#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're a family of four. Daniel and I are together for 13 years. Noëlle is 2,5 y/o and our son Roan is 2 months
2. So you created your own brand because you were looking for leather footwear for your little one and couldn’t find any you liked? Was it easier than you thought producing moccasins and setting up a brand?
Actually I didn't knew anything about the baby market when I just became a mother. Didn't even know about Instagram either, haha. I just had an idea and started to make things. Setting up Tough Cookie became harder when our bussiness started to grow. I became more aware of the market and I wanted to define my own style. That's not easy at all!
3. How did you come up with the name? I love Cookies, well basically anything that has calories and is sweet. So I am already a fan of your store just by the name.
Well, besides being a cookie lover too, I think all children are Tough Cookies, it really is a shame we loose this confident attitude when we grow older. Children learn, fail, and try over and over again until they succeed. They are tough when they need to (or want to).
4. Before you set up your own online store did you sell your products on Instagram.
We started with an Etsy shop, and now we have our own webshop. It's thanks to our instagram community that we've grown so much.
5. You have quite a great community on your Instagram account. How did you manage to get so many followers?
I don't know actually. But you know what, the goal is not about getting a lot of followers. The essence is to get connected with people who really love what you're doing. Who cheer for you and celebrate with you when you've taken another step. People who support you when you need it. So I always try to be honest and transparent in this journey. I try to give back the same attention to our followers , no matter how big we get. Our followers are a big part of Tough Cookie and the support, love and encouragement from our IG community goes beyond everything I could ever imagine.
6. Tell us an anecdote about being a mumpreneur.
The juggle between working and parenting is a biggie at the moment. Each day Tough Cookie is growing larger and becomes more time consuming. But so are our kids, especially now we have two kiddo's. I find it really hard to balance, and it feels like I'm failing on a daily basis. Which is ridiculous because I'm a mom first of course. But I just can't get the feeling out of my head. We still don't have weekends or evenings free (goal for 2017), but we recently introduced a kids day. One whole day in the week, just for the kids. No Tough Cookie.
7. Do you think anybody can be a mumpreneur? What does it take according to your personal opinion?
Yes of course, anybody can be a mumpreneur. If you can be a mom, you can be anything! But seriously, if you know you have a good plan, just do it. Don't wait. Don't let the lack of knowledge or the anxiety to fail hold you back. Because there always will be things to learn and sooner or later you will fail in something. I hate to admit but I have made so many mistakes already. But that's the only way to learn, grow and toughen up. And you'll get wiser and better eventually, I promise!!
8. For you as a mum, is it important that your kids wear sustainable clothing? Where do you normally shop your kids clothing?
Yes, not only for their clothes but I try to be more conscious about all the things I buy nowadays. You know I'm a bit of a hoarder, hahaha. But now I try to buy only things that I really need, or things I really love. I buy from a lot of fellow makers on IG, I love their stories behind their work and their passion for their designs (the things I really love).
9. Looking back, what advice do you wish somebody would have given you before starting your own business?
Hmmmm....I gave this question a long thought but I don't know. A little confession, I almost never listen to advise from others. I wish I could tell you I'm easy going, but I'm not. I'm really stubborn and I'm almost always convinced of my own ideas....oh that doesn't sound good. But the thing is, when you start something new or even if you have an idea, people will start giving you advise. But new things should come from you, the basics and the essence of your idea have to come from your own heart and thoughts. And when you have your concept just the way you think it should be and it starts to grow, then it's time to pull in the advise from others.
10. Thank you so much for your insights! Is there anything else you would like to share with us? ;-)
Thank you for wanting to get to know a bit about me. And yes, there's one more thing I want to share with you. Go find your inner Tough Cookie! Learn, fail and try again. Whatever you are doing or want to do, don't let fear hold you back. I'm shitting my pants 75% of the time. The other 25% is me being stubborn.