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Somerset Life talks to Martock based Sam and Julia about their publishing business, Jam Products

PUBLISHED: 19:18 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:08 20 February 2013

The Mother's Manager is proving a huge hit

The Mother's Manager is proving a huge hit

Discover how two Somerset mums used their knowledge of the needs of mothers everywhere to launch a niche publishing company.

Somerset Life talks to Martock based Sam and Julia about their publishing business, Jam Products





Sitting on the beach at Lyme Regis in the summer of 2007, firm friends Julia March and Sam Jeffery were enjoying watching their young children running in and out of the sea, hunting for shells and playing with the sand. Like all young children, they were enjoying the simple things in life.

Sitting on the beach at Lyme Regis in the summer of 2007, firm friends Julia March and Sam Jeffery were enjoying watching their young children running in and out of the sea, hunting for shells and playing with the sand. Like all young children, they were enjoying the simple things in life.

The conversation these two mothers were having had begun with an agreement that it is often parents who complicate things as we rack our brains to find new ideas to entertain our children. They reminisced as to how uncomplicated and non-commercial their own childhoods had been. It wasn't long before they were sharing fond memories of playing jacks, finding frogspawn and camping in the garden. The idea of writing down in a book all the traditional activities they had enjoyed so much was idly discussed.

Unwittingly this was the day the seeds of Jam Products, an innovative young Martock-based publishing company, were sown.

Julia and Sam had talked for some time about how they could spend more time with their children and had considered various projects they could do together. Both mothers had chosen to move to Somerset, seeing it as an ideal place to bring up their families. However, it was Julia's redundancy in late 2007 that provided the catalyst they needed to take their ideas more seriously.

The initial idea of simply writing a book of traditional activities for children was quickly dismissed. As Sam pointed out, "We guessed most mothers, like us, had lots of activity books for their children gathering dust on shelves as they could hardly ever find time to get them out and when they did they didn't have half the items required for the activity in question." The one book they knew every mother used daily was a diary to organise their busy family lives, and so the idea of a family diary with a twist was born and Julia and Sam became 'Jam Products'.

"From here on we had never worked so hard," said Julia, "but because we were doing it for ourselves, we really didn't mind. We fitted everything we needed to do to set up the company and develop our product around family life. and got quite used to burning the midnight oil."

The result of their hard work was 'Mother's Manager 2009', a beautifully designed family diary aimed at households with young children. The 'Mother's Manager' not only offers a cleverly designed layout that allows for the different activities of each family member to be captured daily, but is packed with traditional and seasonally based ideas and simple suggestions for 'making, baking and doing' activities throughout the year. It also includes practical and invaluable information such as First Aid and Household Tips.

Production of 'Mother's Manager 2009' was completed in August 2008 and marketing began. The two mothers were delighted by the response they received as they gained orders from independent gift and book shops nationwide.
Recent months have involved extending the 'Jam Products' range with the addition of a grandmother's handbook, a baby book, funky children's diaries and more, as well as preparing the improved 'Mother's Manager 2010'.

Orders for the 2010 diary range are coming in steadily, with world-famous Fenwick's department store in London recently joining the ranks of Jam Products' stockists, much to Julia and Sam's delight.

Julia and Sam are not Somerset born and bred, but as Sam points out, "It is a county we and our families have come to love and Jam Products was most certainly conceived and born here, with every part of the process from concept to production being based in Somerset."
www.jamproducts.co.uk

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