This week I’m delighted to introduce Julie who created KIH Products Ltd following the success of KIH Bed; a pregnancy cushion for practitioners to allow their clients to lay prone, and this cushion was the turning point in her business career whilst also being a mum at the same time.
Here Julie tells us her story of how she raised her daughter as a single parent which was an incredibly difficult journey for her. But now Julie has a successful business that has won awards and has been in business for 6 years. I stand by her top tips of just doing it, go for it and collaborate, all of which are important for business success. So please all carry on reading her success story below…
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I became a mum aged 35, and so I already had a strong 20 year work history, and because my roles never fulfilled me, or retained me financially I frequently changed career paths, looking for something that would pay well and utilise my skillset!
Having my daughter, spending time on maternity leave and making a pregnancy cushion that enabled me to lay on belly full-term changed everything for me. I did not want to leave my bundle of joy and return to work full-time and so, despite the odds being stacked against me, I was committed to turning my product into a business so that I could be a hands on mum, financially successful, and enjoy utilising my skills!
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
I knew from early in my pregnancy that I would be a single-mum and so I embarked on a Law-Degree to enhance my career prospects. I did not want my child to be bought up in poverty because of my status and so when I designed the KIH Bed I was also determined to build up a successful business to create a legacy that my daughter could be proud of. I wanted her to have evidence that I did all that I could for her, and I did not want to fail in any area.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
I am strict on myself, and I am assertive with my availability for others. All that I have done I have done so that I do not have to sacrifice time with my daughter. If I was prepared to do that I would return to the sanctuary of employment and a steady pay cheque! Instead I work when she is in school, and when she is asleep. When she was younger I could only work when she slept, until the statutory childcare was available and freed up some time for me to network during the day.
The journey was so difficult, and I entered a horrible, degrading, humiliating world of benefits. People treated me differently and I faced a lot of stigma and social prejudice – and so I have set up the SMBN to help the other SMiB succeed in achieving financial freedom without sacrificing precious family years
Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?
What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Just do it. It would be so easy to let fear stand in your way. There is always a chance that your product or idea will be copied and marketed by another with a greater budget, but if you have something to share share it anyway, trust the process and trust that if you follow your truth that path will lead you where you are meant to go.
Collaborate do not compete, life is too short and humanity is too precious, stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Finally – we all have down days – if you’re not feeling it just let it all wait (it will) put on a movie & pull the duvet and put the laptop & phone away. Depression normally lifts in a couple of days, equally – know your hormone cycle. I always try to arrange meetings around ovulation and keep the diary quiet around mensturation – it does make a difference!
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents 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: Third Door, Hartbeeps North Kent, and Mosaico.