This week we would like to introduce you to the amazing Mamas behind SevenSeventeen the gorgeous mood-boosting candles for the burnt out. Sarah is mum to Max (6) and Sam (2) and Naomi is mum to Iris (8), Florence (6) and Arthur (3). The ethos behind SevenSeventeen is all about carving out a bit of essential 'me time' and each scent features its own uplifting mantra. Sarah and Naomi are very aware that the daily juggle can be especially tough for some women so for every candle they sell, they donate £1 to pre and postnatal depression charity PANDAS Foundation
What time did you wake up this morning?
S: Gah! 5.38am. My youngest son decided it was time to start our day so that was that.
N: 7.20am (sorry Sarah!) My husband brought me in a cup of coffee as he left for work – not a bad way to start the morning!
S: Grrr (mine’s still not back from Glastonbury!)
What was your very first thought of the day?
N: Nice succulents! We’re about to launch a candle subscription service and the florist we work with (Miss Mole’s Flower Emporium) emailed pictures over late last night of the succulents we plan to give away with subscribers’ first candles. They must have stayed in my mind overnight!
S: I’d like to say something really meaningful but I think it was probably ‘Is it swimming or Beavers after school’?
What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?
S: Coffee. Shower. Mascara.
N: The same. Only replace mascara with lipstick. A quick sweep of Mac Ruby Woo on the lips is essential to my game face.
Describe a typical working morning.
N: When I’m back from the school run I set myself up on the kitchen table with a pot of tea, my laptop and notepad before working through emails and the day’s to-do list. Whether it’s web updates, orders, event planning or marketing, I rarely break for lunch – mostly because I have to leave at 2.30pm to pick up the kids and time is precious! I usually end up scoffing a bagel and a KitKat on route though.
S: No two days are the same and it’s a complete juggle! My youngest son is still at home with me so the evenings tend to be my mornings when I get chance to properly think and action stuff. That said, I’ll call suppliers on the school run, drop parcels on the way to the park and try out new scents when I’m doing the housework. We have so many exciting ideas for the business but there are only so many hours in the day.
Your perfect local lunch spot would be...
S: The Perch on Lancing Beach (pictured). Naomi and I often meet there for business catch-ups as it’s halfway between our homes in Brighton and Worthing. The food’s great, the views are inspiring and it works if we’ve got all five kids with us, too.
N: We’re spoilt for places to eat in Brighton and I like to mix it up so whether it’s Curry Leaf cafe for a cosy Southern Indian vibe or Red Roaster, a gorgeous light-filled restaurant full of marble surfaces and geometric tiling, we do our best to try them all!
The happiest moment in your day?
S: The school walks with my boys. Granted we’re usually running in the mornings and I feel like a human vending machine on the way home but holding their little hands, listening to their constant stream of chatter never ceases to make me smile.
N: I love the tingly butterfly sensations I get when I’m about to pick up the kids from school. Saying that, walking into a quiet, calm house after the madness of morning drop off isn’t an unhappy moment!
The hardest moment in your day?
S: That post-tea, pre-bath crazy bit when you’re fit to drop but have to muster the strength to take on the bedtime routine.
N: Yes and it doesn’t help that a lot of our work is done once the kids are in bed. Knowing you have an evening’s work to crack onto after bedtime adds an extra sense of pressure to getting them to finish homework, brush teeth, take a bath, read etc.
#1 tip for juggling work and family life?
N: Running a business and a home, you can end up feeling like you’re not doing either job very well. For this reason I recommend setting boundaries where you can. I try to put my phone and email out of reach from 4-8pm so I can focus and be present with the kids. Then at 8pm it’s my time to work.
S: For me it comes down to clearing my head often enough to deal with everything I have to do. I love to run alongside the sea. Getting out, hands-free and doing something for myself helps me cope better with all the demands of the day.
Most overused word of the day?
S: Boys! (in shouty voice).
N: Be kind! We’re having a few issues with that in our house at the moment.
Once the kids are in bed I...
N: Get out the laptop and call Sarah! We discuss the business on the phone every evening, so we’ll run through emails, split the day’s orders between us and catch up on social media.
S: Put the house back together! Then I make a cup of tea and light a candle. Finding a ritual that enables you to pause and take stock after a busy day was the inspiration for our brand. I’m burning our Beautiful You White Jasmine candle at the moment, it’s the perfect summery soother. Then yes, on to business!
Top 3 local gems?
1. I love watching a movie at the Dome Cinema on Worthing seafront. It’s a beautifully restored Edwardian building so a visit feels extra special. I go to the Saturday morning flicks with my kids and on a Monday night seats are just £3 and you can take a glass (or two) of wine in with you. I’ll meet up with a group of mums and we’ll cycle there along the prom, wobbling back discussing the film afterwards!
2. For a really yummy brunch, my family and I love The Bluebird Café on Ferring Beach. It’s about a 40 minute walk from our house and the great thing about our stretch of coast is the tide goes all the way out so we can stroll along the sand and explore the tide pools while we work up an appetite.
3. A bit further out, Design Vintage in West Stoke is the place to get your interiors fix! Housed in an old barn with a cute courtyard café to boot, you can pick up an antique Hungarian painted cupboard, gorgeous Tine K Home bowls or one of our sumptuous SevenSeventeen candles.
1. The Level - A city centre park we’re all happy at. There’s a skate park for the older kids, an amazing play and splash area for the little ones and good coffee for us at the cafe! We’ll often stop off at our favourite pizza restaurant Fatto A Namo on the way back home too.
2. Hove Lagoon - We’ve recently discovered the water sports here which are super fun and great if you’re stuck for something to do on a weekend. They offer windsurfing, sailing or wake-boarding sessions for adults and kids.
3. The Plotting Parlour - For nights out, you can’t beat starting off in this cocktail bar tucked away off the seafront. Best espresso martini in town!
Best piece of advice for fellow mum's...
S: Be kind to yourself
N: Everything passes. Chances are that the things you’re finding challenging now won’t be this time next year. It can be good to bear this in mind when you’re struggling with getting a screaming toddler into clothes or trying to get vegetables into a four year old!