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Power Mums interview with Emma Bridgewater

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Emma Bridgewater discusses her marriage, and why British manufacturing is so important, in an interview with Christine Armstrong, as part of the Power Mums series in Management Today. 

Emma and her husband Matthew have four children, Elizabeth, Kitty, Margaret and Michael, who are aged between 23 and 15. They employ 250 people, and have just turned over £15 million. Emma once wanted to be a literary agent but spotted a gap in the market for less formal earthenware: having never thrown a pot in her life she started her own business. She has recently published a book called Toast & Marmalade and Other Stories, which is the backstory to the brand and a patchwork of anecdotes – but ‘don’t mention the M word, I hate the idea of memoirs’. We caught up after she spoke at the Mumsnet Workfest conference.

HOW DID YOU MANAGE A GROWING BUSINESS AND FOUR CHILDREN?

 

With great difficulty (she laughs).

My mother-in-law (iconic mid-century textiles designer Pat Albeck) was amazing. She moved up the road from us and did a large amount of childcare – my father-in-law too. She was a successful designer and wanted to start her own business but never did. Something about her interest in business meant that Matthew, who I met two years into starting Emma Bridgewater, was hugely supportive and always committed to its success. There was a long period – about nine years – when I was flat-out reclaiming, re-organising and growing the business and he did the lion’s share of the family work.

This interview originally appeared on Management Today. Read more…


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