Toks Aruoture - The Baby Cot Shop

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This is a podcast episode titled, Toks Aruoture - The Baby Cot Shop. The summary for this episode is: <p>Founder &amp; CEO of The Baby Cot Shop, Toks Aruoture, talks with host Michelle Brandriss about what it's like to be an entrepreneur and nursery interior designer. Toks shares how she went from the pharmaceutical industry to interior design while being the mother of four children.</p><p><br></p><p>During the conversation the two discuss traveling to help people all over the world to design their dream nursery's, and how that process has shifted with the prevalence of remote meeting apps like Zoom and WhatsApp that allow Toks to meet people anywhere they're at. Toks also talks about overcoming imposter syndrome, and how she realized she should follow a passion for interior design.</p><p><br></p><p>All that and more on this episode of From the Basement Up.</p>
Meet Toks and The Baby Cot Shop
01:20 MIN
Traveling across the US to help design baby rooms
01:56 MIN
Toks was introduced to the baby brand world🍼
00:57 MIN
What it was like transitioning from the pharmaceutical industry to an entrepreneur in a different industry
04:25 MIN
Pursuing her own work when landing in the US
02:07 MIN
Personalization is a key belief at The Baby Cot Shop🎨
00:39 MIN
Traveling to help organize and prepare baby rooms
01:39 MIN
Connecting remotely through Zoom and WhatsApp
01:20 MIN
Developing linens, cribs, and sourcing materials
02:14 MIN
The Baby Cot Shop Family👯‍♀️
00:50 MIN
Toks' biggest win: conquering imposter syndrome
05:36 MIN
Toks is empowered by her rockstar story🎸
00:54 MIN
Toks' entrepreneurship and modeling the experience for her children
01:25 MIN
How often do Toks and The Baby Cot Shop create new designs?
01:31 MIN
How design trends are globalizing
01:32 MIN
You have everything you need to become all you were created to be
02:20 MIN

Michelle Brandriss: Hello. I'm happy you are tuning into today's episode of From the Basement Up. Again, I'm Michelle Brandriss and today my guest is Toks Aruoture. She's joining us from Chelsea, London. Toks is a nursery interior designer and has a storefront called The Baby Cot Shop. Through Toks's Positive Mindset, intention, hard work and Patience she started her business with just 75 pounds and now she sells her furniture and her services to families around the world from celebrity parents or royal family members in the Middle East. Moms here in the US you can also visit her online store at thebabycotshop. com. But for now I'm happy to introduce Toks and The Baby Cot Shop. Thank you for joining me today. It's so important.

Toks Aruoture: Yeah, happy to be here. I feel really honored that you would want to hear my story. Thank you.

Michelle Brandriss: Yes. And so first of all, to start, I would love for you to give us a background about you, but maybe where we start first is if you wouldn't mind explaining The Baby Cot shop.

Toks Aruoture: Okay, sure. So The Baby Cot Shop is a boutique brand of high end baby furniture. We are based in London in an area called Chelsea, which is a beautiful, historic, affluent area and our road is Kings Road. We're on the Kings Road, which used to be the Kings private road once upon a time and then it later became open to the public. So we've got a very rich history with regards to our location. We are specialists in baby and children's room designs and also now have our own brand of furniture and linens and room accessories, which we developed over a period of time, but was all designed in house at our shop on the Kings Road. So we offer a nursery design service or playroom or children's room design service and then also sell our beautiful furniture.

Michelle Brandriss: So I know most of my listeners are going to be here in the United States. Have you ever traveled over to the US to help anyone design a baby room?

