With Mother’s Day coming up, I’d like to emphasize the importance of supporting a special kind of mom – those that run their own businesses on top of running a household. These “mompreneurs” are passionate and hardworking individuals who pour their heart and soul into every aspect of their business.
I started my own fashion boutique nearly 9 years ago. That means my business, JaeLuxe, is one of the 12.3 million women-owned small businesses in the United States. Over that time, I’ve learned firsthand how vulnerable small businesses are to changing economic conditions and how flexible small business owners have to be in order to stay successful. At the same time, I’ve learned that being a small business owner means creating a community – a skill every mom understands the importance of. My customers and partners have gotten to know me and my family, just as we’ve gotten to know theirs.
The pandemic was a particularly difficult time for working moms. Many stepped away from work to care for family full time. For mompreneurs, this was not an option. At JaeLuxe, we had to make a significant pivot to focus primarily on E-commerce. Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, we were able to keep our community engaged and our business successful. Still today, even as our store is again vibrant with activity, our efforts on social are a large component of our business strategy.
One challenge I’ve overcome as a business owner and mom is creating balance. In the beginning stages this was difficult because when you’re building a business from the ground up, you’re putting in massive amounts of time and effort. Over the years I’ve learned to set boundaries, implemented “Mommy daughter Monday’s,” (a day dedicated to mommy daughter time) and created processes to work smarter and not harder. I even bring my family to trade shows and other work events in an effort to not only expose my daughter my entrepreneurial lifestyle but to also ensure that I teach her that it’s not all work and no play. These steps along with my amazing support system has allowed me to excel as a business owner and be a hands-on mom.
Small business owners take pride in getting to know customers and can provide personalized recommendations based on their individual tastes. Shopping at a women-owned local small business means a more personalized and intimate shopping experience that you won’t find in large retail chains.
Let’s make Mother’s Day a new small business holiday – shopping women-owned small businesses directly benefits families, creates a more equitable business community, and celebrates entrepreneurship.
April Hancock is the owner of JaeLuxe Shoetique in Beavercreek.
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