Isabel Kearney and Ellie Freeman met through Freelance Mum where the issue of childcare was often raised. At the time, both were on maternity leave and saw an opportunity to try to develop something that would support parents in their situation.
After lots of meetings involving at least two young children in coffee shops, parks and at each other’s houses, they came up with a rough plan and Caboodle emerged.
Isabel Kearney: Cofounder and Director
Isabel was running international development programmes before her daughter Athena (Athie) was born but had to resign after her employer wouldn’t let her work flexibly.
Whilst doing did some consultancy, she experienced the challenge of finding childcare. Then she found Ellie, and what feels like hundreds of other parents in the same situation, and Caboodle was born.
Isabel is an experienced project manager for charities and social enterprises and has lived and worked Asia, Africa and Europe. Now she lives in Southville. Isabel has an MA in Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods, has set up a company in Rwanda to make the country’s first educational children’s TV series, and coordinated an early years training programme. She’s committed to gender equality and hopes Caboodle will help more women achieve their potential and live the lives they want to, including herself.
When she’s not Caboodling, Isabel works part-time as a Grant Writer at Bristol Zoo, organises her local street party, and makes seagull noises with Athie.
Ellie Freeman: Cofounder and Director
Ellie lives in Southville and has a toddler and a child at school. She worked in the civil service for 10 years before working as the Bristol Co-ordinator at Playing Out CIC.
While there, she worked with residents and organisations across Bristol to support them to make their streets a place for the community to enjoy.
She currently works at Ashton Gate Out of School Care as an administrative assistant, as well as volunteering for the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership. She also freelances for Playing Out. Her experience had given her skills around project management, community engagement and communications.
She is passionate about books, BS3 and bringing people together.
Ellie Bowie: Marketing Director
Ellie B joined the Caboodle team to help with marketing and design.
As a freelance graphic designer, she was already well aware of the challenges of working at home and the unpredictability of work. Before her daughter Orla was born, she spent time looking at ways to continue to run her business whilst still enjoying being a mum, but couldn’t find much.
Ellie runs Eleanor Bowie Design, a graphic design consultancy that helps small businesses develop their brands across print and digital. She’s proud to have designed the Caboodle brand, utilising her skills developed over many years in the industry.