Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
8:08 AM 25th October 2021

10 In 10: Sally Haslewood Founder Of Mumbler,

Sally Haslewood, founder of parenting community websites Mumbler, is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat, answering our ten quick-fire questions in just ten minutes.

Sally Haslewood
Sally Haslewood
What does a typical working day look like for you?
For me, the critical thing is that I’m totally flexible. This freedom is one of the best things about working for Mumbler and, as a working parent, it’s incredibly important to me.

Generally I’ll walk my youngest daughter to primary school with the dog, and I’m usually at my desk for about 9.30am.

I have three members of staff who work in the office with me a couple of days a week, so they’ll join me after their school run and there’s usually quite a bit of chatting and tea making!

Most of my day is spent problem-solving in one form or another – I’ve got 19 franchisees, so inevitably things crop up that will need dealing with. Often, I’m doing social media for my Mumbler HQ channels – I probably spend at least half-an-hour to an hour a day doing that.

I usually eat lunch at my desk and finish at 3pm for school pick-up. After that I’m generally doing mum stuff, looking after my daughters until I’ve given them dinner, then I’m usually back at my desk for an hour or two.

I try not to work into the evenings if I can help it, but I do find myself picking up the laptop to carry on with a job or to host a Mumbler franchisees Teams meeting, after the kids have gone to bed. I am quite a night owl though, so I don’t generally mind.

As I say, it’s ultimately completely flexible. One of the best things about what I do is that I can work as and when, in between looking after my kids.

What makes your company special?

I know everyone probably says this but it’s true – it’s the people who work with me that make Mumbler special. I am so proud of what we’ve created and the fantastic Mumbler franchisees who are part of it. I’m in awe of them. Obviously, they came to me because they wanted to be part of my businesses, but I honestly learn as much from them as they do from me.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?

The most important thing for me is the mantra: ‘Do what you do best and then outsource the rest’. Naturally, when you start a business yourself you have to be a jack-of-all-trades and do absolutely everything. However, as you grow, I think it is vital to outsource roles. If it doesn’t earn you money or you don’t enjoy it, then outsource it!

Do you dress up or dress down for work?

I’ve worked from home for 10 years now, but I still do like to get up and get dressed and feel like I’m working; I’m not really one for sitting around in my pyjamas and working. Plus the staff who come in to my home office to work would find that very strange!

Having said that, I don’t feel the need for formal work-wear or suits. As long as I’m clean & tidy, that’s good enough for me!

What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Just relax and go with the flow! Career paths change; I don’t think there’s any requirement for 18-year-olds now to put pressure on themselves to think about what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives. That’s a slightly old-fashioned concept these days.

Try to find things that you love. Think about what you enjoy doing: if you enjoy it you will get good at it. And if you get good at it, someone will pay you to do it. So, my advice would be to relax and try to think about what you love doing.

What is your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team day away?

Rudding Hotel and Spa. I’ve had quite a few Mumbler conferences there. We try to get our franchisees together once a year – we’ve done it for a couple of years at Rudding, and it is always a lovely day out. It feels like an absolute treat, the food is good and so is the location. I’ve also recently taken up golf at Rudding!

How do you prefer to travel for business?

A lot of what I do is local to Harrogate, so there’s not an awful lot of travel involved. If I am going any distance, I’d choose to go by train if possible. I try to be proactive and pre-book my tickets though – I’m a Yorkshire woman so I don’t want to waste money. Ideally, if it’s not too expensive, I’ll pre-book a first class ticket so that I know I’ll have space to work and I still love the thrill of the ‘free’ food that you get!

What is your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?

My home, Harrogate. I am incredibly lucky to live here and I don’t think I will ever tire of it.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire and what dish would you recommend?

This is a difficult one. I would probably say the Thai Orchid in Harrogate as I’ve never had a bad meal there. As for a dish I’d recommend, I can’t decide between the Oriental Prawns or the Bang Bang Chicken. They’re both delicious. The Weeping Tiger is very good as well.

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you’re away?

It would be Yorkshire Tea, but I don’t usually miss it because I tend to take it away with me! I am a huge fan of Yorkshire Tea.