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Hannah: Welcome to Happily Ever After the podcast where we talk about life's big stories from great sex to sexual trauma. Break-ups and breakdowns. Icky secrets and happy endings. It's the stuff that makes us human. And boy, do we cover it all. I'm your host, Hannah Harvey. I'm a writer and a parenting blogger at MumsDays.com. That's M.U.M.S.D.A.Y.S dot com. I would be very grateful if you could subscribe and leave a review because it means more people can find the podcast. And I also really, really, really love hearing from you, so please contact me through Instagram @Mumsdays with all your stories of life and any thoughts you might have on the episode or even questions you want answering. You can find all the details from this episode in the show notes.
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Hannah: Hello and welcome to Happily Ever After with me, Hannah. And today I'm joined by my new CEO friend Jo Feeley, who owns the Trend Bible. So hello, Jo, and thank you for coming on.
00:01:05 - 00:01:07
Jo: Hi, Hannah. Thank you for asking me.
00:01:08 - 00:01:21
Hannah: Oh, it's a pleasure. Now, obviously, with everything in the Northeast, our paths have crossed about 15 years ago. And you went to school with my ex as it happened.
00:01:21 - 00:01:23
Jo: There were like little links, aren't there along the way?
00:01:23 - 00:01:36
Hannah: Yeah. We seem to have, like, armfuls of mutual friends, but it wasn't actually until, like, what, a month ago now? Not even that, that we finally met on Josie's Wellness retreat.
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Hannah: And I remember before I went, Josie was like, Oh, Jo's coming, you're going to absolutely love her. So I was quite excited to to finally meet you because I'd heard.
00:01:48 - 00:02:08
Jo: I feel like the universe has been keeping us apart. And I don't know why, but yeah, even things like there was a networking thing that we were supposed to both go to and then I couldn't go at the last minute because I'd double booked myself. So even if we hadn't met on the retreat. You know, there are all these little moments where we ought to have met over the years. I just can't believe it.
00:02:08 - 00:02:53
Hannah: Um, but, um, obviously when we did finally meet, I was like, picking your brains basically for for four full days when you should have been resting. So, um, yeah, thank you for that. And thanks for agreeing to come on. Um, before I ask you about Trend Bible, which I find absolutely fascinating how you've ended up to grow that company. With like, you know, where you are now is like the boss lady who's got her shit together. How important is it to you now to take time out to do things like the retreats that we did? And is that something you've always prioritised or.
00:02:55 - 00:03:12
Jo: I mean that's the first retreat I've ever done. Um, and I've since done another one. I did a business retreat just this week, which was two days. So I've gone from no retreats to one a month. I've become that person.
00:03:12 - 00:03:12
Hannah: Why not? Don't break that chain.
00:03:12 - 00:05:20
Jo: It is actually because of a specific sort of mindset shift, really. And I think my kids are 14 and seven, so they're a little bit older now. They're not so dependent on me for everything. And when they were little I travelled a bit for work and it would be long haul travel to the states or to China where I'd be away for sort of four days or six days. So I always felt that any other time away from the family, unless it was work, I didn't - I couldn't really justify doing something that involved taking time and money away from the family unit to go and do something for myself. So holidays would be done with family, with my husband and my two kids and travel that was done for work. I saw as something that just was a necessity of the job and I just wouldn't have I wouldn't have felt comfortable devoting any further time or money to developing myself. It would have just not sat right with me. And I think probably about two years ago, um, I had a business coach and she asked me some questions around, you know, what's your purpose, What are you, what are you trying to sort of achieve with your business? How does that fit with how you see yourself? And I ended up sort of making this throwaway comment that was like, Well, I'm just going to live my life when the kids have grown up and left home. I'm just going to do all my stuff then and I'm going to retire and I won't have to run the business and my stuff can wait. And she really held me, you know, pulled me up on that and said, Really? Is that how you're going to run your life? And I hadn't really thought about it until she'd said that. So and that was only a few years ago. So it's quite funny and very flattering that you think I've got my shit together because if I have, it's an extremely recent thing because I hadn't at that point noticed that I was had on hold a lot of the, the, the bigger things that I wanted to do. So that was a bit of a revolutionary moment. But as I say, I've got another business retreat, I think, in July, and I would definitely do another health and wellness retreat. I don't know about you, but I well, I do know that you loved it. I do know that you loved it. We had a great, great time, didn't we? So I would definitely do another one of those.
00:05:20 - 00:05:27
Hannah: Yeah, it was like somewhere between a holiday. Like an organised holiday where you didn't know anybody there and we were all working out.
00:05:28 - 00:05:29
00:05:29 - 00:05:45
Hannah: There was something about that, as I think, especially when you're the organiser. So as mums naturally we're the organiser, but you might not be, you might be the person that organises stuff for your friends all the time and just to turn up and be like told when to eat and yeah.
00:05:45 - 00:07:23
Jo: And be fed. That's exactly it. Like someone's going to feed me a delicious, healthy, nutritious meal and I don't have any responsibilities. I get picked up, I'm going to be driven around. And then you're right to have time out in the sunshine, the fresh air and doing all these fun activities. And there's something about the sort of I think we spent a bit of time at the start figuring out what is the common thread that brought us all to that retreat. And everyone really had different reasons for going. But um, you know, you go with that mindset that I'm not really I wasn't expecting to know anybody and I was surprised that I did. I did know you, um, I wasn't expecting to know anyone at all. And I think when you do a trip like that and you don't know anybody, you go with a particular mindset, which is I'm open to people being different to me. I'm open to spending time with people that I might not have anything in common with, and I'll go with the flow. I'll see what it's like when I get there. And again, that's not a mindset that I would have been particularly comfortable with even a couple of years ago. It would have been too frightening for me to go and spend time in the company of people where I might I might they might not like me and I might not like them and I might not like the activities and I might not be able to do them because my fitness wasn't that great. So I was very insecure about how my ability to do some of the the sort of fitness activities. So yes, the mindset had to be there to do anything that would be classified as me taking time for myself. But even a fitness retreat, I mean, if you told 25 year old me that I was going to pay money to go on a fitness retreat, I mean, that would be that's a that would be a big stretch.
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Jo: Yes, Completely laughable.
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Hannah: Me too. Like, yeah, 35 year old me probably would have laughed.
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Jo: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
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Hannah: Now 40 year old me is like, ha! So that's interesting that you've done one that's wellness and fitness and one that's business. Did they have any similarities in terms of how you felt afterwards?
00:07:56 - 00:09:02
Jo: Um, well, the health and wellness one, I felt invigorated and I was really surprised how long the that feeling stayed with me afterwards. Like probably for a full two weeks. I felt really great. Um, and it wasn't necessarily because we'd, you know, done so many workouts that I felt ultra fit or anything specific like that, or that we'd eaten such healthy food that I suddenly wanted to become a vegan. Um, it was something about the, the spirit of the entire trip that just, I just felt great. It was a very welcome break and just really enjoyed it. The business retreat. I really enjoyed the company again, it was a bit shorter, but because it was very thinky and I had to sort of make a business plan, a one, a three and a five year business plan. Um, I was exhausted at the end of that, really, really tired out. So the two things had completely different benefits. And I've come away from a business retreat with clarity on what I want to get from my business, um, which is brilliant, but it was hard going, really hard going.
