In a new regular feature, we’ll be catching up with working mums and mumpreneur’s, getting a quick insight into juggling motherhood with work.
AnnÃ© Tiainen-Harris is the founder and co-owner of Cloudberry Living, an online boutique dedicated to Scandinavian living accessories which she launched in April 2007.
She’s mum to Elsa two years and seven months and Hilda nine and a half months, and based in Maidenhead.
Why I started my business: I like to be mentally challenged and stimulated whilst be at home for my small children. I didnâ€™t know what kind of a mum I was going to be: the type that is happy to be with the kids all the time or the type that needs to be something else as well. Well, I would go bonkers if I didnâ€™t have Cloudberry! To be honest, I find it a bit boring to be with the kids only. Mind you, when I went for that mental challenge and stimulation I didnâ€™t know how much of it I was going to get!
Toughest Challenge: This is a clichÃ©, but it definitely is learning not to feel guilty all the time for not giving enough attention to the children and the business. Also learning to take it easier and not to expect so much from myself.
There is so much I could do for the business but I only have a limited amount of time and resources available. Iâ€™ve had to learn to accept that!
What I enjoy most: I love it when Elsa is with her child minder and Hilda asleep and I have my cup of coffee and laptop and a couple of hours to fully focus on Cloudberry. Itâ€™s wonderful me-time and I enjoy being stimulated by my business.
My advice for someone thinking about starting their own business: Go for it! Pulling your finger out and taking the first step is the hardest part. Once you get going, you donâ€™t want to stop. If you fail, so what, at least youâ€™ve tried. Start small and grow it as you go along. Once youâ€™ve made all the mistakes and have learned your trade properly, you can start taking bigger risks.
It also helps to have a business partner sharing the load and providing a sounding board for your ideas. You can share the financial risk and stand in when one of you needs a bit of time off e.g. after giving birth (thank you my lovely, helpful and flexible business partner Sirpa, who even came to stay in my house in the middle of the night with my first born when I had to go to hospital to give birth to Hilda last May!)
If you would like to take part in this feature, please email features AT bambinogoodies DOT co DOT uk and include your contact details and what you do.