Meet Brenda from Three & Three Dolls #mumpreneurstories

#mumpreneurstories is a series of interviews by mumpreneurs who share their journey to inspire and encourage others mums to live their dream. There is a lot we can learn from each other :) #mumpreneursquad

1.  Tell us a bit about your family
We are a homeschooling family of six with plans to add a couple more babies to the mix in the years to come. Being a mother is the most wonderful journey I've experienced and continue to lean daily.

2. We just love your dolls. Fill us in how you came up with the idea of creating your own brand Three & Three Dolls?
When my oldest daughter was about to turn three, I wanted to create a gift for her. With no sewing experience I set out to my local library and began to learn how to use my newly acquired sewing machine. I started out with simple projects and eventually felt ready to explore and try to make her a doll. It was very hard for me at the time with lots of start-overs, and try-agains. The more I tried, the more I learnt.
Later that year I made my own pattern, tweaked and ready to go I made my first set of dolls. I wasn't necessarily interested on creating a business, but I did want to share my newly discovered talent with those around me. A few months later, I came across a wonderful organization called GoShoutLove, they would host auctions for various families that had a child struggling with a rare disease. Each month a featured family will get all the money raised by the auctions. My interest sparked and I reached out to see if I could donate some dolls. And that's really how it all began. People were messaging me that they were interested and so we opened up an etsy shop.

3. How have you been able to create a successful brand?
It has been a wonderful journey. The support we've received from our very first customers, most who've been repeat customers too; is just incredible! I am eternally grateful. Every like, every follow, every comment on our Instagram; each purchase, and referral; makes my heart leap with joy and gratitude!

4. What were your main struggles when creating the brand and how did you overcome them?
Time management was by far the hardest! Each year my family and I discovered new and better ways to make it all work. We had to be a team and embrace dollmaking as part of our lives.

5. What do you wish you'd known when you started Three & Three Dolls? What advice would you give to a mum when dreaming of her own business?
I wish I would have known how much I'd enjoy this so I could have started sooner! If you have a dream, begin today! Small steps is what takes you there.

6. What do you think is the best marketing strategy to get your products out there? Which channels are the most effective?
I am not much for social media but I have found Instagram to be the most effective for me. We do have Facebook and Pinterest but I don't spend much time on there. I think if you put in the time and effort and you learn how each social media platform works, you'll be able to get the most out of it and market your brand successfully.

7. How does a typical day in your life look like? How do you balance being a mum and having your own business?
A day in the life. Mornings are slow. We read out loud,we play, we clean, cook, etc. We homeschool four days a week. During the day I focus on being present with my kids. When my husband gets home I do a 25 min workout and this lets me recharge and be alone for a while. After that we have dinner and start our bedtime routine. About three times a month, when my husband is off, I lock myself in our home studio and create away! I'm always surprised at how efficient I can be when I'm alone focused 100% on dollmaking.

8. Do you enjoy being a mumpreneur? Why?
I do! My little business has given me so much freedom. Financially, I am able to help our household and we are able to enjoy family vacations, I can buy my kids that special thing they've been wanting (usually a book!). Socially, it has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people around the world and create meaningful relationships with many of them. Emotionally, discovering a new passion has opened doors for self love and admiration. Over all it provides me and my family with the enough amount of support we need to stay close knit and enjoy life!

9. How did you manage to build such a larger audience of 22k on Instagram?
Three years of learning, posting, interacting, hosting giveaways, etc. with Instagram constant changes, we've had to adapt and learn and go with the flow. We loose followers and we gain some. The number is not what matters to me. It's the small number of those repeat customers, the people who comment and I interact with our page, they're the ones making a difference in my life!


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