Ruma = timeless style, quality designs, beautiful prints, ethically handmade.
We find out more about the perfectly fitting Ruma clothes, how they are made and the super exiting new lines from founder Ellen!
Describe the Ruma breastfeeding mum?
She’s got a wicked sense of humour and loves fashion. She wants to dress like her pre baby self. She is cool and contemporary.
What sets you apart from other brands?
Ruma is a fashion brand first with the added functionality for breastfeeding.
I try to design dresses that I would like to have worn pre baby and create a brand that speaks to you as an individual alongside you as Mum.
What are the values and vision behind Ruma?
The brand’s values centre around creating clothing that is well made, hard working and designed to last through multiple pregnancies and breastfeeding journeys.
Dresses that are well fitting and hardworking but also give you confidence to feed your baby and keep your usual style.
Ethical manufacturing is also very important to the Ruma brand.
What can parents expect from Ruma?
Contemporary breastfeeding dresses without the usual naff maternity fit.
Lots of prints and colour!
Dresses designed to give you confidence whilst breastfeeding and beyond.
Tell us more about your U.K. manufacturing and skilled dressmakers…..
Currently all of Ruma’s garments are lovingly stitched in the UK by talented seamstresses who are paid a proper for wage for their wonderful skills.
Why is ethical manufacturing so important to Ruma?
80% of garment workers are female so I think it’s important that we advocate for a fair fashion industry.
Any suppliers or manufacturers I work with as the brand grows, their ethical policy particularly wages and working conditions will always be my top priority.
I simply wouldn’t be comfortable to make a profit from potential miss treatment of garment workers in my supply chain.
Do you design your dresses and how do you create your times less pieces?
I am the designer, the fabric sourcer, the website manager, the picker packer, the customer service advisor basically everything apart from stitching the garments together.
I leave that to the experts.
I take lots of inspiration from fashion bloggers, street style and high street brands to make sure that the design aesthetic is current.
I really want breastfeeding mums not to feel cut out of the fashion industry.
What inspires you to design your clothing?
My Ruma community on Instagram are amazing.
I can post an idea on stories and they are always so quick with comments about prints, cuts and what they would like to see more of.
I design for myself and what I would like to wear day to day as a breastfeeding mum alongside my lovely customers.
How far in advance do you have to be planning?
I have two little ones under 5 so I’m always on the back foot!
I don’t necessarily follow the seasons as we are all trying to be more sustainable, buying less but choosing well.
I describe the dresses as none seasonal meaning you can pair with sandals in the summer, boots and knits in the winter.
Now that I’ve perfected the fit of each design if I see a print I like I tend to ask my community on Instagram what they think and if it’s a yes I’ll get the style into production.
How do you choose your prints, they are always so beautiful?
Personally I love prints and colour and I found maternity wear to be mainly black or breton striped.
It almost felt like the high street was saying now that you are a Mum no one wants to see you in a colourful dress!
I love florals and timeless prints like gingham checks, usually when I spot a print I can see it as a garment straight away and that how I know my customers will love it too.
Where does Ruma sit amongst the breastfeeding clothing market?
I would say Ruma sits at the affordable luxury end of the market.
The brand is not fast fashion, the designs are made to be worn again and again with an emphasis on quality and fit rather than just seeing you through your pregnancy / maternity period and then ending up in the charity bag or bin.
I want to make clothing that is treasured and offers the customer peace of mind in the manufacturing process but I do try to keep the prices as accessible as possible.
How did Ruma come about?
I was so excited to see the back of my rubbish maternity wear after having my first child in 2016 I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that I would need breastfeeding clothing.
There are lots of brands popping up now all offering different things which is amazing but at the time I couldn’t find anything that reflected my style.
Ruma was basically born from the need to keep my pre baby individuality, Motherhood is a huge identity shift but I still wanted to wear a nice dress that looked and felt fashion forward.
Where did the name come from?
Rumina was a Roman Goddess who protected Nursing mothers and infants.
Rumina is derived from the Latin word “Ruma” meaning teat.
Ruma was perfect as I think we all deserve to feel like Goddesses in our clothes, especially whilst breastfeeding and giving so much of ourselves to our little ones.
Tell us a bit about you and your background?
Initially I wanted to be an actor and did lots of costume design at university.
I love vintage and my first business was a vintage clothing brand with a boutique on ASOS marketplace and an actual market stall.
I absolutely loved but I did get a bit fed up of freezing to death on the Sunday market stall!
I decided to go and get some actual industry experience and worked for a few high street brands in the buying and merchandising departments.
Great experience but very brutal working environments!
I love comedy, vegetarian hotdogs and I’m a podcast junkie.
Describe your own personal style?
Lots of prints and colour, especially at the moment as I find colour lifts my mood.
Vintage details, lots of tortoiseshell accessories and gold jewellery.
I love a dress that you can just thrown on and that’s your whole outfit sorted.
What is your absolute favourite piece in your collection?
I live in the gingham smock dress.
Even during lockdown I just love how easy it is to chuck on over a pair of leggings.
It’s comfortable, easy feeding access and I’ve actually gotten dressed which is always an achievement!
What do you think breastfeeding mums are looking for?
Clothes that reflect their actual style, not just having to settle for maternity wear that they wouldn’t usually buy.
Why should we have to waste money on clothes that we don’t absolutely love just because we are pregnant or breastfeeding?!
Who’s style and which brands do you look to for inspiration?
High street brands I love are Oliver Bonas, & other stories.
There are so many amazing small brands on Instagram now like By Megan Crosby and Back by Sundown (all handmade in the UK).
I love Florence Welch’s style and I’m always trying to channel a bit of Alexa Chung.
What do you feel has been Ruma’s greatest achievement so far?
Perfecting the fit of my patterns last spring.
I wanted the fit to be a staple of the brand.
Too many maternity garments don’t fit properly and it’s just not what you need when you are trying to dress your new shape.
My returns rate completely dropped after adjusting a few fit issues and now I hardly receive any returns at all which is amazing.
My main goal is for my customers to be in love with their Ruma dress.
I was also really chuffed to be featured in the Juno parenting magazine.
What can we expect from you going forward?
I’m working on a loungewear set which is a first for me!
I’m really excited about it and think it will be a wardrobe essential, nice enough to feel like you can go out of the house whilst wearing it but also super comfy with my signature two way zip.
Expect lots more prints and hopefully some big collars as I absolutely love that trend!
Can you give us a sneaky hint to any new designs?!
I have a new print launching over the next couple of weeks in both the tiered midi and smock dress.
It’s a celestial print which the Ruma gals on Instagram went crazy for!
So I’m really excited to launch that.
What are your aspirations for Ruma?
To keep creating clothes that make you to feel confident and beautiful when breastfeeding.
If I can keep helping mums to retain their pre baby style and individuality then that is enough for me.
It might help to make a few breastfeeding journeys a little easier along the way!
Any advice you want to offer breastfeeding mums?
No advice only encouragement to keep going!
You are amazing, you are a Beyoncé song.
Let go of the Mum guilt and do what’s right for you.