00:09:02 - 00:09:05
Hannah: That's a lot to fit into a short space.
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Jo: Yes, it is. It is.
00:09:07 - 00:09:38
Hannah: Wow. Interesting because I'm. I don't know if it's just because you were there, but I felt leaving the retreat like I got I went feeling anxious and thinking I shouldn't be doing this. I should be at home working. And then I left feeling like I've made loads of lovely new friends. I've like, you know, I've worked when I was there because I was also interviewing Josie and like, I've met you and it's, you know, gone on to do podcasts. And um, you know, we sat in a cave at one point and planned my life.
00:09:39 - 00:10:38
Jo: I've been telling everybody about the, the moment, which was sort of our last day, wasn't it, where we went to a waterfall and, and the rest of the girls were all sort of jumping in the waterfall. There was a big sort of plunge pool to jump in. And I was and it was it was the day where there were most people around us because it was a tourist attraction. So there were lots of other people there. And we'd spent all of this time in our own little bubble, just just the sort of group. And then all of a sudden we were around all these other people and, um, yeah, just. I wanted to climb in a cave. And when I found one, you were in it. And I said, Can I get in with you? And so that's that was when we sat in a cave and we just chatted and discovered all these sort of commonalities and just had lots of conversations, didn't we? It was really lovely. And I think we realised at that point that we both have this sort of inability to do any small talk and that we just want to know the deepest, darkest stories about somebody because that's what interests us. So it was a really it was a really fun afternoon.
00:10:39 - 00:11:01
Hannah: It was. The other time that I really noticed that you and I have that in common was climbing Calpe Rock. Yeah. People around us are like, falling apart. And you and I are like, So do you have, like, a thread? You know, from your childhood that you think really impacted the way you do things? And everyone else was like ahhh.
00:11:01 - 00:11:28
Jo: It was like a psychological exploration, wasn't it? But yeah, like if you, if you asked me to be specific about where you live or what your last name is, I could easily have come home from that retreat going, Oh, I'm not actually sure, but I could tell you all about her childhood and, you know, all the biggest influences in her whole life. And that's, that is the sort of level on which I operate. I can I can do that bit. I'm not so good at small talk. But I love hearing people's stories and what makes them tick.
00:11:28 - 00:11:31
Hannah: And do you think that's helped you in business?
00:11:31 - 00:12:38
Jo: Yeah, think so. I think it's probably why I've gone into the job that I'm in because when you forecast future trends, you need to understand consumers a lot. And so you're always looking for how consumers attitudes are shifting and what their value system is and how their values might change the way that they want to shop or what they might want to buy. Um, and so it's kind of like a it is a bit like you sort of socially, you're brailling culture and society for these sort of little snippets and clues of things that suggest to you that change is coming or change is happening. And that often is the way that people feel. And I think that's that is sort of the the linchpin of trend forecasting is how quickly can you understand when people's feelings have changed because that's what shifts their values and that's what eventually shifts their their behaviours. We don't just go out and behave differently from today till tomorrow. Something in our mind operates differently first. That then forces us to behave in a different way. And I just find that completely fascinating.
00:12:39 - 00:13:18
Hannah: Yeah, so it's like a deep dive that you might do on an individual, but you're doing it on society as a whole. Well, that leads really nicely into what is trend Bible.
00:13:19 - 00:14:31
Jo: So trend Bible is a future trend forecasting agency. So brands and retailers you know all of the shops on the high street, all of the brands that we buy from have to produce product and it generally takes them between 2 and 5 years depending on what they're producing. If it's a microwave oven or if it's laundry powder or if it's sofas, all of those companies have to think about how they're going to produce their goods, how long it's going to take them to manufacture it, and what will the customer want in two years or five years time? Because it won't be the same as what their their what they have today. So trend forecasting is a sort of discipline, a set of methodologies that allow me to predict the future of any given industry in the home interiors sector. That's the sector that we specialise in, and there are trend forecasting companies that inform fashion, the automotive industry, you know, oil and gas, you know, there are people forecasting trends in all sorts of different industries and helping brands and retailers and charities and investors understand how what the world's going to look like in 2 to 5 years time.
00:14:32 - 00:14:34
Hannah: So how did you end up doing that? Like
00:14:34 - 00:17:32
Jo: It's a random career, isn't it? It's. I mean, if you ever meet a trend forecaster in the north east of England, you can guarantee they work for me because they're just there aren't even any trend forecasting companies in the North east or even in the north of England. There are a couple in London and they tend to be in all of the sort of fashion capitals. They're in New York and Amsterdam and London and Paris. So we are definitely the only one in the northeast, in the north of England. But yeah, I found out about it. I think I was in my second year at university and we and I studied fashion design. I went to Kingston University in Surrey. And yeah, we learned about how trends work and we learned that there was this entire industry that sat behind the fashion design industry. That was the trend forecasting industry. And we learned about how to forecast colour palettes and how to predict what materials would be important for fashion designers for the future. And it just it was the bit that I loved the most. And again, it was because of the sort of psychology element having to understand different consumer groups and what they'd be drawn to and why a consumer group would do something and buy something now that they would then hate in a year's time. Like what is it that makes them switch off from something so that I knew then that I wanted to be in that industry? However, getting into it was very difficult and I remember seeing a, um, like a careers coach in third year and saying, Oh, I really want to be a trend forecaster. And she said, Well, good luck with that. I mean, nobody's going to hire a graduate to be a trend forecaster. You don't have enough life experience and you don't you don't know how to do it yet. Go away and be a fashion designer. That's what you've trained to do for three years. And you're just going to have to keep an eye out for any jobs that come along. I think there were about 200 jobs worldwide in trend forecasting at that time, and I didn't have much chance of getting well. I had no chance of getting one of those as a graduate. So I did go off and become a fashion designer. Um, my first job was in New York, so I was a menswear designer in New York. And again, just took any opportunity to be doing mood boards and colour palettes and helping the designers think about trends. So I kind of had to carve out, carve out the opportunity to be a trend forecaster. And it meant that by the time I returned to London after being in New York, I had two portfolios. I had my my sort of designer portfolio, but I also had this little side portfolio of trend forecasting that I'd been doing in my spare time on on the job. So, um, it wasn't until I think about five years into my career that eventually a job came up as a trend forecaster and I applied for it and I got it and I just loved it. I travelled the world, worked with all these amazing brands. I mean, it was a real baptism of fire and was leading a team as well. At the same time.
00:17:32 - 00:17:34
Hannah: Who were you working for?
