...And on what no one has the courage to say about becoming a mom.
The idea for Teat & Cosset was born one night in early 2015. While struggling to nurse at night, Peggy had the idea to make comfortable and beautiful clothing with easy nursing access. Now, 5 years later, Peggy is pregnant with her second baby and is excited to finally test her collection herself.
As Peggy’s co-founder and good friend, I decided to interview her as she embarks on new motherhood for a second time, asking her how things have changed since having a baby and launching Teat & Cosset, the surprises and uncomfortable moments along the way and what's next for us....read below for more! - Silvia Marzucchi
1) What has changed for you since launching Teat & Cosset 4 years ago and since the birth of your daughter almost 6 years ago?
A lot! Parenting is completely different now than when she was a baby and I’d say I enjoy it better now that she’s older. Dafne is in first grade and communicating is so much easier. The tantrums are gone (mostly), the days of trying to figure out what she wants/needs are behind me. I remember when she was a baby I couldn’t wait for her to be at an age where she could express herself and communicate with us. I actually hope I enjoy the baby stage more with my second!
As for work, I’d say it has gotten easier too - still difficult running a business, but we’ve learned so much from the early days. I would say I’ve become less emotional about when things go wrong at work. Things will ALWAYS go wrong but I've realized there’s always a solution. I’m also better about carving out time for myself and my family. I know that if I take a few days off the business will be fine!
2) What were the best and worst surprises from the company’s early days and from early motherhood?
Best surprise from the early days of Teat & Cosset are all the interesting people I’ve met along the way, from customers, to manufacturers, photographers, models, other CEOs, etc. It introduced me to a completely new world and I finally feel fulfilled creatively.
Worst surprise would be when the money we had planned to invest ran out early on and we realized we needed cash and had to get a loan. We were clueless about how much money we needed to run a business and have it grow.… A big part of that was underestimating how much we needed for marketing. In the beginning, we just assumed the product would sell itself - and spent a lot on product, leaving very little cash for marketing - definitely a rookie mistake!
Best surprise as a mom was seeing my husband completely change after our daughter’s birth. I’d never seen him prouder or more in love with both of us. He took initiative and went on autopilot during that first period to take care of us - something very innate took over and it was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
Worst surprise as a mom was definitely the toll that lack of sleep took on my emotional well being. Also the feeling of resentment I had because of the total dependence my baby had on me during the first 3 months - something I hadn’t expected to feel and had never felt before.
3) The things you said you would NEVER do but ended up doing anyway as a mom and founder.
To be honest, there weren’t many things I said I’d never do or at least I can’t remember them! I do remember I did not want to be a super controlling mother and I don’t think I have been.
The one thing I do remember while I was pregnant was that I didn’t want to neglect my husband after my baby’s birth. I had seen so many friends do that and it created so much tension in the household during the first year or two. I don’t think I neglected him, but you’d have to ask him about that! :)
Now, with my 2nd pregnancy, I’d like to be more patient with my parents and in-laws who do things their own way while helping us. I remember I was very set in my ways of how I wanted everything done with Dafne and I hope this time I can let go more. If my mother in law wants to carry and hold my baby all the time, it’s ok!
As for work, despite knowing that it was smarter to grow slowly and nimbly, I still had grand expectations, that we’d be profitable in the first year, that we’d have a gorgeous office and lots of people working for the company, with me of course being a great CEO/boss and as a result we probably spent way too much money the first year.
But most things didn’t work out as I had envisioned, I realized that being profitable can take years, we still don’t have that gorgeous office I’d dreamed of..and I’m still learning to let go and not controI every aspect of the business.Thankfully my business partners are very understanding, and I’m still working on letting go!
4) What have been your biggest learnings as a business founder and mom?
That becoming both an entrepreneur and mother are much more difficult and challenging than I had ever imagined. There is absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for it. At the same time they’re two of the most satisfying and fulfilling things in my life!
5) The most uncomfortable questions you've been asked as a new mom/ pregnant mom? What about as a founder?
If I was pregnant during the first 6 months postpartum! People commenting on my huge boobs while I was breastfeeding was another thing that made me feel uncomfortable. Also asking if I had enough milk…I don’t think anyone should comment on a woman’s body parts or fluids during pregnancy and postpartum!
But the one comment that drove me crazy was people telling me my baby was hungry when they heard her crying - people telling me what my baby needed as if I didn’t know myself. I guess part of that came from the insecurity of being a first time mom. I hope this time I can just let things roll of my shoulders and ignore, ignore, ignore.
As a founder, the question that makes me the most uncomfortable comes from moms who want to know why our prices are higher than many other maternity brands. On the one hand, I wish our line was more affordable so that all moms could buy our styles, but on the other hand we have our values to uphold, we don’t want to mass produce and we carefully pick our manufacturers and materials, all of which result in higher expenses, hence higher prices.
It’s tough trying to explain to these moms why we aren’t able to lower our prices. They’re used to cheaper synthetic pieces coming from huge fast fashion brands at super low prices. They often think we’re making a ton of money but they have no idea all the expenses that go into making our collections and operating as a small business. They don't realize that the fast fashion brands are making a lot more money than us!
6) What are some things you wish you DIDN'T do as a parent?
So many! Sometimes when Dafne and I are playing I’ll look at my phone for work and not be 100% present, which I hate and definitely need to work on. Also caving in to her constant whining when she wants a sweet or wants to watch TV or Youtube instead of being firm and saying NO. She totally knows how to manipulate us to get what she wants and I wish I was tougher!
One thing I’m happy we’ve never done is giving her a tablet/smart phone when we’re out to dinner. Thankfully she loves to draw and will draw for hours if she does get bored when we’re out.
7) How do you want women to feel when they use your clothes?
Confident and put together. If a woman can wear our clothes and feel confident we’ve succeeded. It most likely will mean she’ll have a better day and have a more successful breastfeeding journey feeding her baby easily.
8) Is there a piece from the collection that you reach for the most? Why?
The Beatrice sweater (pictured below & above) now that I’m pregnant. It’s so comfortable and warm and easy to wear. Thankfully I have 3 different colors at home from this season, otherwise I’d be wearing the same one every day! I’ll probably gravitate more toward our Gemma styles once I’m nursing though.
9) What’s next for you and Teat & Cosset?
I’d love to be able to hire a team soon because we need help. The three of us just can’t do everything we dream of doing on our own. We have so many great ideas but not enough time to execute.
Besides that, I'd love to start collaborating with other motherhood related brands and services on a deeper level - not just giveaways, and create new and helpful products or services for moms that will make their life easier.
In the top photo below I'm wearing one of my favorite Dairy Fairy bras and a pair of Glowe maternity leggings. I'm friends with both the founders and we love cross-collaborating and supporting each other when we can! In the bottom one, I'm wearing a Juem maternity bra paired with our joggers. I found them on Instagram and love what they're doing for motherhood as well!