5 signs it’s time to change from Stay at Home Mum to Mumpreneur

Being a stay at home Mum can be great, you’re there for all of the milestones, you don’t have to worry about finding (not to mention paying for) childcare and there’s no commute to worry about. However it can get a bit lonely, and dare I say it, a little bit boring!

Your brain feels numb from overexposure to Cbeebies

Talking to/about toddlers all day can get a bit mind numbing after a while. If you feel like you need an intellectual challenge then starting a business can provide you with that. Even if you’re still suffering from a bit of baby brain (my kids are 4 and 6 and I’m still using that excuse!) getting the brain cells working again can help you shake it off.

You’re worried that you’re not keeping up with workplace skills

Taking a career break to care for your children can have an effect on your long term career. Keeping your skills up to date is one way to mitigate the effect and running a business is a great way to do it. Running my business I’ve developed my IT skills, research skills, communications skills, writing skills. I’ve even learnt web development and marketing from scratch.

You need something that’s just for you

Having children is great but it’s easy to lose your sense of self when they take over your world. Running a business can give you back your sense of identity. It means that for some of the week you’ll get called by your own name instead of so and so’s Mummy. Starting a business helped me to avoid a repeat experience of postnatal depression after my second child was born.

You aren’t comfortable relying on your partner for money

Let’s be clear, being a stay at home Mum is of equal value to going out to work. You are entitled to a share of the household income. Knowing this still doesn’t mean we always feel comfortable about it. Earning your own money can be very satisfying. There’s nothing quite like treating your family to a meal out with money you’ve earned from your own business.

You want to set a good example for your children

Following your dreams is a great example to set for your children. If you want to run your own business, doing so can help show your children that you can achieve whatever you want in life if you work hard.

If you’re feeling inspired to swap being a stay at home mum for being a Mumpreneur check out our 10 Great Business Ideas for Mums.

become a Mumpreneur with a direct sales business

Five signs it’s time to quit your job and become a Mumpreneur

Being a working Mum can be great. With the right employer, the right childcare and the right support it can work and lead to happy Mum and happy children. If it doesn’t seem to be quite working for you, check out these signs that it’s time to become a Mumpreneur.

Your Sunday is ruined by the thought of Mondays

If you spend your Sundays dreading Monday, worrying about everything you have to get done, it’s time to reevaluate. When your work is having a negative effect on your free time then something needs to change. When my husband was unhappy at work, Sundays always felt a bit off because he was worrying about king back to work the next day.

You aren’t happy with your childcare

Some children run in to nursery without a backwards glance but others have to be pried off you. It’s normal for children to have trouble separating from you and most will settle as soon as you’ve gone but if part of you is worried that they aren’t happy their then launching a business where you can keep them with you might be the answer.

You feel like your missing out

First words, first steps, first supermarket tantrum. All parent want to be around for (most) of these milestones but the benefits of working can be a fair trade off for missing them. If you feel like you’re losing more than your gaining then it’s time to become a mumpreneur.

You hate your job

If your job makes you miserable then you’ll definitely want to consider a change. Your children will pick up on your unhappiness and happy Mum=happy baby. As they get older they’ll be aware that you’re staying in a job that makes you unhappy. This may give them the wrong impression of work is like. My Mum hated her job as a legal secretary when I was growing up but carried on because they let her work from home. It certainly effected how I imagined my working life would be. I dreaded starting work and was actually pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t as bad as I expected. (Although no where near as good as being self employed!)

You need something for yourself

Between looking after children, working, cleaning and general life admin, it’s hard to fit in any time for yourself. Running a business can mean that you can combine working, with doing something you love. This has certainly been the case for me. Once I became a Mum I wanted my time away from my son to mean something other than just earning money.

You want to become a mumpreneur!

Of course the biggest sign is that you want to start a business. If you’re showing signs that it’s time to become a Mumpreneur, check out our Ten Great Business Ideas for Mums.

