Q&A with Deborah Paterson


I’m absolutely delighted that Debs, from the amazing Parent Apparel, is the next in line for my Q&A series. I met Debs, and her business partner Becks Clarke, at a Step Up Club lunch last year. Debs was the first person I met, I don’t think we stopped talking for the entire lunch and I was so inspired by her, her business and her amazing message. (Debs is right and Becks left in the photo above by @emilygrayphotography)

Parent Apparel was set up to provide some light-hearted and stylish clothes for the modern day family. The eye-catching designs and amusing slogans inject colour and humour into the highs and lows of everyday parenting. My Parent Apparel jumpers get a lot wear… my husband wears his PA Christmas Jumper all year round because they are that comfortable!

We collaborated earlier this year on a “Mental Wealth” wall planner and I was delighted with the result. Debs is a brilliant visual artist (she worked at some of the UK’s best creative studios before setting up Parent Apparel) and an all-round great lady.

Clemmie and Simon Hooper and their family of 4 daughters, photographed for Parent Apparel.

What is your motto for life?
It’s something my late Father always said to me: “Keep saying yes until you have to say no”. He always promoted and encouraged a ‘yes’ ‘can do’ attitude but if at any point you feel that decision isn’t right or working out for you to have the confidence to say No. It’s also a kind of ‘In it to win’ attitude and if you really want something you’ll make it happen.

What is your current destination?
I have a rough idea but I’m currently trying to enjoy the journey. This is conscious effort to be more mindful and live in the moment. I know I’m going somewhere because I work hard everyday but I want to concentrate on being happy right now.

What advice do you have for your 16-year old self?
Don’t waste time! Time is so precious to me now and I think how I could have used ‘my’ time so much better when I was younger. Not focusing on other people and what they want, more on what I want. And that’s not in an arsehole way… it’s just being more focused on myself.

What three things are you most grateful for today?
My family past, present and future. I had a fantastic upbringing and I’m grateful for that because it has shaped who I am. I’m grateful for the family life I have right now my two boys. And grateful to have the opportunity to watch my boys grow and see what they do with their lives.

What are your natural highs?
I’m a sucker for a belly laugh – that uncontrollable laugh that you can’t stop. It doesn’t happen often but when it does… it’s life’s sweet spot! Friends make that happen and particularly my oldest friends. So I try to make that happen as frequently as I can.

What gives your life balance?
Er this is a tough one – I’m still working on it. When I get there I’ll let you know!

What makes you laugh?
All sorts, but I’m always open to new jokes. My son loves telling me jokes – they’re not always funny, but when he gets one right listening to him laugh makes me chuckle.

What is your proudest achievement?
Giving birth twice. Twice I didn’t think I could do it and twice I did and it remains the hardest thing I’ve ever done!

Who in your life has influenced you the most?
My Dad. He was my counsel, my guide, support, and champion. He always let me know that whatever happened he would be there for me. I am so so sad he is no longer physically with me but he is still a constant voice in my head and I miss our chats and his advice… he always helped.

Which five people, living or dead, would you invite to a fantasy dinner party?
Billy Connelly, Louie Theroux, Bjork, David Bowie and my oldest friend Marcella because I’d want her to be there just so we could talk about it when we were old.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I hate birds – seriously Alfred Hitchcocks film The Birds is basically my nightmare on screen.

For more on Parent Apparel, visit their website or follow them on instagram.

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