This week for my Mums in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Dinara who created Bag All Done, which is a much needed essential for any Mum who has a huge changing bag and needs somewhere seperate to keep all of “her” items rather than these being buried in the depths of the baby change bag beneath the hundreds of nappies and wipes.
This is a business story where Dinara saw a gap in the market, seized that opportunity and developed her own product. I loved reading her interview and seeing her positivity about how having little time makes her more focused and more productive. Have a read of Dinara’s story below….
Tell me a little bit about you, your background and Bag All Done?
My name is Dinara, I am 31 years old and originally from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I moved to the UK to live here with my husband Rob and we have little daughter. I used to work as a costume assistant for films and TV. When I got pregnant I realised I wouldn’t be able to work long hours anymore. So I looked for new ways of making money which would give me better family/work balance.
I had an idea of starting my own business for quite a long time already. Then I heard of the Prince’s Trust Charity. They have an amazing programme that helps young entrepreneurs to to set up their own business. After my daughter was born I decided to go for it.
One morning I read an article that some women spend 81 days of their lives searching for things in their handbags. That gave me an idea to design a handbag organiser. It is small bag that you carry in your handbag. The main purpose of it is to help people to change their handbags in minutes without the worry of leaving something important behind in another bag. When going out the user will simply take out bag organiser from one old handbag and put it into new one. It has lots of pockets and a hood for security. Everything will have its own place and will make it easier to find things. Also it can help protect designer bags from unwanted soil or damage of lining.
Not many handbag organisers have hood on the top. The reason I added it was that once I observed a young woman with beautiful luxurious handbag. It was open and I was able to see everything in that bag, and I am sure neither her nor other passengers wanted to see what’s inside that bag. Women like to treat the inside of their handbag as something private and intimate. The hood helps them to keep their secrets safe.
What were your motivations for setting up Bag All Done?
My main motivation is to have more balanced family/work life and do something useful at the same time. I also love the fact that my product can really help women to save their time so they can spend it with their family or just enjoying themselves. I have a lot of feedback of how much more organised my customers feel now. Another good thing is that because it takes only few seconds to change the handbag with my organiser, women actually start to use all their handbags instead of just sticking to only one or two. No morehassle to go through each of the pockets to gather all the important stuff.
I believe it is very important to be a good example to my daughter not only as a mother but also as a successful individual. But at the same time I don’t want the life where my daughter hardly ever sees me. So setting up my own business seems like a good option.
I realised I needed something to keep my own life as a person separate from family life to keep me sane. I also love the process of creating something from scratch. As I do everything myself in business at the moment I have to learn so may new skills. I am naturally more introvert but I believe that nobody is 100% introvert or extrovert. It is more about how to bring up your different personal qualities. Running my own business gives me perfect opportunity to practice.
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
I started Prince’s Trust course when my daughter was about 6 months old as they had age limits for participates and I didn’t want to loose my chance. It was hard to juggle everything together as I was still breastfeeding and at the same time my husband had to fly away to Scotland to work on his first big film. Luckily, my Mum came from Saint-Petersburg to support me. I wouldn’t be able to do it without her help.
Now my daughter attends nursery part time and this is when I do most of the work for my business. Of course sometimes I have to work evenings as well and it is exhausting at times, but it’s all worth it. My Mum still comes to stay with us few times a year and it is a big help.
I heard somewhere the expression that the less time you have, the more you are able to do. It sounds weird but it is definitely true for me. The fact you as a parent won’t have much time anymore, helps to focus on the most important tasks, and as a result I am able to archive more in less time.
Since setting up the business what’s been your biggest success to date?
I have just started trading a month ago so have a long way to go. I would say the biggest achievement so far is the fact that I graduated from Prince’s Trust Entrepreneur programme and successfully went through their Dragon’s Den style launch panel. Of course, it wasn’t quite the same as they are much more friendly and supportive. But they give you good advice at the same time.
As I have just started every sale still feels like a little victory and I love the feeling.
What’s your top tip for Mums who are thinking about setting up their own business?
Unless you have lots of money behind you, start small and grow your business organically. Also do your research and homework. It is good to have a few ideas to test at the beginning, so you have a few options, and don’t cling to something that is not working , just because you don’t have the choice.
You can find out more and see the bags for yourself by visiting the Bag All Done website or Instagram.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Mums in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Inscripture, The Fit Mum Formula, and VeeLoop