Pocketbum, the fuss and fastener-free baby grow, was created by me, Dionne and inspired by the first Pocketbum Pioneer, my now 2-year-old daughter. The brand was built on the belief that it’s ok, as parents, to take the easy route.
Fitness, travel and fashion are my biggest passions and after an established career in fashion pre-baby, it was a natural progression to start my own brand after having my daughter. I was ready to live life on my terms, whilst utilising the invaluable experience from my time spent working for big labels, Pocketbum was the answer.
If I can help alleviate some of the pain points that parents experience with changing their baby, to free up their time; I’ll be happy. For me living my best life is travelling, working out and enjoying sociable activities with my daughter like toddler gymnastics and swimming; building memories with my little one.
I’ve had an interesting pathway to starting Pocketbum, mainly via my career in fashion. The myriad of experiences to date have helped shape and prepare me for starting my own business.
My career in fashion has taken me around the world and off on a tangent. I have lived in the UK, Trinidad and Tobago and Switzerland. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve worked in Visual Merchandising, Interior and Fashion styling, finally settling into Creative Production Manager roles. Bringing the creative vision to life for major fashion brands was a role I relished, however the designer itch and desire to do my own thing was always there.
It was being raised by a Caribbean solo parent who instilled hard work, drive and tenacity that was the key to kick starting my career. Those were the days when you could get a number for an HR contact, personally send your CV to them whilst on the phone and literally pitch for an interview spot. That same fearlessness means that I will approach mums on the street to consider their babies for modelling opportunities and introduce Pocketbum to new mums at toddler groups.
When becoming a mum, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ I felt expected to buy, yet amazed that amongst all the gizmos and gadgets, poppers were still the dominant fasteners for baby grows. Changing was a chore and it got more stressful the more my daughter started to wriggle about. Then there were the night-time changes that brought further challenges. New parenthood was wonderful but exhausting.
It took a few years and the hard knocks of life to help me fully embrace my mantra ‘Be Brave’. Looking back through my career I realised that I had to challenge gender preconceptions and find my voice as a woman, putting forward cases for budgets for new creative ideas for the brands I worked for. Having to interact with predominantly male Directors helped to embolden me and instil confidence. This has been invaluable in helping me push Pocketbum to be the success I believe it can be.
The first ever Pocketbum baby grows for ages 0-12 months, launched in December 2020. Parents and gift givers can purchase online at www.pocketbum.com.
Further plans are in the pipeline to expand the range up to 3 years old and updates will be made on social media - @pocketbum on Instagram and Facebook. The 0-3 months Pocketbum baby grows also include integrated scratch mitts.
I was always planning for this period of my life as a mum and the transition into a new career. Initially I thought the fitness industry would be my chosen field and I trained to be an instructor. My career pre baby was also in fashion giving me direct and valuable experience in the industry.
After my daughter was born, I soon realised that poppers at night or anytime were a faff and thought there ‘must be an easier way’. Ease and comfort are key for baby wear, add in a solution to help time poor parents and voila the seed was sown for Pocketbum.
I recall parents who talked about having to pack clothes without poppers for grandparents who would struggle with them. Pocketbum was a way to help myself as a mum and other parents. The whole process has helped me get my brain back into gear and get the creative juices flowing.
The designer itch never went away and after opting for the ‘safe’ corporate roles, I am finally stepping out, being brave and fulfilling my designer ambitions. The 21st Century provides so many opportunities to live ‘nine lives’. There’s no limit to one career path and that’s what I love about being a modern woman.
Being brave and stepping out of my comfort zone!
Taking the idea for Pocketbum forward and showing it to parents was a vulnerable moment. Now that the wheels are in motion it’s been enjoyable so far. I’m relishing the challenges, particularly the creative ones like holding photoshoots in a pandemic. The most difficult part is finding the time. I would love to just throw myself in and put the hours in, but balance is key.
The current world crisis has been an unexpected obstacle, yet has provided the impetus to get Pocketbum moving rather than putting a dampener on the launch. Covid-19 has put production on a go slow but it has brought me time to really focus on the mission and values of Pocketbum. I am choosing to be thankful for the time that it has given me to pause, which is rare in life.
Taking the idea forward started with a pen, paper and sewing machine. Once I had a viable concept and design, I did some research and found industry related trade shows to find manufacturing contacts. I came across female entrepreneur groups on Facebook which again provided me with additional tips for my journey. A lot of these resources have gone online and onto Zoom, don’t let the world crisis stop you.
Getting professional advice on brand strategies is also key, Bloc + Rose is all about word-of mouth marketing, which is key for my product (mums recommend and talk a lot within their peer groups). Working with them helped me to formulate my key messages; vital for start-ups.
My husband is my biggest champion. I took his cue to ‘Be Brave’, shaking off the corporate mindset and taking the tentative steps to create Pocketbum and be an entrepreneur.
My daughter is now two years old. I have passed the new born aka ‘the blur’ stage, which especially for a first-time parent, is a real eye opener. It’s tough juggling everything as a parent, however having children provides the catalyst to embrace change, role model and build something that becomes an inspiration and legacy. I want my daughter to look at me and be proud of setting a goal and accomplishing it, in the same way I want her to be happy, independent and accomplished in whatever makes her fulfilled when she’s older.
Women who have risen from adversity and found their calling like Maya Angelou who blessed the world with her powerful testimony and words. Turia Pitt who is an amazing athlete who, following a tragic accident, become a beacon of light and hope as a global motivational speaker.
I dislike camping yet I trekked the Inca trail and camped for three days, I find change scary and uncomfortable, yet I’ve moved countries various times – on reflection I take myself out of my comfort zone quite often. I’m inspired continually to develop and evolve; I am inspired to be inspiring.
Social media handles @pocketbum
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