1st Aspirations – Event Planning & Consultants

Tell us your name and a bit about your family. When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I am a mum to three children, the oldest one being Shantell (30), Serena (14) and lastly 12 yr old Joshua.

What’s your business called?

1st Aspirations – Event Planning & Consultants

Can you describe it in one sentence?

An Events Management company for private and corporate clients, who want to make their dream event a memorable occasion.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I had a calling from God last year but it took me until summer 2016 to start the ball rolling. I had a catering company in 2000 that I ran with my mother but decided to give it up because the responsibility and the demanding physical energy needed became too much with a toddler and a new baby.

How did you fund your start up?

I am self-funded right now, it doesn’t take much as everything is run online. I will eventually fund everything by acquiring bookings from clients, a deposit will be required upfront to help with the cash flow, or I will use money from my pending redundancy as a back up.

How do you manage working around your children?

I had flexible working hours with my full time employer to allow some working and family life balance. I structure my days similarly now working on my own business. I also get them involved where possible, they both help out with social media.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

Generally on the go for the whole day. I start at 6am from home with my current employed company until 8am, then travel into Central London to start again at 10am until 3.30pm. These times allow me to drop my youngest off to school before travelling in, and supervise them from a distance when I work from home. At my day job I prepare documents to be posted on the company website from banking analysts. I can concentrate on my own business on my days off and during evenings. This will consist of either working on an event I’m hosting later this month, or trying to complete my online Weddings and Events Management course. It’s pretty full on. I try to keep Saturdays and Sundays for family time, even though my children have their own clubs and activities to attend.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Right now my biggest challenge is finding enough time to fit everything in. Learning how to manage social media is all new to me and attending networking events to find clients is not always possible.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

So far its been hard but I like the flexibility of working from home and being able to pick up or drop my children to school whenever I need to. I am looking forward to seeing what God brings my way.

What are your plans for the future?

Spending time with my kids, running a successful business and helping the homeless whilst serving God.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

You need to have a listening ear to advice whenever you get it, focus and drive to make it to the end whilst working diligently to make it successful .

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Yes! I would be happy to give a 10% discount to any mumpreneurs who would like me to plan an event for them.

www.1staspirations.com
https://www.facebook.com/firstaspirations/
https://twitter.com/1staspirations
https://www.instagram.com/1staspirations/

A freelancers market means that you don’t have to settle

As a mum, sometimes you feel you have to settle with juggling and compromise. You’re either in a job you don’t want to do because it fits around school pick up times, or, you’re not spending enough time with your little one as you have to be at a job which is longer hours than what you would prefer. You just settle for this as you can’t always see another option. Like many other mums in the UK, Julia struggled to juggle a career as a Data Analyst Team Leader with her two beautiful young children and felt that she was being pulled in all directions.

In a post Brexit market, one thing that comes with the uncertainty is a booming market for freelancers. So perhaps 2017 is the year to learn a new skill or qualification and take the jump into freelancing? We’ve all been there and sometimes it’s difficult to know where to make that change, particularly when it comes to employment. You spend a huge amount of your life in work, and it’s important for health and wellbeing to enjoy what you do.” Says Julia Hill, a 36 year old mumpreneur from Andover.

What do you enjoy?

Shortly after the birth of her second child Julia knew things had to change. Although she’d been in her current employment for 12 years, her job was no longer fulfilling her and her young child was in nursery, neither of them was enjoying it.

Julia looked at the aspects of her role as a Data Analyst Team Leader and realised that what she wanted to do was find something she enjoyed. In her role as a Data Analyst Julia realised that she loved was working with numbers so Julia investigated which roles included a large amount of numeracy and she settled on Bookkeeping.

Flexibility

Julia quickly realised that to have the flexibility of working around her children’s needs self employment was the way forward which would require some further studying. Then, she looked at which providers would be best suited to deliver the Bookkeeping qualifications she needed. After researching all options, Julia decided that the Bookkeeping course with Open Study College/ICB. Taking the bull by the horns, she signed up for ICB Levels 2, 3 and 4 Certificates in Bookkeeping.

