Could We Be Award-Winning?By Nicola Martin 5th September 2015
If you follow our Facebook page you will know that Thoroughly Modern Baby has been shortlisted for a prestigious business award from the Association of Scottish Businesswomen. It has to be said, twenty years ago when Lou and I were drunkingly trying to talk our way into Roxannes (we continue to blame the exceedingly wayward influence of one Joanne Dunbar) the only award it looked like we may ever jointly hold would be one for who can be cheekiest to a bouncer / come up with the best (for best, read worst) way to sneak in the side door.
And yet here we are; older, wiser, a little less drunk and currently awaiting the results of the ASB Most Enterprising Business for 2015. It is super exciting. Because joking aside, like many a nineties party girl, we have both worked hard to carve successful careers for ourselves. The complete and utter joy of this particular TMBaby shaped part of my life though, is that I'm doing it with one of my oldest friends who also happens to be one of my favourite people of all time. Lou is fun, outrageous, super-smart, proper savvy and extra thoughtful all rolled into one little blonde dynamo. She’d probably say much the same about me… I hope! (There are others who may say different - like that Roxannes bouncer, but lets not dwell on that!)
This point is not to bring you the minutes from our mutual admiration society, but rather explain the reason why Thoroughly Modern Baby has grown so naturally in the fifteen months it has been around. After the initial idea was on paper, and we were both commited to expelling a tornado load of energy into it, we discovered a mutual love of an excel spreadsheet and a tidy dropbox. We are both passionate about customer service, both grateful and thankful for the many, many Mums, Dads, Childminders, Grannies and Grandads who now follow our blogs, read our product reviews and buy from our gorgeous range of baby and toddler products, clothes and gifts.
When I was in the award interview I was asked why I thought we deserved to win Most Enterprising Business. I explained that although a baby website in itself isn’t the newest idea anyone has ever had, our approach to what we choose to stock and the suppliers we choose to support gives us a unique offer that others don’t have. We’re not about big brand names you can find on the High Street – well, not unless they have come up with an outstanding contribution to life as a parent or baby! We’re about the clever, the innovative, the carefully thought out or the little extras that just make life wonderful (we’re talking about your original artworks for kids rooms Mrs Bupbo Beasties!).
Many of our suppliers are parents themselves and their products have found answers and solutions to age old problems. Add to this our weekly blogs from proper, bone-fide experts, and the parent advice that ranges from the serious to the hilarious, and you will begin to see what makes us stand out from the crowd. One of my favourite sections is the Parent Reviews – every word you see is exactly as it was sent to us from people we don’t even know!
Such is our belief in our gorgeous brand we spend hours making sure we’re giving you the best possible online shopping experience. The Wish List function is a great example of this – I have deleted the word that has been used in the middle of 'Wish List' for the past few months but suffice to say it may rhyme with ducking…. Lou and I love a Wish List, we are both avid shoppers and the idea that you could pop everything you need for your new baby or toddlers' Christmas into a list and then send it to everyone who has asked what you’d like seemed as easy as falling off a log. What I now wish I’d wished for was to fall off a log! However, after much perseverance we have cracked it – we think we have the best Wish List function from any website we’ve been on and we are delighted to have it launched in time for Christmas!
(Go one - make me happier than an award ever could and pop over and have a go. We’d LOVE your feedback. Set up a WISH LIST here.
Other fun things we couldn't have predicted was the hours we'd spent sitting in Lou’s living room uploading photographs (cross-eyed and waited on hand and foot by Dad-D) for the launch. We were all for abandoning our families and running off with Robin from Atholl Road when he invented the best photo-uploader ever. I never at any point thought I could become SO excited by technology.
I have discovered the brilliantly fun highs and lows of Harrogate Baby Fair, marvelling at some of the amazing inventions that people come up with, calculator app smoking with overuse as we plan our budget, weighing up the potential of items we love. Even more fun sometimes, is watching Lou trying hard not to raise her eyebrows to the roof at some of insane ideas that will never, ever make it onto the site (corsets for pregnant women and brand new mummies, we’re talking about you!).
It has been an amazing first year, full of hard-work, lots of laughs and a working tour of the London East End and Perth City Centre coffee shops and lunch spots. We’ve created a brilliantly honest reviewer in Miss Skye Daisy (her mother’s daughter if ever I met one!) and more recently, Cute Boy Zac, who have both road-tested a few of our fab TMBaby products. Quite simply, if we wouldn’t use it, buy it or gift it then it’s not going on our website!
Being shortlisted for this Enterprising Award is a huge honour and we’re thrilled to be listed on the same bill as these brilliant businesswomen. But regardless of what happens on Friday 18th September, we will wake up in the morning, post our Saturday blog and get ready for some chat with our wonderful customers and followers. So please allow us this opportunity for an early acceptance speech…
Thank-you for believing in us, for shopping with us and for being part of our crazy baby dream. You have made two old party girls very happy indeed.
Nicki and Lou X
Here’s Our Fellow Shortlisted Enterprising Businesses – Good Luck to Everyone!
Shortlisting for the ASB 2015 National Business Awards has now taken place, and ASB is delighted to announce the finalists.
This year saw a record number of applications received and the calibre was outstanding. Thank you to all who applied, and congratulations and good luck to the shortlisted finalists.
ASB Most Enterprising Business
- Dogrobes, Margaret Reynolds
- Journeycall, Theresa Wishart
- Prams with Pizazz, Carolyn Frew
- R&I Cruden Ltd, Isla Cruden
- The Body Toolkit, Katrina Mather
- Thoroughly Modern Baby, Nicola Martin
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