Inspiring Individual - Mary Lord

Mary Lord, founder of Squidge and Pip and a former coaching client of Inspired Mums, tells us how the birth of her second son who was born with a cleft lip and palate, inspired her to start her own business creating innovative and functional baby and toddler products.

You clearly have a real passion for product design, tell us about how you discovered this was the right career path for you…

I’d received lots of gifts after my children were born and I became increasingly aware of how impractical and wasteful so many of them seemed to be. My second son was born with a cleft palate so I had to be particularly careful of what went into his mouth.   Rather than moaning about the lack of good quality products on the market, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a toy that looked modern and funky but that also had a real function that would wow mums.

Was it a difficult decision to change career to start your own business?

I’d always been inspired by stories of other people who had taken that leap of faith and set up their own business. The more I thought about being a mumpreneur – the more it became a burning idea that wouldn’t go away. I got in touch with a local design agency and they were as excited as I was and helped me believe it could work commercially. Having the support of family and friends really helped – once everyone could see how passionate I was about the product idea – it all gathered momentum.

What do you love most about the work you do?

I think the most rewarding part of my job is seeing the pictures of babies using the products. I also love the flexibility I get from working for myself – it means I am around to pick up my children after school and that’s very important to me as it gives me a greater work life balance.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your work? 

I think one of the most difficult things about being your own boss is keeping yourself motivated all the time. For example, if you haven’t made a sale, it’s easy to start feeling a bit down. When you work from home it can be a bit like working in a quiet bubble and it’s easier for those negative thoughts to set in. So I make sure I reach out to my support network of friends and family to help me stay upbeat.

What advice would you give other mums considering starting their own business?

I think my main piece of advice would be to do plenty of research before you start your business. It’s so important to really understand the market and keep up to date with all the latest developments. By doing your research, you can make sure you create something that is unique and fresh.

What are your future plans for your business?

We have lots of irons in the fire! We are currently working on a different design of teether as well as a soft cloth book. The main focus in on growing our sales – we are having interesting talks with John Lewis so watch this space. We are also considering bringing an investor on board to help us grow the brand.

For further information about Mary and her business, please visit

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