00:17:35 - 00:17:40
Jo: I was working for a small agency called the Bureau, and they had clients. Who? Everybody.
00:17:42 - 00:17:44
Hannah: Were they literally a trend forecasting agency?
00:17:44 - 00:18:47
Jo: Yeah, just a trend forecasting agency. Yeah. So they were forecasting for menswear companies, you know, Calvin Klein, Kangol, all sorts of different brands all over the world. So it was a brilliant, brilliant environment to kind of be given the freedom to. Um, it was quite a senior job. I remember going for the interview and I recognised somebody. It was, there was a sort of a waiting room before I went in for my interview and I recognised someone who was there for the interview and I knew that they had ten years more experience than me. And I just thought, I'm not going to get this job. There's no way when this guy knew he had ten years more experience than me. But I did get the job and it was very it was very, very challenging. But I loved it. Really loved it. And after I think about two and a half years of working there, I realised that I wanted to set up as a freelancer. I found the pace of work really exhausting in that sort of small agency and I travelled all the time so I wanted to kind of take a bit of control back and manage my own time a bit more.
00:18:48 - 00:18:53
Hannah: And was that possible? Because obviously when you start out, you're starting a small agency. So,
00:18:53 - 00:19:28
Jo: I mean. I was very naive about the fact that I thought that I would then have more time, you know, working for somebody else versus working for myself. I was really naive about what it would take. I remember, you know, I knew how to forecast trends at that point, but I didn't know how to run a business. I didn't know how to file a tax return. I didn't know how to sell. I didn't know anything about marketing. And all of that hit me in the face. As soon as I set up, I realised I had all of these gaps and I just had to kind of learn on the way how to fill them.
00:19:30 - 00:19:34
Hannah: And what. I mean I'm like and what's the strategy? Where do you start?
00:19:37 - 00:19:38
Jo: Honestly. Yeah. I mean.
00:19:40 - 00:19:41
Jo: What's step one.
00:19:42 - 00:22:13
Jo: Step one had been once I'd decided I was going to leave, the job was just to save and save and save enough money to give myself a little bit of a nest egg to lean on. And I'd saved £3,000, which in London clearly is going to go nowhere. Um, so but that was as much as I could kind of save because I knew I wanted to get started and I knew that I wanted to move back to the northeast. So the two things, you know, leaving London, leaving a full time job, moving back to the northeast where I hadn't lived for quite a few years at this point. It it it didn't make a lot of sense to a lot of my friends and family and my peers and colleagues put it that way. People were really asking me to think very carefully about that. And some of the people that I'd been working alongside in London for years had said, You can't set up a trend forecasting company in Newcastle. There aren't any companies there to sell to. And um, and I was aware of that. I knew I would have to travel a lot backwards and forwards to various different parts of the UK. Um, but yeah, I went eight months without any work at all. So that £3,000, as you can imagine, got very thin and turned into a credit card and another credit card. And you know, it really starting to sort of I had faith in my ability to forecast trends but was not unlocking opportunities. I was having conversations with companies asking them if they wanted to buy my consulting services. And they were all sort of saying, well, it's sort of interesting, but no thanks. So I knew that something wasn't right about that. Eight months without work is a pretty good sign that something's not going well. And then, um, I sent my CV off to Tesco, to the supermarket, Tesco and the person I'd sent it to had actually left the business, but someone else had taken over their inbox and had printed out a couple of inbound emails that they didn't know quite what to do with. And mine was one of them applying for a job as a menswear designer and somebody happened to pick it up off the printer and was like, Oh, a designer with trend forecasting experience. That's exactly what I'm looking for. And called me up. And that started off, you know, with 2 or 3 days a week freelance and built into a into it was five years that I spent with Tesco and I ended up being head of trends for them and forecasting their trends for all of their menswear and running the trend team for the rest of the well developing a trend team from scratch for them. So um, yeah, it was, it was a very welcome opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands at that point.
00:22:14 - 00:22:17
Hannah: And that was freelance as opposed to working for them?
00:22:17 - 00:25:17
Jo: Yeah, it was. It was freelance. And. And I knew at that point, I sort of knew that I could technically freelance five days a week for Tesco, but it always meant being on a train and being up and down from their office and just outside of in Hertfordshire, just outside of London. And I knew that I needed to sell my expertise in a different way. I couldn't just bill my hours and sell my time. I needed a product and my idea was that I wanted to sell something that would sell even when I was asleep. That's kind of what I was thinking of. So aside from my sort of freelance job, I was starting to develop what eventually became the first trend Bible. It was a physical printed book. I produced 50 of them in the first season and it was a a seasonal forecast that had colours and materials and trend ideas in it for the home interior sector. And again, as I've said, I knew how to trend forecast but didn't really know how to print something or publish something. I didn't know how to sell it. And so eventually these 50 printed trend forecasts turned up at my flat. And I just remember thinking, Oh, I don't know what to do now they're here. But I hadn't put any thought into how am I going to actually get them out there. Um, so yeah, I took up, um, there was a part funded trip to the States through like a government scheme and I sort of paid the money and went back to New York where I'd obviously had, I'd worked there previously and went to meet with a couple of sales agents that work in the trend industry to see if they would sell my trend books there for them. And they said, these are awful, these are terrible. You know, these are not, we can't sell these. We wouldn't put our name to them and gave me loads of feedback. You know, the covers are too flimsy. The style that you've sort of developed here is too European. It's not going to work for the American market. All sorts of feedback and I just wrote it all down. And um, there were two other meetings that I had while I was there. One was with the supermarket Target and one was with JC Penney, and the designers there had agreed to meet me and actually they each bought a trend book from me. So out of the 50 that I had printed, I only sold two, but I sold them to J.C. Penney and Target. And of course, I came back from this trip really high as a kite, thinking this is brilliant. And my friends and family were saying, How many did you sell? And I was like, two. And they were saying, Oh, out of 50. And I said, Yes, but there must be something in it. Because even though I'd got this terrible feedback from the sales agents, I'd sold two books to two companies that buy trend services all the time. So I knew they'd seen something that they valued. And the second season, I think I sold 37. So I figured I figured out there was it was, you know, I learned along the way there was no sort of big moment where it all came together. It was just all having enough tenacity and cash to keep it rolling. Um, so, yeah, which it was very challenging.
00:25:17 - 00:25:32
Hannah: I can imagine, like that meeting, um, with the sales people. You come out of there either going, okay, great, I've got loads of stuff to work with or you come out feeling like shit.
00:25:32 - 00:25:32
00:25:32 - 00:25:33
Hannah: Both I guess?
