Sunday 18 November 2018

I’m all for girl power

Creator of the luxury organic childrenswear brand AAMcEvoy, Alison McEvoy is mother to Annie, who is three. She shares what becoming a parent has taught her

Twice as fun: Alison McEvoy and daughter Annie
Twice as fun: Alison McEvoy and daughter Annie

I don't think there really is a balance between motherhood and work

You kind of just figure it all out as you go along. My mam and dad and my brother are all supportive and that really helps. But I don't think you can juggle either because then someone or something is always up in the air.

I have a degree in fashion from the Limerick School of Art and Design

Through that I worked in tailoring manufacturing. When I was pregnant with Annie, I moved home from England and I began thinking about what I was going to do that could encompass spending as much time with Annie as possible. My kidswear brand AAMcEvoy was born and then Annie was born. I'm a single mother and starting a busy work life and having a baby all at the same time has challenges and rewards.

I never thought I would have children - but then Annie came along And it seemed like the exact right thing. Myself and Annie are the little A-team. We do everything together and we come as a single package. She's kind of a little extension of me but also totally different.

I've tried to tackle the practicalities of childrenswear

I wanted my brand to be unisex and that it could be passed on from one child to the next. I wanted the openings and the fixtures to be minimal so that it is easy to put on, which is why all the necks are envelope shaped so you can just literally pop it on over the head. No buttons because that was the crux for everything. And no Velcro - a Velcro bib goes in the wash and they don't stick anymore. All of the fabrics are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified and that also informs who makes the clothes. Everything is made in Ireland.

I'm not a pink and flowery girl

I like my black and my grey and in turn Annie loves her red and she likes pink. She loves her dresses and her wellies and of course playing with her dinosaurs, so it's just a giant mix of everything of whatever she wants to wear and it doesn't matter if it comes from the boys' or the girls' section.

Motherhood leaves you alone a lot even though you always have someone with you

Mother and baby groups are great, not really for the kids because they just ignore each other and scream if somebody takes a toy, but mothers and baby groups are there for mothers and parents. They break up the week and you get to compare how tired everybody is.

Food is a big part of our house

Between growing or eating, or making or baking it - food brings people together. Annie and I plant lots of seeds and bulbs and at two-and-a-half Annie could say 'germinate'. We have red gladioli outside that she's just amazed by and we've grown a big vegetable patch so she's happy when she can see what we've grown. For playdates, myself and Annie will make lemon drizzle cake, that's our go-to, and then with the seeds she can plant her little lemon tree.

I'm all for girl power, as a single mother especially

When Annie comes to tell me 'This is broken' or 'We need new batteries, I'll give to Granddad', I tell her: 'No, no, Mammy can do that, we can do that'. It's not just men who can fix things and I have to put her in that right mind-set now.

Annie is starting pre-school soon

I still have to tackle the potty and the toilet situation but I think she'll be OK. I might have to send a manual of different terms that she uses because she doesn't have the letters 'r' or 'l'. She has a very wide vocabulary but I have to do some translations.

I'm probably an anxious mother

But I'd like to say I'm fun as well. We dance around the place and Annie says that she wants to boogie and we turn on the radio and dance around like a pair of silly billies.

See aamcevoy.com

Irish Independent

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