This month we chat with Dani Folkard, founder of Baby Talk, which provides invaluable support and advice to expectant mothers and new parents.
When, and why, did you start your business?
The Baby Talk network was born shortly after my daughter at the beginning of the pandemic. Due to Covid a lot of the usual support networks were not available, and many new parents, including myself, felt isolated given the restrictions in place. I wanted to help ensure that new mums were able to connect with each other and their community during these unusual times.
What challenges did you face when setting up?
Launching Baby Talk alongside looking after my newborn baby girl wasn’t easy, however it emphasised what new parents really need during these challenging times. Good sleep is what got me through, and it’s why we provide a full two hours with a sleep expert as part of our antenatal course!
What do you love most about running your own business?
The ability to be creative and come up with new ideas and then see them work in practice. We’ve been online, at a distance and face-to-face, and run meet-ups, classes, seminars and are looking forward to launching our antenatal course next month!
What valuable lessons have you learned?
How important it is to have a local support network! Whether this is liked-minded people at the same life stage as you, or local experts that you can lean on when you need specialist knowledge.
Is there anything you would do differently if starting out again?
I was always hesitant to use social media and it took a few months to convince me to use it to grow my idea. In hindsight it’s such a powerful tool, and has been so valuable in connecting us.
What’s your most popular service or product?
We are known for our meet-ups, which we have done our best to keep running in some form throughout the pandemic. Our classes are also popular – we run the majority of these on a drop-in basis, which offers flexibility to busy parents.
What advice would you share with other small businesses or those thinking of starting out?
Go for it! Don’t overthink things…I spent too much time worrying about what other people might think about my ideas. Don’t be afraid to give it a go.
What are your plans/hopes for the future of the business?
I like to think that we are now very much part of the Kingston community, and hope that we can continue to extend our reach over the next year. Teddington is next on our list and our antenatal course launches there in January 2022 (check it out if you are due in March to mid-April).
Name some other local independent businesses that you love to support
There are so many… but to name a few: Cleo Lamouroux photography, The Kingston PT and Canbury Secret.
What do you love about our local area?
I can’t think of a better place to start a family! There is so much support in the area, both in the way of other new parents, local professionals and community groups.
And finally, tell us a little-known fact about yourself
I co-Chair Kingston Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP). We are a NHS working group made up of local families and hospital providers (midwives and doctors) working together to improve maternity care. If you are due to give birth at Kingston hospital, our social media pages are a useful resource.
Compiled by The Word Sanctum,
Copywriters for small businesses.