We are excited to have coffee with Karolina, founder of Bumpkyn London. A luxury brand of maternity nightwear and loungewear that enhances your pregnant body, without compromising on comfort or style.
1. How and why you did you start Bumpkyn?
Bumpkyn was born out of the need to feel good about my pregnancy and my changing body. Both my children were born in December and all I had to wear at night was a skimpy nightie, which was too short and offered no support, so I spent hours feeding and changing my babies at night shivering in a cold, unheated house.
Also, during pregnancy, I really struggled to find styles which were practical yet stylish and I often spent most of the day running around the house in my nightwear (that’s the reality!) feeling embarrassed and exposed.
I felt frumpy and unsupported in the right places, so something had to change… I think in general maternity wear has an image problem, it’s often an afterthought, but we need to sleep in something that looks good, fits well and works throughout and well into the Fourth Trimester – why compromise?
2. How long have you been in business for?
The business has been running for less than 2 years, but it feels a lot longer as so much has happened; we have forged a lot of partnerships, collaborations and built relationships with our Customers, suppliers, other complementary businesses, maternity hospitals, antenatal clinics and more.
We also support Kicks Count - a charity raising awareness of baby’s movements, aiming to lower the rate of stillbirth and neonatal death in the UK.
3. What do you think is the secret behind the company’s success?
I genuinely, deeply care about women; how they feel, what interests them, what they want.
Pregnancy is a defining time of our lives and we only go through it once or twice on average, so we should feel good about ourselves and make that unique time very special, not just for the baby, but for the new Mums.
Women often forget about their own wellbeing and it’s hard to look after a newborn when you’re exhausted, so sleep and rest are key.
Unlike other maternity wear companies, here at Bumpkyn we actually immerse ourselves in the maternity experience by organising doula coffee mornings, interviewing maternity nurses, listening to reflexologists, pregnancy Pilates teachers to give our Mums the latest insight into what modern pregnancy looks like.
I really hope to redefine the way women see themselves and the choices available to them because there are so many old-fashioned concepts still hanging around where somehow pregnancy is seen as something to ‘get through’ and antenatal classes often forget to mention what a woman may feel like after birth and beyond.
I know our Mums are well-read and want to have the best pregnancy and motherhood journey possible. These days women tend to become mothers a little bit later in life and getting pregnant is often not straightforward, so why not cherish this time and celebrate it as we should?
4. Where are these beautiful clothing pieces made and who designs them?
I have made a lot of conscious effort to make the range as luxurious as possible, yet still affordable. All of our fabrics are woven in the Veneto region in northern Italy and our mill also supplies some of the haute couture houses, so we are in good company.
The range has been designed by me and hand made in the UK, and a lot of heart and soul is put into every piece.
5.Where does your inspiration come from?
I always wanted to design a range I would have loved to have worn when I was pregnant, hence modern elegance mixed with a lot of practical features, such as breastfeeding gem poppers for one-handed feeding and a super comfortable full-bump band in the pyjamas.
6. What’s your favourite Bumpkyn piece?
It has to be our best-selling Elizabeth pyjama set, which is versatile and now also available as separates. It has such a beautiful shape and looks great at any stage of pregnancy.
Our Customers use the elasticated bump band attached to the pyjama bottoms to hold them in after birth, which is fabulous and speeds up recovery. The band is wide and stretchy enough to be rolled down to your preferred size. I love hearing how the right nightwear can be life-changing when your world is turned upside down by a new arrival.
7. What can we expect next for Bumpkyn?
We are currently focusing on our bestselling pieces and expanding our Customer base in the Middle East. We also have a few exciting collaborations in the pipeline, so watch this space!
8. What do you love about what you do?
My previous career involved working in a large corporate office in a heavily male-dominated environment, while now I mainly focus on women and babies!
It’s been quite a turnaround. I also love the independence of running my own business give you and how it fits around looking after a young family.
9. What is the best thing that has come out of working on Bumpkyn?
We are a very small brand but I really feel Bumpkyn has been so well received because we have demonstrated we really understand our Customers and what they want.
We have been there ourselves! Maternity wear doesn’t have to be frumpy and impractical and make you feel like this is not the most exciting time in your life. Quite to the contrary, we need to celebrate women and the choices they make.
Motherhood is a lifelong journey, so why not start it feeling and looking good?
10. If you were not running Bumpkyn, what would you be doing?
Ha, ha, ha. I can’t imagine not running my own business.
I cherish my daily interaction with pregnant ladies and meeting their babies is always a huge bonus. Seeing happy Mums and Mums-to-be gives me a sense of purpose and I can’t imagine my life without it.
The Baby Cot Shop would like to thank Karolina for sitting down with us and giving this very inspirational interview.
For more information visit www.bumpkyn.co.uk.