Toks Aruoture: I have designed rooms in the United States, however that actually happened before I moved back to the UK. So I used to live in Atlanta, Georgia and my story exactly did not begin there. But I lived in Atlanta, Georgia and that was how I got introduced to the whole concept of luxury furniture for babies and children. We were just, my husband and I, were in love with the US. Still are. And we would go every year to a different state and every time we came back home we'd feel really sad and like, "Oh." And then one day he comes back from work and says, " Why don't we just move?" And I was like, " Yeah, let's move." So we sold everything we owned and sold our home and moved to the beautiful city of Atlanta in Georgia. And in the process of our move I purchased a baby furniture brand, baby furniture shop. And that was how I got introduced to the whole concept of high end design. And then worked on some really interesting projects and really just moved on from there. I feel like I'm jumping the gun now, but I then lost everything in the recession in 2008 and came back to the UK and couldn't sit down twiddling my thumbs. And I was also pregnant with my fourth son. So I watched the landscape and I researched the market here in the UK. There was absolutely nothing like what we sold in Atlanta, nothing remotely close. And began to source craftsmen and suppliers and just curated a beautiful selection of furniture and linens and decor. And in 2021 just last year, we then launched our own brand. So there's a few steps that happen. I'll be happy to talk you through as we go along.

Michelle Brandriss: Absolutely. So I would love to hear about, this is fascinating because you're a mom and that is obviously job number one. You have four children. I have one and I have a hard time keeping my head straight with one. So this is kind of mind blowing for me. So you were in the pharmaceutical industry though, that's how you started. And so this is a huge shift and you're designing and creating. So I would love to hear how you started in one industry and then you're creating your own business and your own designs. How did that come about?

Toks Aruoture: Yeah, absolutely. So I ended up even in the pharmaceutical industry in the first instance because I really wanted to be a surgeon. When I was a child I read my father's medical books and just assumed, hey, that's what I'm going to do. I was fascinated with the human body, I still am. And went to... I was born in Scotland, but I grew up in Nigeria. And so when I was a teen I came back to the United Kingdom to study. And I was supposed to be doing A levels and then move on to go study medicine. But because I was lucky enough to have parents who never stopped telling their children how intelligent they were and how incredibly gifted they were, I did not prepare long enough for my A level exams. And so I didn't get the grades required to get into medical school. So I thought, hey, I'll do pharmacology and which is the study of drug interactions with the body and then later do a medical degree. But then I got married in my second year to my best friend and just became obsessed with doing up our little apartment in central London. So I'm doing up my apartment. I'm going to home stores B& Q, which is your Home Depot. So I'm going to stores like Home Depot and I'm buying wallpaper and buying paint. We were both students at the time and I couldn't afford colored paint. So I'd buy a big tub of white paint and get some collared dye and I would mix my own colors to create the room, the different colors in our rooms, in our little flat. And before long I had to admit to myself that I was spending more time at B& Q/ Home Depot and less time in physiology lessons. And then I dropped out of school. So I dropped out in my second year of my degree and just decided the next best thing, the easiest thing for me to do was become a medical sales rep, which is where you promote drugs to doctors and consultants. I totally hated it. I only loved 10% of the work, which was sitting in front of the doctors and speaking to them about how side effects worked and everything. And then I began to have my children. Had child number 1, 2, 3 who all happened to be boys. And after my third son was born and I was due to go back to work following my maternity leave I asked for more suitable hours as a mom. And my company, my former company, were reluctant to accommodate my request. And so I happened to be reading a book at the exact time that someone had written into the author saying, " How do I know what my gift is?" And the author said, " Your gift is that thing you do so effortlessly that everybody thinks it's a big deal except you. And for me that was interior design because it was effortless for me, it was not a big deal for me to mix blue and green and get yellow. It was not a big deal for me to trim the edges of wallpaper or to mix different fabrics together. And my friends and family regularly recruited me to come to their home and give them design advice. I thought, hey, interior design, that must be my gift. And so I enrolled in a couple of design courses and set up an interior design firm. So that was how my transition went into the world of interiors. And then I had only been running the company for a year, less than a year actually when my husband comes back from work and says, " Why don't we just move to the US?" And I'm like, "Yeah, let's go." So we did. So that was how the transition happened. It wasn't intentional. It was more accidental, but at the same time I believe it was meant to be.

