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Remodelling ‘not only pink and blue’ to a consultancy with the NatWest Accelerator

Not only pink and blue logo

At 13 years old, founder Clare Willetts found herself frustrated at her impractical uniform policy mandating skirts for girls and successfully petitioned the Headmaster to change the policy to allow girls to wear trousers. Clare highlights this anecdote as the spark for her passion to pursue equality and fairness. 20 years later, when shopping for baby clothes, she noted just how stark the pink/blue divide was and delved into research finding that stereotypes can have a limiting effect on children’s aspirations, confidence and mental well-being. She was determined to drive change and challenge the ideologies being ingrained early on in children that certain colours, toys and activities were ‘for’ boys or ‘for’ girls.

not only pink and blue exists to actively and consciously challenge stereotypes from birth so that we can raise generations of equals

Clare Willetts

Not only pink and blue was founded in 2020 as a marketplace hosting a directory of brands that don’t use boy/girl filters but as of 2022 the focus has shifted more towards a social enterprise approach that delivers round table talks, consultancy and their latest project is in the realm of an offering to businesses to support parents by increasing shared parental leave. This is the current dream and Clare hopes to be in talks with 10,000 businesses about the programme to create parent friendly cultures to challenge stereotypes from the outset. With her work, Clare has received a very positive reaction from speaking to large audiences at businesses and schools to help develop mindsets on the topic and had built a supportive and highly engaged brand audience which contributed to her winning the Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday award.

Clare has been with the NatWest Accelerator for multiple cohorts and is currently based out of the Southampton Hub which she describes as very accessible and supportive. Specifically, she is appreciative of the support and encouragement from her dedicated Entrepreneur Acceleration Manager and Local Enterprise Manager who are great are recognising her of her achievements and pushing her to further the impact she is already making. With the help of her programme she has remodelled her business from a marketplace to a consultancy to drive real impact as she has widened her network as the business grows every day.

Clare has found much use and knowledge from the National Accelerator Partners offered on the programme but in particular has found helpful the network of like-minded entrepreneurs in the cohort. She says she’s found a fantastic variety of business and founders that have been great to work with and offer brilliant community support to provide their insights to navigate their individual problems. If you are a business looking to create a parent friendly culture, be sure to reach out with an email or book a call.