09 Feb How Naomi’s Network helped me build a business with only R100 in my pocket.
My name is Madelein de Bruin and this is my success story of how I started my little business with R100 two years ago and lots of support and love from moms on the Mommy Mall platform to the point where this business completely supports my family, including creating employment for both my school leaving children.
I was a very fortunate mommy who had time at home during the day to be stay at home mom, till my husband’s business fell on hard times. We are DIY enthusiasts with a building background and I had to find another way of making an income and fast.
We were already making all our own wooden designs as a hobby in and around the house, including designing and building our house. In my search of how to make an income and where to start, I asked my neighbour how she gets business for her printing as we live out of town and she was very busy. She introduced me to Mommy Mall, I joined and never looked back.
All the admins and off course Naomi has been so helpful and offer words of encouragement as well as very important tips and guidance with their regular posts (I hardly knew how to use Facebook, lol) I researched a bit to see what products moms were asking for that was in line with our talents and interest. I did not get it right from the word go, it took 3 months to find my niche market, but I did my 3 free adverts every week, responded to custom requests on the general platform till one day I found my place.
I designed my first toddler bed which included toy storage and had all the safety factors, practicality and durability boxes ticked. I never looked back. We do custom bed and children storage solutions. Our business grew, and we can now even offer employment to both my school leaving children as a small family business. Yes, I was completely out of my comfort zone, had to learn a lot more about wood work and paint finishes, plus a whole new market and way of doing business etc. It was very hard work, till 2 in the morning, up at 5 to do all the admin, ordering, production and deliveries with a personal touch. But after the chaos and long hours, things fell into place and a rhythm.
On Mommy Mall moms really want to support moms, and the best thing about our new venture and the reason why we would like to continue with it is because of all the love and appreciation, the excitement moms and children have from the time of order and the enthusiasm during time of delivery. We have eats and treats waiting for us, get invited to dinner, lol, a real old school family approach. All and all a very positive supportive platform. By far the best platform on Facebook/social media I know of. Mommy mall also offers a safety net per say for the purchaser as no supplier would be listed on Mommy Mall if they were found to be poor quality, non-delivery, etc. This helps your business as well.
I have met a lot of moms and made a lot of friends. Built a support network of referrals. Moms doing business with moms are also extra supportive in the sense with the hours you communicate (outside family time is when sales are done), family comes first, especially when you are a mom owned business, this support is unreal – if the communication is there, and deadlines are met. You have flexibility for the sick child or school runs, lessons etc.
I have a few things I learnt from my experience that I can share – the most and foremost would be not to under estimate your worth and potential by offering your services too cheap. There are people who want quality and are prepared to pay for it. You cannot do quality for cheap and put food on the table, you will burn yourself out.
Perseverance, keep at it and be flexible so you may notice the opportunities coming your way.
Yes, you can currently do business with your heart. Do what you love, pay the bills and have time for the kids, once you have settled in your rhythm, just persevere the changes.
Never compromise on quality, always be clear on your delivery times and turnaround time, and most importantly – learn to say NO as well.
Mommy mall really works- the recipe is simple, and it is free – place your 3 free ads, have a fair price (fair to you and the buyer), good quality, do the best you can do- give it your all while balancing your family time, and you will be successful. Don’t be afraid to learn and always keep a positive attitude. You too can spread your wings! Remember – you are not alone. Join the tribe www.mommymallsa.co.za!