Ooh La Label
-Brainchild of Ashley McCabe Mowat & Laurie Morgan
No sew, No iron, Simply Stick on Designer Labels that go in the washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher and don’t come off.
They save mums from sewing and ironing in labels. They save stuff from getting lost. They make our lives a little bit easier!
Ashley McCabe Mowat is married to Robert and they have 3 children, Olivia (10), Claudia (8) & William (6) and they live in Beaconsfield.
Laurie Morgan is married to Tim and they have 4 children, Jessica (13), Zack (10), Greg (9) & Max (7) and they live in Beaconsfield.
Ashley: I continue to work as a Gifted and Talented Consultant and Author of books about Creative Thinking and Gifted and Talented. My most recent book is CRAMES: Creative Games to Help Children Learn to Think and Problem Solve (in only 5 minutes a day).
Laurie: A marketer by trade, I started at Procter & Gamble on Pringles. I joined Pepsi / Yum and did marketing for KFC Canada and Pizza Hut UK. I was the first ever Marketing Director for Costa Coffee and was also the VP Marketing for McDonalds in UK and Ireland. My kids say I did the whole song… McDonalds, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! I am now a full time consultant with Oxford Strategic Marketing, a leading strategy and capability consultancy.
What gave you the inspiration to start your own business:
Ashley: Our inspiration came from lack of time for the task of sewing or ironing!
Laurie: On holiday about 18 months ago, my son Greg asked me why I work so hard. We agreed that one day I’d try to have my own business. We were discussing various ideas and agreed the label idea was amazing. We’ve been using labels similar to these for years but no one makes them well in the UK. We figured that there have to be more mums like me who are so terrible at sewing that the kids’ toes get stuck in the name tags I put into socks!
How did you go from having an idea to getting the business up and running?
A lot of hard work and collaboration with a great friend and co- founder! We simply never took no for an answer and overcame loads of roadblocks together. We are really good at motivating each other and forging ahead one step at a time.
How do you juggle running a business and family life:
Ashley: Juggling running a business and having a family life is an extremely difficult task! My three children do everything from competitive swimming and gymnastics, ballet, music lessons, tennis, football and rugby. I also get to the gym six times a week! The only way I can manage is to multi-task and never relax! I thrive on a super busy schedule and aim to be extremely organised!
Laurie: Ask my friends and family! They are very patient with me. I never stop going. I work hard and play hard and sleep little.
What’s your favourite family activity?
Ashley: Our favourite family activity is spending time together on holiday! We really don’t have much time during term time but make up for it during the school breaks!
Laurie: We love water skiing, snow skiing and rock climbing because we can enjoy doing it together. We tend to make labels together too and they all love to help us build the business.
What challenges have you faced?
There were so many times people said this couldn’t be done. But it could and we did it. Getting the product right was challenging. We have taken the time to make sure the labels really work brilliantly and are beautifully designed. We have had to torture test thousands of labels through loads of washing!
What’s the best & worst thing about having your own business?
The worst thing about having our own business is working at times when we should be sleeping! We have had loads of late nights as we both also have day jobs and families! The best part is the excitement of how successful we hope to be! We know that putting in all the hours will give us fulfillment!
What advice do you wish you had listened to?
Ashley: As we are very new, we are still getting advice and I’m sure I will wish in the future that I listened to some of it more than we have! One bit of advice that we keep hearing is to register all of the domains!
Laurie: It’s early days. So far we need all the advice we can get and we tend to take it to heart. Sarah Martin gave us valuable accounting advice. Russell Whitlock gave us brilliant on-line start up advice. And my husband is full of ideas and really supportive! He’s great at making labels too.
What advice would you give new mumpreneurs?
Ashley: The best advice I can give to other mums starting up a business is to keep going even when you think you can’t! The best part of all of this, has been having Laurie as a business partner because even though there have been loads of times when I would have been happy to let myself down, I would never let her down. This has been the most important factor in keeping going even when things got really tough!
Laurie: Involve friends and family – they are brilliant supporters. Have fun and go for it!
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Ashley: We hope in 5 years to be an extremely successful label business making the lives of mums all over the UK much easier! We also hope that though our fundraising scheme, we will be able to give loads back to communities, schools and charities.
Laurie: I am a lucky woman. I am happy with where I am today. I would just like more of the same please! More consulting and building Ooh La Label to save mums one label at a time.