We are thrilled to announce no+mi London as a new stockist to the Qnola family. Launched earlier this month, no+mi London is a new concept delivering carefully curated gift sets to new and expectant mothers.
Founded by two friends, no+mi London was born out of a frustration at the lack of relevant or exciting gifts for pregnant women or new mothers. With a maternity market flooded with 'hugging bears and pink garments', the gift sets include everything from magazine subscriptions, at-home beauty treatments and scented candles to sleep socks and Qnola, of course.
We caught up with founders Noemie and Millen before the launch this month to find discover their best business advice, favourite places in London and finding a work/life balance:
How did you come up with the idea for no+mi London?
With everyone around us getting pregnant and both of us being aunts and godmothers, we are quite experienced at giving presents to expectant friends. Each time though we were frustrated by the options, none of them had the appropriate measure of practicality and excitement. We didn’t recognise ourselves in most of the brands, so instead of settling for it, we decided to create no+mi London. With a different tone of voice, talking to women as the adults that they are, offering the gifts we would like to receive. Initially we were only thinking about the pregnant women but we quickly realised people were desperate for gift solutions for them, just like we had been. That’s how we came up with the curated box idea, something you can gift yourself or a friend.
What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
“Your gut is really powerful.” It’s easy to dismiss gut feeling and we do love a good spreadsheet but if it feels wrong, it usually is. Also “I am done feeling guilty.” It’s so liberating! Unbelievably both of these pieces of advice came from the same source: Alex Depledge, the co-founder of Hassle.com.
How do you balance family with your career?
Noemie: I take it all in. Being family, friends or work, I don’t want to choose. It’s all about discipline I guess, making a time for each of them and sticking to it. It actually helps me to plan things in advance, I need to have a vision of what my day/week is going to look like and I can then organise myself accordingly. My key tip is to book tickets (for gigs, theatre and dance) at the beginning of the season. When the date finally comes, it’s like a nice surprise!
Millen: I don’t really balance, I just try to listen to my body and my loved ones and see who needs to be prioritised. I can’t say I have found the perfect formula yet but if at the end of the day/month/year I am well and happy and I can see everyone around me is, too, I can be content. Having said that my friends know that they should tell me a few weeks in advance if they want to see me!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to face so far?
Getting brands and partners trusting in our vision and staying motivated along the way. We are really proud of who we surround ourselves with and we can’t wait to expand on that!
Why should new and expectant mothers sign up for no+mi London?
no+mi London is not just for expectant mothers, it is relevant to anyone around those women looking for a gift.
We have selected products that can be used beyond pregnancy where possible. We believe life doesn’t stop when you are pregnant. As we like to say, we are bumps+beyond.
We know expectant and new mothers are incredibly busy. We therefore wanted to reflect various aspects of their life in one collection - the best of healthy snacks, readings, accessories, creams and more from likeminded brands.
And finally, where are your favourite places in London?
N: I love walking on Regent’s Canal, it always gives me the feeling of escaping the city when I’m actually at the heart of it. There’s a little cafe called Towpath where I go every Sunday for a wholesome breakfast, the food there is amazing. For a special occasion: The Clove Club. It’s my absolute favourite!! Shopping, I do a lot online or I just walk into small boutiques as I pass by. It’s more about the atmosphere and discovering small curated selections.
M: I absolutely love London, so choosing places is a bit like choosing a favourite child or finger. I only recently became a member of Kew Gardens and it is amazing what a long ride on the Overground and a stroll around a palm house can do for your mood! We are slightly bread obsessed at home, so between E5 Bake House and The Bread Station, we really enjoy living in East London. Also, who doesn’t appreciate a good meal? London is so lucky in that respect. I went to my local The Richmond last night. It’s a real gem!