00:25:34 - 00:26:54
Jo: I did feel both. I felt both. I was kind of obviously hoping because I'd worked on this, I think it had taken me nine months. I mean, you can have a baby in the time it took me to produce that one forecast and they're supposed to be seasonal. So that was just the spring summer. I had to then go and do the work for the autumn winter one and take all the learning into into the next season. So I did feel both elements of that. I was hoping that the agents would say, Yeah, we'll give it a go, you know, we'll try or and it was just a flat no, you know, they weren't, they didn't think it was good enough. But the second season I was able to take it back to them and say, Right, I've listened. These are all the things. And they said, Oh, actually this is much more like it. We can we can do something with this. So it didn't take an awful long time. It's only probably another six months that it took me to implement some of those changes. Um, but yeah, it was, it was, it was one of those moments where I could, I suppose, have been so deflated and having gone so long without earning very much money, I could have just said, Oh, this is not going to work. But I knew I'd have to give up more than just the dream of of having my own trend forecasting company. I'd have to give up being based in the Northeast because if I wanted a job as a trend forecaster, I couldn't be here. The only way to be in the Northeast was to create my own opportunity. So in a way, that kind of probably drove me to take more risks and to stretch it further than I might have done had I stayed in London and had faced the same failures.
00:26:55 - 00:27:04
Hannah: Interesting, because it's like you've really got to dig deep and have a really big reason why when, you know, you're up against it.
00:27:04 - 00:28:11
Jo: Yeah. And my 'why' then was not I mean, I know a lot of people I've spoken to so many business owners that say the same thing. My 'why' wasn't a particularly healthy 'why' It was just it was the. I'll show you 'why'. Like, I'll show you. You know, if I can't get a job in the trend forecasting industry and and I can't do what I want to do, I'll just go and I'll just go and do it myself and I'll show you. And I think that that can be really a really useful motivator for a while. But then you have to check in at some point to check that you're doing things because you really want to do them. And I think that that kind of 'I'll show you' drove me for quite a few years to to sort of force it to be a success. And I'm grateful for that now. But I'm also grateful for the sort of the understanding that I can I'm running the business now because I really want. There are other reasons why I want to do it. I want to create employment opportunities for the people, and I want to forecast really excellent trends and hire brilliant people. There are all sorts of other things that are nothing to do with the 'I'll show you'. But that was the motivation.
00:28:12 - 00:28:16
Hannah: At the beginning. Yeah. I will work in the Northeast. I will do this myself.
00:28:16 - 00:28:17
00:28:17 - 00:28:19
Hannah: Even on £3,000.
00:28:19 - 00:29:29
Jo: Yeah. Yeah. Even on £3,000. Two credit cards. And then I took a second job as well. So, um, right when I finished, well, Tesco sort of ended my contract when I disclosed that I was pregnant with my first son. Um, so that was, you know, it was a freelance contract. They could have terminated it at any point anyway, but I was just in the middle of spinning this plate to develop Trend Bible. I was pregnant with my son and then my three days a week security blanket, my main income. I knew that wasn't going to be there. Um, so I started teaching fashion at a university and they said, You can come and teach, we've got enough for you to sort of teach two days a week, but you're going to have to do your postgraduate teaching qualification. So you're going to have to take another sort of half day a week to do that qualification. So I was pregnant, setting up the business, teaching and doing my pgce at the same time, which now when I look back, I think I don't really I don't really know how I did that. But again, it was the drive to succeed and to make it happen was there.
00:29:30 - 00:29:48
Hannah: Wow. Because that is around about the time that our paths crossed. Yeah, it was working in a mutual friends, like a hot, hot desking space. Yeah, I remember seeing you there working and I'd heard what you did and I was like, Oh, that's so cool and interesting.
00:29:48 - 00:30:34
Jo: Meanwhile, I'm sitting there probably crying because I had a huge credit card debt and. No work. But yeah, I'd had like an office and we had interns and everything. And then when I realised the income from Tesco wasn't going to be there, I knew I had to sort of downsize operations and thought I'd probably just have to stick everything in the garage at home and work from home, but then met those guys that had that hot desking office and took two desks in there. And yeah, that was that was when we met. So actually I'd already I was on the sort of I was on another sort of downward curve when we met there, which was like, oh, I was still wasn't, I mean I'd been running the business at that point probably for about 18 months, which is not a long time, but I'd had a lot of sort of bumps in the road even up until that point, really.
00:30:34 - 00:30:46
Hannah: Yeah. But guess there's always at that point. Because I kind of wanted to understand why, you know, when's the good time to just say this isn't going to work and when's a good time to go like, yeah.
00:30:46 - 00:31:37
Jo: And you know, people ask me that. I've got people who are in start up businesses now and friends of one of my friends, she started a brilliant, brilliant company in the pandemic and she phoned me up one day and said, I just really need you to answer this question for me. I'm not sure if I should carry on and I need someone to tell me when I should stop. Like when do I know it's a bad idea and wasting my money? I can't throw good money after bad. When will I know that it's going to work or not work? And I said, You're never going to know. You're never going to know that. You have to just have faith that you're doing the right thing and the signs will come good if it's the right thing. But if you feel that you're putting yourself into too much of a dangerous situation, whether that's financial or whatever it might be, then you know, only you can decide for yourself. Nobody else can tell you that that enough is enough. You have to decide for yourself.
00:31:38 - 00:31:48
Hannah: Yeah, because it's easy to look from the outside, like, you know, on Dragons Den. And they come in and they're like, I've spent £1 million of my own money on this, and they're all they're going, What?
00:31:48 - 00:31:49
00:31:49 - 00:31:50
Hannah: Who does this?!
00:31:50 - 00:31:51
00:31:51 - 00:31:56
Hannah: But they still believe. And, you know, maybe it will turn good.
00:31:56 - 00:32:29
Jo: Maybe it will. Like and maybe that person could never forgive themselves if they gave up and they'd rather not have that. They'd rather carry on with no money. But it comes down to that thing again, doesn't it, about who are you doing it for and what are you doing it for? And be very clear about what you're trying to get out of it. Um, and you know, those motivations and objectives and goals can change over the years for sure. Then, you know, don't have the same goals now as I had when I set the business up. But being really clear about what it is that you're trying to achieve is is critical.
00:32:29 - 00:32:41
Hannah: Mhm. So when do you think it flipped? Like, at what point did you go? This is working. And I'm not just doing it to prove a point. Now, like, I've got other.
