Our latest music matters feature is with the lovely Steph Douglas, founder of Don’t Buy Her Flowers. DBHF specialises in thoughtful gift packages, and they are absolutely fab! I’ve lost count of how many I’ve sent out to friends and family – I especially love the ‘Create A Gift Package’, where you can choose which products go in (always gin & tonic and chocolate).
We love Steph for her honest approach to motherhood, relationships and business, but we also love the fact that she enjoys a kitchen disco and is a serious advocate for afternoon naps – how GLORIOUS!
Steph has created a business with heart. It’s a business that really listens to its customers, and is committed to giving back, regularly championing fellow business-owners, and supporting charities such as Stand Up To Cancer. In March they’re donating £1 from every order placed, to Homestart, which is a fantastic organisation that supports families through tough times, as they did ours after our twins came along and wreaked havoc!
If you haven’t already checked DBHF out, then do so pronto! If you’re anything like me, they will fast become your number one go-to for gifts (oh and Mother’s Day is coming up, so….)
We spoke to Steph about what music was playing in her childhood, what music she listens to now, and of course those infamous kitchen discos…
What music was playing in your early years? Johnny Mathis, Cliff Richard, Sinatra, Barbara Dickson, Everly Brothers and lots of Musicals soundtracks. And the thing is, because Spotify didn’t exist and so we listened to the same albums hundreds of times, I still know every word to all of them. I was at a quiz night and some spurious lyrics from a Cliff Richard song came up and I called it instantly. OH! And Jive Bunny on car journeys, which must have driven my parents crazy.
What were you listening to during your teenage years? TLC, Fugees, a lot of R&B compilations and then some indie and Spice Girls mixed in because it was the 90s, and obvs Alanis Morrisette. I also loved a bit of Beatles and 60s compilations. I had Frank Sinatra Duets tape (yes tape) in my car and it was a fave.
What do you enjoy listening to now? I still love listening to Kisstory and we went to see Lauryn Hill a couple of years ago so it’s probably time I moved on, but there’s something comforting in the familiar! I think with small kids and the business and generally what has felt like a ‘rush hour’ few years, adding ‘discover new music’ to the list feels like a chore, which I know it shouldn’t but maybe in a few years I’ll come out the other side. I don’t listen to music as much as I used to, but always feel a bit ‘oh I should do this more often’ when I do.
How does music typically feature in your day? In the car, when we used to have places to go, and on a run. Usually at teatime when we’re cooking/eating we’ll put something on. The kids love a kitchen disco. Unfortunately that means Gangnam Style still comes on, and Little Mix (although I rather like Little Mix).
What was the last thing you listened to? Damien Rice. I wanted to wail along, which probably says a lot about the state of my head currently!
What was the most memorable gig/festival you went to, and why was it so memorable? I went to see Beyonce on the Lemonade tour. It was summer, I was with one of my best mates and we were drinking jugs of Pimms saying ‘Pimms really doesn’t get you drunk’ while getting very drunk. We danced aggressively and sang and knew every word and it was just really great. That album is magnificent.
What album/song reminds you of falling in love? The Kooks Inside In/Inside Out. Also the Love, Actually soundtrack – Doug lived in Italy when we met and could only get Italian TV, but had a Love, Actually DVD and we watched it a lot. I know, we’re hideous.
Do you play an instrument, and if so what? And how often do you play/practice? I learned the piano when I was younger but was rubbish at practicing so ended up swapping to singing lessons, purely because there was no practice involved. I can hold a tune but am by no stretch a good singer! My husband plays guitar and piano and can start playing something with no music, just works it out, and I would love to be able to do that but also have no patience so it was never going to happen.
Do you sing to/with your children? If yes, does it alter their behaviour/mood? Yes, I was never a massive one for classes when they were little except music – I did a singing class with all of them and they loved it. A couple of summers ago we played Michael Jackson a lot on holiday every time we were in the car and it’s quite nice when you come out of the nursery rhyme phase and they start to like songs. The older two are just starting to develop their own tastes and definitely love music.
Is there a song or album that got you through a difficult time? This is VERY tragic, but I went to Australia in my twenties and knew I needed to break up with the guy I was with as it was not a healthy relationship, and I remember lying on the beach on my own listening to James Blunt. And Kelly Clarkson. So sue me.
Kitchen discos? If yes, what’s on your playlist? Definitely – we have disco lights and everything, the kids all love dancing. It’s eclectic as it’ll involve music we like, music the kids like. The Trolls soundtrack isn’t so bad as it’s nearly all covers. My standards were never very high but as a parent I’m just relieved that we’re not listening to ‘Mr Tumble sings…’ anymore. I put Marvin Gaye on the other day, we’d had some wine and it was fun to watch the kids look on appalled while we gyrated to ‘Let’s Get It On’.
Anything you want to tell us about? Mother’s Day is coming up (14th March) and Don’t Buy Her Flowers have some gorgeous selections, or you can put something completely bespoke together, and it all arrives beautifully gift wrapped and with a handwritten tag.
Click HERE to visit Don’t Buy Her Flowers.
Click HERE to follow Steph on Instagram.
We’ve also put together a playlist of some of Steph’s influences and inspirations, you can hear it HERE.
For every ‘Music Matters’ feature we publish we will be donating £20 to music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins, who we’ve been supporting since 2018.
To read more of our Music Matters interviews, click HERE.