Michelle Brandriss: Absolutely. So when you landed in the US did you start off on your own or did you work for another design company?

Toks Aruoture: No, I worked on my own. So when I landed in the US what we were doing was traveling often to go and view different businesses because as part of our transition we needed a legal reason for immigration purposes and owning a business was one of the quickest and easiest routes to do. So I looked at every kind of business. I mean, at the time I was still so green in the world of design that I never really considered it to be a career. I just thought I needed something. But then we saw and fell in love with this beautiful boutique in Buckhead in Atlanta, which was just absolutely gorgeous. I got to meet the owners and they were selling it as well. So got to meet the owners. Went on a couple of trade show trips with them and my eyes were as big as sauces because I'd never seen anything quite like that. The world of business for me was not even real because I was running my little interior design company on the side, but I was still very much at the stage where you print flyers and forget to put your web address, forget to put your phone number on it. So it was all so new for me. And they said, " Oh, it's very easy." And I borrowed their confidence. They seemed really confident that I could do it. And I borrowed their confidence and also had moments of real fear because this is all of what we owned we used to purchase this business. And if it failed, it is not going to be on my husband, it's going to be on me. And so we did that and life was absolutely perfect. It was going very well. The children settled in school and I really began to learn. So it was more focused on the sale of furniture, but the more you sell furniture and your helping clients in the shop and they're asking your opinion on colors and so on, and being in the south as well, there's a lot of richness and color that's very different from Londoners or even New Yorkers.

Michelle Brandriss: Oh, absolutely. Very different from here. I agree. Well-

Toks Aruoture: Exactly.

Michelle Brandriss: ... and Ilove how this naturally evolved for you. It seems like got in. And I also like how you are down there new to a community and, I mean, everything's new. I mean, it's amazing how brave that is to do that. And so also when I started Name Bubbles years ago, I felt like there was a renaissance or an explosion of children's products at that time and I was kind of more even on the tail end of it. Were you seeing that at that time in Atlanta as well?

Toks Aruoture: Absolutely. And also, because for me everything was new, I didn't know what was new, what was a resurgence. I didn't know what had always been, but I just remember it being... I remember everyone loved to personalize everything.

Michelle Brandriss: Yes.

Toks Aruoture: That's one thing I remember. People just would want every single thing personalized from embroidered pillow cases to teddy bears to pajamas, everything. And it was so special to have your name on it. And even now at The Baby cot Shop it's a big part of our business. We offer personalization on everything as well. And that's because I saw just how important it was back then in my introduction into the industry to personalize things. So I have to agree with you, but for me it wouldn't have been a resurgence, it would've been this whole big thing like, " Wow, this is how you guys do things."

Michelle Brandriss: So when you're having moms or new moms come into your store, how often are you able to go? Because I love and you're so personable and I would feel welcoming. I would be so happy if you were to come to my house and help me organize and help me get the baby room done. How often do you go from store to door, do the full service?

Toks Aruoture: We do that often. So the bulk of our clients in the UK that require our design services so far have been in the London and greater London area, but we would travel anywhere. We have a client, potential client that we are happy to travel to Spain to go do her nursery. We would go to the Middle East. We'll go anywhere. But we do that regularly. So we would go easily. Whatever's easier for mom. If you want us to come to your house, we'll come. If it's easier for you to come to the shop, then you can come in as well. And our shop is very... We try to make it as homely and as warm and welcoming as possible so that when people are in there they feel safe and they feel like they're connecting with us, and they're understanding what we're saying. So either works well for us, but quite often we do go to clients' homes. Sometimes we go in just to take measurements. Other times we go in to show samples. Sometimes we go into just see the room, take pictures, and then we do the full service where we're actually designing. We've done construction work in nursery rooms before. We do the whole thing from wallpapering to wall murals to everything.