00:32:42 - 00:35:12
Jo: Um, probably quite late on. Yeah, just yesterday. Um, yeah, it's, I do remember getting to the stage where I realised that I had too much work for one person to do because of course I ended up producing this trend manual and I was selling more and more of those. But of course people were receiving that and going, Oh, this is great, but could you come in and do some consultancy with us and work with us on a particular project? So I generated more consultancy work, even though my idea was I just want to sell a product and not engage with any humans. I just wanted to sell this thing and ship it out. Um, and actually it generated more consultancy opportunities and I just didn't want to leave. I suppose it's the key thing with start-ups you don't leave business on the table. It's why people end up being so overworked and so busy because they feel like they can't take a holiday. They feel like they can't have time off. They've got to work all the time because you never know when things might turn sour or when the phone might stop ringing. And that is a real trap, actually. And I think everybody falls into it when they're starting a business. It's very difficult to say, I'm not going to be here for two weeks, I'm going to go on holiday. And therefore, if an opportunity comes up in that time, I won't be able to do it. So there was definitely a stage I remember, which was I don't want to leave anything on the table. This means I'm going to have to hire someone. I had lots of drawn out conversations with people about how do I hire my first person? I've traumatised myself about hiring someone because I just felt like what a lot of responsibility to have to pay someone's salary each month and um, you know, to be responsible for their livelihood. So I hired a graduate that I'd seen as a, as a student. When I was teaching, I'd seen her sort of I'd taught her probably for three years. And then I offered her a job when when she graduated and she came to work for me. Um, so, yeah, I just hired one person and then that seemed to go okay. And I thought, well, you know, I just waited until there was enough money in the bank and enough opportunity that I could hire the next person and the next person. I always worked with freelancers and people who worked part time, lots of interns. It wasn't all just full time people from the start, because the pressure for that felt a bit much for me. So it just it definitely sort of built over time and never took any investment that terrified me. I just built with what I had. That was that was the only way that I really I was quite sort of risk averse really. I think I didn't want to kind of, um, put any more pressure on the business to perform.
00:35:13 - 00:35:35
Hannah: Yeah. The thing that I picked up from you when we were just chatting. Is that you seem, you're very cautious with money. From what I've picked up, like you, you like to know where your eggs are and in which basket. And I think that's really I mean, that's a probably an innate and necessary thing if you're a business owner.
00:35:36 - 00:37:14
Jo: It is. But it only it comes from a really negative place. It comes from the fact that I'm so bad at maths and I sort of I mean, I always say, I'm not going to say that because it's just, you know, the more you say it to yourself, the more that you believe it really. But you know, my maths GCSE, I did it twice and got a D both times, just couldn't seem to get that elusive pass. And so I sort of was always reminded that, you know, you don't have, you know, you might have a bit of business acumen, but from a commercial perspective, having worked in fashion businesses, that's not the same as understanding a profit and loss and working with accountants and understanding finance. So I sort of felt quite intimidated about the business side of it. I knew I could trend forecast. I was okay with the bit that I'd been taught, you know, to do and had experience in, but didn't know anything about the sort of financial literacy business acumen. Um, and you know, I would, I would pay other people to do all that stuff as much as I could. But you do. You do have to get under the skin of the basics because it's not quite as scary as you might think once you get into it. But it doesn't come. Yes, I'm very careful and considered about money and I'm always kind of trying to buy assets. And, you know, I've got a property portfolio outside of Trend Bible because I feel like that kind of spreads risk and I've got sort of different income streams. That's I've learned that all along the way from other entrepreneurs that run their businesses and how they invest their money. But it comes from, you know, 14 year old me that can't do their maths or 16 year old me that can't do the maths GCSE it's just a fear of not being good at maths and suddenly waking up going, Oh my god, the bank account is empty. What have I done?
00:37:15 - 00:37:41
Hannah: It's two very different things. You know, like I did maths to degree level and I still struggle with things like finances. It's a completely different block being able to count or do like pure maths or whatever else. You don't even really know what maths is for apart from the actual counting bit, but A-level and degree level maths is nothing to do with money.
00:37:42 - 00:37:43
Jo: That's so interesting.
00:37:43 - 00:37:46
Hannah: So you don't need to connect those two things anymore.
00:37:46 - 00:37:49
Jo: Well, maybe I'll just let that go into my subconscious.
00:37:49 - 00:37:53
Hannah: Let it go. Because it's not important. Statistics maybe, but
00:37:54 - 00:39:21
Jo: And yeah, statistics and stuff I love. I like that element. Obviously, in my job it's, you know, we do a lot of sort of data analysis and that kind of stuff, I like that. But yeah, there was definitely some deeply ingrained, sort of limited, let's call them limiting self-beliefs in there. That made me panic a bit about my decisions. And yeah, the way that I've got around that is to surround myself by people who are really good at it, so I can sleep at night because it would, it would keep me awake at night if I felt that I was sort of financially vulnerable. And I think, you know, the past few years, running a business through the pandemic felt, I got to experience the reality of what my greatest fears were. So my greatest fears were that I was going to screw up the business and that financially I was going to make this big mistake. The pandemic came along and did it all for me, financially screwed up the business, took away all of our opportunity and through no fault of my own, I was left with what it probably feels like when something goes wrong of your own making inside your business and had to deal with the consequences of that. And I think that's kind of although it was excruciating and I struggled, really struggled through it, I felt very, very stressed through it. I did. I feel now like I've endured something that's given me a sort of robustness that I didn't have before. So I'm a lot more relaxed about it than I used to be.
00:39:23 - 00:39:47
Hannah: Interesting. Because in addition to all of your work colleagues, you're obviously also, you know, being a mum and. Running the home life and like and I know your husband was away a lot, so you were literally doing like, I don't understand how you did it.
00:39:47 - 00:40:35
Jo: I don't. I'm not sure how. All I can tell you is, you know, the I mean, my husband was a chef up until the pandemic, and now he's still working in the food industry. But he's more sort of Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. But prior to that, all of our relationship, he'd been a chef. The kids have only ever known daddy be a chef. And that means Monday to Sunday and out till 9 or 10:00 at night. You know, it's a it's a late start in the morning, but you're out through the middle of the day and you're out until late at night and you miss Christmas Day often. You miss New Year's Eve. You miss Valentine's Day and Easter. I think we spent our like first Valentine's Day together about a year and a year ago or something. We were like, I was like, This is so novel. After 12 years of being married and sort of 16, 17 years together, we were suddenly having a Valentine's Day.
00:40:36 - 00:40:51
Hannah: So you actually had your very first Valentine's. That's great.
00:40:51 - 00:42:22
Jo: Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, he, you know, I was very used to him being out and, you know, he was a chef when we met. So when the kids were little, particularly my eldest son, you know, I was aware that whatever we did was going to have to work around him. And we always said we'd we'd put him first. Obviously both boys now first, put the kids first and then our careers second and then kind of each other third. And because we both did that, we did that actually very naturally. It sort of just it was something I observed later was a structure that we sort of had because we, we both did it like that. It worked. We never fell out because nobody over prioritised somebody's career over somebody else's. If I needed to be away for work, he would make sure the kids were okay. And we both really respected the fact that we were very passionate about our careers and wanted to progress in them. And whilst for Simon, that might have meant working in a job that was extremely demanding with lots of hours, for me that might mean getting on a plane next week to the States for a week. So we accommodated each other in that way. But it was always the kids first, you know, careers second, and then each other third, quite a long way down. And we've got a dog since then. So even the dogs above our marriage in the pecking order, I think. But it's different now because obviously Simon's job has changed. He's got weekends at home now. Um, so it's changed the sort of family family dynamic a little bit now as well, which is really lovely. We're all very much enjoying that.
