Swindon businesswoman Pippa Dziubinski is preparing to walk 60,000 steps along The Ridgeway for a charity helping some of the 60,000 premature babies born in the UK every year. Pippa, 34, is the founder of The Little Art Collection, a luxury babywear brand which features designs by up-and-coming artists. She is married to Adrian, who is a partner in the business and also runs a road covering firm. They have two children, Sonny, four and seven-month-old Eva.

“MY ethos has always been that I’m going to give things a go,” said Pippa Dziubinski.

It’s a philosophy she applies to both business and charity. The Little Art Collection opened in February.

“I spent about a year preparing to launch the business. It took a long time. During that process I made a lot of samples with different suppliers, and I found myself with a box of blankets that were good samples but not ones that I would sell.

“I was looking for charities that would be interested in giving them away, and having worked in charity before I know that, sadly, things like that are not always particularly welcome!

“I did contact quite a few places but a friend put me in touch with the Winnicott Foundation and they were extremely grateful and really keen to have them, so I gave them the blankets in March, shortly before Eva came along.

“They wrapped them up and put them in welcome packs for the new mums that they have.

“They are a small London charity – hence, probably, why they were interested in my gift! They support three NHS neonatal units, support the families, fund research and fund equipment.

“Having given the blankets away to them I kind of struck up a relationship with them.

“My background – some of it – is in fundraising and charity. I suppose I was probably feeling hormonal as well, having had a baby, and just extremely thankful that everything had gone well for me and that she had a healthy birth and safe arrival. So I decided to do a bit more for them.

“We weren’t doing any corporate responsibility work at the time and it felt like a nice fit.

“I tried a few things but in the end I decided to take on this physical challenge to see if I can raise money for them.

“I really want to buy a baby apnoea monitor, a vital piece of equipment which detects their chest movements and breathing and alerts medical staff if there are any problems. I think the charity needs about 50.

“I’ve set my target at £800 to get one, but hopefully to raise more I’ll carry on going.

“I’ve got a few other things planned, like a little sample sale and various other activities.”

Pippa’s family live near Tonbridge Wells. Her father worked in the City and her mother managed the family smallholding. Pippa met her husband while studying psychology and Spanish at Newcastle University, and came to Swindon about a decade ago.

She had no idea when younger that she would end up in business.

“To be honest I didn’t really know what I was going to do.

“I didn’t at university, either. I really enjoyed my psychology degree because I’m interested in what makes people tick. A lot of it is common sense, but I find it really interesting.

“That interest in the way people’s minds work led me into marketing, really.

“Also, I’m quite creative. I’m not a creative doer but I’m definitely a creative thinker.

“I started off working at Dyson in a junior marketing role and then worked in various other marketing roles.”

Later came a shift from the private sector to charity, and a stint of more than three years with Guide Dogs for the Blind.

“I guess I wanted to do something that wasn’t for commercial gain and had a deeper purpose behind it.

“I really, really loved it there – it’s a great charity. I felt like I fitted in. I did really enjoy it, and that was probably as content as I could be in a marketing role.

“The reason why I decided to try something on my own is not down to Guide Dogs.

“It’s more just down to me struggling to find balance between home life and work life.

“I think I’ll always be somebody who tends to over-apply myself and work for more than I’m employed to.

“I put quite a lot of pressure on myself. I went back after having Sonny and I think it was two years after that — everything had just got completely out of balance.

“I was working really late, I wasn’t at home, I wasn’t really seeing much of Sonny, I wasn’t making dinner and looking after my husband and my home life.

“It just felt like time for a change and time to be brave.

“I’m a big believer that we only live once, and kind of pride myself on being as brave as possible.”

The genesis of The Little Art Collection came after Pippa gave birth to Sonny and found most babywear designs uninteresting. She decided it would be a good thing for there to be babywear as appealing to adults as it was practical.

Pippa’s pieces are adorned with designs from the best students from about a dozen art schools up and down the country, including ones in Bath, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Each box containing a product also contains information about the artist and their work, and according to Pippa the formula is working.

Customers have so far been drawn from throughout the UK and Europe and as far afield as the US.

Most items are made from bamboo-based material, a luxury alternative to cotton.

“It’s significantly better for the environment than cotton. It’s highly absorbent, it’s really soft because of the roundness of the fibres of the bamboo plant, it’s breathable and it’s temperature-regulating, so it’s just perfect for newborn babies, really.”

Pippa has some simple advice for others with a business idea.

“Do lots and lots of research.

“It sounds so obvious, but ask friends, go out and talk to people on the street, do as much research as possible because what you think your initial idea might be might turn into something different.

“Put all of your insecurities aside and make sure you’re getting the truth out of people.

“Be prepared for good and bad feedback, because it’s all invaluable.”

The Little Art Collection website, which has details of Pippa’s fundraising walk, is thelittleartcollection.co.uk