Michelle Brandriss: So for the moms here in the US that may not be able to get over to Chelsea to shop, is there online... I know you have online stores. Do you do Zoom calls with people where you walk them through and make suggestions that way as well?

Toks Aruoture: Absolutely. Every avenue to reach us is possible. A lot of clients these days are preferring to do WhatsApp calls and videos with us.

Michelle Brandriss: Nice.

Toks Aruoture: So we do a lot of WhatsApp videos. We do FaceTime. We do Zoom. We'll do anything. So yeah. So from wherever mom is in the world. And we will even send out fabric samples as well from the UK to the US so that they can have a physical representation of a sample of what they're actually going to be getting and they can see what it looks like in the room. So we will go literally the whole yards to make sure that the process is, one, as simple as possible for mom because being pregnant is a job in itself. And the thought of bringing a child into the world is heavy and we don't want to add the thought of designing your nursery and make that heavy for you as well. So our job is to make it as easy as possible and we enjoy doing it, which is the best part of it.

Michelle Brandriss: That's lovely. And I also read that as you're developing your linens and your cribs and finding the furniture, so you are involved with that from start to finish. You're finding the vendors and you're sourcing out all of the materials and making sure that everything's to your liking. What is that process like?

Toks Aruoture: It's evolved over the years and so when we first started we were an online store and it was really just a curation of other brands that we found, fell in love with, and met certain criteria. So safety, flexibility where customers have the opportunity to have it exactly how they want to, especially with regards to color. And so in the earlier days it was attending trade shows, meeting suppliers. And now things have changed where we only have three other brands besides ours and we work very closely with them and they're fully customizable brands as well. And it's just a very different style from the BCS collection, which is our in- house brand. And so what that looks like today is even more fun because the whole team went to Italy a few months ago to meet some of our suppliers there. And we meet them in person. We get to know them. Many we have people presumably, predominantly rather is people we have worked with over the years and helped. we've developed a personal relationship with them. We trust them. They're people of integrity. And so that's very, very important to us because if something gets shaped and arrives damaged, we don't want to be having a back and forth banter about who's responsible for fixing it. So we have people who care about us and our clients as much as we do. So now it's a lot more fun. And they come to see us as well. So we had one of our clients from our suppliers from Italy visit for a day or two last month. And that was fun because we took her out for a meal and we all hung out together. So it's now become less tedious than working for 12 hours at a trade show.

Michelle Brandriss: So I'm just thinking about your employees and they're so lucky that you're taking them on trips to Italy to help design and purchase. And that's amazing. How hard, because I know that finding the right mix of employees can be? I mean, that's such so important and they're working with your customers. And so how long did that take for you to evolve?

Toks Aruoture: Oh gosh, it is a tough area, but we've been really lucky because we've haven't really had any challenges with the employees we've had, I went on a personal journey some years ago about learning to be my authentic self and during that journey, during that season, I learned that the best part of a person is the part that's buried all the way deep inside. And it's the part where many of us don't get to see or we don't get to use or expose because we feel so vulnerable showing that part of who we are. And so everyone is gifted, incredibly gifted, and I believe that the best of a person can only show when they're using their gift. And so during the interview process, there is the section where there are questions with regards to experience and your role. However, the bulk of our decision comes from intuition and it comes from personality and just the vibe that you get from the person. And so we've been really lucky. I Mean, it would almost sound like bragging, but we're a team of women and the girls at the shop, the cot shop girls we call ourselves, literally go to each other's homes. They hang out evenings out together. They go to the movies together. They have a great relationship. And I think that we are very lucky to have that. But it also puts me in a bit of a difficult position when I consider the possibility of hiring someone else who might come and topple the beautiful vibe that we have going. And so it seems like it's getting harder because now we are, in the shop physically, we're a team of five all together. And then we have a couple other people that work away from the shop that are freelancers. And so that's tough. But so far we've been really lucky. We did have one situation where the fit just wasn't right and we tried really hard, and it just didn't work out. And so it was a matter of are you going to hold onto this person because of her abilities and what you think she's going to bring to the business or are you going to let her go to protect the rest of the people in the business? And so that was where the decision came in. I think that when people are teachable, it makes life a lot easier. And so that's a quality and a value that I'm always looking for. If you're not teachable, then you will not be flexible. So that so far has gone well.