00:42:23 - 00:42:23
00:42:23 - 00:42:26
Jo: Means I can go on retreats and.
00:42:26 - 00:42:27
Hannah: Well, exactly.
00:42:27 - 00:42:28
Jo: Enjoy life.
00:42:28 - 00:42:32
Hannah: So did you have family nearby who could support you then as well?
00:42:32 - 00:44:17
Jo: Yeah. I mean, when my eldest, who's now 14, when he was really little, we had both sets of parents sort of near nearby and we used sort of after school club and nursery and all the, the usual things. Um, but, and, but I mean my maternity leave with Aiden, I think I wanted to take three months out of work. I think I ended up taking about eight weeks or something like that. It wasn't long at all and I was really upset about it. I remember being at a trade show in Birmingham. I'd booked this sort of stand at a trade show to sell my Trend Bible product, and I'd got some funding to to have the stand and everything. And when I'd booked it, I was pregnant with Aiden, so I hadn't really, you know, before you become a mum, you don't really know what it's going to be like at all. And I was particularly naive about that, so I'd sort of booked this trade show, had Aiden in the October and I'd booked the trade show for the January thinking well, by then bound to have my shit together and bound to be able to go to a trade show for two days and put this exhibition on. And when I got there, I was so upset and I missed him so much. And it was a baby and kids trade show. So there were pictures of babies everywhere and baby products everywhere. And I ended up packing up and leaving because I was so upset to be separated from him. And so by the time I had Cameron, who's now seven and the business was obviously in a massively different place by then, I appointed a managing director to cover my maternity leave and I intended taking sort of 6 to 8 months out, and I actually ended up taking a year out. I was on hand for emergencies and I used to do like a monthly dial in to the top three people in the business to get an update from them, but I actually did manage to get a year of maternity leave with him. And it was the best. It was really, really lovely.
00:44:17 - 00:44:19
Hannah: Um, so seven years between them.
00:44:19 - 00:44:20
Jo: Yes. Yeah.
00:44:21 - 00:44:24
Hannah: I know that you had another child in between.
00:44:24 - 00:44:25
00:44:25 - 00:44:26
Hannah: Don't know if you mind talking about it?
00:44:26 - 00:44:26
Jo: No I don't.
00:44:26 - 00:44:36
Hannah: Did you make plans like that to support you? Because what's the difference between Aiden and. Uh, the baby that you lost.
00:44:36 - 00:48:14
Jo: So, yeah. So that was like a five year gap. So by the time so it took me five years to kind of really, to even have a conversation about having another baby because I think it was so difficult running the business. Obviously, I'd been teaching, running the business, raising a little boy, and I actually for quite a long time thought we probably wouldn't have another one. In fact, when people would ask me, I'd say, not a chance, we won't have another one. But that changed. And then I got pregnant and we unfortunately lost our our second son when I was 23 weeks pregnant. So right at the cusp of what they kind of call a viable pregnancy, which is 24 weeks. So, yeah, obviously that was just an unplanned situation and couldn't be accounted for. And all of a sudden then I had a five year old, I'm trying to run a business and I'm in a situation which is physically, emotionally, mentally. Um, I don't even know how to describe it. It just blows your world up. You've got nothing, no sort of foundation left. You've got to build everything back up again from scratch. So I had no choice but to be off work then. And I had a small team at that point, but a really good team. And obviously I was 23 weeks pregnant, so it was visibly obvious and I was really, I've always got massive when I'm pregnant, people could see that you were pregnant. You can't you can't you can't do what you might be able to do if you lose a baby at eight weeks or nine weeks, whereby if you choose to keep that as private information for yourself, you can make that choice when you are 23 weeks pregnant or more and you lose a baby or have a stillborn baby. It's public knowledge that you're having a baby. And so, you know, I was going to client meetings after that time, suddenly not pregnant. And you could tell, you know, I'm walking in there to do a presentation and you could tell the clients were thinking, has she had the baby? Has she not had the baby. It was really difficult, really hard. Um, and you know, even I remember somebody at the school gate sort of saying, oh, you look amazing, like, when's the baby due? And I was like, I have I've had a miscarriage, I'm not having a baby. And had to, like, tell her. And she was mortified. Mortified. She didn't mean anything by it. She's just asking a question. So there was there were lots and lots of conversations that had to be had that didn't have any choice over having that. You know, there's nowhere to hide from those conversations. And believe me, I tried. I tried. I think I was on the verge of, um, you know, not leaving the house. I think I got probably marginally agoraphobic at that time and just wouldn't really do the school run, wouldn't go out, definitely wasn't going to go to work, wouldn't pick up the phone. And I remember Simon got invited to a some dinner by a really good friend of mine who's an architect. And it was it was a lovely event. I can't remember what it was now, but it was the sort of thing that typically I would have jumped at the chance to go along. Really nice opportunity. And I got invited to this dinner by this guy who didn't really know what was going on for me at the time. And Simon said, I think you should go. And I said, I can't go. It's like a ball gown type of, I can't even fit in anything. I put loads of clothes on. I couldn't zip them up. Um, it just felt like a massive stretch out of my bubble at that time. And he said, You need to go. You need to get yourself back out there. I'm going to drive you there and I'm going to pick you up. Even if you go for 30 minutes, I'll come and get you if you text me. And he forced me to. I cried in the car on the way there. I was like, I don't want to go. And he was like, You are going. And it was it actually, he did know what I needed.
00:48:14 - 00:48:14
Hannah: Was it what you needed?
00:48:14 - 00:50:50
Jo: And I really it went fine. And I didn't talk about anything to do with the pregnancy loss or anything else. I just went in and was sort of free to just have, you know, I'm awful at small talk, but free to just have small talk and chat to people and not mention what had happened to me for the first time in in those weeks where everything had been about the pregnancy loss and the baby and there had been a lot of processing. So that kind of got me out, snapped out of it and a little bit into the real world. And then I could sort of return to work after that. But it was very difficult. And now obviously it's given me a complete respect for the fact that women go through this all the time. So many people said to me, that happened to me. You know, so many women go through this. And so as a business owner now, you know, I do. We've got sort of we've got a pledge to the miscarriage association. We've got all sorts of support systems in place to help people when that happens to them. And sadly, people do need it. It does happen. So, you know, we've got systems in place to help. We've got a lot of female staff, so we've got lots of of women, unfortunately, who have been through it or who are going to go through it. And it's it's a benefit to be able to understand to some degree what they're going through and to put some some buffers in place to make sure that they don't feel like they have to return to work after what is I think. Two weeks, I think is the statutory amount that you're allowed off. It's not long enough at all to process the death of your child at whatever stage of pregnancy it is. It's just not long enough at all. I took three months and I felt for me, that was enough. For some people, that isn't going to be enough. You know, they're going to need longer than that to process what's happened. So, yeah, it was it was very difficult. But work became a kind of, a sort of welcome refuge from it, really. And I think work can be quite useful in times of deep trauma to some degree. You have to be a little bit careful. I think you can sort of overload yourself and be in denial. But it was actually a real pleasure to go back to work and just think about something else and and go back to a job that I really loved, which, again, maybe not all women experiencing that or going back to a job they love, you know, that that isn't a joyful place to forget about what's happening in their personal lives. So for me, work was it was a pleasure to be back around the team and to be, you know, meeting with clients again and moving on with my life a little bit. And obviously then two years after that, we were lucky enough to have Cameron, who's now, as you can imagine, completely ruined as this kind of magical rainbow baby.
