Posted on October 1, 2011

Mumpreneur Feature – Anna & Sarah

Mum in Business

The very lovely Anna & Sarah from U-ni-k are with us on the blog this morning to tell us about their selves and their business. Check out U-ni-k Gifts it really is a beautiful website xx

Who are you?
We are two mums, who after receiving all the mounds of gifts that you gratefully receive when your first babies are born, realised that what was needed was a trusted guide where people can find beautiful gifts that will be treasured by both parent and child. Together we  combined our skills of 13+ years in programme management and 10 years of retail experience alongside style guru Maureen Doherty of egg and suddenly u-ni-k was born!

Sarah – Hi I’m Sarah the proud mother of Kathryn, the ‘DangerBaby’ who’s a Daddy’s girl already (*sigh*). I’m also a proud Aunt and Godmother, so I’ve been busy treating the special children in my life to lovely and precious keepsakes for too many years to count.
Becoming a Mum made me reconsider my 13+ years in project management, as I can’t imagine letting myself miss my daughter’s first words, steps or toothy smile while working on some minor IT problem in a faraway land. It was time to put my problem solving super powers to better use!


Over a cup of coffee with Anna and other Mummies, it became clear that I was not alone in my years of frustration of trying to buy decent gifts for the little people in my life. In fact I was lucky enough to discover I could knit while pregnant, so Kathryn was wearing Mummy creations and sleeping under Mummy knitted blankets from day 1!

Anna and I have been working hard putting together u-ni-k drawing on our different experiences and amazingly we’ve been on the same page from the very first meeting. We both strongly believe in high quality products that have been lovingly made by people who care as much about the finished article as we do.

We’ve looked high and low to bring you a selection of beautiful pieces and we’re still looking. I believe that there are many Mummies out there with hidden talents that could produce that special keepsake perfect for the child in your life. I hope one day to find them…

Anna – Hello, I am Anna, mum of two to the gorgeous , cheeky Ida and the newly born Samson. I met Sarah at our NCT antenatal meetings before our babies were born. It was all very bewildering meeting other mummies to be with big bumps, swollen ankles, each of us having anxieties about labour or sleepless nights. I was adamant I didn’t want a typical pink baby girl, kitted out in pink clothes pink accessories and pink cheeks! Why do girls have to wear pink!? Since having Ida, it still baffles me that there are so little unisex clothes out there for babies?


I have a retail/fashion background working with Maureen Doherty, owner of ‘egg’ in Knightsbridge for the past 9 1/2 years. As I told Maureen when she first interviewed me, and asked me what I wanted to be- “I want to have my own shop and sell beautiful things like you!” My love of beautiful, practical things soon translated into Ida’s nursery and wardrobe. I was very lucky to receive many treasured things made with love, by loving hands when Ida was born. Yes, all the practical things that people bought were amazing but the true treasures were those special things that are so hard to find, for that new special person entering the world. I will keep these things forever and pass them to Ida when she is old enough to pass them to her babies.

That’s how we got here today. After many a ranting session with my mummy friends over many a coffee about the lack of originality and good baby gifts, Sarah and I decided that we could help promote those mummies who can make, while helping people go back to tradition and buying heirloom baby products that are kept for a lifetime rather than till baby grows out of them

What do you do?
“u-ni-k” is a brand new website where you will find a beautiful trove of unique and exquisite treasured gifts for the child or children that are special to you.
A gift that helps create those special memories.
A beautiful blanket that the baby grows with and won’t sleep without, a silver nappy pin that in kept in a beautifully made treasure box amongst the hospital band and baby’s first lock of hair. We believe in going back to tradition,where a gift is personally selected and meant to be treasured for life.
Our new website provides only a taster of what is available to order.
We work with the work ethic that anything should be possible! We love a personal service that isn’t too intrusive but helpful when we go shopping and wanted to give that special service back to our clients, where it is possible to talk to us to help you choose the perfect present for the new arrival, that will make them squeal with delight when they open the gift!
We hope our clients understand that a gift made especially for you is worth waiting for.
When did you establish your business?
Last year, when our babies were months old. We were sat having coffee as new mummies do discussing what our little ones were doing that was new when we started to rant about the lack of special and one off Christening gifts. We ranted and ranted and suddenly we had a business plan!

What made you start your own business?
Two big reasons – so that I could stay with my baby while she was a baby and to help bring high quality gifts to other parents.
It’s something we have both always wanted to do.

What do you love about working for yourself?
At the moment we are always busy busy so have little time to ourselves what with our new babies…Kathryn, Ida, Sam and u-ni-k. But by doing this we also have been at home to be able to see our babies crawl, walk and hopefully talk! Ida is almost there with her talking….she’s a jibber jabber chatter box.
Doing this also enables us to support other Mummies & Daddies. Where possible we like to represent other parent makers so that they can stay at home and watch their children grow. Our newest Mummy is Helen Beard who had baby Yannick earlier this year. She is currently working on an exclusive range especially for us. She is one of our favourite makers. She hand throws and hand paints porcelain breakfast sets for us with hand painted whimsical scenes. Perfect for our Little ones. I have asked her to make a special set for Ida with her favourite toy painted on it, Mr Elephant. Something for Ida to treasure forever. We even have a grandparent maker- our Silversmith Mr Richard Ord who make our hallmarked silver pins.

Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
Obviously the constant worry of can we make this work. It’s not like a job where you are employed. If it doesn’t work you just get another job (hopefully). This is about making time for our children, our most important creations.
Also, the hours are crazy!

Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?

Perhaps NOT move house (anna) and renovate their house (SARAH) during the start up! We are Crazy Multi tasking Mummies! One thing is never enough for us!
We’d have had our first website reviewed by professionals earlier. The re-design was time consuming and painful (for Sarah-the IT nerd 1/2 of u-ni-k)

What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
It’s hard HARD work. You never stop! We are both constantly tipp tapping at our laptops whilst making our daughter’s tea and late into the night.
Sarah wrote a blog on this very thing! Don’t do it if you don’t have support – it’s not something for the feint hearted

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