Michelle Brandriss: I think you nailed that. And it is, someone has to be humble enough to listen and embrace where the other person's coming from. So it sounds like a really wonderful place to work and that people are letting you all come into their homes. So it has to have that good vibe, the good energy, and according to... Obviously you're impacting little babies, so you're going to be creating the energy in their space too.

Toks Aruoture: Absolutely.

Michelle Brandriss: So I love that approach. It's really everything. And people have asked me before and I'm like, " At this point I'm the same way. I feel that you can teach most of everything except you can't teach someone to be a nice person. They have to be that person."

Toks Aruoture: Exactly. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Michelle Brandriss: So as far as, and I'm just kind of wondering, what do you think your biggest win was? Because you know were here in Atlanta and you went through a difficult phase, difficult time. And I'm just watching this evolution. You're just this butterfly who keeps evolving and blooming. And now you're in England and in London and doing wonderful things. It sounds like you've had some learning lessons, which we all do. That can be painful, but you rebound and you have some huge wins. And I'm just curious, how did that come about and what do you think your biggest win was?

Toks Aruoture: Oh goodness, it's hard to say because, like you said, we have had some huge wins and the biggest wins have not been the most public I would say. I think my biggest wins have been just privately conquering the imposter syndrome, conquering the fear that I can't do it. It's funny how when I moved to the United States and then came back I was originally or initially ashamed of my story. I was ashamed of the fact that I have failed. I was ashamed of losing everything. We had to move in with friends. That's how we literally lost everything. Had to move in with friends. And I would shy away from interviews or even anyone asking me a very simple question at a networking event, " How did you get into the baby furniture business?" because I thought this is so shameful. And then I was lucky to have read an article in Success magazine. So I read an article where she introduced the author introduced to women and the first woman was, " Meet," let's say... I'm paraphrasing, completely, " Meet Lisa. Lisa graduated at the top of her class when she went to one of the top universities in the country. She got a brilliant job with one of the top law firms, worked there for a couple of years, and moved over to this really well known publishing firm. And then she was headhunted and this happened. And now she's moved across the country and she's going to be launching... She runs her own business now and she's going to be launching or releasing or publishing her book next spring." And the second introduction was, " Meet Lisa. Lisa went to one of the top universities in the country, but she failed. And she had just to borrow money to scape through with a third class. On the day she graduated, she ran into her father's friend who in his mercy invited her to come walk for him as a clerk. She walked as a clerk and lost that job and her friend was able to get her a job as a cleaner somewhere else. And she worked there for a while and she lost that too, became homeless, and moved over to go sleep with, stay in her auntie's home where she sleeps on the sofa. She's trying her hand to start in a business and one day she hopes to write a book." And the article ended with, " Which of these two stories do you prefer? Because it's the same person. And of course, it was the first story which is called the rockstar story and the other ones the sub story. And it ended with an invitation for the reader to rewrite their story. No one needed to tell me a second time. Grabbed my pen and a for paper. And I rewrote my whole story of losing everything. And when I was done I read it and I thought, wow, this is really good. And I without meaning to memorized it because every time I felt down in the dumps I'll pick it up and I'll read it and I'll get encouraged again. And then I memorized it unintentionally. And when people would say, " How did you get into the baby furniture business?" I'll just tell them my rockstar story. And so I didn't think that I had a story to tell until people began to tell me that it was an amazing story. Wow. I translated moving to the US having... And I think I have gone totally off course now, Michelle. Forgive me.

Michelle Brandriss: No, this is perfect. I love it because it's inspiring. It teaches people to keep going one day at a time, just being consistent. Please keep going.