00:50:50 - 00:51:05
Hannah: Yeah. He sounds like a very interesting character. And like you say, you've learned a lot from what you know, both experiences knowing that you needed to have the systems in place so you could take time off and be.
00:51:05 - 00:51:06
00:51:06 - 00:51:09
Hannah: I did the exact same thing with Ruben, by the way.
00:51:09 - 00:51:10
Jo: Did you?
00:51:10 - 00:51:24
Hannah: I booked a trade show when he was eight, eight weeks old and had to go and do it? And I remember coming back from the trade show and there was a baby crying on the bus and my boobs started like going crazy because I was breastfeeding.
00:51:24 - 00:51:25
Jo: I must feed that baby.
00:51:25 - 00:51:44
Jo: Yeah, it was like. And then I started like, spraying milk everywhere and just being like, This is brutal. Yeah. Once you finally get your bond to then be separated, like, obviously people want to do it. Absolutely no judgement. But for me, I've physically found it very like emotionally.
00:51:45 - 00:53:11
Jo: I'm not sure what I would like to think that first time mothers now have a bit more information about what it's actually really like. You know, not just the birth but the early years of having a small child. Um, it is difficult and it will demand something of you that's never been asked of you before. You're going to have to put this person in front before you in everything for for a while. It's really hard to kind of make any time for yourself. But yeah, I was really I mean, my sister had had a baby a year before me before I had my first child. So I thought that by observing how she was raising her child, that mean she just made it look really easy. She's a very capable person. She's, you know, a school teacher and knows what she's doing and very organised. Like we're very different personalities. But I just thought, well, I'll probably just do all the things she's done. She was the sort of person who said like, This is how you potty train a child. You know, you do this, you do that, and then they're potty trained. And I thought, Oh, brilliant. Well, that worked for her. That'll work for me. And you know, a year and a half after she'd potty trained her baby, I was able to potty train mine. And it just doesn't work like that. No two children are the same, but I didn't know that before I had my first. I thought just it's just a case of parenting them in the right way and they'll just they'll just do what you need them to do. And it, you know, I was blessed with a child who's taught me that that is wrong.
00:53:18 - 00:53:18
Hannah: I had two of them
00:53:18 - 00:53:23
Jo: And now he's teaching me all over again. He's teaching me all the time that. You know.
00:53:23 - 00:53:24
Hannah: Unschooling Mum.
00:53:25 - 00:53:26
Jo: Yeah. Yeah.
00:53:27 - 00:53:48
Hannah: Ooo, I want to know about, um. I guess this is, like, a nice way to end, but just thinking about unschooling, because to me, I'm like, that is everywhere. You know, like, homeschooling and stuff like that. But irrespective of that, have you got any, like, little tidbit trends for any of our creatives in, like, the kids space maybe?
00:53:48 - 00:58:00
Jo: Yeah. I mean, I mean, there is so much happening, it's such an interesting area for trends in terms of baby and kids and we advise, I probably can't name them, but if you can think of some of the world's biggest toys and games brands, we help them understand what the future trends are. And that means understanding the way that mums and dads want to raise their kids and the kind of challenges they have, the kind of environments they have at home. And I think some of the most interesting shifts, you know, we used to have clients that phoned us and said, Oh, can you tell us the next sort of print design? What is you know, what kind of floral should we put on a the dress of a doll, for example. And that's that was the brief. And what happened over the past probably 6 or 7 years is that we get these large corporate brands, global multinational brands, phone up and say, so how do we approach equality and diversity and how do we approach gender issues when we are putting toys and games in front of a child who is going to be shaped by them? So they're taking their responsibility much more seriously, You know, and and I think that's really reassuring because I deal with these people inside these brands all the time. And I think as a consumer, you might be worried that some of these brands don't have children's best interests at heart, that they're just commercial machines. And some of them will be for sure. You know, I can't vouch for all of them. Some of them will just be, let's get it on a shelf and sell as much of it as possible to people. But the people that we work with, there's some great people, really. I'm so reassured by some of these amazing toy and game designers that think really deeply about the kind of products they're putting in front of children and whether they are being racially and ethnically diverse enough in the products that they produce, whether they're sort of tackling things like disablism and ableism. I mean, really the societal messages of the day, they're trying to make sure that that threads through everything that gets to go in front of a child. And, you know, I always say it's a bit like our job is like changing the world for children one lunchbox at a time. And if you think of those kids lunch boxes that lots of people have to buy for their children to take into school, you know, what is it that's on the on the lunchbox because that kids can look at that lunchbox every day. And if you've got I mean, I've seen kids lunch boxes that have messages on them saying things like cheat day suggesting that, you know, some foods are bad and that some foods should only be eaten if you're on a cheat day, which is obviously a very adult concept. It comes from the wellness industry, not the wellness industry bit that I like. But there's a lot of messaging around there to women specifically around cheat days and what food is good to eat and not good to eat. And you know, a lot of judgement around that. But actually when that starts, that message starts to make its way onto a girl's pink glittery lunch bag. I do have a problem with that. You know, why are we putting all of these sort of symbols together in front of that child? And our clients actually really do understand that. So that's probably the most useful thing I can say about trends, is that - don't think it's just about what is the logo, what's the typography that I might put on a product, whether that's a cushion or a lunch box or whether that's a narrative for a kids book. Um, the, the brands that are doing well are the ones that are listening to the way that parents are wanting to raise their kids and to the, the social issues of the day. And we go to places like the Bologna Book fair and we look at all the new books that have been published. They're going to come out in two years time and we see these narratives come through. We can see them at a top level. There might be, you know, just 1 or 2 publishers talking about a new topic. And we know that that's the start. That's a weak signal for a trend that's going to gain momentum. And, you know, I'm really glad to say that working in the toys and games industry now and informing kids products feels like really important work now. Whereas previously it felt like surface level work. We're going to help them sell a product and sell lots of it. Now it feels like we're going to help brands do better and do better for the kids that they represent and that is really lovely, really lovely place to be.
00:58:01 - 00:58:30
Hannah: Definitely. It sounds so exciting and I love looking at the trend Bibles, Instagram account and just being like, Ooh, what's this new print? And like, there was one thing I saw on Mother's Day where it was like, it was something like I need like ten minutes to myself on some kind of eye cushion, But it was using the F word. Um, and then you'd gone on to interpret that as being like, people are really starting to understand this, like the motherload.
