We have many working mothers in our MiC community, whether as employees in companies or self-employed and running their own business.
All have one thing in common: trying to achieve a harmonious work/life balance under sometimes very stressful circumstances.
Being your own boss however, has the added pressure of financial responsibility – when there’s no monthly income guarantee the daily challenges seem greater. On the other hand it is endlessly rewarding to be fulfilling your dreams and ambitions, and these mumpreneurs often are an inspiration to others.
Our interview blog puts the spotlight on these entrepreneurial women among us: who are they, what do they do and how do they do it.
Today it is my pleasure to introduce Christina Papalexis, (MiC nickname ‘Christina’), creator of ‘Wonder Dough’, home made eco-friendly play dough.
Hi Christina. How and when did you come up with the idea for your business and what inspired you to become self employed?
I was 4 months pregnant when the magazine I was designing shut down. Becoming a mum inspired me to find something that would allow me to be a stay at home mum as well as bring in an income. I had many ideas and they generally revolved around children, but the idea to make play dough came from my very close and dear friend, who I grew up with and studied Graphic Design with in England. She sent me the recipe and said try this! I then entered the Baby, Toddler & Christening Exhibition 2013 with my play dough and baby photo books. I had a small table setup for kids to come and play and the interest in the play dough started and I fell in love with it!!
What business achievement are you most proud of?
This is a difficult one to answer as I’m only just starting out but I would say I am proud of the already wide recognition of my product through minimal marketing.
A lot of new start-up businesses run out of steam when the going gets tough. Was there ever a time when you doubted yourself?
It is early days for Wonder Dough and the balance between being a mum and starting a business is a difficult one. Finacial constrains and the need for extra income, often make me consider looking for a full time job, but everytime I go to doubt myself and the decision I have made to make Wonder dough my “job”, something comes along to bring me back to the belief in this new venture. The “wondoughful-ness” of Wonder Dough, and the abundant benefits play dough provides to little minds and curious little fingers, keeps me going.
Being your own boss means there are no mentors to learn from. Who do you go to for business advice?
I reached out to a lady in Australia, who calls herself “The Play Dough Lady”, she is awesome! She has helped me a lot and put me in touch with other play dough making ladies, and has formed a support group.
This quote comes to mind “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
What have you learned about yourself since becoming self employed?
I have learnt that if I think I can, I truly can! I have learnt to believe in my creative thoughts and follow them through into an action! And I have learnt that I can choose a job I love, and so will never have to “work” a day in my life. But most importantly I have learnt that I have to put in the hard work and the hours and the only way through, is through.
Do you feel you have achieved a good work/life balance?
I don’t feel like I have achieved it yet but, I do feel like I am getting there 🙂
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring ‘Mumpreneur’ starting out today, what would it be?
I will answer this with two quotes:
“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.”
“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.”
What are your future plans for your business?
For now I am going to be doing play groups with Wonder Dough. My goals of where to take Wonder Dough, keep changing, but ultimately I want to create a Wonder Dough Play Land with different play stations and crafts all revolving around play with Wonder Dough!
Thank you very much for your time. Best wishes for continued success and happiness, both in your professional and private life.