Sophie Woodrow, 32, is founder of Sleepy Doe
What is your vision for the brand?
Classic sleepwear for the mini bedtime wardrobe. All our products are designed to be passed on, not disposed of. I design with parent and child in mind so it’s all fuss-free – and I love the idea of being gender-neutral. I am very proud to be selling an ethical product in such a busy market.
What has surprised you about running your own business?
The number of hats you have to wear! One minute I’m stock-counting at 1am, hand-drawing florals, hiring donkeys for photoshoots, then the next I’m watching YouTube to learn how to use Vlookup on Excel. It’s not easy but it is rewarding.
From dawn till dusk – show us a day
A stretch, coffee and emails before Floss, three, wakes up. I love that first hour of the day – it’s calming yet productive. I run Sleepy Doe from my kitchen and the stockroom is our spare bedroom. I pick, wrap and pack orders as they come in. Floss goes to nursery twice a week, which helps.
Three personality traits that got you where you are?
Trusting my instincts, never compromising and a willingness to work hard.
How do you juggle home and work?
It helps that the studio is at home, so I can be flexible. I also bring out new collections when I’m ready rather than having to stick to seasons – this takes the pressure off deadlines. I had a Skype call the other day and Floss was weaving plasticine through my toe! Working late into the night on a weekly basis is tough but necessary.
What did you want to be as a kid?
A horseback police woman – I still do!
Has motherhood changed your outlook?
I’ve always been a workaholic, but motherhood has made me change my priorities. Floss is the love of my life, she always comes first.
Your biggest panic moment?
Running out of tissue paper to wrap all my pre-orders one season. I had more on order but it was delivered to the wrong address the other side of the city. There was also the time all my production fabric was printed in the wrong colour.
Describe your creative process
It’s non-stop. I see inspiration everywhere, from buildings to nature and my magazine addiction. I constantly sketch and write down ideas on receipts and on my phone. Next, I spend time putting them to paper and drawing them on screen.
What does a day off look like?
I go for a coffee alone with a new magazine. There’s always something going on in Bath or I’ll go to the countryside or Bruton with the great Hauser & Wirth. Our favourite family escape is Salcombe – we’ll book an Airbnb and hide for a weekend by the coast.
Something that would surprise us about you?
I’ve been engaged for four years and I have a phobia of metal.
What is your proudest achievement?
Floss! Work-wise, getting a product to the market. I still have a long way to go and so many people I want to introduce the brand to, but I’m excited.