Mumpreneur Profile: Sheila of Cheeky Chums

Tell us about your family

I’m Sheila Sudlow 44 married to Ernie have 3 children just in their early 20’s and have a 6 a year old grandaughter, who living next door keeps me  busy teaching her to read even when  I’m not working.

What did you do before coming up with your business idea

I had always worked with children for over 22 years as a qualified nursery nurse but after a major illness forced me to give up work I stayed at home to care for my disabled husband.   I am now the Proprietor of Cheeky Chums a superstore dedicated in supplying for the most tinest baby clothes on the market,and in plentiful supply.

What led you to your business idea?

Selling a bag of boys newborn clothes someone gave us for my newborn grandchild when it turned out she was a girl

What ultimately made you decide to commit to the idea?

When eBay was taking too much money off me in fees, and there was a need for what we sold

Your best motivational support comes from:

Self, when you seemed to be a failure at things in the past, negative comments made me push myself further.

Your best professional support comes from:

A life coach found on twitter The Efficiency Coach.

What is your definition of success in respect to your business?

Making parents happy with the service we offer.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to make your idea work?

We couldn’t find suppliers selling the tiniest baby clothes wholesale, finding nice clothes suitable to dress the tiniest baby in.

What was turned out to be easier to do than you thought it would be?

I taught myself how to design and sew, the creativity amazed me that I never knew I had.

Advice you wish someone told you about starting your own business?

Without customers you cannot survive .

What other businesses or people inspired you?

A bigger premature baby clothes company said to me I would only ever be a small business as a sole trader but it gave me the confidence to say if they can do it so can I .

How you got your business started?

Started on eBay selling unisex baby bundles with secondhand clothes washed, ironed giving mums all they need to dress a baby from top to toe in. later progressed into new item bundles. I found I could not cater for smaller babies of a low birth weight so this inspired me to dip into this niche market. One day I wasn’t able to find a customer anything suitable to dress a tiny baby that had sadly passed away, in was very upsetting. It made me determined never to let a customer go away again without meeting their clothing needs, no matter how small they needed them. As well as every low birth weight sized baby wear, we also created a tiny baby bereavement section for tiny babies that don’t make it.These sizes go even smaller and start from an amazing 15cm and 12 cm for hats. It gives parents at least one opportunity to dress their baby in something nice they have chosen themselves to say a final goodbye to.

More news to inspire others…

Thinking of setting up in business do something that means a lot to you, solve a problem, do something different to the normality, no matter how controversial it may seem to other people. tel 01942 254259

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