Emily has EDS and a Creative Home Business

Emily Skerrett and baby son Ruben

Emily Skerrett and baby son Ruben

Those of us with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome have a difficult time finding work.  Read about how Emily and her partner James’ Pet Care business evolved into “Comfy Bums for Eco Mums’”.

“Having children is a life-changer for anyone – but for Emily Skerrett a rare joint disease meant two pregnancies left her disabled.

Almost overnight she went from being an active outdoor-loving woman to relying on crutches to get about.

“It was so frustrating,” says Emily, 30, from Bude in Cornwall. “Everything about my life changed and I was left wondering what I was going to do.

“I’d always made sure I was busy and on the go and suddenly I was forced to stop.”

The condition, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, first became apparent when her first son Fin was born in August 2010.

“Up until then I had been running my own pet care business Paws and Whiskers, which involved numerous dog walks every day, visiting cats and generally being on the go.”

Emily’s partner James took over the physical side of the business leaving her to do the admin and booking side of things from her PC at home.

“The upside was it meant I could focus on looking after Fin. Being a first-time mum meant I researched everything and networked with other mums as much as possible about everything from feeding to nappies.”

She decided very early on that she wanted to use reusable nappies instead of disposables, but found it hard to find the products she wanted.

“At first, like so many other people, I imagined it would be boil in the bucket-type nappies, secured with pins. But that was so not the case: now the washing machine can do it all, they do up with Velcro and there are such pretty designs.”

Emily started sourcing products from around the country and trying them on Fin. “I used social media an awful lot to find out more from other mums around the country. One mum in Scotland was making nappies so I started using those.”

It wasn’t long before Emily realised if she was struggling to get to grips with a more eco-friendly way to look after her baby, so too must other people.

“I had a Eureka moment and decided to set up a business where I could connect mums to the products they needed. The company name Baby Peach just came to me and my catch phrase instantly became ‘Comfy Bums for Eco Mums’.”

Focusing on small businesses and suppliers, Emily pulled together a host of products, from nappies and creams to wet bags and reusable wipes.

“It was amazing how the whole business just took off. A friend designed a website for me and off we went.”

When Emily’s second son Reuben was born six months ago her disability became more severe.

“Even so, I have been able to continue with my business. James does all the post office trips, and I’m the brains! He still does the dog walks for me too.”

Another added bonus was that when Reuben became very poorly with meningitis, Emily’s customers and suppliers nationwide were the first to be supportive. “I kept them informed through the website and on Facebook and with that came the understanding and flexibility I needed.”

A little creativity and some some specific planning make this the right business for the Emily and her partner James.

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