Anna Tizard is the co-founder of contemporary baby change bag brand , a company that design and sell stylish, beautiful bags that mean parents can carry around everything they need without ruining their outfit.
Prior to venturing out on her own, Anna had always worked in fashion. After completing a degree at the London College of Fashion she went on to work as a bag buyer for Urban Outfitters and Topshop.
However when she became a mother herself she realised that there just weren't as many stylish options available to her anymore – specifically when it came to bags. Her and her business partner Lydia Barron spotted a gap in the market for contemporary, trend inspired parent changing bags.
The pair set about to provide cool Mums and Dads with a range of cleverly designed, super functional changing bags where an edge of cool always comes as standard. Since the brand's conception Anna and Lydia have expanded their range and even worked on a successful collaboration with iconic department store Selfridges, .
Find out what it's like to run an accessories brand that stylist parents everywhere love and follow Anna throughout her day...
Talk us through your morning routine..
Not gonna lie – my mornings are not all that Zen! My youngest son Miller, who’s 3 years old isn’t a fan of lie-ins, so I get an early wake up call, and then it’s getting everyone ready for work/ school/ nursery in a mad hurry and trying to remember everything we need for the day!
What’s the first thing you do when you get up?
After cuddling my little boy for as long as I can, I look at my phone and check work emails and Instagram. I am aware this is terrible practise but it’s part of my morning routine and I can’t help myself. Next essential is a cup of tea before I can face doing anything else – then it’s the race against the clock to leave in time for school drop off for my eldest son Raf.
Do you have breakfast/workout/meditate in the morning?
I always have breakfast before I leave the house, but as for working out and meditating - I don’t know how people manage to do this in the morning! Like, How?? My school/ nursery/ tube run in the morning is a 2-mile dash – so I am getting exercise and fresh air. I do other exercise I swear – I’m just not a morning person.
What do you have for breakfast?
Today I had home-made Bircher Muesli that I prepared last night – with plenty of seeds, organic oats, sultanas and dates – delish. Then after dropping my boys off I always have a coffee at my favourite coffee shop The Electric in Ealing. Literally would not be able to do anything without that coffee. Then at work sometimes I’ll have a little bite to eat – fruit – or Lydia my business partner sometimes makes me porridge (I sound so greedy!). I love breakfast – gimme brunch over lunch any day. I think it’s the one meal that you don’t have to feel guilty about and it fuels a good mornings work.
What do you wear to work?
When I was a Buyer I used to totter around a Buying Office in various pairs of vertiginous, ridonk expensive shoes and tight skinny leather leggings (I once did a product review 8 months pregnant in a pair of 4” Acne heels that were just held together with a strip of transparent PVC and tie around the ankle!). These days I’m more of a trainer or brogue girl – either Converse, Nike Air or Eytys high-tops for sneakers and Jil Sander or And Other Stories for flats. I’d say I am a firm advocate of the sports lux movement – my usual uniform would be Adidas x Alexander Wang trackie bottoms, a long sleeve top by Aries, and probably an Acne bomber. Not exactly that feminine but I always make sure I rock a lipstick and my nails are painted to make me look less like Kevin the teenager. If we have business meetings I’m not suddenly going to don a power suit with shoulder pads, but I will make a little more effort – perhaps a co-ord outfit or suit (I’m a bit obsessed by Topshop Boutique at the moment for co-ords and leather staples). I feel fortunate that I can wear what I like to work – and I don’t think I’d ever manage stilettos in the office again.
What happens when you arrive at work?
Say hi to Lydia and the team – have a quick tea or coffee, and then we’ll review the previous days sales. We’ll review what’s sold best, our stock levels, what International and Wholesale orders we have, if we have enough stock, whether we’ve been in the press or what’s happening on Instagram etc etc. There is always something going on, so we’ll talk through what we have in the diary for the day ahead – normally it involves a chat to our PR agency Aisle 8, a meeting or two with members of our team, we try to pencil out time to sit down and go through creative direction, and then we’ll plan in projects, hustles and collaborations.
What’s your workspace like?