Being out of the learning cycle for some time, Julia soon found that she enjoyed distance learning as it also gave her the flexibility to learn when it suited her and before long, in just one year with Open Study College, Julia had completed levels 2 and 3 with flying colours, achieving distinctions in most of the exams. After less than a year of studies Julia was awarded her own Bookkeeping Practice licence in June last year.

“As a mum with young children you feel that your employment opportunities are limited to either compromising your childcare or stacking shelves. I decided to be the owner of my own destiny and thanks to the courses through Open Study and ICB, I am now on the way to having a thriving Bookkeeping business which is rewarding for me and works for our family.”

This time of year, whilst you may be stuck in doors you can put that time to good use, reflect on what you want to change, investigate what you need to do and make plans for your better future for you and your family.

This post is in collaboration with Open Study College

Caroline from added zest

Adding Zest Ltd

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I’m Caroline Cavanagh, wife to Nick who is in the army and Mum to Nadia and Eden who are 12 and 11.

What’s your business called?

My business is called Adding Zest Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I help teenagers and their parents overcome anxiety and build resilience as a platform upon which to develop confidence.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I made an active choice that being a Mum was more important than financial success, but having the mental stimulation that work provided was still important to my own well being. Becoming self employed seemed the best answer. As the children have grown, it has allowed me to be the Mum I want to be but fit in the work commitments to allow me to still be ‘me’ and keep a platform from which to grow as my children’s needs change.

How did you fund your start up?

Fortunately the investment was not high so within the realms of self-funding.

How do you manage working around your children?

It has changed with the children. Initially it was just when they slept, I used a bit of childcare when they were toddlers and then when they started school, I was a Mum until 9 and after 3 and prioritised work for the 6 hours in between. Now that they are at secondary school, those 6 hours have grown to be 8 so I’m practically a full time worker again.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

Working from home is a big factor in keeping all the balls up. The first part of the day is all about getting everyone out of the house but then I can just ‘put the washing on’ or empty the dishwasher throughout the day to keep the house going. Walking my dog in the morning is key as it is ‘me’ time when I get to think through problems and plan. I also find that being out in nature and getting the heart working is a part of the routine that just cant be compromised. Once the children get home at 4.30 I work hard to close the laptop and give them my full attention. That’s the downside of working from home; the temptation is always there to ‘check emails’ but I have learned that this compromises everything – not giving the children the attention they deserve and the work is being done without focus. So now I aim to compartmentalise my day – I am either working, parenting or having me time and ensure each is given full focus. That way, I believe, I am the best version of me I can be and so everyone wins!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest was my husband going away for 12 months to Afghanistan and both children under 7. I learned what was important and what could be left. Taking on the role of being both parents and getting my children through that period was my priority and if that meant the house was not as clean as it could be, or I earned a bit less, then so be it. Whilst it was a tough time, I learned two great lessons – every challenge will end and you will have learned something from it. These lessons have meant that when new challenges come up, they are not as scary as they will end, I will be stronger for it…..

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I’ve been to every sports day, every school play, every concert. These opportunities only come once. I am not a millionaire (yet) but that’s still possible and ‘Ill do it with all those wonderful memories stored away and no regrets.

What are your plans for the future?

