We love meeting successful and inspiring mums. Women, who prove that impossible doesn’t exist, and being a mum doesn’t stop from achieving a great success. This week we caught up with the founder of super cute kids clothing brand, Blade & Rose.
Who is Amanda Peffer?
Hello! I am a mum of two. Originally from Sheffield but moved to live in Kendal, the beautiful Lake District, nearly 20 years ago.
What’s the story behind Blade & Rose?
Blade & Rose is made up of the middle names of my children Harvey Blade & Issey Rose. The idea for the brand was born whilst I was on maternity leave, and I discovered a gap in the market. I was looking for comfortable, vibrant, premium leggings as I was dressing my baby in boring tights and leggings as at that time that’s all that was available. Her nappy was always on show, so I wanted to make a feature of the crawling nappy bum. So, I decided to develop my own leggings featuring cheeky fun characters on the bottom. I designed the initial concept myself and spent months contacting companies to develop and sample my idea. Eventually I found a company that could make them in the quality I was looking for and I ordered my very first order of just four legging designs. I took these to shops and sold them directly, every shop I walked in bought from me straight away as they were so different and adorable, and everyone loved them just as much as I did.
Why is it so special?
Blade & Rose are the original brand to develop the idea of premium knitted leggings with iconic characters on the bottom in the UK. We ensure new fun designs are launched each year. Our inspiration is taken from our immediate surroundings of the beautiful lake district, and also our love for animals, not all from our doorstep! Our values are premium, vibrant, comfortable, ethical and sustainable.
How did you manage to build such a successful brand while raising two kids?
It definitely was not easy! The most difficult stage was the first year as I went back to work full time whilst trying to launch a business. When we were overwhelmed with the love customers has for the leggings, I gave up my job and worked full time on Blade & Rose. All whilst looking after two pre-preschoolers. These preschool years were also a test as looking after two whilst running a business was a multi-tasking mission. We didn’t have any grandparents close by to help with childcare, so I tried to work at nap times and bedtime. Our first office was our front room, when we moved into our first unit, this was kitted out with toys to keep the little ones entertained when packing orders. My husband gave up his job to help with Blade & Rose full time so in the early years we managed to make it work between us. We grew steady at the beginning of our journey and managed to juggle a work – life balance. We are now on year 11 of our journey and have a fantastic team that have helped us grow into the brand we are today.
What advice would you give to mums who want to set up their own business?
My advice would be to believe in your product, do your research, and don’t invest too much in the early stages (unless you are lucky and already have investments). We grew slowly due to the fact that we were self-funded and didn’t have the money to invest in huge ranges and big marketing campaigns. Our way worked and each year our profits were invested back into the company to enable us to grow and launch more designs and products. I guess I am especially proud of Blade & Rose as we grew organically from passion and a great idea.
What’s the future for Blade & Rose
Harvey Blade is now 14 years old and Issey Rose is 12 years old. We would love them to be part of the business one day, but it is too early to say. We will continue to keep launching new designs and concepts as we love what we do, and our customers’ amazing feedback will never fail to make us smile.