It’s AMAZING – we love it! Our HQ is an office within a very cool workspace in White City, London called ‘Huckletree’. It’s a massively buzzy environment with loads of communal space full of entrepreneurs, contemporary brands, start-ups, techies and so on. We liked it as it has such a creative and inspiring environment and you never know who you’ll meet next, and in what way you can mutually help each other. It’s full of neon, modern art and plants – the perfect place for T+M to grow and develop.
What does you day at work look like?
Busy but fun – we’ll try and mix it up a little by moving from our office out into communal spaces, so we don’t feel too ‘stuck’ in one place and so we can encourage free thinking and creativity. We quite often will have meetings in town, I.e. we’ll meet the Buyers at Selfridges and do a floor walk or we sometime talk on panels at events usually discussing Women in Business. Also, Lydia and I make sure we take some time out to inspire ourselves, like go to exhibitions or have a day at the shops to check out new trends, displays and brands.
Do you enjoy your work?
Yes! I love being a Mum and wife – but it’s great sometimes to just get to work and catch up with the guys in the office and have some lols. I feel so lucky to have a career which ultimately allows me the freedom to have flexible working hours, and that I’m able to go to a school concert or look after the boys if they are poorly without too much stress or having to report into someone. I finish early on Thursdays so I can pick the boys up and have Fridays off, so I feel I have the perfect balance. And when I’m at work I absolutely love the creative atmosphere and the buzz I get from our (hard earned) successes.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I love exciting projects – for example planning a Press Event, or a Look Book shoot and helping with the Styling or having a really cool idea and seeing that become a tangible asset, and getting positive feedback from it from our customers and Buyers. But ultimately I love coming to work every day and hanging with Lydia and our amazing team – we are so lucky with the people we have got involved with our brand and their loyalty and dedication.
What do you have for lunch at work?
We love food – and plan out our lunches during the week. Mostly healthy, delicious nourishing food – but also the odd treat (Cheese and Jalapeno toastie from Crushh being our naughty lunch). We get amazing Falafel Wraps Deliveroo’d over from Shepherds Bush market – always with extra chilli so our mouths are burning by the end. We like making big salads with homemade dips/ pickles/ roasted veg, served with homemade bread and wraps. Sometimes a homemade veggie burger with tons of mustard. We definitely do not starve at T+M HQ!
Talk us through your evening routine…
Evenings used to be putting the kids to bed and then getting down to more werk,werk,werk… But we are trying really hard these days to leave the emails and laptops alone in the evening, as it’s all too easy to let a business take over your entire life – so we are being stricter with ourselves now. I normally pick up one or both of the kids up from school or nursery and then we have family time; a meal, some homework, bath time, more cuddles.. And once the children are asleep I’ll normally cook me and my husband dinner – I’m trying really hard to cook low carb or carb-free meals in the evening so it takes a while to prepare. I try my best not to drink much during the weeks (which is hard as I love a glass of wine in the evenings) after dinner we’ll watch some Netflix. I also do one or two Bootcamps or Boxing classes in my local park in the evenings during the week – a bit of timeout for myself that I love and makes me feel much stronger and calmer.
What do you watch on TV? Any favourites?
Slightly obsessed with watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace on the BBC at the moment. It’s so amazingly camp – and has Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace – it’s epic! Just finished watching a True Crime documentary on Netflix called The Jinx – it was insane and totally creepy. I drive my husband mad as I find it hard to watch anything from beginning to end without looking at my phone.
How do you unwind before bed?
I have a Fennel Tea every night whilst I read in bed. I’ve started really getting into reading again, now that I’m not on the laptop late every night – I find it takes my mind away from any thoughts about work, or from stressing about things I need to do the next day. I’m currently reading a book called Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan which is quite an addictive read. I try to have a minutes thought once I turn my light off thinking about all the things I’m grateful for – I just find that I’m always busy rushing around – but doing this ends my day on a peaceful note.
What time do you go to bed?
Gah – always a bit later than I’d like! Especially if I’m reading a good book – or get sucked into Instagram. Normally 11.30/ Midnight – and always with my fingers crossed that the next day Miller will decide to have his first ever lie-in.