Jodie Farran, Co-founder Shaken Udder
Jodie set up Shaken Udder in 2004 with now husband, Andy Howie. It began as a top-notch, event-based brand bringing fresh milkshakes to the masses at events and festivals up and down the country, before winging its way onto retail shelves in 2008.
Fourteen years on and Shaken Udder is now one of the most talked about premium milkshake brands in the UK, with its range of delicious dairy products sold all over the UK in multiple retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Ocado, WHSmith, Boots and The Co-op, as well as thousands of individual retailers throughout the UK.
From the start, Jodie has always been hands-on when it comes to Shaken Udder, looking after the sales and finance side of the business, meeting buyers and overseeing the marketing strategy. She also works on new product development and, in the early days, was known to pull a trailer or two en-route to many music festivals.
Now, with a new member in the Shaken Udder family, Jodie is juggling her two babies: a successful milkshake brand that is growing significantly year-on-year and new baby Elsie!
What was the inspiration behind Shaken Udder?
I’m addicted to milk, but I couldn’t get a good milkshake when I was away at events. Howie and I saw a unique opportunity and decided to start up an events-based brand. We hit the road, travelling up and down the country making fresh, tasty milkshakes for thirsty festival goers.
We quickly built up a loyal band of Shaken Udder fans who started asking where they could get our milkshakes outside of festivals, so we took a look at the retail shelves and were disappointed with what we found. Marvellous milk was being ruined with ingredients like modified maize starch, butter milk powders, e-numbers and artificial flavours. We decided milk deserved better, which is why we developed our rich and creamy herd of delicious bottled milkshakes; blending fresh British milk with natural ingredients and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Since then we’ve continued to successfully add to our range with kids 200ml cartons and our larger 750ml Uber Udder milkshakes.
With a new baby to care for, how are you managing to juggle work and being a mum?
Even before Elsie arrived I put plans in place to navigate the changes that were happening. I made sure I'd hired the right people so a strong team structure was in place. I also delegated some of the tasks I had been doing previously that I probably didn’t need to be doing anymore.
Becoming a mother has been a great opportunity to let go of some tasks and make sure I’m focusing on the jobs that’ll continue to help grow the business and maintain it’s current impressive growth trajectory.
However, it is a juggling act and if either Elsie or the business demands more of my time I respond to that. Add to that the fact that Elsie’s routines don't stay the same for long, so it's a constant process of change and adaptation. No one week is ever the same.
Despite that, I do try to maintain some sort of routine where possible and use every minute wisely. In the day when Elsie closes her eyes I use this as an opportunity to work. In the evenings when it’s a little quieter I use the time to concentrate on things I’ve not managed to get done during the day.
What are the biggest frustrations of running a business and having a family?
I naturally want to do it all, but I have come to realise that's just not possible as my life and situation has changed.
I find it challenging not having the time to do everything I want to do to the level of detail I did previously, but I try not to give myself a hard time about it.
I’ve also come to accept that things don’t always go exactly to plan, so I now try to just adapt and re-prioritise where needed.
What changes have you needed to make to become a 'mumpreneur'?
I think the main change has been letting go of some of the day-to-day intricacies of the business and just to focus on the key top line business stats. I've realised I don't need to do everything myself to have a business that succeeds.
I've also got better at trusting others with important tasks. I've had to delegate and hand over certain aspects of the business in order to maintain a work/life balance. This has been hard, but it means I can channel my energy into specific tasks and not get bogged down with everything.
I also make sure I dedicate time to Elsie without business distractions and enjoy the time I spend with her. She'll only be little for a short time and I don't want to miss a moment.