There’s nothing more quintessentially ‘family business’ than married Managing Directors providing products to fellow families. Such a brief is marvellously fulfilled by baby & toddler brand Hippychick.
Jeremy Minchin’s jump from the police to becoming Joint MD of the brand with his wife & Founder, Julia, signals the duo’s commitment to helping families, working with local businesses, and providing an award-winning service.
Hear more from them on balancing business with parenthood, creating the family feel with staff and customers alike, and the joys of seeing your partner in their element.
This episode covers:
- Taking the opportunity to see your partner flourish
- How Jeremy’s paragliding accident put the Hippychick team to the test
- Changing sectors and undergoing a cultural shift to join the family business
- How Julia and Jeremy pushed through uncertainty and built their brand in the early days
- Juggling parenthood with the business, and how it can feel like an extra child of your own
“I always wanted to sell a tangible product. It just naturally fitted to look at products that really made life easier for parents because I could immediately relate to that, and it really grew from there. ” – 4:20 – Julia Minchin
“A lot of the product lines, brands, ranges & things that came to us have come as a result of word of mouth, or because people could see what we’re doing with others. A lot of our products have been designed by parents seeing a genuine need, which is really lovely. You can see how much the need and the gaps in the market have changed in the years that we’ve been running the business.” – 11:00 – Julia Minchin
“We had to give a briefing of a particular operation we’d been involved in with the Home Secretary and various others – highly sensitive and high-pressure stuff – we were quite keyed up for it all. That all went fine, then four hours later I found myself with the Berkshire Natural Nappy Alliance, giving a presentation on the benefit of essential oils for newborns or something like that. I thought it was so bizarre!” – 20:00 – Jeremy Minchin
“It’s as important to know when not to talk about business, as it is to know when you can. We’ve tried for a few years to take maybe a day and a night or two days and a night occasionally to go away to somewhere that’s not anybody’s home turf. Then we can be a bit structured.” – 26:45 – Jeremy Minchin
“Whilst not everybody wants to work for a family business for all the obvious reasons, there is a real sense of belonging to a family business. Especially with the market we’re in, we’re dealing with families; we’re dealing with mums & dads, grannies, grandpas, uncles, brothers, sisters, whatever it is – it’s very much a family feel across the board.” – 35:10 – Julia Minchin
“Jeremy’s accident made us realise that everyone was very capable here. Obviously we drive the business forward, but absolutely everyone stepped up and showed what they really can do.” – 39:25 – Julia Minchin
“Something else which feels really good is that we’ve worked with a lot of local businesses. So we haven’t generally used some amorphous national company to provide us with something. Whether it be our IT support – a very local company that started at a similar time to us and have been absolutely fantastic from start to finish – the couriers that we use, or the haulage company, they’re very much local companies. They’re fantastic.” – 54:55 – Jeremy Minchin
“I’m constantly amazed and impressed by just how good Julia is at reading a situation, being calm and dealing with it in the right way, rather than tearing your hair out over something or getting stroppy. Just understanding that just being calm and gentle will more often than not get you what you need, want, or where you need to be.” – 1:01:55 – Jeremy Minchin