My Morning Routine: Charlotte Denn, What Mother Made

“I spend 20 minutes getting ready in the morning; no more, no less. And I plan what I’m wearing the night before.” Charlotte Denn, the founder of kids’ clothing label What Mother Made, on mornings with her husband and their three children…

Charlotte Denn, 36, is a designer and seamstress. She’s the founder and creative director of handmade children’s clothing label What Mother Made. She lives in Hackney with her husband, two cats and children Madison; 11 years, Arlo; five years, and Robyn; seven months.

What time are you up in the morning?
Usually around 8am. I’m a lucky mum: I have a husband who is up before me and children that lie in!

And what time have you usually gone to bed?
It varies but we are not great at early nights. We tend to try to be in bed by 11. The last seven months have been a little different as we’ve had Robyn. I have a very supportive and amazing husband who splits the night feeds with me, so I only get that zombie feeling every other night!

What’s the minimum amount of sleep you need each night?
Seven-eight hours. I’ve read so much about people who survive on less, but I feel over the long run it must affect you. I firmly believe a good night sleep to be the foundation of a good day.

What wakes you up in the morning?
My husband with a cup of tea. Or my baby clawing my face with sharp little talons.

How do you feel?
Generally good. Sleep is a big part of that as I’m non-stop during the day with three businesses and three kids.

Would you describe yourself as a ‘morning person’?
Yes. Once I’ve had a cuppa I’m ready to face the day.

What do you first do upon waking?
Tea. Wash my face and moisturise. Check emails, news and then crack on with the rest of the day.

Do you incorporate exercise into your morning routine?
NO! I don’t have time to incorporate exercise into my daily routine – let alone my morning routine.

Tea, coffee, juice, other…?
Tea. I take half a sugar. Builders brew; but with lots of milk.

Do you eat breakfast?
Sometimes I can squeeze in a slice of toast with marmite. Always savoury.

How long do you spend getting ready?
I spend 20 minutes getting ready in the morning; no more, no less. I have every hour accounted for in the mornings and I plan what I’m wearing the night before so I can hit the day running.

How do you choose what to wear each day?
What’s not got baby sick on it is the first test. Then it’s a case of the season and how I’m feeling.

Do you work at home, or outside of the home?
It’s mixture of both, but mainly at home at the moment as Robyn is still little. Usually I would be at the studio every day between the school runs. It’s amazing having the flexibility of working hours around my kids.

If you work elsewhere, what time do you leave and how do you get to work?
I leave after the school drop-off. I usually drive, as I have limited time to work between pick-ups, and I also usually have to travel around for work.

How might the rest of your morning pan out?
I have to get a lot done before 12. Robyn comes home for a lunchtime snooze at midday so any work I urgently need to get done happens in the morning. That can include fabric shopping, meeting clients, designing or accounts. It’s a mixed bag.

What do your weekend mornings look like?
Luckily my weekends are far more relaxed. We live on Well Street in Hackney and there are some great breakfast spots. We’ll normally head out before either seeing friends, strolling in the park or taking a trip out of London.

If you could design your dream morning routine, what would it be/include?
I’m pretty happy with the hand I’ve been dealt. I’m not a great early morning person, so I would hate having to be up and out before 7. It’s always a rush getting everyone up, ready and out the door for school, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What Mother Made