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Local, up to date and current directory for baby businesses in Suffolk.

 

Do you have a shop front? Where are you based?

No shop front. I’m based in Ipswich.

How did your business come about? Did it start as a hobby or did you know that you wanted it to be a business from the very beginning?

I started the sling library (in a volunteer capacity, with 2 friends) and my babywearing business simultaneously 5 years ago. Both were borne from a passion, but I had very clear ideas and boundaries for the two. The library was a way to make babywearing accessible for anyone and everyone who wanted to use slings/carriers with their baby. The yearly fee (£10 at the time) with no additional costs meant that most people could afford to join and those who couldn’t would not be turned away. I kept my business completely separate and didn’t even have business cards at our meets! My business was not-for-profit, meaning I would (eventually) pay myself a wage but any profits would go to supporting local and national causes with a babywearing focus, or practices which babywearing supports. I’ve taken breaks from my business over the years, and it’s evolved hugely since the beginning, but the principles remain the same. I’m proud to say that Bryn’s Helping Hand, The UP Project, “The Jungle” in Calais, La Leche League Suffolk, and several sling libraries have benefited from donations of money and/or items (some on a regular basis).

Tell me a bit about your business, what makes it special?

Today, there are two sides to Carried – babywearing and doula’ing. Both complement each other, and I frequently draw on the ways of being and doing that doulas live. My 7 years’ “official” experience as a home educator with an unconventional approach, of children with vastly different personalities, brings a unique touch to my teachings too, and really is what shapes my teaching style. In the world of adult learning I need to adapt and provide information in certain ways, but “going back to basics” in terms of stoking the fire of interest and passion, nudging in the direction of endless possibilities, providing unconditional love and support, unwavering belief, encouraging endless questioning, and enabling people to empower themselves and find their own truths are just some of the things that make Carried unique. My business is me – an extension of me. I am unique, imperfect, passionate, and I pour myself into my business. The people I work with know that they can be themselves and don’t need to change who they are or try and live up to someone else’s expectation. They’re loved, supported and accepted unconditionally.

How long have you been in business?

Five years, but it feels like so much longer – probably because it’s all been a natural progression of who I am and what I’m passionate about!

What is your favourite part of being your own boss?

Well, there’s 3 things really! Being able to fit business around my life, family and health.

Do you offer products or services? Please give information about these products / services.

I currently offer several doula packages, and train people to become Babywearing Peer Supporters, Babywearing/Carrying Consultants, and am launching a brand new course – “In-arm Carrying” – which looks at a little-explored, but hugely important, part of parenthood.

What is your favourite product or service you offer?

It’s so hard to decide on a favourite! I used to offer even more services and had to cut down lots to focus my time and attention on just a couple of areas. I love each of the services I offer equally, but have days of liking or disliking what I do more than the other/s…..a bit like parenting!

If I want to hire you for your services, how can I do this/find you?

Going to my website – www.melcyrille.com or Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/CarriedUK/ My upcoming courses can be found here: www.melcyrille.com/bookings

Time to get a bit personal…

What kind of family commitments do you need to juggle along with your business? How do you find balance?

I’m a mum of 4 and “official” (in terms of government legislation) home edder of 2. My children are 13, 6, 4 and 16 months old. My husband works longer days so has more time off so our work schedules balance really well. For admin/content creation etc., I have set work time and living/family time. I have times when I’ve no choice but to work from my bedroom, but where possible I work away from home, as our living arrangements aren’t great for working from home without distractions unless the children are in bed! One of the most wonderful things that’s come out of home ed is my daughter registering as self employed and me using her services for my own business (photography and virtual assistant). She’s obviously limited by the times she can work, but with Carried being a business that is far from 9-5, it’s not a problem here!

What is your favourite tv shows, food, or song?

I love a good comedy or drama, especially if it goes against the grain – current favourites are How to Get Away with Murder, iZombie, Grace and Frankie. Food? Something with a kick! Music-wise I have 2 favourite genres – rock generally, but you can’t beat some good ol’ cheese!

What can you be found doing on a weekend? or when you have time off?

Haha! On a weekend? Working usually. Time off? Doing stuff as a family (swimming is a favourite for the children), trampolining, getting a massage (a monthly health and self-care commitment for me), zoning out in front of a film or tv, enjoying good ale or red wine, reading, learning, SLEEPING!!!

What is your favourite place to get away to? And why?

In the UK, I love Newquay. My favourite beaches are Lusty Glaze for the natural pools in the sand, and Holywell Bay (in Holywell) for the Holy Well. Cornwall is beautiful, an escape, and for us is full of happy memories. We’ve gone every year since 2013. In the world, it would have to be Dominica. Dominica is a tiny island in the West Indies, where my husband grew up (and his father was from). It’s paradise on Earth – Nature’s Isle, and my children’s heritage.

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About Vicky Barbour-Andrews

The Baby Experts - All round crazy lady, owner of two businesses, two little people and a husband. I am one of those people who just doesn't stop. On both of my maternity leaves I have chosen to start up a new businesses with my new 'spare time'. Some may call me crazy, some may call me stupid but to me I am just me, take me as I am as I do anything for a hassle free life as I believe it is for the living and enjoying - grab it by the balls people as we don't know how long we have here!


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