Our trip to Reading: from the online space to real coffee with a friend

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Since the start of the pandemic, our social lives have moved even further into the virtual space, and despite certain limitations there are many positives in that, which can lead to true friendship and cooperation. And this is exactly what led us recently to Reading, where we spent a fantastic afternoon with an amazing family, so that I could photograph our very first collection of hand-knitted baby cardigans. I’m going to share how it all happened in today’s post.

I’m probably not the only mum who has at least one social networking account and in my opinion, Instagram wins. While the platform can cause some people to waste a lot of time, if you use it properly as a tool, for example in finding inspiration, daily motivation, sharing everyday joys or worries about your children, it can be a really amazing and powerful thing. For me personally, Instagram is an incredible space of inspiration, and it gives me the opportunity to search for 1,001 new ideas and motivations, such as how to take a better photo or to ‘meet’ a lot of interesting personalities.

When my son was born, I thought, like a lot of other mothers, that it would be nice to share my own experience of childbirth in England, so I set up a website with Instagram to write about our lives in the UK. As I’m originally from Bohemia and I also love the ‘Boho’ style, my first idea for a name for the blog was ‘The Bohemian Mum’. Gradually, I started following other mothers in Britain, and they also added me to their networks.

After a while, I opened the ‘Boho Mum Shop’ on the great Etsy platform. Opening an online shop was perhaps the most spontaneous step in my life (even bigger than moving to a London apartment and starting to have afternoon tea). Not only was it spontaneous but also quite adventurous, because I’m really not a businesswoman by nature.

What enchanted me during my university studies of ethnology and folklore was handcrafted works and anything a person can create using their imagination. And so the Boho Mum Shop is all about handmade items, such as knitted and crochet fashion crafted by mothers for other mothers and their children. As is often the case with such crazy ideas, I involved my whole family in all of this. My son became a child model and my husband a kind of patron of the whole start-up. How grateful I am to him for that support and patience!

When I first received beautiful hand-crafted knitted cardigans for two-month-old baby girls, it occurred to me that it might be worth arranging a photo shoot with a mum and her little girl. And it was on Instagram by chance that I was in contact with a mum who coincidentally has a seven-week-old baby girl named Bianca. Fast-forward a short time and we were in the car heading to Reading, so that instead of a virtual chat we could finally have coffee face to face.

From the very beginning it was clear that we would all break the ice – my husband had things to talk about with my friend’s husband, and because theirs is a large family (with six children!), our Lucas really bonded with their little kindergarten.

While we were taking photos of little Bianca in the knitted cardigans, Lucas was out in the garden with the boys, watched over by their dads who were sharing their own experiences of life with toddlers. After the photo shoot, the family took us on a tour of Reading, showing us the local parks and the old abbey, and time passed insanely fast. Suddenly it was evening and I missed them all already on our journey back to home. I realised that the most amazing thing about the whole trip was that we had all become friends.

And that’s what I hope the Boho Mum Shop will be about: about meeting, about friendship, helping and supporting other amazing mums.

Thank you all for your support on this journey <3