Introducing Magnificent Mamas, a series of guest posts from brilliant mums who inspire us through their work, passion and general awesomeness. Hopefully they’ll inspire you too.
Meet Helen, mum to Leo, three, and Skye, one, and wife to Dan. Helen is the founder of mamaME Box, a subscription box for mums. Here she shares her journey from working in recruitment to launching her own business.
Searching for flexible work
Prior to having babies, I worked for a recruitment firm in London for 10 years. I returned part-time after maternity leave for three days a week, but the commute made the days long and I wanted to be closer to home. With two children under two, I really didn’t want to miss out on all those precious moments and early years, so I started looking into options that allowed me to work more flexibly around family life.
mamaME box was born
I’ve always loved subscription boxes – I love the idea of getting happy mail each month, it makes a nice change from bills! And I noticed that there weren’t any subscription boxes out there that catered solely for mums – I realised that this could be a great opportunity to create a business that allowed me to work flexibly from home, and to work on something I was truly passionate about – supporting other mamas. So, one October morning in 2016, mamaME Box was born!
Self-care is a priority
mamaME believes that self-care is a priority – as busy mums we often neglect our own needs, and we want this to change. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and oh mama, do you need to be able to pour!!
So, we designed a box to encourage mums to enjoy a little me-time. As well as delivering monthly goodies to mamas, where possible, we also fill the box with treats from mama and family-run small businesses in the hope that we can help other mums and families make work work for them.
Appreciate the peace
I am all too aware of how hard it can be to schedule in a little me-time, and as much as I preach about self-care and how important it is, I am totally guilty of neglecting my own needs too! But my idea of a good dose of me-time is snuggling up on the sofa with hubby, a glass of wine and a good film or tv show and really switching off.
Me-time really doesn’t have to be a spa day every month – although, that’d be nice! It’s more about acknowledging all of the things that you enjoy doing, however small, that are just for you; and learning to appreciate the peace that you find in them. Hopefully mamaME Box encourages mums to do just that – light a candle, read a good book, enjoy a yummy treat and take care of themselves.
Running your own business is really challenging
Setting up a business with limited funds and running it all on my own has been really challenging – I was running the business while working three days a week in London initially and it was a real struggle.
I made the decision earlier this year to leave my job in recruitment to focus on mamaME full time (although I still have two toddlers running circles around me most days!).
It’s also definitely harder to switch off now – I have to be able to answer emails/calls at all times of the day and there’s no-one to handover to.
It’s a strange adjustment – ultimately I am working from home, able to spend more time with my kids, but mentally I have so much more going on and more to juggle! But setting up any new business is going to be hard work and time consuming and I still feel pretty lucky to be able to do this full time.
Just last week the kids were poorly and I could drop everything and give them cuddles – no guilt about letting people at work down, no worry about childcare and getting home to them – just being there for them when they needed me most. And that is what it’s all about!
We’ve got lots of exciting boxes coming up, featuring a whole host of brilliant brands – we can’t wait to share them all with you – mamas, you are in for some serious treats!
And we also have an online store selling more wonderful mama merch, gifts, beauty products, homeware…we will be developing the store even more over the next few months so keep your eyes peeled.
Find out more
mamaME is one of our fabulous brands featured in our Mums Off Duty Directory. All the details on how to subscribe to mamaME Box are there.