We are pleased to introduce you to Tilbea.
We quiz Tilbea Founder’s Nicky and Claire about their new breastfeeding brand, what makes them tick, how they design their signature bold breastfeeding clothes and what we can expect in 2019! So let’s get the cheesey tunes on and here goes…..
Describe Tilbea in 5 words: Fun, Vibrant, Stylish, Colourful, Print
What do you offer the breastfeeding parent: We offer stylish, functional clothing to take mums through the pregnancy and breastfeeding journey, without them having to compromise their style.
How did the name come about: The name is a hybrid of our gorgeous daughters names, Matilda & Beatrice. They were our inspiration behind starting the brand so it seemed fitting to use their nicknames, Tilly & Bea, hence Tilbea was born.
What do you think makes Tilbea special and stand out: It is all about colour and prints at Tilbea, they are our trademark and we pride ourselves on designing all of our prints from scratch. We want to bring a fun and fashion led focus to Maternity and Nursing Clothing.
More importantly, Tilbea is special because it’s made by Mums, for Mums & Mums-to-Be.
What is the ethos of Tilbea: We believe that every woman should be able to grow and feed their baby without having to sacrifice their style. We embrace print and colour to ensure that women don’t loose their fashion identity in their new role as Mum.
Tilbea is committed to ensuring that we use the highest quality fabrics. We have worked closely with our manafacturers to ensure that the materials we use will stand the test of time and last through your journey from bump to beyond. We also only work with factories and printers that have a strong focus on reducing their environmental impact and that work well within the local communities.
Tell us a bit about you and your backgrounds: We are sisters, neighbours, and now business partners! You could possible argue that we are gluttons for punishment, but we have always got on well and becoming Mums just gave us that final push to start working together.
Claire’s background has always been fashion, so she has slotted into her new role in Tilbea more effortlessly than I did. Claire started working as a fashion and personal stylist in 2008 and has worked with many different clients, including Channel 4, TK Maxx, Vodafone and Sole Bliss to name a few. She has also organised and run nation wide style events for many high street brands and shopping centers, so she has a great grasp in what women shoppers want!
My background (Nicky) was completely different – I come from a legal background, having worked as a defence Barrister in Criminal Cases for over 10 years. A job I absolutely adored, but times change and it was time for a break so I hung up my wig and gown to chase the glamour of the fashion world. To say that this was a dramatic career change is an understatement – fish out of water springs to mind.
Are you glad you changed directions and set up your company together, it is quite a change especially for a criminal barrister?! We are both still extremely excited that we set up Tilbea together, there are absolutely no regrets. It has been a dramatic shift in career, for both of us actually, as running your own fashion brand is something neither of us had any experience in.
It is a very steep learning curve, and we would be lying if we said we hadn’t made mistakes a long the way, we have, but we learn from them, and keep learning. We both have different skills, which makes it work.
Tell us one thing people probably don’t know about you: We both LOVE cheesy music and especially Musical Theatre. Maybe a bit of karaoke in there too…
What are your thoughts on the breastfeeding fashion available to mums: We think it is an exciting time with lots of small independent brands launching in the last 2 years. However, as a small independent we are very aware how difficult it is for us to compete with the high street prices. Our garments may be slightly more expensive, but we have worked hard to ensure that the quality and fabrics are worthy of that slightly higher price tag. This also ensures that our garments stand the test of time – they can cover a woman through her pregnancy and breastfeeding journey multiple times.
What inspires you to design your clothing: Our lovely customers. Hearing that our clothes make people feel confident and fabulous is one of the most rewarding aspects of this whole process and inspires us to create new exciting designs, to make mums and mums to be look and feel fabulous.
How do you know what breastfeeding mums are looking for: We are our customers! Claire is currently breastfeeding Sebastian and we both breastfed our first babies Tilly and Bea, so we start with what works for us in terms of comfort, access and colour, then we add in our statement prints.
We also research what women are chatting about on CIBII and other forums on a regular basis. We also like to hold focus groups so we can listen directly to what our customers are looking for and need.
Who’s style and which brands do you look to for inspiration: In terms of inspiration we look more to social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Sometimes we are inspired by interiors just as much as outfits for the collection. It is more a feeling that inspires us, and more often than not it will be a colour combination that sparks joy for us that we then translate into a look.
Spill- what new breastfeeding styles can we expect in 2019?!: Due to the feedback from our focus groups we have lots of new styles lined up for 2019. For Spring/Summer we are launching 2 new colour variations of the Beatrice Top and 2 beautiful new vibrant colour ways of our flirty Joy Dress. We are also working on a new print that we hope to introduce in Late summer that we are very excited about!
Autumn/Winter will see the introduction of a couple of Jumpsuits and a selection of fabulous looser fitting dresses along with some more casual tops. All of which will of course be embracing colour and print!
What is the Tilbea mission: To have every Mum & Mum to Be, looking and feeling fabulous, without compromise.
Any advice you want to offer breastfeeding mums: Our main piece of advice would be to embrace this time of your life – invest in a wardrobe that is breastfeeding friendly rather than just making do. We’ve found that women who buy a small capsule wardrobe of breastfeeding friendly items tend to enjoy the process more, as well as breastfeed for longer. Knowing that you can access your boobs to feed easily and discreetly without compromising your personal style makes mums more confident to feed wherever the need arises.
What are your plans for the future and what can we expect from Tilbea: We plan to continue expanding the collection with inspiring and colourful garments that women want to feed in time and time again. We would also love to add breastfeeding bras into our collection as well as expanding our maternity offering.
We wanted to design a fashion led Maternity and Breastfeeding brand that allowed mums to keep their finger on the fashion pulse, with all the functionality and no fuss. Tilbea is brand with personality, colour and perfect nursing access!
We have three of Tilbea’s most popular outfits for you below, also check out their website for more great nursing clothes!
MATILDA LEOPARD PRINT MATERNITY & NURSING DRESS
This statement dress epitomises Tilbea style, with its bold and striking statement -making animal print. The dress has an elegant neckline and neat capped sleeves. The lift up breastfeeding access allows for such easy and discreet feeding. The subtle ruching on the waist of this dress make it perfect for both pre and post baby, allowing for an early stages pregnancy bump and then a figure skimming statement post baby dress!
This dress is also available in electric blue!
Price : £65
AUDREY MATERNITY & NURSING DRESS – EVERGLADE
This bright and sassy dress is perfect for making a statement and still being able to nurse little ones! This is a stunning colour combination, the dress also has an elegant neckline and 3/4 length sleeves. The nursing access is under a discreet front panel, there is subtle ruching on the waist to make it perfect for pre and post baby dress, allowing for an early stages pregnancy bump and then a ‘wow factor’ post baby number!
Also available in a black and gold print.
Price : £69
UNDER BUST LONG SLEEVE NURSING T
This is a cleverly designed breastfeeding basic, the beauty of this is that the low front scooped top is designed to sit under the bust making it perfect for layering under any garment. Not only great for colder days but this staple top will also help convert your favourite short sleeve tops or dresses into breastfeeding friendly outfits ready for Autumn/Winter.
Available in black or white
Price : £25
*This is a sponsored post