Toks Aruoture: Thank you. And so I went from hiding my story to starting to tell it to people. And one day I met this journalist who asked me how I got into the business and I told her the rockstar story and she sat back down and called her editor and said, " We have a story and we must run it." And so the story I was ashamed of telling became my calling card if you like. And it really has continued to open doors for me. And so I learned a very powerful lesson which is that everyone has a rockstar story. Every single person does. If you've ever had a trial, those are the makings of a rockstar story because we can all relate to pain and disappointment and shame and all of those emotions that we feel when things go bad for us. Everyone can relate to it. And I think that it helps to strip off the layers as well so that your authentic self shows through and people can see you for who you are. I also believe that there are people that are meant to connect with each of us. There are people who come into our spaces that we are supposed to be a blessing to, but those people will not recognize you if you've got on a mask, if you are wearing the suit of a top CEO and pretending to be who you're not. But if you can be open and honest, people will feel like they can trust you. And so authenticity is a big part of our business. It's a big part of my life. And I have totally forgotten what the question was, but I hope the answer was in there somewhere.

Michelle Brandriss: Oh, you did great. And I love how through all of this your children have watched you evolve and grow and see this, the fact that you can keep at this and be a success. And you're not going to hit a home run every day. You're not going to hit a home run all the time, but you learn and you get better. And I love that they watched you on your journey because they were part of it. Have they been with you in getting the new shop set up and are they working for you at all now? I know I have my son packing orders a lot. So are they in there helping you?

Toks Aruoture: They are. They are. As they've gotten older and they're doing more of their own thing, so it's less of it. But they are very, very helpful, very hands on. My third son, Zach, he's currently helping me work. He's working on the website doing a bit of SEO and doing all of that stuff. And now they know that if they need money from me, they don't say, " Mom, I need money." They're like, " Mom, I need work." And I love that because for a very long time I felt we, my husband and I, spoiled them. And I thought, my goodness, we have raised monsters. It's not going to work out. They're going to be spoiled. So you have all this thoughts as a mom. You imagine the worst case and-

Michelle Brandriss: Yes, you're so worried.

Toks Aruoture: ... you'reso worried. So whenever they say, " Mom I need work," I just thank God I've done something well. So they are quite involved and they do help.

Michelle Brandriss: And such a great role model to have and to see. So the fact that you're in there and you're reinventing yourself. And I at one time wanted to be a creative person so I kind of dabble on the side. It's something at some point when I retire I'm always like, " Okay, I'm going to go back and paint." So when I hear that someone was actually able to have their life be creative, the creative process, and then bringing that into other people's homes, it's such a gift. It's such a wonderful career to have. So that's lovely. How often do you come up with new designs? So you're creating your linens and different ideas. How often does that happen?

Toks Aruoture: Well, so we launched a whole range last year. We launched a new cot this year, the Balmoral collection. And we launched a new set of linens this year as well, the Willow collection. So we also have Moses baskets and cribs that are coming out this year. So I will safely say once a year, but it's a bit different because they're not mass produced. They're individually made. So for that we have a lot of flexibility. It's not like we go up to a factory and order thousands or hundreds of thousands. We make all of our furniture to order so that customers have a chance to change things around. And then sometimes after we've made a change, like we made one of our cots that appeared in Architectural Digest was designed with the client in the shop. She told us the features she wanted and we helped to put it all together and create something beautiful for her. And then we thought, hey, we're going to alter it slightly and make it one of ours. It was already ours and we just made some changes here and there. So I think safely once a year. I don't know if that's always going to continue because there's only so much that the shop can hold physically-

Michelle Brandriss: Sure.

Toks Aruoture: ...but we probably will because trends common go and people's taste and desires change as well.

Michelle Brandriss: With the social media now and how I feel like influencers with TikTok and Instagram, do you find that the trends now follow more from country to country? Was there more variety before? Is it more consistent now?

