Laurie Robertson, Anorak
First up is Laurie Robertson, founder of Anorak the fantastic homeware company with the greatest range of kids gear. Laurie is a local mother of two, her son is 3 and her daughter is 1.
Why did you start anorak?
I started Anorak because I loved camping as a child with my family but as I grew older I noticed it was hard to find outdoor product that had colourful and attractive prints. So I designed our Kissing Rabbits and Kissing Stags sleeping bags and picnic rugs and started to sell them. They began to sell well so I started to add other outdoor and homeware product to the range – and here we are!
How do you balance running a business with motherhood?
I work in the Anorak office three days per week and have the kids for the other two. One of the three days I am at work my partner Matt has the kids and the other two days are split between our mothers, my mum is local but Matts mum drives all the way from Farnham in Surrey once a week to help us. I know we are very lucky to have family help and without this I really would have found it almost impossible to work in the business. I love being a mum but I also love to work and I think being a mum has made me even more focused and driven. Having kids must be a bit catching at Anorak HQ as we currently have two members of our team growing lovely bumps!
What do you love about SE London? And particularly being a mother in SE London?
I have lived in South London all my life and was brought up in West Norwood on Idminston Road so its funny that our office is now just roads away from where I played around as a kid. As a child I used to live in Dulwich Park and the Horniman and I love hanging out there now with my kids watching them enjoy it with fresh eyes. South London has so many parks to choose from and lots of those parks have café – great for mums who need to refuel to help get through the day. I think South London has been highly underrated for so long, its interesting to see it change mow and lots of new and exciting places pop-up – like West Norwood Feast.
Anorak are holding a sample sale on Friday 8th/Saturday 9th May 9am-4pm at Parkhall Business Centre, Martell Rd SE21 8EN