Doers and Dreamers...Jenny Raymond
The great thing about Doers & Dreamers is that I get to ask all the questions I really want to know the answer too for starting a business. This week we meet Jenny, mama of one, a mega watt smile and also super nice. When I was just starting out Jenny was one of the first people (I didn't know) to be super nice and say well done. Here's her story.
Hi Jenny tell us a bit about yourself? (and your business)
Hello!! I’m a first time mum of an almost 3-year-old. I’m a lover of spending time with my family, sweet treats, swimming, spinning, chick flicks and bringing smiles to people’s faces. For as long as I can remember I wanted to do something to help people from any walk of life – to make them feel good, never isolated or alone and just fill those up with positivity when they need it. I love talking to people and making new friends.
My business is Mamazou, a small and mighty community for parents and parents-to-be. It offers access to forums, blogs, giveaways, discount codes and much more. I absolutely love what I do which makes my work more of a hobby than a chore!
What was the driving force to start Mamazou?
When I fell pregnant, like most, I turned to Google. I became overwhelmed and pretty scared by all the information offered. I then turned to some of the groups on Facebook but found that I couldn’t remain anonymous as a lot of my friends were on them. Next stop was parenting forums which were more judgmental than helpful. I kept wishing there was a space where people could share experiences and offer advice without the side helping of judgment. When I ran the idea past my husband, he told me that if I didn’t do it, I’d regret it.
What’s your workspace like?
It changes each day. Our table, couch, the bed, floor. Really depends but I’ve promised myself to create a proper workspace soon!
Tell us about a typical day?
Now that H has started a new school and her nursery hours are longer I will be able to plan my time better. Today was her first full day at nursery (6 hours) and I used it quite well. I had 3 meetings in the morning, worked on the website, cooked dinner, ran a few errands before collecting H and then took her to music class and a walk before dinner. Once she falls asleep I tend to get back into the swing of work.
How did you launch?
I sent an email to my friends and family telling them a little about Mamazou and asking them to sign up. The support I received was lovely but looking back on it, I should have done things a little differently. I would have publicised the lead up to my launch on social media, held a small event and advertised a lot more. After my initial launch, the web company that designed my site went into liquidation and for several months I searched high and low to find a new web developer. In that time, the following on Mamazou was growing quite rapidly, so when I re-launched in March earlier this year, I sang to the roof tops about it!!
How do you manage family and work life balance?
Not as well as I should. I try to make sure I’m available online but I also realise how important it is to switch off. When I’m around H, I try very hard to give her the quality time that she deserves and often put my phone down. Our weekends are dedicated to family days and seeing friends. Additionally, once a week my husband and I go on a date night.
What have you found most surprising since setting up your business?
I think my journey of self-discovery. Whilst I set up to help support other’s in their journeys of parenthood, I have also learnt so much about myself whilst being inspired by others. I’ve also developed a lot more self-belief and confidence. Having a community that I can call my own, is so empowering.
On the tough days how do you self motivate?
I try and switch off - do some exercise, whether it be a spin class, run or walk, to release and write down 3 things that I’m grateful for (I can thank Supercharged club for that). H is always at the top of my list!
What’s been your business highlight so far?
It’s really hard to pick one highlight but I’d say winning an award was pretty cool. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with some amazing brands and meeting so many incredible people that I can now call my friends.
What have you got planned next?
I’m hoping to launch something in the near very near future to help promote my tagline, “Perfectly Imperfect Parenting” whilst raising money for charity. More details will be announced soon so watch this space.
And finally….what’s your top tip for anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Go with your gut, trust yourself and do it. If you believe you can, you will. There’s nothing more rewarding seeing your vision come to life. My second tip would be to get a good lawyer – it’s important you have one to make sure you’re covered at every angle.
To find out more about Jenny and her amazing community please visit https://www.mamazou.com
Every Monday we will bring you a new Doers & Dreamers interview. Let us know who else you would like to know more about.