Behind the Business: Emma Cottam founder of Isabella & Us.
I'm so pleased that Emma was able to join me for this month's Behind the Business feature. Especially how busy she is in the run up to Christmas. Emma started Isabella & Us. two years ago and has grown the Instagram community to an amazing 11.5k. Her positive wellbeing magazine for mums is one of the most beautiful publications you'll find on the market and is full of amazing information on self-care and motherhood.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I'm Emma. I'm wife to Chris, Mum to Isabella who is nearly three and three cats, Pippin, Luna and Betty. I work as a full time Photography teacher, alongside my small business Isabella and Us. We live in Lancashire, in a beautiful village, ten minutes from the sea. I love a good Netflix binge, hot chocolate and vegan brownies!
How did you come up with the idea for Isabella & Us?
Isabella and Us. was born from a conversation with my friends when Isabella was just four weeks old, in January 2018. I struggled with the transition to motherhood and this had a huge impact on my mental health and I was diagnosed with PND in May 2018. I began the business with a small range of products and then in September 2018 I launched the Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums - an independent magazine for mums around self care, wellbeing and motherhood.
I am hugely passionate about maternal mental health and the impact that realistic self care practices can have on looking after our body and mind as a mum.
What's your secret tip on juggling motherhood and business?
I'm not sure I have one, other than lowering your expectations of what you can achieve and take each day at a time. I also now have a permanent out of office reply (when it works) which lets people know it will take me a while longer to reply than normal. This at least makes me feel less guilty about not being on top of my emails.
If you had to recommend one podcast or book for mums in business what would it be?
I love Holly Tucker's Podcast - Conversations of Inspiration. Such a wonderful range of guests from so many independent businesses and so many wonderful topics.
Share your most memorable ‘mum moment’ - good or bad
There are so many, but one that really sticks out is whilst I was pregnant. I suffered with sickness through my pregnancy and would often travel with a sick bucket in case I was sick in the car. One Sunday morning we went a parent-to-be event and I was sick in the car park in my bucket thankfully but we had no idea then what to do with the sick and had to drive round the car park to a bin. So embarrassing!