Hey and welcome!
My name is Laura - I run Alice & Harry LTD. The company is named after my 2 kids Alice (aged 7) and Harry (aged 5). The company was started when Alice was around 6 months old... in one breath that feels like 20 years ago!, in another it only feels like yesterday. So... why did I start A+H?
Back at the start of 2014 my husband and I started trying for our family. I was a mortgage advisor doing high value lending and and Joe worked as a personal banker... we hated our jobs and it was not an easy ride. 3 miscarriages later I started feeling like it would never happen. The stress we both felt was unreal!
I would picture how amazing being a parent would be, and how if I ever get the chance I would never take it for granted, and I would be the BEST mum there ever was. Id show how thankful I was.
Finally at the end of 2015 we welcomed Alice! she was absolutely perfect... except for her allergies. CMPA and severe reflux meant I hardly left the house. The health visitor was coming numerous times a week and I was getting maybe 3 hours sleep a night at a push. Alice would feed for 5 minutes, scream for 20, and if we were lucky we'd get 20 minutes sleep after that... and that cycle would continue, again, and again, and again. All night. Joe and I had to sleep in shifts which meant breast feeding was out of the question. I felt like a total failure!
At 4 months old we were finally seen my a pediatrician who saved us all! It took some time, but Alice eventually slept and we eventually remembered what the outside of our house looked like. Life was looking up, but I still felt grim, still felt like I hadn't been the mum I wanted to be.
And at 6 months I decided to start a business. I just needed something else. As awful as I feel saying that - I needed something else. I needed to focus on something I didn't constantly feel like I was doing wrong, or failing at.
Children's clothing came naturally! I'd learnt the basics of sewing from my mum and the rest through practice and YouTube! I couldn't find clothes I liked in stores and honestly - poor Alice was as wide as she was tall for the longest time! I started making and selling tutus and bows to save money for a decent sewing machine.
I only meant to make enough money so I didn't have to return to mortgage advice full time, but after just 4 months it was clear that I wouldn't have to go back at all. Alice Lily (as we were called back then) had taken off!
In 2016 we decided to start trying for another baby. It had taken so long to have a successful pregnancy with Alice, and so much heartache... we took a deep breath and decided to go again. And by the time that breath was out I was pregnant! Typical! But the polar opposite experiences stopped there. When harry was born he too had severe CMPA and reflux. He also had bronchiolitis which was almost fatal at 11 weeks old. Needless to say, we will not be trying for another baby haha!
When harry was a few months old we started The Harry Collection. The sister brand to Alice Lily. HC was filled with more alternative, darker, punky and gothic styles and designs. Something the teenager in me LOVED. However when Harry reached 2 it was clear the range wasn't right. He absolutely loves colour, clashing prints and anything with sparkles.... clearly the skulls had to go!
So here we are. We rebranded to Alice & Harry. Branched out to a new building and got some pretty decent staff in to help me (I'll do a 'Meet the Team' soon!)
A lot has changed since the old days of sewing in my garage. But a lot is still the same too. It's all hand cut and hand sewn. We're just in our little studio rather than my kitchen table. Alice and Harry still keep us up at night, but we've swapped screaming and pacing rooms for negotiating arguments with friends and bad dreams. I still stress as much as I ever did before, and suffer daily with anxiety... I don't see that ever changing!
And we still absolutely, under NO circumstances want another child.
Thanks for reading!
Loved this raw and honest post and getting to know more about you. Motherhood isn’t always easy to begin with and so it’s nice to see people being open and raw about it. Xx
I feel so much if this. Took me and my partner 4 years to fall pregnant and also had a miscarriage. I spent half my pregnancy in hospital with pregnancy induced hypertension. Got induced at 36 weeks but the delivery was just as bad ended up septic and had an emergency c section and almost died.. spent 3 weeks in hospital after the birth this including Christmas and new year ended up having to have a second surgery on my c section for them to clean it out as it got super infected with this they left it open. For me to heal from the inside out.. it took 5 months to heal… while going back and forth to doctors and hospital in that first 5 month Finn too have CMPA and reflux. I have no idea how I even go through most days and to be honest I don’t really remember much. I’m so traumatised from pregnancy and birth I don’t think I’ll have another one as much as I would love 5 children.. Finn is still CMPA at 16 months old and everything seems a lot easier now. I don’t feel so much as a failure.
Thank you for opening up your business is amazing and I love everything about it
Honest and raw, exactly what Mums need to see. Inspirational and more, such a lovely family.
Absolutely love this! Would love to see more blogs 😍
Awwww Laura i absolutely loved this so much. I am sitting here in my van at work with tears in my eyes. Your journey has been tough but you have bloody made it, you have achieved amazing things with this business and brought so much happiness with kids clothes. Hope this doesn’t sound horrible but it is so refreshing to hear of others mums struggling too with the early days, you always hear about the happy good times but we all struggle, me myself had postal depression and was so scared to go outside for a long time. Your clothes gave me something else to focus on, me and my bestie Lizzie would be up feeding all hours and messaging about your clothes and what we needed. Now Islas whole wardrobe is A&H and it makes me so happy seeing her in such great clothes. I now find myself posting stupid pictures of myself on your FB page but it makes me happy, after working 37 hours in 2 days I am slightly emotional and tired but i hope tnis comment shows you how much we all appreciate what you do. So this was just a thanks to you and all the girls who do the best job.