My Hospital Bag

In 2012, I launched myHospitalBag.  It was an idea I had thought about for a few years.  I’d always had a secret desire to create my own business and knew once I started having kids life would become very different!  Here is my story….

When I was pregnant with my first child, I began to collect pregnancy magazines.  My maternity leave began & I excitedly laid out all the magazines and spent my first week putting together what was to become known as “my baby bible”.

This “bible” contained everything I needed for the arrival of my baby – what to take to hospital for labour and post labour for me, my baby and not forgetting my husband, and the essentials needed for starting our lives together in and out the home.

My daughter Tami bounced into the world in 2003 and thanks to my “bible” I was totally prepared (in a practical sense, less prepared mentally!!).  As friends panicked and prepared for the arrival of their babies, I found myself sharing this list which I had lovingly and meticulously created.  As it became more and more well-known I began to receive calls from even further afield.

As a former marketing professional, I began to consider how I could share my now infamous list with the wider public.  Could I set up a baby personal shopping service or perhaps even a baby advisory service? Maybe I could trademark my list and sell it as the “The Baby Bible”!!

Finally when my son Coby joined our family in 2006 it came to me. Over the years, I had spent a lot of time with other mums and one thing I had noticed was how many of them did not have the time to pack their hospital bags or panicked about the mere thought of what to put into it. I had finally found the perfect way to share my baby bible and myHospitalBag was born.

I purchased my domain name www.myhospitalbag.co.uk and excitedly started planning how to turn my idea into reality.  However, all plans were put aside with the arrival of our 3rd child, Ari in 2008 and myHospitalBag had to be put on the back burner.

When Ari started nursery, I was finally able to put my marketing head back on and get to work.  I spent the Winter running focus groups to test the idea, the Spring sourcing the products, and slowly my idea came alive. I envisioned the bag containing all the necessities a mum needs for herself and the baby during labour and post labour along with some special treats, all packed in a stylish bag that can continue to be used as an overnight/gym bag.

The aim of myHospitalBag is to make your 48 hour stay in hospital more comfortable.  The bag contains 35 items including miniature toiletries in a handy bag, comfortable knickers, essentials for mum and not forgetting the essential new-born babygrows, vests, hats, mitts and muslin squares, newborn nappies amongst many other items.

It has now been a few years since myHospitalBag came alive and I have learnt so much, how to be bold and put myself out there to promote & build up a network, sussing out the many algorithms of social media and learning how to manage stock, customer service and adapting to fit with the needs of mums.  Whilst I have confidently kept the products the same, I now include additional ranges – twin bags and a luxury bag containing Carol Smillie & Annabel Croft’s DiaryDoll pants.

In terms of managing the business with 3 kids, I work within school hours but always have my iPhone by me to send/respond to emails wherever I am and often spend evenings chilling in front of the TV with my husband, one eye on the TV, the other on Twitter, Facebook & emails!

myHospitalBag has become part of my kids life too, when my daughter had to prepare an advertisement for school, she chose to do it on myHospitalBag. The sweetest moments are when they share my success by jumping up and down when the sales come through!

Starting a business as a mum is hard work.  My advice is to believe in yourself and don’t give up, stay confident that your idea is a good one and make sure you research your market thoroughly.  If you are interested in buying myHospitalBag, the cost is £89 including delivery which is cheaper and more convenient than buying it all separately.