In December 2010 Cecilia Crossley stood in front of her TV watching the annual Christmas charity campaign adverts, with her newborn baby in her arms. “ Imagine me in a dressing gown, sleep deprived, hormones all over the place, I was in absolute tears,” she said, adding : “I was distraught at the idea of children scavenging in rubbish dumps, living on street corners.”
This experience left Crossley with a passionate desire to make a difference and soon after, while out clothes shopping for her son Isaac, she was inspired. Crossley realised that people would be more willing to buy high quality clothing for their own children if they knew that by doing so they would be helping to clothe the worlds most disadvantaged children too.
Crossley, 34 is now the founder and Chief Executive of From Babies With Love, a baby clothing retailer and social enterprise that donates all its profits to the charity SOS Children. The charity helps rescue and transform the lives of orphaned children from around the world and what attracted Crossley was how SOS Children raise them in a family style environment, helping the children develop loving relationships that might otherwise be absent.
From Babies With Love is also committed to environmental and Fair Trade practices. Its baby clothing is made from organic cotton and supplied under the Global Organic Textile Standard, which ensures manufacturers are operating on principles of fair labour and environmental friendliness.
As passionate as she is about her company Crossley has had to juggle her start-up online business with raising her start-up family, with her second son, Sam, arriving in June this year. “I feel guilty when I’m not with him and I feel guilty when I’m not working,” she said, revealing that while she makes it a priority to spend time with her children, she often works long into the night to devote time to the enterprise.
When asked what she found most rewarding about running a social enterprise Crossley said it was the difference she was able to make, excitedly sharing recently received letters and photographs from children and families, directly helped by From Babies With Love. It is these correspondences, Crossley said, that inspire her to grow the business further.
Since From Babies With Love began trading in May 2012 the social enterprise has been able to help 10 children in places as diverse as Africa, India, Bangladesh and Peru. Crossley is confident that the social enterprise will be able to support a further 5 children in the new year and hopes that the company will continue to grow, to help hundreds and hundreds of children in the future.
To find out more, or to buy some great products From Babies With Love visit their website