By Annemarie Robson – International Editor – Middle East Business News & Magazine
With all the options a connected world offers us, many of us manage to work from home, from our kitchen table, or even whilst doing the weekly grocery shop. Perhaps something about the home environment sparks “mumpreneurs” creativity – it may come from a child’s device that a parent sees isn’t working, or simply emerges during those all too rare moments of lucidity while the children are happily occupied. With inspiration comes creativity, with creativity comes invention … and with invention, occasionally, comes money!
Sheri Schmelzer is now $300 million richer after piggy-backing on an already popular brand, Crocs. By looking at an everyday product differently, she came up with a new product – she considered how she could personalise her kids’ Crocs. The resultant product, Jibbitz shoe charms, became popular with children and adults alike who wanted to “express their individuality” through pieces of molded plastic attached to their shoes … and made her fortune.
Vanessa Pinkney is one half of Peach Pink, creators of luxury leather bags. She has two children under seven. Her business partner, Helen Peachey, a former Harrods buyer, has twin daughters. Their bags are now stocked in a number of stores. Vanessa, in a recent interview, said, “We both knew a buying life wasn’t flexible around having kids, so we set up our own business supplying handbags.
“Last year, we started designing and producing our own brand. I embrace the term “mumpreneur”.
“The whole point of doing business was setting it up around the children. I can email factories in the morning, Skype while the kids are at school, and make sure I’m back to pick them up from school. If I had a proper nine-to-five job, I would have had to put them in after-school care. I work in my kitchen, my own little empire”.
But let’s not think that women working from home can only develop shoe and handbag businesses – far from it. Many of the world’s most successful female authors, including Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) and JK Rowling (Harry Potter), wrote their record-busting novels whilst supporting their young families.
(Part 3 will follow)