My mumpreneur journey

Hello stay at home mum goodbye corporate world!  That’s exactly what started 9 years ago.

Well, it actually really all started 4 years ago when my daughter was born.

So here I was, a stay-at-home mum with two kids. My son was starting Prep and I had a newborn. For years I wanted to open a boutique children’s store. You know the ones that look all whimsical, whitewashed floors, beautiful toys and luxurious blankets. I pictured it and still do. My hubby pushed me, but with the kids and my husband having his own butcher store, how the hell was I going to manage all of that? I decided to go online. It took me three years and I finally went live July 2014.

With the help from my wonderful web designer, who I must say was extremely patient, I embarked on journey to build my customer base.  {CUE crickets sound.}

It started slowly.  I had an SEO specialist do some work on my store. Keywords were added so I wasn’t invisible in the world of Google.  It was the best investment ever!  Newsletter was created and to get the party started, I offered free shipping, giveaways and other exclusive deals for my subscribers.  Instagram has been amazing!  Sharing images of my stock in real life bedrooms has been great marketing.  People love seeing my stock ‘in action’.  I also created a private Facebook group for the local people in my area.  I shared my page on the local business page and it was awesome to have a huge response!  Local communities love supporting their local businesses.

So you see, having an online store is not as easy as people think.  You have to go out there and attract your ideal customer.

So why did I do it? Two kids, one at school and a newborn and a retail food store, I needed this for me.  I wanted that whimsical store that stocked beautifully designed décor and unique products.  Items which created that wow factor in your child’s bedroom or playroom.

I try and juggle it all with the help of daycare, a supportive husband and two kids who love what I do.  I love hearing them say “my mum works on her online shop.”  Proud mummy moment when I first heard my son tell his Grade 2 teacher!

I’ve learnt to take days off – although it’s hard when your office is at home! Lists are my best friend!  I work during the day taking regular breaks to be with my little girl so she’s not stuck with the iPad or watching ABC for KIDS most of the day!  When the kids go to bed, I pack orders and respond to emails. Weekends are family time. I had to learn to switch off, as hard as that was at the beginning!

Is this all worth it, I hope so!  I’m enjoying this fun and magical ride and know that one day, I’ve shown my children that with hard work and perseverance, you can do anything.

Anna Shipley is Owner of Sweet Little Dreams,