Blog Post from CheltenhamMaman HQ
For those of you that have not yet discovered the blazing new brand that is Tiba + Marl, let us introduce you.
Tiba + Marl is a London based company established in 2015 by Mums Anna Tizard and Lydia Barron. It occurred to them that the standard changing bag from Mothercare that’s embellished with flowers or bumblebees isn’t for everyone and spotted a gap in the market for bags that were super functional but also masterpieces of fashion.
The brand has exploded in the capital and word is quickly spreading to the rest of the country. These Mammas are super busy but have been kind enough to answer a few questions for the readers of CheltenhamMaman.
CMHQ: So how did you come up with the idea of designing on trend changing bags?
T+M: It was more of a case that when we had kids we both didn’t find any changing bags that we liked. Not only were the bags pretty unattractive, also the general image of changing bags was really frumpy and dated. We had a bit of a lightbulb moment when we considered our combined skills (Anna – bag buyer, Lydia Bag designer) and thought ‘screw it lets do it’. We feel we were at the right place, at the right time, and have been part of a movement that has redefined the bad rep of changing bags, and parental style.
CMHQ: How did you choose the name, Tiba + Marl?
T+M: It’s a bit of a mash up! A mix of letters that are relevant to us TI/BA are the first letters of our maiden names, and MARL is an acronym for Mabel (Lydia’s daughter) Anna, Raf (Anna’s son) and Lydia. We’ve since had two more children, and we’ve named bags after them.
CMHQ: How do you balance being Mamans with being Mumpreneurs? Any tricks we might learn?
T+M: Late nights…. Sneaky emails while the kids watch Paw Patrol. Literally using every spare moment to work. We definitely haven’t nailed work/life balance yet – but we want to as ultimately that’s why we started the business so we didn’t have to be slaves to laptops, but so far we’ve had a lot of long days. We’ve only just got childcare for the little ones in the last few months. We’ve had to start being really picky with our time and on the days we have childcare we have to prioritise work and be really strategic otherwise it negatively influences the rest of the week and any time we spend with our families… It’s tricky – I think WE need tips!!!
CMHQ: How do you go about choosing which retailers stock your products?
T+M: We often politely turn away new stores, as we feel its so important when your business is so young that you pitch it correctly and make sure it’s connecting with the right market. We had a list of some amazing, really respected stockists, ie Selfridges, Harrods, alexandalexa, farfetch.com etc – and we managed to connect with the buyers and luckily there was mutual admiration.
CMHQ: What’s a typical day like for you at Tiba and Marl HQ? Is there lots of tea? Diet Coke breaks? Nineties pop music on the stereo or is it all flipcharts, pencil sharpeners and spreadsheets?
T+M: We’ve just moved into a studio, in West London – an old art factory. We LOVE it – we feel so much more focused than working from home – we have inspirations on the wall, neon art, our range is displayed on shelves and rails so we can always see what our current and future offer is. We’e decorated it in a very minimal, monochrome way – but with lots of cactus and hanging plants, and there’s always some music going – at the moment Beyonce’s Lemonade!! It needs to be a creative and calm environment for us where we can let inspiration flow, but also make sensible business decisions.
CMHQ: What other Mums on social media inspired you when you were considering setting up the brand?
T+M: God so many! We love Jenny from @mothersmeetings and are constantly inspired by her. Our previous models, @eimearvarianbarry @cultofyouth @vickiedoherty @meresoeur are all amazing, strong, stylish women who we felt embodied the TIBA + MARL spirit. We love a fashion blogger, people like manrepeller, or influential fashion figures like Yasmin Sewell or Victoria Beckham.
CMHQ: Finally, what’s your favourite product you’re stocking at the moment
T+M: So hard as we love them all – they are all our babies! But we are obsessed by the silver backpack. Fearne Cotton and Tom Fletcher both have this bag. You would never know it was a nappy bag and we were so pleased to win GOLD for this bag at the Junior Style Awards – it’s the perfect summer accessory.
CMHQ: Thanks ladies – keep up the amazing work. I’m off to the charity shop with my sick encrusted Mum satchel.