"I wanted to capture the spirit of celebration surrounding pregnancy and make beautiful belly art something that all mums-to-be could enjoy. The result was Gooseberry Pink...a fabulous range of maternity tops featuring beautiful designs that ‘hug the bump’."
Owner, Gooseberry Pink
Virgin Startup Loan Mentee
Jacquline Winstanely recently caught up with Laura Draper to find out what makes her an inspiring and Inclusive Entrepreneur. Laura is a member of the Inclusive Entrepreneur community and is also a Virgin Startup Loan Mentee, being coached and mentored by Jacqueline.
Laura Draper is an ethical entrepreneur and creator of a range of organic maternity and baby clothing. Aware of how damaging the clothing industry can be to the environment, she wanted to do things differently. She chose to make clothing that was kinder to both the world we live in, and the people in it.
Her company Gooseberry Pink has established itself as a provider of quality, well-designed, organic clothing which is produced ethically, sustainably and using eco-friendly processes. Mum to four grown up children, Laura looks forward to the day when her own family requires the Gooseberry Pink maternity and baby range.
This is her story.
"When I had my babies, we wore big shapeless smocks that did their best to conceal the fact that you were pregnant. We certainly never wore figure hugging clothing or thought to capture this time in our life with a pregnancy photoshoot! I love that expectant mums today embrace pregnancy and honour their beautifully changing shape. Never has there been a time when pregnancy has been more celebrated.
My initial inspiration for the brand was ‘belly art’ – a lovely trend where expectant mums use paints or henna tattoos to decorate their pregnant form. I thought this was an enchanting way for mums to celebrate their growing pregnancy bump, although I guessed that having a painted belly is probably not the most practical thing on a day to day basis!
My pregnancy tops are perfect for anyone looking for gift ideas for the pregnant women in their life, so I wanted to make them extra special. Designed meticulously to fit and flatter at every stage of pregnancy, I use only premium quality fabrics that are luxuriously soft and comfortable to wear.
I am also passionate about ensuring that my clothing is made in a way that will not be damaging to the world we live in, or the people in it. So, all Gooseberry Pink clothing is ethically sourced and manufactured using only 100% certified organic cotton.
Since those early beginnings, I have taken the same ethical and design principles and created a gorgeous range of baby clothing – all made from supersoft, organic cotton. Perfect for baby’s delicate skin, they make beautiful and thoughtful gifts for newborn babies, up to 18 months."
We asked Laura about the impact Jacqueline's mentoring has had on her journey as an entrepreneur.
"Jacqueline’s mentoring over the past year has been an invaluable support to me, as I have been setting out on my entrepreneurial journey. A great listener, Jacqueline is full of great ideas and has shown real enthusiasm for my business. She is very encouraging and has gently pushed me to take action, and step out of my comfort zone, when I have needed to. Always happy to impart her knowledge, share her experience or make an introduction to her own connections. Jacqueline’s passion shines through in everything that she does and she is a real inspiration!"