Jools Oliver and her husband Jamie have been together since they were 17 and have built a fantastic life and home together with their 5 children. We took a little peep into this beautiful family and asked Jools about her journey as a businesswoman. Jools has her own children’s clothes range at Mothercare called Little Bird and is the author of several books including The Diary of an Honest Mum and her children’s books; The Curious Tale of Fi-Rex, Little Yogi Adventures and Adventures of Dotty and Bluebell.
Tell us about your dream job as a child.
My dream job as a child was always to be a vet! Funnily enough, my children say so too as we have gone through the years, so maybe its one of those things kids always say! I just love animals so that’s probably why.
Why did you go into business in the first place?
I went into business as I have always loved anything to do with children, be it interiors or fashion, and when I had my own and of course spent a lot of time sourcing things and creating lovely spaces for them, I realised that I wanted to do it as a job.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My children have been my biggest influence as well as my husband who inspires me daily.
What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?
The best decision was to marry my husband and the worst was choose modeling as a career rather than being a midwife, which was to become and still is my dream job.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to women in business?
I think times are really changing for the better for women in business but perhaps there will always be that feeling of slight inferiority and to be taken seriously but perhaps that will never change as its human nature!
What’s the best advice you have received in business?
The best advice I have received would be to speak up, which I have always found really hard! If it’s my business at stake then it was important for me to be able to speak my mind, be proud of my ideas and be confident in my work.
What do you do for fun?
For fun I love to dance, be it in the kitchen or at a party. It clearly rubs off on the family as my children always come home from school and play music and we dance around the kitchen together!
What did you most fear in the early days of your business?
I mostly feared that people wouldn’t like my designs! Basic, but if people didn’t believe in my clothes then it would have been a little soul destroying.
What’s next for you and your business?
I would like to design for older children if possible and maybe get into interior design for children more.
If you could tell your younger you something what would you say?
I would tell my younger me, “Don’t worry, one day you will be able to speak up and feel confident to say how you feel!! And being shy isn’t the end of the world as with age comes courage.”
About Little Bird
Inspired by Jools’ own childhood memories, Little Bird is a celebration of childhood and the freedom that every child should have to express themselves. Each Little Bird piece is designed to be shared, enjoyed and handed down to the next generation.
Jools says, “It’s a real pleasure to be working with Mothercare on a new range, and offering a fresh take on what they do best – timeless, practical and adorable pieces. With Little Bird, we’ve brought together lots of ideas that I’ve gathered over the last 14 years of having 5 children, to create an eclectic collection that’s easily mixed and matched by you and your brood. After all, having children is all about putting your personal touch on parenthood, and letting them express themselves as only a child knows how. I hope you find the range both practical and beautiful.”
Find out more about Jool’s fantastic Mothercare range at www.mothercare.com/clothing/little-bird-by-jools-oliver or follow Jools on Instagram at www.instagram.com/joolsoliver