Now that my children are at secondary school, their needs for me are changing allowing me more focus on the business. I wrote a book this year, have just won a national award and have big plans for next year to take my business to a new level – and one that will also help my own children as its working with teenagers so that also supports motivation. Finding a way to bring the two elements of my life together really helps as they can contribute to ideas and feel included in my work. My aim is to be a good role model for them.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Only ever compare yourself to you. If you start to compare your products, your earnings, your client base etc it is likely you will always find someone better. However that is not a fair comparison. I once worked with someone who was the same age as me, a multi millionaire, global following by thousands who loved her work, travelled the world, award winning author………who had no children, a failed marriage, spend more than half the year away from her husband…….If I only focused on the first half, I felt like a failure. When I saw the bigger picture, I now the comparison is incomparable! When you compare yourself on one element, you lose focus on all the other areas. So the advice is just compare yourself to whom you were yesterday. If you are stronger, fitter, healthier, happier, richer in any way, you are a winner!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Enjoy today. Yesterday has already gone so learn from any mistakes and look forward. Know where you want to get to and ensure every step is leading you closer there but tomorrow, next week, next year, isn’t here yet so dont spend lots of time focusing on it. The only chance you have to enjoy now is NOW so make the thing you are doing now, one that leaves you happy.
www.anxietyalchemy.co.uk
www.addingzest.com
https://www.facebook.com/AddingZestLtd

Want to start your own business but haven’t had your big idea yet? Check out  our course, Business for Mums: Finding the right idea for you

Business ideas for mums wondering which business is for them

Which Business is Right for You?

When you were little, it seemed so simple. You wanted to be a firefighter, a nurse, a teacher or, in my daughters case, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Once you’re a bit older it’s a bit more complicated (you realise you’re never going to be a turtle, green isn’t really your colour after all) and you have to take decisions that will effect your future, weather that’s to carry on studying to follow a career path or to find a job and start earning. When you go on maternity leave for many women it’s a bit like going back to that question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” except it’s “what do you want to be now you’re a Mum”. For some it’s to be a stay at home Mum, for some it’s to be a working Mum and for others it’s to become self employed and work around their family. If it’s self employment, then you need to decide which business is right for you.

So you want to run a business

You’re then back to the question of what do you want to do?  I knew for a long time, even before I had children, that I wanted to be self employed but just kept waiting for the right idea to come along. I had no idea which business was right for me, I imagined that one day I’d have my eureka moment. I’d come up with some great product to solve an everyday problem or think of a service that I could turn in to an international franchise. It didn’t happen and eventually, after having my second child, I realised it wasn’t going to. I needed to make it happen by picking an idea and going with it.

Which Business?

In reality, only a small number of businesses start with eureka moment. When I look at the stories shared on the Mumpreneur Inspiration website it’s clear that inspiration for which business to start comes from a whole host of places. Many Mums have turned a hobby into a business. Lots have become self employed doing something they’ve done when employed. Some have built a business around selling a product they love or teaching something they’re good at.

Starting a business is a huge commitment, even if your start up costs are low, the time and emotional energy required are massive. It’s really important to find the one that will give you the rewards you’re looking for. Both in terms of both finances and satisfaction.

Finding the right idea for you

To help you do this I’ve created the course “Mums Starting in Business: Finding the right idea for you”. The course takes you step by step through the process of deciding if self employment is right for you. How you’ll manage to work around your children, getting to know what you need from a business, generating business ideas and how to evaluate those ideas to see if the business will meet your needs.

It’s really how hard to fit a course around family life. That’s why this one’s online, the lectures are short so that you can slot them in when you have time. There are also exercises that you’ll need to complete. These are where you’ll make the real progress towards your goal of choosing a business idea.

To find out more just visit the course homepage

Mumpreneur Story: Apples & Pips

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Hannah, I’m married to Phil and we have two children. Toby is 2 and was born in July 2014, then our daughter Martha joined us 6 months ago in May 2016.

What’s your business called?

It’s an online shop called Apples & Pips

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Hand picking the best products for parents, babies and toddlers

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I’ve been self employed since February 2015 when my maternity leave ended and I handed my notice in at work. I was working as a freelance blogger, copywriter and social media manager but the niggle to own my own business grew and grew. After Martha’s birth I decided to go for it and with my husband’s full support (and several months of building it!) Apples & Pips launched in October.

How did you fund your start up?

