Through the 'Meet a Mumpreneur' series you get to have a sneak peek into the lives of fellow mumpreneurs to see how they manage mumpreneurhood and what works for them. Today I am very pleased to introduce you to our first mumpreneur in the series, Susie Middleton from As Your Child Grows.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family
My name is Susie and I’m a mum to one, my cheeky monkey Cooper who is 14 months old. My wonderful husband Jarrod, who helps me see the funny and silly side of life, has been by my side for the last nine years.
Up until the birth of my little man, I worked in administration positions - none of which ever really held my attention - I always knew there was something more for me than an office job. As it turns out that something more was being a mum!
Tell us a little about your business
As Your Child Grows is a delightful new online shop that stocks the important "must haves" for a new baby, gifts for mums and dads as well as organic cotton clothing, nursery accessories, comforters, modern cloth nappies, pram accessories, teething jewelry, craft items, toys and more! At As Your Child Grows you will find a growing range of high quality, affordable and most of all unique items from brands like Jellystone; Sukie; Ka-Boosh; Bambooty; IssyBear Nappies; Sapling; Natural Baby Care and Bamboo Bubby.
What inspired you to start your business?
One of my main reasons for going into business was being unable to return to work after having my little man. He has struggled in his short little life and although things could be so much worse, it has been a hard road for us with allergies, intolerances and what has seemed to be no sleep for far too long! As Your Child Grows has also given us the opportunity to support small, local producers and suppliers, many of which are fellow stay at home mums who are using their creativity to produce fantastic products, which we are also passionate about.
What do you love about being a mumpreneur?
I feel really privileged to be able to stay at home and do something I am passionate about. The most important thing to me is being able to stay home with my little man and give him the level of care that he needs, while still being able to do something to keep my mind ticking and help with the finances. I must say I don't mind being able to wear slippers and trackies to work in the lovely Melbourne winter either!
Are you routine based or do you take a more flexible approach to balancing kids and work?
Having my own business and being a mum is a new world to me, so I take a more flexible approach having plenty of playtime with Cooper and managing work around his sleeps. I always make sure I close the laptop and sit on the floor and roll around and giggle or read some books as often as I can each day – because special mummy and Cooper time is a must!
What does a typical day look like for you?
My mornings are mostly spent playing mum, broken up with some emailing and updating of my Facebook page. I get most of my real work done when Cooper goes down for his nap at 11am, and spend the time sourcing new products, following up suppliers, updating the website and marketing. Then when Cooper wakes we have more playtime before he goes down for his 3.30pm nap. This is when madly dash around cleaning the house and getting dinner ready as well as pack any orders that have been placed that day so I can get them to the post box before 6pm. The evenings are spent as a family.
What has been your biggest challenge? How have you/are you overcoming it?
Like many businesses our biggest challenge is sales. Being new we are testing and measuring both our marketing and our products to ensure we have and deliver what the market wants and needs. Both of which can take time and have a steep learning curve!
How do you market your business? What have you found works best for you?
We are currently looking at different marketing strategies to raise our profile, though our main marketing is done through Facebook. We have a Facebook page and we currently run a few advertising campaigns to increase our fan base.
What do you do just for you to recoup and relax?
I recently gave myself a day off to catch up on my favourite TV show Offspring. Though generally speaking if I can have a shower without entertaining my son at the same time I think I'm doing pretty well!
What advice would you give other mum's starting out?
Be clear in what you want to achieve and stick to it. There are a lot of things that can distract you but try to stay focused. Don't be afraid to reach out to other mums - whether for some advice or just to help clear your mind. Try to not get disheartened, it can take time to get to where you want to be - I'm still not there yet but I know if I keep trying I will get there!
If you would like to get in contact with Susie you can connect with her on Facebook or at the As Your Child Grows website.
P.S If you would like to be featured in the ‘Meet a Mumpreneur’ series, I'd love to hear from you! Just send me an email and tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.