This week I would like to introduce Clare Stead the founder of Oliiki to my Parents in Business series. Clare set up the business to help support parents during the first 1000 days of their child’s life, getting them on the right path to success. During this time a child learns so much, and the Oliiki app has been designed to give parents a daily activity to do with their bump, baby, toddler to help with their development. It sounds amazing and I would have loved something like this when my children were tiny.
Her success is heartwarming and it’s dedicated to the feedback that she receives from other parents, and her top tips of following your dream and passion should apply to anyone thinking about setting up their own business. Have a read of Clare’s story below and check out Oliiki app for yourself too!
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I am a teacher by training, I then became and education researcher and finally fell into eLearning. I have created eLearning around the world for businesses and governments. I created the Oliiki First 1000 Days app as a direct result of seeing too many children arrive at school and struggle. I wanted to make a difference and change the life outcomes for these children.
Oliiki’s Vision is that every child arrives at school with the skills they need to start their learning journey confidently; and to continue to become a lifelong learner. Our mission is to help parents become confident in their parenting skills so that they can set their children on a path of success. When education works it can be magical; when it doesn’t it is a daily reinforcement of failure. Science shows that during the first 1000 days of life, from conception to 2 there is a massive window of opportunity for learning and helping to set children on a path of success. This is why we believe that helping parents understand the learning they are giving to their baby as they play not only helps them set their child up to reach their full potential but also develops the parents confidence in their parenting skills.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
The Oliiki First 1000 Days app gives parents a simple, structured daily activity to do with their bump, baby or toddler mainly using things from around the home. The app explains to parents what each activity is, how to do it. Most importantly, it explains why they are doing the activity and how it relates to future life learning. This in turn helps parents build not only their baby a strong brain, but also their parental self-confidence resulting in better life outcomes for their children and stronger more meaningful relationships between them.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
My three children are now bigger. Therefore, they are now all out during the day at school. This gives me school time to be at work. We always sit down to breakfast as a family, and I try to make the supper first thing in the morning so that whatever happens there is a meal for everyone at the end of the day. (this is a hangover from having tiny ones and is a BRILLIANT tip that I pass on to all you parents out there, make the supper as early in the day as you can so that no matter what happens, you have a present to yourself at the end of the day!) I aim to have finished my work for the day by the time they come home because that is when my job as a Mum and taxi driver starts! However, of course, there are some days when I start again once they are all in after their clubs and sports.
Since setting up your business what’s been your biggest success to date?
My biggest success since starting my business has been the feedback that I get from parents. When I hear ‘I have had the app less than a week and I already feel more confident than I have done in the last 3 months’, or ‘I just don’t need to google anymore, I feel so much better as a Mum’ I am so delighted that it is helping parents so much. I loved this one I got a while ago, it was part of a longer review that made me chuckle! “It gives you a tiny snippet of smugness if you look at Oliiki rather than Faceache in the morning (during your cold cuppa whilst small person covers the dog in cheerios) safe in the knowledge you’ll definitely be getting something bang on today- maybe even lots of things!
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
My biggest tip for anyone who wants to set up their own business is to follow your passion and your dream. I honestly don’t feel like I am working when I am working on The Oliiki first 1000 days app. I am so driven to help parents and therefore their children, I love it. If you do decide to set up on your own do so, but really plan what you are going to do. Do a LOT of research and start building your audience before you even start building your product. And finally, a massive one… believe in yourself. You are good enough! Having that belief and faith in yourself and your idea will carry you through the tricky times and will help you celebrate all your successes along the way, no matter how small they are! And just go for it!
Thank you so much Clare for being part of my series, it has been lovely to feature you and I wish you all the best in the future.
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: Sprout, Talented Ladies Club, and The Shoe Consultant.