Mother and Nature - maternity wear for the great outdoors
PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 March 2016
Samantha Jenkins was disheartened by the lack of outdoor wear for mums-to-be, so she set about creating her own
Words by Rebekka O'Grady
‘Before I was pregnant, I really enjoyed visiting the Lake District to go walking and camping,’ said Hoghton born Samantha Jenkins. ‘I was determined to carry on but I couldn’t find any decent waterproof, outdoor wear suitable for expectant mums.’
After some research online and discovering a wealth of forums where other women were experiencing the same problem, Samantha, 38, set about creating a unique range of outdoor maternity wear, Mother and Nature, which is tailored for the mother-to-be who still wants or needs to get outdoors.
‘There was definitely a market for my range. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you should give up your freedom of hiking or going outdoors.
‘You could purchase standard maternity coats but then you can’t use them after the baby as they would be too big, or many ladies opted for menswear or borrowing from their husband which isn’t very flattering. These women can now enjoy outdoor activities - or something as simple as walking the dog - in comfort and style.’
Mother and Nature clothes have been designed with the unique feature of expandable side panels, meaning the clothes can grow with the bump.
As well as a cost effective piece of maternity wear, this feature provides longevity to the range meaning they can be worn long after the baby has arrived. The range was launched in October, with backing and business support from Virgin Start-up.
With no experience in retail or clothes manufacture, Samantha, who now lives just outside of Chorley, researched and conducted her own market research, wrote a business plan, raised finance and found a designer and manufacturer to bring everything to life.
This was no mean feat considering Samantha is a single mum to Harry, 4, and works full-time as marketing manager.
‘I’ve accomplished something I never thought I could do. Although I work in marketing, I have never dealt in retail so was starting from scratch in something different. It’s been a massive learning curve and put me out of my comfort zone but I have completely enjoyed the journey.’