Anna Louise Simpson, the founder of Mama Tea, was the well-deserved winner of the Best Start Up Award at the Mumpreneur Conference & Awards last year. Mama Tea is a range of naturally caffeine-free herbal teas that are aimed at pregnant and nursing women.
Launched in April 2009, the business saved Anna Louise from severe post-natal depression giving her something to focus on, and helping her to grow happier and more confident. Within 4 weeks of starting up, Anna Louise had won a contract with Waitrose, and has gone on to secure contracts with distributers, sell to retailers in Italy, Spain, Copenhagen, Oman, Dubai, Sweden and is also now in Tesco… all within a year of trading.
What inspired you to start your own business ?
I was inspired to start Mama Tea because I suffered all of the pregnancy ailments that you can think of when I was pregnant and I found it really hard to find herbal teas that helped that also tasted good. Therefore, I worked with a Master Tea Blender and a Medical Herbalist to come up with a range that tasted good that would help with all of women’s ailments.
What has been your biggest challenge ?
Learning about a brand new industry and also learning how to build a supply chain business from scratch. It shows that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and set goals for yourself.
What have you learnt about yourself since you became self-employed ?
I have learnt that if you believe in yourself, then you can achieve anything you want. Taking that leap of faith in yourself is difficult but is worth it. YOU are the biggest asset you have!
What has been the best thing about being your own boss ?
I think that being in charge of your own destiny is the best part. This opens up so many opportunities, from working round a very young family to negotiating with a supermarket from your dining room!
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring ‘mumpreneur’ what would it be ?
Just do it! There will always be 100 reasons not to do something and taking action has great power in it. It is never going to be easy juggling it all but it will be worth it when you succeed!