We love meeting inspirational women, who show us that impossible doesn’t exist. This week we caught up with mum of four, founder of Pregnancy Calendar and a successful entrepreneur Claire Benson.
Who is Claire?
Claire is the owner and founder of the new company The Pregnancy Calendar Co.
Living in the small fishing village Leigh on Sea in Essex with her husband,4 boys aged 19, 18, 12 and 2, 2 dogs and a cat.
Having been a teacher of travel, tourism, aviation and cabin crew for 15 years I gave up to look after our son who had major surgery in the summer and to start my dream of creating the perfect gift for mums to be.
It was when I was expecting our 4th baby and had a month to go, I wished I had something to help countdown those final weeks. A bit like a child at Christmas, waiting for the big day can seem like a lifetime. So with a bit of nostalgia whilst making a tea that’s how I came up with the idea.
A gift calendar to help countdown to the birth of baby.
It was put to the back of my mind until I met a friend for coffee and told her my idea and she said I had to go for it. I’m so glad she did.
I started the planning a process of the business a year before the pandemic. I would email businesses to see if they wanted to be involved to get an idea if it would be well received. It was and I continued to contact business owners who specialised in either baby brands or pregnancy.
I then created the ideal calendar and found a company who could create it and within 2 months they were being delivered.
I went live in August 2020 and have since secured a stockist in my county of Essex in a lovely baby boutique, become a NOTHS partner and won an award.
It was an absolute honour and surprise to win Gold award for Best Baby Shower Gift at the Project baby magazine awards. I was at the farm with my toddler when the notification came through. I literally jumped for joy and was amazed I won in such infancy of the business. I had every faith the calendar would be well received but not even I would have thought it would win against some other fantastic brands.
How did you manage to build a successful business while being a mum of four? What’s your secret?
It’s been a challenge to stay focused on task during lockdown with all the boys at home during the first wave. However, they are all such a big help and inspiration to me that I turn to them for help and advice. To have so many opinions in one household can be very useful at times but not if we are playing a board game!
My husband is my biggest support and couldn’t have done it without him. He’s always encouraged me to follow my dreams and he’s always been there every step of the way. So really, it’s been a joint effort of the whole family.
What is your advice for mums who would like to set up their own business?
To start my own business has been a dream come true. I have had such amazing support from people I’ve never met, joined every group and WhatsApp chat I could to get to know more local and national women in business.
To anyone thinking about putting their idea into a business, I would say this. If you are sitting on an idea you think will be brilliant, it will be. What you think about it, will never change and that’s half the battle. If you believe it’s brilliant then so will everyone else. If anything, being a mum has taught me that you are your own worst critic. Having boys has made me think more like them and not worry about the small stuff that others won’t even notice.
What is the future?
I want to grow the business into helping more mums to be. I have a huge passion for all things pregnancy and baby I am teaming up with some other small business to offer a wider range of gifts on my website and collaborating with other Instagram accounts to help with all issues from pregnancy to new born sleep.
The next step for products is to offer a mum and mini box with a selection of gifts from the calendar plus some extras not found in the calendar.
I am then going to be looking at countdown calendars for more big events in life, so watch this space.