Marvellous Mums on a Monday: Kerrie-Anne Bradley, London Mothers Club

Here at Mums of Wandsworth we are inspired by mums. Simple. We are all doing such an amazing job, whichever way you look at it. Our #MarvellousMumsonaMonday focuses on mums in our local borough of Wandsworth who we think are interesting and inspiring.

This week we interviewed lovely mum Kerrie-Anne Bradley, founder of the London Mothers Club and local Pilates teacher.

Hi Kerrie-Anne, please tell us a little about yourself and what it is you do?

Hello! A little bit about me.. I’m a very proud mama to one hugely entertaining and kind-hearted little girl called Ivy. I have a gorgeous husband called Tim, three lovely stepchildren who visit at weekends and a cat called Pie. We live in Earlsfield.

I’ve had an interesting career journey: economist for several years, founder of London Mothers Club (an online lifestyle edit) and now a very busy Pilates teacher! I guess the transition doesn’t seem that random to me. You see I am hugely analytical and love detail soooo the skills I acquired as an economist (i.e. a pedantic problem solver) actually help a great deal in my teaching. Pilates really makes me happy: I love helping people, moving and chatting all day… the long hours (early mornings and late nights) are totally worth it. Plus, I am not always sitting at a desk and no longer have crappy back pains.

I love fashion, travel, eating out and love getting to trial new things and talk about them on my blog, London Mothers Club. I am also a bit of a social media addict and totally love sharing photos and chatting with like-minded mamas over Instagram. That said, I recently turned off my social media notifications because I was getting a little too obsessed with IG!

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I started London Mothers Club when Ivy was six months old. We were living in Kings Cross at the time and I was really lonely as none of my friends had kids and I hadn’t met that many mums in the area. I didn’t really have any experience with babies either and I was a bit lost. I decided to do something about it and set up three craft clubs in different spots around London (at the time I was really into making jewellery). I held one in Clapham, Islington and Chiswick. I really loved the mamas I met in Clapham and so we moved there a couple of months later! LMC grew quite quickly and at its peak we were running 3-4 events/week for numbers ranging from 10-200. I was working with some great mamas at the time too. Now I tend to work from home with my laptop.

SW London Pilates is my newest baby. After maternity leave I decided to go back to work in economics (alongside running LMC). I took a job as a project manager but it wasn’t really for me. My love for economics had kind of died and I wasn’t finding the role fulfilling. I was going to a local Pilates studio and decided that I would take a year out to train as a Pilates instructor. I didn’t really intend to teach… was seeing it as more of a gap year to figure out what I should do. As soon as I started teaching I realised that this would be my forever career. As I’ve already said, I get such a buzz from helping people and Pilates is a great way of doing that. I teach at my house (I have some small equipment), at clients’ homes, at Grove Pilates in Earlsfield and at a couple of other studios outside of Wandsworth.
 

What does a typical working day look like for you?

I wake up at 5.30am to teach 6.30am three times a week. I get home around 8am to take my daughter to school. I have a few clients in the morning. Afternoons I tend to work on LMC, pick my daughter up, feed her and then my husband comes home. I then go back out to teach in the evenings. I don’t drive so I cycle to work… great way of getting around but I hate the pollution!

I do a lot of restaurant, spa and hotel reviews for LMC so I tend to do those in the afternoons, evenings or during the school hols with my family.

unnamed-5How do you balance both work and family life?

With great difficulty! It can be a struggle trying to juggle everything but I make sure that I am around to collect my daughter from school most days and we make sure we have fun together at the weekends. With LMC turning off the social media notifications off has helped me to not get distracted while with family and I section off time to read emails etc. On the Pilates side of things, I tend to be less busy during the school hols because many of my clients are also mums.

What have been your biggest challenges so far and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge is probably one of my biggest strengths too… I am a perfectionist who’s constantly worrying about everything as I want everything to be exactly right. This can be very time consuming and takes up a lot of brainpower. I am not sure that I have overcome this but I often try to take a step back and tell myself that things are ok…

What advice would you give to other mums starting a business?

Make sure that you properly test the market. Use resources like Mums of Wandsworth and SW18 Facebook group to ask questions to fellow mums. These groups are generally very responsive and can help you a great deal.

Do something you really enjoy! There is no point wasting energy in trying to grow a business that you do not like/can’t fully commit to. Turn off your social media notifications!

Do you have any tips to banish the mum guilt we all feel?

Not really but if someone else suggests some, please share them with me!

What’s the best thing about living / working in the borough of Wandsworth

Lots of friendly mums, good places for brunch (Milk in Balham, Bean and Hop in Earlsfield, Mud in Tooting, Flotsam and Jetsam and Brew on the Northcote Road – yep, I like brunch), The Chicken Shop in Tooting, The Good Earth (best Chinese restaurant in London in my opinion), Planet Organic (my second home), walks on the commons, and the quick commute into town!

We loved chatting to Kerrie-Anne and hearing her story, seeing her energy and all-round genuine loveliness. Find out more about Kerrie-Anne and her businesses here:

Website: www.londonmothersclub.com

Instagram: @londonmothersclub

Facebook: SW London Pilates

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