In the course of my work, I get to meet all sorts of fabulous family related business people so I’m giving them some time on my blog to tell you all about themselves and the wonderful products and services they have to offer.

First up, Zoe Woodman from the Sling Consultancy – I can’t believe I never knew about baby wearing when my son was tiny (he’s 17 now so it would be a bit of a problem to try it).  I’ve asked some questions and here’s the answers in her own words…

About the Sling Consultancy

Describe what your business does in one sentence?

Supports and empowers parents and carers to carry their child  safely, comfortably and confidently through a variety of services such as bespoke workshops, 1-1’s and group sessions.

How long have you been trading?

Since June 2016.

Are you a single operator / owner or do you have staff?

Owner and sole operator

How did you come up with your business name?

I wanted to have a simple, clean, professional name that made it clear what the service is.

What makes your business different?

I am totally focused on empowering parents for them to make their own choices as to what suits them best or works best for them and their child. It is a bigger ethos extending further than slings/carriers it is an approach to parenting in general.

What are you most proud of about your business?

Having an article I wrote feature in Juno Magazine on Toddler carrying, and supporting Babywearing with Jess on the Why dads Babywear project and getting a mention in the book.

What’s your biggest business challenge?

Fitting it into our lives, I really want to spend more time on it but it has to fit in with being a family of 5 and all that brings.

How have your overcome it?

My youngest goes to a childminder one day a week and the older 2 are at school, which helps hugely and I also tend to see clients on weekends and in the evenings.

What’s your plan for the future?

To focus on the psychology and evidence on and related to carrying and secure attachment and to link this to the wider academic world and other arenas to connect across fields to impact more widely.

Anything else about your business you want to add?

The logo is a tree, which holds significance for a few reasons, I help to support parents and families to grow and also it reflects parenting in general helping grow their children from the roots upwards. Putting in the hard work growing them and supporting them in the early years as seedlings to flourish and stand tall and weather storms as adults. Also we live in the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty and the woods and trees are an important part of our lives living here, we often walk Leith Hill, Box Hill using slings/carriers, giving us freedom and ability to go anywhere.

About Zoe

What did you do before starting your business?

I graduated with a first class degree in Psychology and I then gained a place on the graduate scheme at Harrods where I worked for 3 years. I then worked in central London in retail as an operations manager and commercial manager for a flagship store. After having our first child it wasn’t viable for me to return to work, both working in London and commuting and child care costs made it prohibitive. I volunteered for Dorking NCT and help set up the sling library in 2012.

Why did you start your business?

We moved when our first child was 9 months old and returning to work wasn’t going to work for us as a family. I helped to set up Dorking NCT sling library in 2012 and still run the library now. I decided to train as a consultant in 2016 after having our third child to extend my learning and experience to better support parents. I also wanted to be able to offer more varied services to parents and being trained and insured enables me to do that. I am able to fit it in around our family life.

Tell us a bit about you and your family if that’s relevant?

We have 3 children, all have been carried in slings/carriers, each more than the last! Eldest is now 9, and have a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old.

Who is your biggest influence / supporter?

The Slingababy family, I learn so much from the huge variety of different people and from the twice yearly CPD sessions.

If you could meet yourself aged 13, what advice would you give yourself?

Be you. You are not responsible for how others see you.

What do you do to relax?

Yoga! I go once a week to a class and also try to do some at home – Yoga with Adriene on YouTube

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Night owl, often up late finishing things off that I want to achieve!

What was the last film you watched or book you read?

I am currently reading Clinging Young – Science of In-arms carrying by Mel Cyrille

First thing you’d buy if you won £10 million on the lottery?

An Aston Martin for me and a lotus for my husband. A trip to Disneyland for the whole family.

What are your words to live by?

You are responsible for your own choices and have to own your choices and the consequences of those. You always have a choice.