Sunday, May 9, 2010

The rise of the Mumpreneurs


PHOTO: NOVEL GIFT: Mrs Ann Aludra Boyd made a business from fashioning diapers into “cakes”.

HAVING a baby used to spell the end to scaling the career ladder for many women.

But, nowadays, having children might just spur some to venture into entrepreneurship.

While there are no concrete statistics, anecdotal observations (non-proven evidence or hearsay) from industry players suggest that there is an increase in the number of “mumpreneurs” here.

Their top goals? Flexible hours, an office at home and a degree of financial freedom.

Said Ms Shenielle Aloysis, the editor of parenting magazine Motherhood: “There is definitely an increase in mums wanting to venture into business.

Women today are better educated and aware of what they are able to achieve. They are also well-informed of the importance of being there for the kids.

So, rather than pass the kids to babysitters, it is a better option to venture into something they are comfortable with. This provides them with the flexibility to be with the kids as well.

One such example is stay-at home mum Sheryl Khor, 30. She stopped work in 2006 to look after her 31/2-year-old daughter and started her business, s’Khor-a-hit!, this year.

PHOTO: s'khor-a-hit! productions

It is a blogshop that sells hand-drawn T-shirts for babies and toddlers.

Ms Khor, who was in public relations, said: “I needed to stay at home to look after my daughter but, at the same time, I knew that I wanted to keep my mind active and stay in touch with the rest of the world.

That was why I took on some freelance writing and, this year, started a business which appeals to my creative side.

Her business concept is “very much like the adult version of choosing charms for a charm bracelet, except I hand paint the desired charms onto T-shirts instead”.

It’s a much safer alternative to jewellery for kids,” she added. Business has been quite good for Ms Khor, who said: “I have found myself busier than I had expected myself to be.”

She also feels a sense of satisfaction when she is able to contribute to the family’s finances.

PHOTO: Mumprenuers. November 13, 2009, 10:24 am Naomi Jaul marieclaire

Internationally, mumpreneurs are increasingly prevalent in the business landscape, especially in Britain. A Times Online report in 2008 said that 74 per cent of women who started a business did so before their child was aged two.

More recently, research by telco British Telecommunications showed that one in 10 of 1,200 mothers surveyed late last year aspired to have her own business.

PHOTO: Family Game Night Gift Basket

About 15 per cent of women with children had already started their own businesses. Some mums, such as Mrs Ann Aludra Boyd, stumble upon a gap in the market which they can fill, and turn into accidental entrepreneurs.

PHOTO: Welcome to Stubborn Snails!

She runs Stubborn Snails, an online shop selling primarily diaper cakes, but also towel cakes, gift baskets and other items.

A diaper cake is a decorated tower made up of individually wrapped disposable diapers, arranged to look like a cake.


Goodies”, such as face towels or baby booties, are used to decorate the “cake”. Mrs Boyd, 31, said: “I did not actually set out to start a business, It all began as a hobby of creating diaper cakes for girlfriends who were giving birth.


It was only after much friends and my husband and the brilliant fact that I’d be able to work from home after I had my baby, that I decided to turn my hobby into a business.”

Mrs Boyd was in her third trimester when she started Stubborn Snails in 2007. Her son, Drayden, turned two last month.

Now, she receives between six and 12 orders a week. Her diaper cakes start from $50 for a “fuss-free” version to over $180 for a more elaborate one. “Having a business is one of my proudest achievements,” she said.

In the end, however, all the mumpreneurs my paper spoke to said that their families came first.

Said Ms Khor: “My first priority is still my first job, which is being a mum to my kids and a wife to my husband.”

PHOTO: Fruit Gift Baskets