your family?
We have two wonderful children - Arlo who is 9 and Angelica who is about to turn 8. Obviously everything revolves around them as they are the loves of our lives, however we also have 47 other mouths to feed as we live on a farm in Sussex with a range of wonderful animals from dogs to alpacas, with a couple of highland cows, two goats and three sheep in the mix. We are a simply family of four with 47 pets!
Tell us about Mum & You and how you came to create your brand with co-founder, Rajiv
I was working on a range of products with a friend when we were introduced to Rajiv Chandra our CEO who was at a very similar stage in his company. There were so many synergies between us that we decided to collaborate - and we haven't looked back.
Mum & You is a brand featuring products from nappies and wipes to a full range of bath time items for babies and toddlers, to change bags. We have recently launched a new range for of beauty and skincare products for Mums and have many other products in the pipe line, it's a very exciting time.
The thing I am most proud about with our brand is that every single product we sell generates funds for Mums who need a little bit of extra help. Helping others less fortunate than ourselves has always been my key driver and at Mum & You, giving back is built into everything we do.
Tell us the story behind how every product sold will help another mother?
At Mum & You we focus on directly and indirectly employing Mums, helping them back to the workplace after they’ve had children. All our products are designed by Mums for Mums. This means that we've created thoughtful and safe products that work, for everyone. We are also helping individual Mums who want to start their own businesses with micro-financing and mentoring.
From the outset, we promised, as a company, to commit to setting aside 1% of revenue or 10% of profit (whichever is higher per month) to help others as well as donating product. We also pride ourselves on supporting various charities such as Save The Children and The Trussell Trust by providing nappies and wipes to those in need.
What do you think will become/is your hero product from the range for babies? And mums? And why?
Our nappies and wipes are unique. Not only our nappies super soft and more environmentally friendly than any other brand, they also feature a playful tribe of Nappychat characters designed to give mums and dads inspiration to interact with their babies, helping to feed baby’s budding imagination each day.
Our wipes are also the first biodegradable wipes on the market and are super-efficient. We have just had a litter of nine puppies and although I don't have a baby to test them on, I have been going through reams and reams of wipes cleaning up after lots of tiny paws.
The Mum Products range is very exciting too. As every new Mum knows, when you have a baby your own needs are almost entirely forgotten. I remember sitting on the sofa in my pyjamas after lunch feeding our babies thinking, will I ever get dressed again?? So the Mum's Product range is designed to give mums a little treat when they need it most - and the feedback has been fantastic and sales are doing really well!
Something for the mums at Mum & You
You’re an ambassador for the UK charity Save The Children – how has this role influenced/changed you?
I have been an Ambassador for Save the Children for nearly a decade. During this time I have had the chance to visit some of the poorest and most disadvantaged places on earth. These visits are truly heartbreaking and sharpen my resolve to do whatever I can to help others. That is why I am so proud of the chore principles behind Mum & You.
Besides working in TV, what three things have you learnt/discovered about being a mother launching a new business?
I have learnt that women really love to help each other. There are a number of other mums I have met through my childrens' school who have been so encouraging and helpful as we have set up Mum & You. Having worked in the newsroom for so many years, doing something completely new has been quite a challenge and having the support from other women has been really wonderful.
I have also learnt to trust my instincts as there are lots of hurdles and pit falls whenever you embark on a new journey. Mostly though, I have learnt that I am totally behind in terms of "tech" and that I need to be much more millennial!
Apart from sleep, what three tools/tricks/products do you think every new or experienced mother needs to get through the day?
Friends, family and fudge. Everything will be fine if you are well stocked with all of the above.