A ‘mumtrepreneur’ is a mum who’s also an entrepreneur. Today, technology is opening new doors for everyone. The internet is connecting the world, and mothers are embracing the possibility of self-employment online.
More mums are working from home on their terms with the continued emergence of even more new web-based services. The internet gives new tools to stay-at-home mums to help them create profitable businesses and enjoy more opportunities to spend time with their families.
Have you been thinking about starting your stay-at-home mum journey? If you are not sure, let us share a real-life story with you.
During her teens, Maizura Rahman wished to start her own business. However, due to her family’s financial challenges, she had to forgo her education to work and support her family. Establishing her own business seemed like an impossible dream.
Today, she is the owner of a baby and toddler apparel company, Pastel Patches. Let’s find out more about her journey to being a mumtrepreneur!
Please tell us more about your story.
Pastel Patches is a one-person show for the time being. I handle everything myself, from sourcing to shipping orders to customers. I’ve been trying to make some money as a stay-at-home mom since leaving my full-time job in the food and beverage industry after 12 years.
I found that there aren’t many baby clothing stores available online after doing some research. As a result, I decided to start my personalised kid’s apparel shop, and thus Pastel Patches was born.
Please share a unique challenge when you first started and how do you overcome it?
It wasn’t easy when I first started my company. With just a broken iPhone and little to almost no money, I needed to find a way to get my business off to a good start. In addition, I had to learn how to design my products using an app on my phone and then find a supplier who could collaborate with me and bring my design to life. To make it worse, I didn’t know much about design at the time, so the process was stressful.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was forced to temporarily close my shop because our overseas suppliers were still inaccessible. As a result, I needed to find out how to sustain my venture, so I searched for local suppliers and sourced from them. During the same, I learned to sew and drape by myself to gain more skills to become more independent and knowledgeable in this field.
Those, I believe, are the most challenging and perilous days because everything was so unpredictable, and many businesses struggled. It did, however, encourage me to think more creatively and to be mentally stronger.
Who is your primary audience, and how do you reach them?
Pastel Patches’ primary audience would be families and new parents in Singapore.
What motivated you to create a Facebook Page/ Instagram for your business?
I chose to set up my own Instagram and Facebook pages because they are free and highly user friendly for newbie business owners like me. Furthermore, I use both applications daily, so I am very familiar with both. Aside from that, I can reach out to specific target audiences that I want to advertise my products to from the comfort of my own home via Instagram and Facebook.
What has been the most exciting part of the journey after digitalising your business?
The rapport I have formed with my supportive customers and other mumtrepreneurs too.
How does your typical workday look? How do you keep yourself productive?
Well, my day is quite chaotic because I have a lot to do every day.
As a toddler’s mother, I begin my day by taking care of my son, preparing meals, bathing him, ensuring his health is my first and most essential task of the day. After that, I’d finish up some housework before heading out to my day job.
At work, I alternate between designing clothes and responding to consumer inquiries during my lunch break and after work hours.
During my free time, I would visit all of my suppliers to ensure that everything was running smoothly. In addition, I would conduct errands for my business, such as researching and purchasing supplies and materials required to produce outfits that I designed, and so on.
Aside from that, I do several part-time business courses to improve my skills and expertise.
I believe that taking creative courses will enable me to enhance my creativity and develop ideas for a new source of income. Therefore, I have decided to enrol in flower arranging workshops.
Although it may appear that taking such a course is unnecessary, studies have demonstrated that floristry enhances brain functioning, provides creative expression, better concentration on detail, and problem-solving capabilities. In my opinion, these skills are vital qualities for any entrepreneur who wants to succeed.
What is the thing(s) that you wish someone told you earlier when you’re starting your business?
1. The first thing I wish someone had advised me was to pursue my goal, to go for it! Don’t get caught up in the cycle of thinking about when I’ll be able to earn enough to cover the expense of starting the business and how I’ll make a profit quickly, and so on. In the end, what matters is desire and enthusiasm. Because without them, I would not have been able to start my business from zero and see it through to the end.
2. The second thing I wish someone told me is that I don’t need a lot of money to get started with my own business. After all, I made it happen with no start-up costs, and my company is still operating today!
3. Networking, begin by getting to know more local business owners and make friends with them, other small business owners, and mumtrepreneurs! It allows me to learn more about the market and run a business from experienced business owners.
However, an essential aspect of this is that many business owners, particularly those in the mumtrepreneur community, are incredibly supportive of one another and frequently inspire one another to keep pushing forward.
4. The next aspect is to understand where and how I could promote my brand and products for free or at a reasonable cost. After getting my feet wet in the business, I discovered a plethora of free apps available to assist business owners in marketing their products, increasing brand awareness, and offering a platform to sell their merchandise.
Overall, if I had known all of these tips, I would have felt much more comfortable and confident in my decision to start my own business.
Let us know your thoughts on women, working mums, non-working mums, stay at home mums in the comments below! For the Singapore mumtrepreneurs out there, feel free to leave your comments about being a mumtrepreneur, or let us know what great business you have started!