Our Featured Mumpreneur this time is Johanna Carroll-Browne of Swede Kids And More.
When did you start your business and why?
I started my business as I found that there was a gap in the market for good quality outer-wear for kids.
I had been thinking about for a few years and then opened my online store 18th April 2013.
What is your role within your business?
I am the owner of Swede Kids & More, I do everything.
What do you like doing most in your business?
Talking and meeting people. It is mainly online, but I love attending fairs to actually meet my customers face to face.
What do you like doing least in your business?
The accounts… they have to be done but I don’t enjoy it.
How many people do you work with in your business?
It is just me.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Being from Sweden, outdoor life is a huge part of a child’s life.
After having my own children I realised that it was very hard to find good quality outdoor wear for a good price for children and that is where it all started.
What is the best thing about being a mumpreneur?
That I can bring and collect my children to and from school and help them with homework.
What is the worst thing about being a mumpreneur?
You never stop thinking about your business.
What is your biggest challenge juggling family life with running a business?
The biggest challenge is that sometimes I feel guilty about my family as I am spending so much time on the business that I forget about them.
But I try to have one day a week that I take a day off from the business and spend it with the family.
What business training did you have before or since you started your business?
I don’t have any business training, but I have worked within customer service for over fourteen years.
How has this helped you with growing your business?
I think having worked within customer service I know what my customers expect and that has helped me a lot.
Have you received financial help in setting up in business? If yes from whom? E.g – bank, investor, etc.
I got some money from relatives that I have used for business. I also do work part-time and my wages go into the business as well.
How important do you see networking to help your business?
Networking I think is a huge part to promote the business, but I have found that doing fairs and visiting toddler groups has help the business more.
The customers can actually see and feel the quality of the products.
What Social Media networks do you use to promote your business and how effective have they been?
Do you think there is enough support for mothers who are also business people?
I think that there could be more.
What are the biggest challenges facing you right now?
To get more people knowing about my business.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Rome was not built-in a day, it does take time.
What advice would you give to other mothers who are thinking about starting a business?
It is a great feeling to have your own business and get sales in but it is hard to juggle a business and family life.
When you are mum, be just mum, when you are the wife, be just the wife, and when you are working with business it is the business only.
Don’t try to do and be all three things at the same time.
Also, don’t be shy asking other people for advice, you will be surprised how helpful people can be, even people with similar business to yours.