Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
My name is Sandra. I am a Latvian girl, married and currently living in Italy, sunny Sardinia island. I’m a young mommy (34) of two boys. Damien just turned two and has started to go to kindergarten. Alexander is just three months old and is 24/7 with his mommy 🙂
What’s your business called?
My business is called COOL Leggings.
Can you describe it in one sentence?
I always say it’s Fit.Fashion.Fun- handmade and hand painted leggings, yoga pants and beanies.
When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I started out my company couple of years before I became a mom. When I moved to Sardinia, I found it hard to buy cool leggings- something different, something original and fun. That is why I started to make them myself. My friends saw them, they liked them and they started ordering from me. That is when I understood, that this can actually work and I opened my Etsy shop.
How did you fund your start up?
I started with very little. I borrowed a sewing machine from my mother in law and made only couple of designs. When I started selling, I bought my own, much better overlock sewing machine, that is still with me. At that time I was teaching English in several schools, so I had money to invest in some fabric, fabric ink and brushes.
How do you manage working around your children?
My friend asked me the same question the other day. I just do it. Now, when Damien goes to kindergarten, it is easier. But before I just went to my working room with both kids, gave Damien spools to make castles (or to make general mess), Alex in the buggy, and that’s how I am working more or less. It takes some nerves at times, cause they constantly distract you, but hey- you get used to everything. 🙂
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
Usually we wake up around half 7. I get Damien ready for kindergarten and my husband brings him there. Then I do what I need to do around the house- cleaning, ironing, shopping etc. Once that is done, I get to work and have couple of hours for my business. Then it’s lunchtime and I need to prepare lunch. After lunch Damien comes back home and goes to sleep. Afternoon is, when I dedicate myself to Etsy and social media (if I don’t have any orders to work on). When Damien’s up, I still try to work, if he’s calm. Otherwise we just stay together, play or watch cartoons etc. Then it’s dinner time, baby bathing and sleep. That’s a very typical day lately.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
I like to challenge myself. I am always thinking of new and better designs, improving my skills etc.
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
I always say- the more you do, the more you can do. I love being a mommy and I love doing what I love. It’s amazing that it is actually possible to join both of these things. Since I have my boys, I have also come up with mommy and me matching leggings, which have great success.
What are your plans for the future?
I have never ending plans for the future. First is to keep improving my Etsy shop and making it to perfection, in order to increase the sales. I would love to take fashion designer course, specific sewing classes, take part in local markets, offer my products to local boutiques etc.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
The success doesn’t come in a day. You need to believe it and keep on going also, if the sales are slow at times. Retail is a tricky business with its ups and downs, seasonal things etc. It is important to move ahead, never stop- every little step counts.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I just wanted to say that I love your blog and I follow it.