Local Bloggers Urban Village interviewed Melinda
It never fails to surprise us what a talented bunch you Fulham folks are. Each month Urban Village Ldn introduces you to THe Fulham face behind an idea, product or business and asks them what they love about being a local resident. This month we talk to Melinda Cotton, Practice Principal and founder of Fulham Osteopaths, who specializes in the care of expectant mothers, babies, and children.
How long have you called Fulham home? I have called Fulham my home since I graduated in 1989 . I urgently needed somewhere to live, there was a room free in an osteopath student flat. I remember walking to the flat from Putney Bridge Tube station, on a beautiful summers evening, feeling comfortable and at ease. I grew up in a village, near a small market town. For me, the feeling of Fulham and the friendly locals reminds me of where I grew up.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family. I have two children, a 15 year old and an almost 13 year old. We live above our osteopathic practice which has had lots of benefits. When the children were little I could breastfeed, go to work and then come home to feed again. Because the children are known on the street by the other shopkeeper they have had a little more autotomy at a younger age to go buy a pint of milk from the healthfood shop, order a book from Nomad or sort their own school stationary out at the now sadly closed stationary shop Perrys. Both children have gone to the Fulham theatre school Creative Kidz, performed in the West End and been on TV. They have been to Beavers, Cubs and Scouts in Fulham.
What's your favourite local haunt? Hard to choose just one! I love Fulham Palace in the spring when the wisteria is out. Those beautiful blooms make me feel so happy. The other place I love is Quirky Gadgets, it is like an Aladdin’s’ Cave of wonder. There is always something new, really useful and fun.
What's your slice of Fulham heaven and why? La Pizzica is our favourite local haunt. It is a small café with an amazing community feel. We meet the same people there regularly, we have interesting chats with people we don’t know , and make new friends both younger and older than ourselves. It is a little taste of Italy in Fulham Road. If you like an Italian breakfast their “cornettos” are identical to those you find in a bar in Italy. At the weekend, they have lots of delicious homemade pastries. They also stock the amazing bread from the Little Sourdough Company in Munster Road. I love to support local businesses.
If you could do one thing to improve Fulham what would it be? Clear signs in the street to help visitors find the local parking meter, because sometime people do not have a phone with them and finding a meter can be like going on a treasure hunt.
Tell us about Fulham Osteophaths and how the company came to be. As a student I had a dream to create an osteopath practice, not because I wanted a business, but because I wanted to establish a practice where there would be a community of osteopaths that would support each other, giving second opinions, tutorials, so that each osteopath could be the best they could be , so that they could help their patients even more. When I graduated, I rented a room in Jerdan place, I got some card printed at Hot of the Press, walked the streets of Fulham giving out my cards, placed an ad in Yellow Pages and the rest is history. What I really love is that we have patients that I treated when they were children that have now had their own children we have treated them too!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting a new business? Do your research very thoroughly. Do not under estimate the costs of running a business and make sure you have time to work on your business not just in your business.