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 Julie Tissier-Mavrommati (MiC nickname ‘’Julie’), owner of Funcykids. Funcykids offers multi-award winning, practical parenting products, which are useful and value for money.
Hi Julie. How and when did you come up with the idea for your business and what inspired you to become self employed?
Hi Mums in Cyprus and first of all thank you for offering me the chance to shine in your spotlight! The idea for my business came about 2 years ago when a French GP/ paediatrician, friend of ours, gave a teething amber necklace to my son, who was then 4 months old. When I realized how much it was helping Alex and found out that Baltic amber had so many healing benefits, I decided to import bracelets and necklaces for babies and adult as they could not be found in Cyprus. In this way I could help other babies and parents. What inspired me to become self employed is my son. I am a full-time working mum and I don’t get to spend much time with him, so by working towards being fully self-employed I wish to adjust my working hours and free up some time for my family.
What business achievement are you most proud of?
I am proud that despite being a full-time working mum, I have slowly built a good reputation for the quality products I offer as well as my service to customers. This means for me that I have found the right products to suit parents needs and what is important for me is that I am able to make other parents benefit from good quality and value products that I love using with my son and help make their life that little bit easier.
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?
Starting your own business is not something easy, especially when already working full-time and having a baby. I am passionate about the products I offer but it takes time to promote the business and to develop the activity. During quiet periods I tend to doubt whether the business will take off and reach the level where I would like it to be. But this doubt disappears every time I receive positive feedback from satisfied customers and this encourages me to carry on and push further to help more parents through our products.
Being your own boss means there are no mentors to learn from. Who do you go to for business advice?
I am fortunate to have a very experienced husband and we also have a lot of friends to who I can turn to when I need advice. So I realize that networking is crucial, especially when you are a foreigner and don’t know where to get the information you need.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming self employed?
It is a very interesting journey for me! I see that I am not as shy as before and can get out of my comfort zone, take risks and decisions. I had no experience in marketing and business before but it seems that my ideas, enthusiasm and passion are driving me in the right, successful direction!
Do you feel you have achieved a good work/life balance?
I wouldn’t say that I have achieved a good balance yet as at the moment the work side is a lot heavier that the leisure side, but I guess that’s the price to pay at the beginning and it is also down to me to decide how to allocate my time.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring ‘Mumpreneur’ starting out today, what would it be?
Don’t start before doing some research to see if your idea stands a good chance to work. It is a shame to see people investing a lot of time and money into a business because they like something and feel it would work and then see their business closing quickly because there is not enough demand for what they offer.
What are your future plans for your business?
Creating a website and add new products to our range. I am working on a few innovative ones and hope I can start introducing them soon!
Thank you very much for your time. Best wishes for continued success and happiness, both in your professional and private life.