How it all began…
Hi my name is Zaahida. Welcome to my little virtual hang-out space. I have been married for 6 years. I have 3 beautiful children and I have not worked a full-time job since I was married. When I do, I teach part-time twice a week for a few hours (and still then I felt guilty leaving them with someone else). I always wanted to be there for my kids in their formative years, when they are babies, when they are breastfeeding and when their character, personalities, opinions of the world, and beliefs of what is right and wrong are being developed.
Nope it is NOT easy. When making a choice like this it comes with hard work and sacrifices. The family has to work well together to see how they manage themselves on one household income, and where they can cut down costs, and be creative and resourceful. I can’t count the amount of times I felt like throwing in the towel!
I always looked with admiration at moms who work from home. I needed to do something to break away from the kids and the mundane household chores for a while, to maintain sanity and balance in my physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. (Ie. to prevent myself from pulling out my hair, running away, having a nervous breakdown, committing suicide or multiple homicide!!!)
I have always been one who loves reading, writing, researching, compiling and my mind would never be happy to only be busy with domestic chores. I always had some creative or research – based projects I was busy with.
2 years ago I found myself spending a lot of time on Facebook and meeting many moms online who felt this exact same way and have managed to establish businesses from home. Most of these moms belonged to a Facebook group called the South African Cloth Nappy users . I was so inspired by these wonderful mompreneurs, to try and do something similar.
I am an unconventional-thinking mom who loves using natural/alternative remedies. I dislike using or consuming products containing harmful chemicals/hormones. I am a natural birth and breastfeeding advocate, I like helping, encouraging and supporting other moms, especially moms with home businesses. I wanted to start a business, whereby I can share stories and information with like-minded moms and also promote their home-based businesses. I am also passionate about supporting local businesses, reducing pollution and our ecological footprint, by using modern cloth nappies and reusable cloth pads for women. After hearing how many tonnes of dirty disposable nappies one baby uses from birth till potty training, and how many estimated years it could take to disintegrate and decompose (over 200 years), I was appalled and made a decision that I would not be a part of contributing to so much waste in the landfills and I started using the above-mentioned products.
I needed to establish a business that can promote and achieve all these passions of mine, while earning an income right from inside my home and being there for my small kids.
So in November 2014, between my pregnancy and looking after 2 robust toddlers, with no domestic help at the time, my idea to create an online business started to emerge and slowly develop. I tried (and failed in) a few business models: I tried sewing reusable products, the reviews of my tester cloth pad liners were excellent and many ladies enquired about them, but with small kids and no help it was impossible, I could not keep up with the work, and I was just too tired to do it all on my own. I tried retailing the same ready-made products, some people who were interested wanted to see the products and I did not have capital to keep stock on hand, besides that, not many sales were coming through Gumtree (I hated posting Gumtree ads by the way-it killed me) and my Facebook page. I needed a website….I needed to learn some marketing skills! Although I had the ability to sew, and a dress design certification, I just had something blocking me from being able to sit in front of a sewing machine, besides, the toddlers were continuously throwing all my stuff out of the boxes…
After I gave birth, I attended an entrepreneurial workshop by Nosi Ncoyo from Vision4Women . Two of the points she mentioned about being an entrepreneur: 1.)Take yourself seriously and the one which resonated the most with me was 2.) that you need to build your personal brand. It was at that moment that I learned, that no matter which type of business I start, how could anyone know about it unless they started to know who I (this very introverted stay-at-home-mum) was, what I am about and the great ideas I have to share with the world. I realised I must start a blog first!!
It was then that I started working on my idea while caring for my new-born and 2 toddlers. I started to upskill (is there such a word?) myself regarding online businesses, online marketing, graphic design, branding, blogging, web development, and search engine optimization. I learnt so much, late at night, in the middle of the day, early in the mornings…sometimes I couldn’t sleep cos there was just too much going on in my head!!!!
One of my favourite resources is Blogelina.com (If anyone is interested I will add some more of my favourite resources to this as time goes on). My beautiful company logo and blog header and identity work were done by the amazingly talented Graphic Designer and Creative Consultant, Andrea Barras. Check out her blog here. My Motivation to carry on when I felt like giving up…hands down this group here: The Hello Boss Creative group (edited to add: this group has now been archived) hosted by Ashley Knight They all just get me…
This blog is a combination of my multiple passions and my love for helping people. I want to create an informative gathering place on the internet, free of judgement, and rather, full of support and networking from other moms. A destination and resource for all things womanly, motherly and to do with babies… A parenting community, one-stop destination.
-A place where women can write, teach, empower, educate each other to look after themselves and raise their families in the best, most natural and wholesome/holistic way.
-A place where nervous and confused moms can easily come for advice
-A meeting place for mindful mums
-A place to share stories of encouragement and upliftment for other mums
-A place to share tips on how to start working from home
It is said that a woman rocks a baby in one hand, and mankind in the other. It is for this reason that I feel so strongly that women should be nurtured, treated well, and encouraged to look after her family in the best way, because solid healthy families amount to solid, healthy communities.
If you think like me and you want to chat or with me or work with me. Please get in touch! I love meeting new people!! If you enjoyed this post please share, and let me know in the comments what your mompreneur journey was like!
Zaahida Natasha Joel