Last week Grown Up Glamour kicked off an exciting new series focused on celebrating mompreneurs. The series, targeted at moms wanting to leave the corporate world and begin their own business, is intended to empower mothers as they navigate the world of mother-hustling. Entrepreneurship comes with highs and lows, and when you give up everything to start your own business while also raising your family, those highs and lows are even more intense. We want moms to understand that mother-hustling isn’t a “get rich quick” opportunity but it is an opportunity to create balance in their life – and turn their passion into something to be proud of.
This week we sat down with Jaklyn Andrews from Oakville Family Birth. Not only is Jaklyn a dear friend of mine and an incredible human, but she’s also a kind, compassionate and supportive doula who has helped many women (and parents) in their parenting journey.
Read more below for the inspiration behind Jaklyn’s career change – and how she keeps it all together while building her empire.
Tell us who you are.
I’m Jaklyn! I’m a doula and childbirth educator and I own Oakville Family Birth. I’m also a lucky wife and mama (two kids and a dog, the suburban dream!).
What inspired you to start your business?
Becoming a mother, of course 😉
I always knew I would hire a doula for birth support but I never imagined the kind of journey it would take me on. My first birth experience was really challenging, the opposite of what we were hoping for, and the support our doula provided truly changed my life. I knew in that instant that I was meant to do this. At the time I had a great career in public health research and I knew absolutely nothing about business…it was very confusing, to be honest. I couldn’t turn it off though, the passion I’d discovered. It took over a year of exploring options and finally heading back to work after maternity leave (that was rough!) to eventually make the jump.
Tell us about your business.
There are a lot of misconceptions around doula work, so I’ll start with the very basics: a doula is kind of like a best friend who knows a lot about pregnancy, birth, recovery and baby care. We support families throughout the perinatal period as they prepare for and welcome their babies. Doulas listen, guide, teach, coach, and help expectant parents and young families. It’s physical, emotional, mental, and also practical support. A doula’s job is to make life easier for their clients through all the highs and lows of pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
I created Oakville Family Birth to support all kinds of families, all kinds of births, and all kinds of parenting choices. That’s my bottom line…I’m passionate about providing truly non-judgmental support. As my business grows, I plan to bring on other doulas and other birth and parenting professionals who share that passion.
What are the skills a mompreneur must have in order to be successful?
The first thing that comes to mind is organizational skills. Having systems in place to keep you, your business and your family on track can be the difference between success and failure.
Next is discipline. You will have to make sacrifices for the greater goal. You’ll have say no to some fun stuff and slug through some not fun stuff to get to the other side.
Finally, confidence. Yes, confidence is a skill! At the risk of sounding dramatic, google it… it changed my life.
How do you manage your time effectively (both with your kids and with your work)?
I’ll let you know as soon as I figure that out! I’m half-kidding.
I use a combination of part-time daycare, back up child care, friends and family and a little bit of Netflix (#sorrynotsorry) to get everything done. I also work for a few hours every night after bedtime. My husband is the main reason our household is still running but lately we’ve been considering outsourcing some of that.
I’ve become pretty good at time blocking. I have specific times for working when I hustle hard and tune out everything else. The same goes for family time: I try to be “all-in” when I’m with my little crew so that everyone’s love tank stays full.
Being on-call for births requires a few extra layers of organization. Any given day, our bags are packed and we’re ready to get where we need to go so that I can be with my clients when they need me. My kids are amazing and go with the flow, for the most part.
What’s the most difficult thing about growing your empire? What’s the best?
The highs and lows can be difficult. If you’re going to do this, you’re going to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. On your toughest days, you might regret the whole thing and wish you could go back to your old life (your pre-entrepreneur life and possibly even your pre-baby life!). What I’ve found helpful is to celebrate every little win – every website visitor, every inquiry, every client. Stay humble but hungry, as they say.
The best for me is calling all the shots. I can take on more or less at any given time, depending on what’s happening in the other parts of my life. I spend more time with my kids than I would have if I stayed on the path I was going down. Also I LOVE my job, so there’s that.
What role has social media played in growing your brand? What other marketing tactics do you use?
Social media has played a huge part in growing my brand from the beginning. Although my target market is local (Halton/Hamilton/Peel), I use social to share broader messages of encouragement, realness and self-love for young parents and parents-to-be.
I also make it a priority to be out in the community, forming genuine relationships and helping out other small businesses.
What tips would you give to moms wanting to leave their corporate job to launch their empire?
Believe in yourself! From the bottom of my heart, I know you can do it. You have something unique to offer that no one else can duplicate so trust that there is room for you in the market, get out there and show people who you are. Anyone can do this if they’re willing to work hard enough.
Follow along with Jaklyn and Oakville Family Birth
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Contact Information: email@example.com / (289) 813-4363
Are you a mompreneur with an inspiring story? Contact us to be featured.