“I have a lovely studio in De Beauvoir that I’ve worked from for years. It’s in an old warehouse – filled with artists, furniture makers, musicians and designers.” Alex Day, stylist and founder of Little Yellow London, on work-life and motherhood…
Alex Day, 31, lives in north London with her husband – also called Alex – and their eight-month-old daughter Annie. She’s a freelance stylist and recently launched a maternity and postnatal/breastfeeding fashion label called Little Yellow London.
What’s your home like?
Busy and colourful. We moved into our house over a year ago and I’ve loved decorating each room. In Annie’s room we painted multicoloured dots using our fingerprints and our living room is now a deep navy blue. I have far too many colourful cushions and throws!
What time are you up in the morning?
What wakes you up?
Baby needing the boob!
How do you feel?
Tired and pray that Annie will drop back off to sleep for a few hours.
What do you do first thing?
Feed Annie. Check emails… think about getting up… check social media and the news and generally any other website to delay getting up… get up and put the kettle on!
In three words, describe mornings in your home…
Busy, noisy, fun.
Tea or coffee?
How might the rest of your day pan out?
Depends on whether or not I’m working, as my job as a stylist is extremely varied. If I’m on a job then my day could involve running around shopping on Oxford Street, rummaging around a costume house, fitting actors or on a shoot.
If I’m not working on a styling job then I’m busy working remotely from home or a local coffee shop on Little Yellow, whilst also looking after little Annie. It’s a struggle! Most evenings I am sat up until midnight working on Little Yellow.
What’s your workspace like?
I have a lovely studio in De Beauvoir that I’ve worked from for years. It’s in an old warehouse – filled with artists, furniture makers, musicians and designers. I absolutely love it there! However, since having Annie I tend to work from home more, which is essentially my kitchen table or living room floor. Surrounded by toys, products, fabric swatches and mugs of tea. I would love to spend more time at the studio if I could.
Where is Annie when you’re working as a stylist?
I use a local nanny or my mother-in-law, which involves a drive around the M25.
Tell us about Little Yellow London: when did you launch, and how/why did it come about?
The idea for Little Yellow London was born whilst I was pregnant. I struggled to find clothes that I actually wanted to wear whilst pregnant that would also work for breastfeeding AND that could be worn again and again. I launched at the end of June.
What’s the greatest challenge when running your own business?
Making decisions on your own and trying to do everything yourself. I have definitely learnt a lot from setting up Little Yellow alone… from accounting to Photoshop, dealing with factories and how to build a website.
What makes it all worthwhile?
Seeing people wearing my products and my sketches coming to life.
Are you a happy lone worker, or do you enjoy the buzz of a stared workspace?
I love to be surrounded by other creative people so working from my studio that I share with two other designers who also happen to be my good friends – that’s what works best for me.
What’s the secret to career success?
Love what you do. It makes going to work never a chore.
Is the juggle real for you… do you find it difficult balancing parenting/relationship/me-time/time for friends/career?
YES!! It’s definitely a juggle trying to manage a career, childcare and running a business. I always try and make time for friends. Even if it’s just for a quick coffee. Honestly, I can’t say that I have much ME time. However, I find running my own business is my outlet – and I really enjoy designing and developing my ideas. It’s my way of relaxing.
Describe an ideal weekend…
Getting some sleep. Seeing friends. Mooching about at an exhibition, or going for a nice walk. Drinking some really good wine whilst watching a film curled up on the sofa… a far cry from my days of partying till 6am!
If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
At my grandparents’ on the Isle of Wight, it’s my haven.