International Women’s Day: Meet these 5 Mighty Mompreneurs

This year International Women’s Day (7 March), we thought it’d be nice to lift and celebrate the many women who have been hustling their lives to create brands that would make a difference to the world and to be moms that would make a difference to their kids’ lives.

We got in touch with 5 different moms behind your favourite brands that we’ve got on our collection, to get them to share some of their wisdom about being a mompreneur:

1. SALTWATER ATELIER (Miya, 3 kids)

 

[In picture: Founder Miya, her husband and her 3 kids]

What is it like juggling businesses and motherhood?

It is definitely much harder and messier than I thought it would be. However, by embarking on this journey of motherhood and entrepreneurship simultaneously, it has complemented my growth as a founder and vice versa. Beyond measure, both have been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Tell us more about your kids!

They are the wildest and funniest kiddos that enjoy the company of each other (and I think they inherited their funny bones from me and my husband! With three kids under 5 - aged 4, 17 months & 5 months, I very often have to throw expectations out of the window to survive the insanity. They love arts and crafts and their tiny dimpled hands are often filled with colours.

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

My goal is to inspire my kids and to encourage more people to follow their dreams. There is no such thing as a failed experiment; there is only feedback. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

What would your advice be for other aspiring mompreneurs?

It is okay to say 'no' if the opportunity that is presented to you is at a wrong timing and remember to celebrate all the little moments along this journey.

2. ANAK & I (Lynne)

What is it like juggling businesses and motherhood?

Tornado is the word.

My day consists of running after my children, attending to their needs, being a full-time chauffeur, interspersed with dealing with the different aspects of the business – design, production, marketing and so many more. It's definitely a lot more work than I'd thought.

With motherhood comes scenarios that you can never foresee and with business, every decision you make can be an opportunity or otherwise. There is no 100% guaranteed outcome in both which makes everyday a challenge. Thankfully, my business partner is very understanding towards a working mother's struggles and my family is very supportive and helps out a lot with the children giving me the time to work on weekends.

Tell us more about your kids!

I have 2 children. Casper, who is 8 years old. He is smart, very cheeky and articulate, too much in fact, and talks like a young adult, questioning me at times.

He is at the age where he’s learning to be more independent and wants to do his own things. This is the part where I cannot help but feel a tinge of sadness as I realise that he is really growing up as an individual and would not stick to me as often anymore.

Lara is currently 18 months old, she is especially smiley and vocal. This is the age where she calls out ‘mama’ for every single thing that she sees or is doing, but it is easier to manage as this would be the second time I am going through this phase - plus the fact that it's the precious, innocent toddler age. So I'm going to treasure it while it last before the terrible twos sets in!

Both of them require a different kind of attention and communication method. One moment I can be babbling/singing away with my toddler and next minute switching to a more serious tone with the older one. I tend to always mix their names up too in situations like these. HAHA!

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

Every mother dreams and plans for the same thing, for their children to grow up healthily and to provide for them as best as I can.

Personally, I also want to achieve financial independence by own means so that my children can see me as an example of someone striving and working hard for a better future.

What would your advice be for other aspiring mompreneurs?

Keep your squad close. When the going gets tough, you know at least you can whine, wine and move forward with a bunch of supportive friends. It will be hard to keep doing this without means of unwinding from the stress that comes along with it!

3. BEADBADWOLF (Cheryl, 2 kids)

[In picture: Cheryl of Beadbadwolf (2nd from right) with her family]

What is it like juggling businesses and motherhood?

It is almost as crazy doing a circus act as you have to wear many hats! As a mother, you have to be the fun and crafty mom, yet strict and stern when needed. As an entrepreneur, you have to be firm and decisive, yet creative and true to your style. Luckily for me, the craft is something that is practically weaved into my life. So even if I have to wear many hats, my passion for craft still weaves my work and family time together. When I'm back home from work with the kids, I would sometimes sew/weave while they play, and at times we would all sit down and make things together! We could be painting, drawing or the kids would simply play with my materials.

Tell us more about your kids!

I have a 5-year-old daughter Emery and a 3-year-old son, Everest. Both of them have so much energy and they do everything with so much passion - from eating cereals to hiding under coffee tables to fighting over toys. They have an amazing drive for everything they do every day and that really inspires me. They are basically the apple of my eyes and the mountains in my life.

What is the most fulfilling moment you've had?

The most fulfilling would be to have my art exhibited in Art Fair Fukuoka 2019 in Japan and Art Gwangju 2019 in Korea. The series showcased there was my embroidered "Off-Duty Merlion Series", a series of imaginative stories depicting what the Merlion does on her off days. She would dream of being a mermaid, or going on a Hawaiian holiday, or simply enjoying birthday parties. It was a huge privilege to bring a local icon (the merlion) overseas to spark interest in our culture.

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

I am hoping to venture into doing more art installations that will have the community involved in the entire process! My workshops and crafts have been very community-driven right from the start, and venturing as a visual artist is not only exciting for me personally, but also as a community-centric artist.

What would your advice be for other aspiring mompreneurs?

Be prepared to wear many many hats! Also, while hustling hard to grow our small businesses, we need to remember our kids are growing up fast as well. So, play with them as much as possible, even in the absence of toys, create an imaginative world with them and be present, always. As adults, we have an imagination far wilder than that of our children, and we should use this to engage them in all ways, unleash their creativity and let kids be kids.

4. SUPER FARMERS (Cynthea, 2 kids)

[In picture: Founder of Super Farmers, Cynthea]

What is it like juggling businesses and motherhood?

