Award winning mumpreneur Joanne Dewberry of Charlie Moo's tells us about how she manages to be mum to two toddlers and run her businesses:
I’m constantly asked "How do you fit everything in?" My mum is always saying "You need to slow down!". I have two small children, Charlie age 3 and Megan age 1, I run two businesses, Charlie Moo’s and Networking Mummies. ( I co-own Networking Mummies with Laura Morris of RentaBuggy), so my life is pretty hectic! But I wouldn’t have it any other way!
The reason I started Charlie Moo’s was because I was disheartened by the rubbish party bags Charlie had received at parties. Not only did they break straight away, they were either very age inappropriate or made of plastic. At one party he received near enough a whole bag of chocolate. It became a slightly stressful experience. Charlie would wander out of the party tightly clutching a plastic bag in his hand and we would fight with him for the contents, in most cases he would be left with a balloon and some bubbles. I took the plunge to build and start up my website after Megan was born in August 2008. I became very adept at typing with one finger whilst breast feeding at 2am. I now sew all the fabric bags myself too!
When I struggle to fit everything in I remind myself why I started Charlie Moo’s: not for the money, not for the fame, not even to rid the world of plastic party bags … because I wanted to. I also wanted to be a full time mum and that is what I am! My day is dictated mostly by the children’s routine, pre-school, toddler group, friends, trips to the park, I fit my businesses around this. Sometimes I do have day meetings, events and workshops that I can’t take to. I work these in so they are not very often and it actually becomes a nice treat for them to spend the day with nanny or daddy. In a lot of cases Megan does come along to meetings with me, but I find if I’m upfront and honest and let them know the situation most people are very accommodating.
Being a mum is my number one job and being a business woman always comes second. Which means I will work late at night early in the morning, and am proud of what I have already achieved. I’m fine with this arrangement as by September 2012 my children will both be a primary school and I will have missed nothing in the first four years but gained enough knowledge, skills, contacts and hopefully business kudos to be able to take Charlie Moo’s into the next phase.
(The photo is of Joanne's daughter, Megan.)