Babies, breastfeeding, bottles and business

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Happy International Women’s Day! Today’s a day to celebrate all of the achievements women have made, from encouraging equal pay, to discouraging discrimination and taking control over our futures.

But why is this a notable day on Dragon Slayer’s calendar? Well, just after distillers Yasmin and Will launched the distillery back in 2021, Yazz fell pregnant with Odin – it was an immensely scary and daunting period, but truly worth it.

Of course, being a first-time Mum was never going to be easy, but Yasmin managed to find a balance between bottling up her breastmilk and bottling up bottles of gin.

We caught up with her to find out what International Women’s Day means to her…

“Celebrating all those women who have paved the way for modern ladies to be able to have a career, to be able to achieve the pinnacle of our careers and have children along the way without it impacting progression.”

I was so nervous

I was incredibly nervous to start the business, but I’m fortunate that my Dad has a lot of experience – I have relied upon him as a bit of a guide.

While it was a scary period, I do think that there is never a right time to fall pregnant, and I did feel ready, so the business didn’t impact our ultimate decision.

However, I did feel there was slightly more pressure to succeed. I had to start taking responsibility, look after a little person and provide for them.

I couldn’t sample the gins

Typically, the only thing I craved during my pregnancy was alcohol! I really fancied a pint of cider – thankfully, Appetizer did the trick and filled the void.

I was incredibly jealous of my Dad and Will who were able to sample my now-favourite Strawberry and Mint Gin months before I had the chance to, I’m pleased Odin was worth the wait.

Newborns versus toddlers

Funnily enough, I found newborn life much easier. Odin would tend to nap a lot, so I was able to jump on emails and calls in between. Now, he only has one nap, so it can be a little challenging at times.

BBC Tees once came over to interview me, but I didn’t have childcare, so he joined me in the interview and kindly gargled and screamed a few times… it’s all part and parcel of having a family business – just own it!

I did take the first couple of weeks to adjust to motherhood, but I did find focusing on the business in my free time great, I do tend to get bored so I appreciated being able to concentrate on something.

I’m learning how to be patient

One of the key things I have learned since having Odin and Dragon Slayer is to be patient. The more stressed you are, the more stressed your baby is. Chill out, take a breath, and just have a moment for yourself if things are getting a bit much.

Life is just a bit different now, I tend to do a lot of things for everyone else before even getting dressed myself – emails are often answered in a dressing down and slippers, I sometimes trip over toys on the way to my desk, but I manage to get things done and that’s all that matters.

Support is key

While I’d like to blow my own trumpet and say I’m solely responsible for the success of Dragon Slayer and looking after Odin, it’s simply not true.

It’s testament to my incredibly supportive family who are able to help me with childcare from time to time, and having Will is a blessing too – we’re a team.

I have found the whole process to be much more rewarding now we have Odin, when we’re winning awards and securing sales because we’re contributing towards his future. Motherhood is incredible, and so is being your own boss.

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