Maternity Leave Life, February 2016, The Interview: Clary & Peg

Clary & Peg offer vintage-inspired maternity and breastfeeding-friendly fashion and despite not being pregnant right now, we're coveting so many of their super stylish products! Both Mothers of 2, Edwina and Johanna met at antenatal classes and set up Clary & Peg whilst on maternity leave. 

Tell us a bit about Clary and Peg
We're a vintage-inspired womenswear brand that makes maternity and breastfeeding-friendly clothing. We have a range of dresses, jumpsuits, and smocks that draw on vintage designs while maintaining a contemporary appeal.

When, how and why did you decide to change your career?
We met while pregnant with our first children at an antenatal classes in Hackney in 2011. We set up the business in 2013, the day after Edwina's second child was born and a month before Johanna had her second baby. We were both looking to do something more flexible and creative after our first babies were born and had long bemoaned the lack of interesting maternity clothing. We were both inspired by our mothers' style during pregnancy - comfortable smocks and stylish dungarees - and identified a gap in the market.

What tips would you give to new Mums to help them to make the most of maternity leave?
Maternity leave with your first baby is a tiring, bewildering but exciting time. We benefited from having a really supportive and friendly group of mums in our antenatal class and spent a lot of time drinking tea and eating cake. Baby cinema screenings were also a definite highlight of maternity leave. Maternity leave with your second is a completely different experience - finding classes (music etc) that appeal to both baby and toddler is helpful. 

Our top tip would be to plan to do one thing day. More than one makes life too stressful but I think being as mobile as possible is a good thing so you don't feel trapped in the house or lonely. 

Are there any other business mums out there who you admire?
There are so many inspirational women out there who balance childcare and work. We really admire other small brands like Elfie London and Amy and Ivor, The Bright Company - all set up by mums. And JK Rowling who wrote Harry Potter in a cafe while her baby slept!

Where in London are your favourite places to hang out with your family?  
We both used to live in Hackney and would meet on Broadway Market, on London Fields or in the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. The Little Angel Puppet Theatre in Islington is a magical place to take small children. Johanna now lives in Nunhead and spends a lot of time in Peckham Rye Park, The Horniman Museum or soft play in Peckham (argh).

What’s next for Clary and Peg?
We're about to pick up our samples for Spring/Summer 2016 and we can't wait to try them on all our pregnant and non-pregnant friends. It is really important to us that they work with or without a bump! We are particularly excited about our new 70s-inspired dress - perfect for a summer wedding. The new pieces will be launched in March.