Welcome back to Mama You Can, a series started to share inspirational stories of Mama’s who have changed career direction, started their own business or negotiated a more flexible role to fit in with family life.
This week we hear from Fi who started her e-commerce business after feeling her work/life balance wasn’t right… Over to Fi to tell her story.
Mama You Can: Fi from beanbaby
Hello, I’m Fi, mum to Florrie 5 and Mabel 3 (going on 13!). I live in Battersea in London. Since I left University I have worked in the IT industry, starting out as a programmer and moving up to the ‘heady heights’ of system architect. I have worked as a consultant across many sectors – finance, media, insurance and gaming – from stockbrokers to radio stations. My time at Capital Radio in my mid-twenties was the best fun for so many reasons. Not least meeting lots of celebrities!
However, despite earning good money and being able to work 3-4 days a week, sometimes from home, I felt the home/work balance was not quite right. My husband has a fairly demanding job and I felt my eldest daughter was in need of a little bit of extra support. So I decided to give up the 9-5 and embark on a new venture which has meant entering a world I know pretty much nothing about!
I have no marketing skills, no social media skills, no retail experience and no manufacturing experience. You could say that I was quite mad to start up my e-commerce business!! It really has been a jump into the unknown and a steep learning curve.
beanbaby offers little parcels for the tea and coffee loving parent. We produce our own bamboo muslin blankets and offer them alongside other tea/coffee themed products, such as an Organic Zoo Milk onesie and a ‘yummy mummy’ mug – get the idea?!
I love coffee. I am not sure how I would function without it. I also know that I am not alone in this. My eldest daughter loves muslins. She has used them for comfort since birth and still uses them to this day. I just thought it would be fun to combine the two. So far so good. Starting a business takes time and don’t expect to be the next Peter Jones overnight. But there is such satisfaction being in complete control of something and being the sole decision maker.
There are of course downsides to working for yourself. It can be an incredibly lonely existence. With both of my girls at full-time school/nursery for 3 days of the week, it can sometimes be the case that I only see a few other mums at the school gates each day. I have honestly struggled quite a lot with this.
My tip would be to try and get out once per day – be it just for a walk or a trip to the local coffee shop.
I have recently signed up for a morning exercise class to keep me moving and to meet new people. I love my product and I am enjoying the beanbaby journey. It is great that it fits around the childcare issues that we all have and it means I get to spend significantly more time with my gorgeous girls.
If you have an idea and are passionate about it and feel you are missing out on the precious younger years then go for it! I do not regret my decision one bit.
You can find more about beanbaby here.
Mama You Can will be back next Thursday, until then why not read some of the other stories…
- Mama You Can: Kelly Pike
- Mama You Can: Julie Clabby
- Mama You Can: Claudette Anderson
- Mama You Can: The Baby Service
- Mama You Can: Property Potential Surrey
- Mama You Can: Lylia Rose
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- Mama You Can: Jess Haworth
- Mama You Can: Claire Gillespie
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- Mama You Can: Bridget from Bridie by the sea
- Mama You Can: Lisa from What2buy4kids
- Mama You Can: Kathryn from Best Day Ever Party Shop
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- Mama You Can: Nicci from Stuffel
- Mama You Can: Selina from Elderflower & Delilah
- Mama You Can: Carolyn Radford
- Mama You Can: Danielle from OHSOBOX
- Mama You Can: Rebecca from Bows and Bowties
- Mama You Can: Megan from Positively Birthing
- Mama You Can: Jenny Branson