Mumpreneur’s testimonial: celebrity-favourite maternity guru Emily Evans

We continue our popular series of inspirational mumpreneurs’ testimonial. This month we present mother-of-three Emily Evans, founder and owner of 9 London, the original and best maternity boutique located in London’s Sloane Square, and home to gorgeous maternity collections – from one-off vintage pieces to 9 London’s own-label range of beautiful occasion-wear. Designed by Emily Evans herself, the evening-wear collection fills a much needed gap in the maternity market with its signature kimono sleeves and vibrant liberty print silks with a glamorous edge. Stellar client list includes Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss, Eva Herzigova, Kate Winslet, Liz Hurley and Claudia Schiffer.

Who has been your favourite celebrity mum to dress?

Definitely Gwen Stefani, she was so open to colour and new ideas and was really enthusiastic and excited about becoming a mother. It was fun and adventurous working with her and watching her enjoy that change in her circumstances which meant she had the opportunity to indulge in a whole new way of dressing and she simply looked fabulous.

What made you start 9 London?

There was nothing else out there and I saw a big gap in the market. Women love great style and that certainly doesn’t change when when you are pregnant but for a long time it was like the fashion industry had not recognised that. I wanted to bring together the best in design for pregnancy and create my own looks. Clothes that look stunning but not because they are maternity fashions. I wanted style that women would simply fall in love with at first glance and then the added bonus was that it provided room for that growing bump.

Do you find selling maternity wear more rewarding?

Absolutely! A lot of our customers have tried for ages to have a baby and buying a maternity wardrobe is what they have been dreaming of. It is wonderful to see people feeling really good about themselves and so excited about their new stage of family life. I am a great believer in great service and personal advice and arriving at a shop where the staff are friendly, welcoming and reassuring is almost more important for pregnant women. Yes being pregnant is certainly on trend at the moment but I have never underestimated how difficult and daunting it can be when you first start shopping for maternity wear. We love to help women feel confident during pregnancy and enjoy advising them at so many different stages from keeping it under wraps at the early stages to then showing off your bump when you are ready. And we get to hear about all the new arrivals which is lovely.

Do you think there is a lack of couture maternity wear?

A lot of people want to look really good at a wedding or red carpet event and they really struggle until they find us! Life doesn’t stop when you are pregnant and that is definitely what we are here for. There will be parties, weddings, glamorous nights out and women deserve to feel they can make a style-statement even at eight, nine months pregnant. It would be great we saw more high-profile catwalk shows for maternity wear and it may just happen sooner than we think..

Many commentators were suggesting it was a shame that the likes of Victoria Beckham and Marina Fogle, Ben Fogle’s wife were pregnant at the royal wedding in April, but at 9 London our aim is to make it exciting to be blooming at a big occasion. WE don’t see it as a shame at all. We see it as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and not just because you have a bump.

Do you have any more plans for the boutique in the future?

More high glamour because I do think there is a demand and a need for it.. I will also be seeking out more, vintage for our collection because it is proving so popular and gives that one-off that not only creates a good look but lasting memories of such a lovely time in your life. I also want to improve our, personal shopping with styling appointments with me. I want to be able to talk through all the collections with customers. I have three daughters so I know how they are feeling and how much they want this to be a special time. We are also staging monthly afternoon tea events for customers to see new collections. IT is a time when you make a great new network of friends and we would like that kind of atmosphere at 9 London.

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