It is not easy; I’ve learnt that in order to be efficient, I'd have to divide my time into small pockets and accomplish each task within the pocket of time I've got. I'm also a secondary caregiver to my mother, so instead of thinking of it as me 'juggling', I am actually very thankful for this flexible life as a mompreneur - it gives me a chance to be there for the important people in my life while pursuing my dreams!

 Tell us more about your kids!

I have 2 kids; an 11-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.

My daughter is the reason I started Super Farmers; Eight years ago, I nearly lost her when she was 3-years old. She had pneumonia despite having been vaccinated against it as a baby. One of her lungs was completely riddled with infection, while the other one was filling up fast; We had half-a-lung's time left to save her life. What ensued was a mad rush of operations and intensive round-the-clock treatments in a bid to save her life.

Thanks to our team of doctors who worked relentlessly to fight the disease, we had our baby back after a month in the hospital.

Several blood tests afterwards revealed that she had suffered an allergic reaction to food colouring. We were shocked to learn how a seemingly innocent ingredient can actually be so detrimental to the human body. After all, food colouring is added to perpetually everything we eat - candies, cakes, processed meats, beverages, the list goes on.

I was determined to embark on a journey to discover the truths about food.

I left my corporate career to care for my daughter and nursed her back to health with home-cooked nourishing meals while taking up a nutritional course.

Through a process of self-healing by means of understanding nutrition and paradigm shifts, I have successfully healed myself of a 6-year long insomnia episode (I used to get no sleep for 3 days in a row because I just couldn't fall asleep), and a 30-year long eczema attack that dermatologists have long given up on. Never would I have guessed that thousands upon thousands of hard-earned dollars spent on treating these 'dis-eases', could have been saved by slowly aligning my body, mind and spirit.

I decided to create workshops and courses that teach people how they too can align their bodies, minds and spirits through nutrition-led diet.

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

I hope to become the Gwyneth Paltrow of wellness cooking and a happier life, and teach people all about eating for good health and joy. When I first started Super Farmers, I truly wanted my dear fellow Singaporeans to be a healthier, happier bunch! In the past year, I've also developed recipes and written a cookbook for a corporate client, and hope to do more of that in the future.

What would your advice be for other aspiring mompreneurs?

Switching from the corporate world to entrepreneurship requires:

• a complete mindset shift to one where you're in it to succeed, not doubt yourself and think about failure

• sufficient financial capability for the business and yourself to pull through tough times

• a supportive family system that understands building a business takes a long time and requires three-fold the energy and effort than a normal salaried job requires

• they need to continuously receive emotional nourishment (they should come to me for life coaching sessions!)

5. ANS.EIN (Anseina, 1 kid | Erlyn 2 kids)

[In picture: Anseina and her daughter]

What is it like juggling businesses and motherhood?

Ans: I have to manage my time really well between working and taking care of my daughter. My effective working hours are usually when she takes a nap or sleep, so very often discussions with my partner Ein, are at midnight.

Ein: For me, it is like having another kid. Ans.Ein is my 3rd child, that needs special attention, time and love too. They are my life, they are inseparable from me. They go wherever I go, most of the time.

I take my kids to Ans.Ein events; I sometimes need to work (you know, being on the phone) while attending their classes (very sorry, my kids).

I sleep very late at night, I can work more focused after they are asleep. As Ans mentioned, we do discuss things in the middle of the night!

Tell us more about your kids!

Ans: My daughter is 3 years old. Ans.Ein grew together with her, as I started when I was 6-month pregnant. I remember when she was still a baby, I brought her everywhere, when I had to attend meeting or sent clothes to shops. Ans.Ein is also pretty much inspired by her, especially when I did a custom dress from her footprints when she just turned 1 year old.

Ein: I have a 6 year-old son and a 4 year-old daughter. I could say that they grow up together with Ans.Ein. I honestly tell them all the time; how important this work is, but at the same time, I always try to ensure them that I love them the most. That whenever they need their mama, I will always be there for them. I am very thankful that both of them are very understanding. When work gets super busy, you know, during events and festive seasons, they always know how to entertain each other. They know how to support me. They are very blessed too to have such a hands-on, awesome - incredible super DAD!

What is the most fulfilling moment you've had?

Ans: When I see my daughter grows up well, and at the same time Ans.ein also grows and gives positive impacts to others.

Ein: I am very thankful to God for every single thing and step that brought Ans.Ein to this point. I realize that those little moments and encounters made us into who we are now.

But I guess, the most fulfilling moment would be when my family said they are proud of me and they feel so much loved by their busy mom and wife. And when my staffs texted me to say that they are thankful to work with me. And when the customers messaged us saying how they love our products.

[In picture: Erlyn with her son and daughter]

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

Ans: We have plans that Ans.Ein is not only creating beautiful clothes but also grows to help other mompreneurs who want to start their own business, so they can work but at the same time also take care of their kids.

Ein: It sounds cliche, but same as the reason we created Ans.Ein: to have MORE people to enjoy art in their daily wear.

What would your advice be for other aspiring mompreneurs?

Ans: As mompreneurs, family is still the priority. Sometimes we have to let go of good opportunities when our family need us more. It is good also to involve our kids in our works, so they can see us as role models and also the struggles of their parents.

Ein: I would say time management and set your priority right.

It might seem impossible when your kids are still very young, but keep trying! Keep trying to manage your time and again, set the priority right. If you fail today, try again tomorrow, never give up.

And one more thing, always try to start your day right: feed your body, mind and soul with healthy things the very first thing in the morning. I know life will drag you and cause you not to have time for yourself, but don't give in, please take care of yourself first, so you can serve your family well and manage the business. It means as simple things as a healthy breakfast, exercise and morning prayer & devotion!

Find their collections by cilcking on their names. Team Naiise wishes all women out there a happy International Women's Day! ❤️

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