A lover of children, books and beautiful home décor, Gayle Slade launched her business, Mighty Walrus, offering a stylish selection of the very best in contemporary nursery shelving. She selects designs that she believes are useful, aesthetically pleasing, well made and good value. Here she talks about the inspiration behind her business and her exciting plans for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I used to run a family day care and loved working with young children, but when my eldest son started school, I realised that he needed more support and eventually we made the decision to try homeschooling. It wasn’t our chosen path but after a few months, we could see how much value there was in learning in a relaxed, safe environment following our own interests and curiosities. In order to help support this lifestyle, I wanted to start a business that I could work on wherever we go and whatever time of day (or night) that suits us.
I have always loved home décor and go a bit gaga over organising the home, so after many hours in the making… Mighty Walrus was born! From my love of children, reading, organisation and beautiful home décor, I launched our first designs in February 2020!
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I launched myself into learning as much as I could about starting an online business and although it was very scary, I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided I was at least going to try! It took almost 12 months to get my first products ready for sale in the USA and then there was no looking back.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Creating stylish shelving that can be installed with minimal effort. Our NOAH shelves feature innovative brackets that make installation incredibly simple. We supply everything but a screwdriver! The other feature that parents love is the front rail which prevents items from falling off the shelf; it creates a simple yet stylish solution to potential hazards.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
This year has been quite difficult for everyone with ‘normal’ routines being turned upside down. Although homeschooling is our normal, our life has also been affected as regular social meet ups have been cancelled and excursions, workshops and trips postponed. I try and make sure I have some 1-1 time with each of our sons every day, even if that is just sitting and reading a book together or playing a game. We spend 1 day of the weekend doing fun activities as a family and then I try and get some work done on the other day.