Toks Aruoture: I think it's more consistent now because now we have the view. We have a bird's eye view into other people's homes across the world. We see designs in Australia and the United States and all over the world. So I think things are becoming a whole more thing less than the were previously. I remember doing a design course years ago. I went on a period design, interior design course cause I was so nervous about period design. That was the one area that I felt so scared of. And learning about how historically it would take up to 100 years for a design style to make its way from Europe to the United States because enough people would've had to travel there by sea with this new European style for it to finally become established. And to think that that was once a thing where now you can see Kim Kardashian's crib on her social media and suddenly every company out there is making a version of it. So everything seems to be becoming very merged and very globalized as well in our views, in our taste. And it does certainly have its advantages because it gives people the freedom to just have whatever it is they want.

Michelle Brandriss: Yes. But it is on hyper speed, I will say, so I have a hard time keeping up. I do have a son, so in that way I feel lucky where I'm not trying to keep up with the trends because he doesn't really notice. But I did want to just see if there's... I tend to finish on words to live by, a mantra that you might have, or even just something for moms out starting to design their baby rooms.

Toks Aruoture: One of what helped me while I was starting my business was the stories of other women who had done it successfully. And not the sort of success that's very flashy and very sudden and it's so huge and you can't really see the trajectory of their growth, but the sort of normal women like me becoming. So I love, love, love hearing women's stories of business.

Michelle Brandriss: Absolutely. So I've been in business for about, gosh, going on 14 years and it's baby steps. It's one day at a time and it's just being consistent. And I think it's so important for us to start talking about this and getting our stories out there for other people and other women to hear as they're coming into the workforce.

Toks Aruoture: Yeah. So a mantra that I live by is you have everything you need to become all you were created to be. And I came about it. It was something that I had to coin for myself. I do a lot of coining of phrases and things to keep me going. Was when I literally had nothing and I wanted to build this business and literally had nothing. I couldn't even afford to pay a web designer to create, to build a website for me. And I went onto Google and I typed in" how to build a website," and looked at all of the steps and it was rocket science back then. It's not like it is today where you can have one going in 10 minutes, but you had to buy all the different components from all over the place and put it all together. And I successfully did that within 28 days because that was the notice period I had given my landlord in Buckhead and learned that where there is no cash, you have a different type of currency. It could be determination. It could be passion. It can even be your relationship with people that you can utilize. There's so much that you can do. But I think that everything that we need to fulfill the dream that just will not leave us alone is already inside of us.

Michelle Brandriss: Thank you for that. That's a great lesson to share with everybody. I do appreciate it. And again, just so everyone remembers, it's thebabycotshop. com

Toks Aruoture: Thank you so much for having me. It's gone so quickly and I have enjoyed chatting with you, Michelle.

Michelle Brandriss: Thank you to our listeners for joining us for today's episode. And thank you to my amazing producer, Emily Flanigan. She deals with all my shenanigans. Julia Augustino, thank you for the amazing composition that you have made for the podcast. And listeners, feel free to check us out on our social media channels. Don't forget to give us a five star review. And you can also visit us on Thank you so much.


Founder & CEO of The Baby Cot Shop, Toks Aruoture, talks with host Michelle Brandriss about what it's like to be an entrepreneur and nursery interior designer. Toks shares how she went from the pharmaceutical industry to interior design while being the mother of four children.

During the conversation the two discuss traveling to help people all over the world to design their dream nursery's, and how that process has shifted with the prevalence of remote meeting apps like Zoom and WhatsApp that allow Toks to meet people anywhere they're at. Toks also talks about overcoming imposter syndrome, and how she realized she should follow a passion for interior design.

All that and more on this episode of From the Basement Up.

Today's Host

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Michelle Brandriss

|Founder of Name Bubbles
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Emily Flanagan


Today's Guests

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Toks Aruoture

|Founder & CEO, The Baby Cot Shop