Because of how I’m working I’ve actually not had to put too much money in up front. My husband is a graphic designer and web designer so I told him what was in my head and he made it into reality. The main up front costs have been a template for the website, business cards and leaflets and money for store vouchers as giveaways during my launch party and that money just came from our household finances.

How do you manage working around your children?

Badly! Toby goes to nursery twice a week and stays overnight at my mum and dad’s once a week too so I have about 3 1/2 days a week where it’s just Martha and I. It was pretty easy when she was a newborn but at 6 months old she obviously needs more play time and stimulation now and I am struggling to juggle her needs, work and household chores.

My plan is to create a daily schedule and literally divide each day into time slots for everything from working to eating, chores and socialising. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

As I’ve mentioned, this has become harder for me to balance lately, but a ‘normal’ work day goes a bit like this:
9am: I drop Toby at nursery. Martha sleeps on the way home so I sit in the car on the driveway and catch up on emails and social media.
10-12: I’ll generally alternate between precariously balancing my laptop on my lap or the arm of the sofa whilst I’m feeding Martha, working whilst she plays in her various chairs/bouncers/play mats and playing with her.

12-1: When Martha has her second nap I try to grab some lunch and do a bit of housework.

1-3:30: Much the same as the morning, processing orders that have come through, scheduling social media updates, blogging and looking after Martha before we head out at half 3 to pick Toby up.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Time is my biggest challenge because I know that a business doesn’t grow on its own and customers don’t just appear out of thin air.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

As challenging as it can be, I love that I work around the kids, that there’s no pressure to stop breastfeeding Martha so that she can go to nursery, I can drop off and pick up Toby and I will get out what I put in.

What are your plans for the future?

10% of my profits are donated to MAMA Academy, a charity which works tirelessly to reduce the UK’s stillbirth rate and help more babies to be born safely. The rest is staying in my business account and my plan for the near future is to start buying stock in of the most popular products (I currently sell on a drop ship basis). Long term I’d love to produce a few products of my own such as candles, stationery and maybe even baby clothes designed by Phil.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Expect a hell out a lot of work for very little return at first. Running your own business is not a quick way to earn money and not is it easy, but if you prepare to put the work in and be strict with your time and your money then it’s amazing to see the fruits of your labour start to flourish.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Only that I adore my shop, that I’ve had amazing feedback and it’s my third baby so if anyone wants to look for gorgeous products and gifts for a parent, baby or toddler then go and check it out.

www.applesandpips.co.uk
www.facebook.com/applesandpips
www.twitter.com/applesandpips
www.instagram.com/applesandpips

mum in business running online business

A Mum writers story: Your Teething Baby, from one Parent to Another

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Emma Reed and I currently live in Basingstoke with my husband, Rob who I have been with for ten years, and my son, Jake who is almost three. We bought our house in 2011 and the following year we were married on a beach on the Greek island of Rhodes. I then went on to have Jake on Christmas day 2013 via emergency c-section. We managed to pack quite a bit into those few years!

What’s your book called?

‘Your Teething Baby, from one parent to another’

Can you describe it in one sentence?

It is your essential guide to answering all your teething questions and provides tips, advice and support through, what can be, a very painful development.

When did you decide to write it and what inspired you?

I decided to write it after a friend joked that I knew so much about teething I could write a book on it! I laughed it off at the time but the idea just seemed to stick. My son started teething from 6 weeks old and I found very little help or advice. I had to learn everything myself, spending a lot of time asking others questions and using the internet to find answers. I knew that if I was doing this, other parents must be doing it too. So, last August I sat and began to write. Once the writing was looking like it was going somewhere I revealed my new venture to family members who were all very supportive.
I felt that a book about teething was missing from the baby market which seemed crazy as it is a development which can start from birth (or even in the womb) and end by the age of three. We have a huge choice of books on pregnancy, newborns, weaning, toddlers and child psychology but this development seems to have been missed. I hope that my book will help many more parents and prevent babies from being in discomfort for quite so long.