00:58:30 - 01:00:15
Jo: Yes. And there's a lot of sort of, um, conversation about the motherload and the idea that the sort of burden that women carry in a family environment and what's expected from the mother versus what's expected from the father. And of course, there's a lot of work still to do there. Even if you look at the world of work and paternity leave versus maternity leave, there's there's still a lot of imbalance there. And this whole concept of the motherload is is not just about the those surface things that women do that, you know, like have a longer maternity leave versus what paternity leave would offer. But things like the planning and the preparation, the school calendars, making sure that people have the pound coin for the charity day and, you know, have everything that they need. It's the background thinking that people now classify as the mother load, the mental load. That is very difficult to sort of to I think it's been sort of undervalued and disregarded as part of what what mothers are bringing to the table in terms of raising a family. So it's nice that we've got you know, we've got charities like Pregnant then Screwed. Now, I don't know if you know that charity, but you know, charities that are sort of talking openly about the challenges of motherhood and fighting for our rights, you know, legal rights, changes in policy, but also just able to sort of shed light on these are all the things that that mothers are doing that is unpaid work effectively, that helps people raise families. That is the future generation of taxpayers that everybody's going to need to perform and function in a certain way, because that's the future of our society. So it's important. It's important work.
01:00:15 - 01:00:20
Hannah: It definitely is. Have you ever seen Bluey?
01:00:20 - 01:00:23
Jo: I haven't seen it, but I know it.
01:00:23 - 01:00:24
Hannah: You will know it.
01:00:24 - 01:00:28
Jo: I can't say I've sat down and watched it because my kids are just a little bit older than. But yes, I know.
01:00:29 - 01:00:58
Hannah: Your youngest actually might really like it because I love it and I talk about it a lot on like my blog and social media because the messaging is just so lovely. But one person messaged in once and was like, It's nice, but it's not realistic. The mom gets to do what she wants. Because the mom and the dad both take in turns looking after the kids. And it's so alien to us that that looks weird.
01:00:58 - 01:00:59
01:00:59 - 01:01:03
Hannah: Like the mum's going off to go and play hockey and the dad's doing the school run, that kind of thing.
01:01:04 - 01:01:04
01:01:04 - 01:01:07
Hannah: So I love that, that kind of thing.
01:01:07 - 01:02:53
Jo: Yeah, behind the narratives to those shows are people who have to write the script, you know, and they have to sit down and think about what they're trying to express and what they are trying to showcase to the, to small children and their parents. And so they there will be conscious decisions happening with the scriptwriters and the animators and all that. I mean, you know, a few years ago when I would say probably Peppa Pig was at its height, you know, there were people already starting to say, Hang on a second. I'm not really sure that this kind of like represents the family in the best way and that gender roles are definitely conformed to in that cartoon. So it's nice that we're starting to see things come through now that really challenge that, whether they're true or not. Like, does it matter if actually a child's mind is that, well, at least I know that it's possible and plausible and that I could expect it to be the case that mummy can play hockey while Daddy takes me to school, even if it isn't happening in their household. You open it up a child's mind to the fact that that could be a reality somewhere. So I suppose in that respect it kind of doesn't matter if it's real. Um, in the same way that, you know, a child who lives in rural Northumberland might not be around a lot of children who have different skin colours to them, but they need to see TV programs that showcase the the spectrum of people that live in other cities, other towns, other countries. You know, they do need to see that because at some point in life when they're older and potentially they leave their small hamlet in Northumberland, they're going to realise there's a whole world out there of people, of different races, religions, colours, ethnicities. And it's important to to see that diversity as a child, even if you're not actually experiencing it.
01:02:53 - 01:03:10
Hannah: 100%. I think when you move like I moved from Birmingham to the northeast and that was a big thing that for a while I couldn't get used to. Yes, just used to it. And so I really want my kids to see that and to play with toys and to read books and yeah.
01:03:10 - 01:03:11
Jo: Me too. Me too.
01:03:12 - 01:03:17
Hannah: Okay, we should probably finish up, Jo, because I've used up a lot of your time.
01:03:18 - 01:03:20
Jo: Well, we could chat all day and we often do.
01:03:20 - 01:03:24
Hannah: I mean, we will. Can I see you once a fortnight? I think would be lovely.
01:03:25 - 01:03:26
Jo: I think so. I think we'll do that.
01:03:28 - 01:03:36
Hannah: Um. Okay. Pretend it's my birthday next week. Um, firstly, what book would you buy me that changed your life?
01:03:36 - 01:03:43
Jo: Oh, well. I would buy you. I wonder if you've read it. If you read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson.
01:03:44 - 01:03:47
Hannah: Oh, when I was like 16.
01:03:47 - 01:04:20
Jo: 16. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that was our like GCSE text I think, at school. And we had the most amazing English teacher who was the first feminist and probably the best feminist that I ever knew. She was amazing and she, that was the book that she chose for us for GCSE and it was like a real, um, God, it was just like a real mind opener for me as to what literature could be and what a story was. And, you know, I just think it's a brilliant book. So I would perhaps buy you that. I think.
01:04:21 - 01:04:28
Hannah: Um, yeah. Can we go and sing karaoke? Um, for my birthday party? What would you sing?
01:04:29 - 01:04:42
Jo: My favourite karaoke song. I mean, it's a given, isn't it, that I'm going to be awful at singing it because everyone's pretty much awful at singing karaoke song. My favourite karaoke song is En Vogue. Don't let Go.
01:04:43 - 01:04:43
Hannah: Oh, it's good.
01:04:43 - 01:04:57
Jo: It's a good one. It builds. It's got a lot of high notes. It's a lot of a lot of chorus that people can ruin. It's gets everybody. It's good. Try it.
01:04:57 - 01:05:01
Hannah: Amazing. That's. Well, I'm going to make you come and do it now.
01:05:03 - 01:05:25
Jo: I've recently met my sister's sort of new boyfriend and she wanted to go to karaoke for her birthday and he picked that song for karaoke. And I was like. I like him. He's a he can stay. He's allowed. And we did that. And he did. He ruined all the high notes and ruined all the choruses as you are allowed to do when you sing that song at karaoke.
01:05:25 - 01:05:31
Hannah: It sounds perfect. If you find any more of those, let me know.
01:05:31 - 01:05:32
Jo: I will.
01:05:34 - 01:05:35
Hannah: Right. Thank you so much, Jo.
01:05:36 - 01:05:39
Jo: It's my pleasure. It's my pleasure. I'll see you soon.
01:05:40 - 01:05:42
Hannah: See you soon. Bye bye.
01:05:43 - 01:06:05
Hannah: Thank you so much for listening. And I'll see you next time for another episode of Happily Ever After with me, Hannah Harvey. It would be wonderful if you could leave a review and subscribe. And of course, if you've got a friend who might enjoy this episode, then please do pass it on for anything else. You can get in touch with me through either Instagram @mumsdays or through my website mumsdays.com