How do you manage working around your children?

When I was writing the book my son was still napping in the day. I would take every opportunity I could to add to it and found that hour in the day valuable. Now that he is older the nap has gone so it isn’t quite as easy to find time to market myself and the book plus write blogs. I find myself making notes of ideas when they come to me and plan topics which may help people. I write mostly in the evening or when he is engrossed in a film or the TV in the day.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I am a full-time Mum so I have all the usual, lovely household chores to do on top of looking after a very active toddler. We don’t tend to have a ‘typical’ day because I like to mix things up a bit. We like to get out and about during our week and Jake really enjoys seeing friends and family. I tend to see my sister a lot as she is a Nanny and the children can play together. We also have a dog and love going on long walks with her out in the countryside. We both like to be busy and juggling Mum life with writing life keeps me from becoming bored.

What challenges have you faced in with your book and how have you overcome them?

The main challenge has been the fact I have self-published my book on Amazon. It gives you the freedom to have complete control of your book but it also means that you are solely responsible for advertising, marketing and self-promoting. This is where a lot of my time and effort goes.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

I love being able to reach out to others. My blog consists of a variety of topics which I think is important in helping others realise that they are not going through something alone. I like to write from a personal point of view and from my own experiences. This has also turned out to be a type of therapy for myself too. I also enjoy writing some fun posts and trying to engage the reader. The great thing about writing is that you can use your mood that day to draw inspiration from.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently working on some children’s books which I am hoping to approach publishers with. I think children’s books would sell much better from a shop and I would love to see my work sitting on a shelf in a store such as Waterstones.

What advice would you give for someone who wants to write a book?

If you have the passion and drive to write a book I would say go for it. It is so satisfying to hold the finished product in your hand and so rewarding when you receive a positive review.Your teething baby

 

https://emmareed.net/
https://www.facebook.com/emmareed.net/
https://www.twitter.com/emreed01
Amazon

become a Mumpreneur with a direct sales business

When is the best time to become a Mumpreneur?

You may not know you want to become a Mumpreneur until you’ve been a Mum for a while but even if you’ve known since before you conceived that running a business was for you it can be difficult to know when the right time is to get started. To help you decide we’ve explored the pros and cons of starting a business at the different stages of motherhood.

BeCome a mumpreneUr when you’re pregnant

If you start your maternity leave fairly it early it can be a great time to get started on your business plans, with work out of the way you’ll have some time to get your teeth in to things before the baby comes.

The downside is that you’ll have to stop for at least little while once the baby arrives which, depending on the nature of your business, could be disruptive. It’s also difficult to know until your baby arrives how much work you’ll be able to do around them, some sleep lots so you can get things done, some cry lots and you can get nothing done!

Starting a business when you have a baby

Babies generally need a lot of sleep and many are happy to sleep anywhere and this can be handy if you’re trying to run a business. Launching a business when you have a small baby can also be great for preserving your sense of self, something that can be hard to hold on to in the early days of motherhood.

However, when you have a small baby you will almost certainly be tired because, while they need lots of sleep, they still like to wake you up every few hours at night for a feed or just a cuddle. You’re also going through a huge life change and you might find transitioning to mother and business owner at the same time a bit too much.

BecomE a mumpreneur when you have a toddler

With a bit of luck, by the time you have a toddler you’ve adjusted to motherhood, got in to some kind of routine and either they’re sleeping through or you’ve adjusted to a life with less sleep. This can be a great time to start a business, particularly if they’re still having a daytime sleep. The only problem is they are in to everything. There is zero chance of getting any work done when they’re awake, if you try to take a phone call they will be instantly climbing all over you and you’re unlikely to be able to take them out to business related bits and pieces without all hell breaking loose.

Starting a business when you have a preschooler

Preschoolers are great (I should know, I have one). The clue is in the name, preschool, that wonderful, government funded initiative that gives you 15 (or 30 if you’re really lucky) hours of peace and quiet, 38 weeks of the year. They’re also able to sometimes entertain themselves for a whole ten minutes and can, on occasion, actually be helpful (think putting stamps on envelopes, being so cute when handing out flyers that no one can say no). The only trouble is this is also the time you’re most likely to have baby number 2 added to the mix…

Starting a business when you have a school aged child

30 child free hours a week to work on your business is undeniably great. You might want to let them settle in before you get started but don’t leave it too long, the trouble with waiting till this point is that it might lose its urgency. When given 30 hours a week a regular job can seem easier to manage and you may be less likely to follow your dream. You’ll also need to think about how you’ll manage school holidays as going from have 30 hours a week in term time to zero hours a week in the 6 week holidays can be difficult to deal with.

if you think now might be the right time for you to become a Mumpreneur check out “Business for Mums”

Want to read about about Mums who have started their own businesses? Check out our stories.

Alice Reins

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

Hi my name is Jacqui Edwards, I became a Mum to Alice in 1999 when I was 33 years old. I have been a single Mum for the last 17 years!

What’s your business called?

My business is called Alice Reins Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I design and have made horse/pony reins for disabled people and those who have difficulty holding their reins.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I first became a Mumpreneur 12 years ago when I trained to become a professional dog groomer, I set up my business in my back garden in a shed because I wanted to be able to take Alice to school and pick her up and also be at home in the holidays. I then had to have an operation which meant I could no longer dog groom for a living because it was too physical. It was then I had to think of something new.

My daughter Alice was born with one functional hand and wanted to ride a pony independently of me when she was 6 years old. To make this possible for her I designed and had made a pair of special loop reins and now she competes with the able bodied at everything!

Alice inspired me to set up Alice Reins Ltd because it dawned on me that maybe my design could help other people and so Alice Reins Ltd was born almost 2 years ago.

How did you fund your start up?

To fund my start up I trawled the internet gathering information about starting a business and ways to fund it, I eventually found MAS the manufacturing advisory service who, after an initial interview about my idea, granted me match funding, this was fantastic as I had nothing! A very dear friend loaned me a small amount too to whom I will be forever grateful.

How do you manage working around your children?

When I was a dog groomer it was easy as I was at home working in my back garden for myself and so I had complete flexibility. I still work from home now and it is even easier because Alice is that much older.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

A typical day for me would be the school run in the morning then I would come home and do the usual bits of housework. I then check my emails and make sure those are dealt with. I would then manage my social media ie Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , Pinterest and LinkedIn. I would also spend time researching to see what was going on in the equestrian world to keep up to date with it all. I would also look for new ways of marketing, speaking to our media manager and website developer etc. It is a constant learning curve which I am thoroughly enjoying. I would do the school run again and take Alice to ride which is always a pleasure.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The main challenge in the first instance was to learn to make the right decisions about things I knew nothing about! To overcome this I spoke to as many people as I possibly could about so many different things. IP protection is a mine field but is essential to your business and products and so is important to be aware of things that could happen and the rights you have. Advertising is very expensive and so I have to think constantly how to promote my business in other ways ie social media and attending events such as Para Dressage which is a total pleasure. This may sound strange but I found it a challenge to become tougher but this is a must if you are to enter the business world of negotiation!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

The best thing ever is being able to have spent and spend time with my daughter.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to expand my business, ideally I would like our own factory and create employment. Oh and I would love to move house!

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

The best advice I could give is believe in yourself and your idea and make it happen, I started with nothing and that is no exaggeration, with hard work and an inquisitive mind and the ability to talk to people you can do this!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Yes, I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have advised me and helped me continue grow my business, I owe them a whole lot. Also to all those who are thinking about setting up their own business, it really isn’t as scary as you think, just be very nosy and ask a lot of questions! You’ll be fine.

You can find us at www.alice-reins.co.uk
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aliceReinshorseRidingAids/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AliceReins
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/alice_reins/