I thought I would put down some words on how my journey has gone down so far into Mompreneurship and where it began.
Imibongo kaMakhulu Dolls was probably born around the time of my pregnancy with my daughter in 2016, Johannesburg, when in my fourth month it really dawned on me that I am really becoming a mother. I thought about what values I wanted to instill, the kind of child I wanted to raise.
THE GAP. Self love was top of the list. She could not practice self love on dolls that looked nothing like her and thereby telling her that she is missing something if her eyes are not green and her hair not straight.
At the time I settled on stuffed animals because the brown dolls available were plastic and therefore “pokey” and I wanted a cuddly soft toy that she would grow up with.
In addition, I wanted her to see me being happy, it was important because I knew I hadn’t been for a long time where career was concerned and as a big chunk of adult life, it was important to address. My job at the time was stressful and increasingly giving me anxiety attacks, I dreaded it.
THE IDEA. I did a lot of online research on brown dolls, drafted my ideas and saved the documents and images on my very ancient pc, and then parked it because at the same time, end of 2016, I was preparing to move from Jhb to Cpt to start a new position – which I thought would fix all my problems.
LIFE/DISTRACTIONS. Of-course once I moved I didn’t touch these plans again until November of 2018 when the panic attacks were returning. While I was working my hardest and pushing through, I was stressed, anxious and my confidence at an all time low. I started to really explore what it is that I could do that gave me control over my life and happiness, because maybe this wasn’t it. I revisited my old pc, went through my notes and made a doll pattern out of paper on the kitchen table and made my first doll.
I was so proud! I made a couple more, opened an Instagram page and got a few family members and friends excited. But I still had my job.
SELF DOUBT & FEELING STUCK. Sometimes the universe forces you to listen to its purpose for you.
In March of 2019 when the program I was in fell through, I made the decision to leave. I was still not ready to start my business but sure that where I was, was going nowhere and so I put in my notice.
It took three months of sitting at home, gym, applying for jobs and then finally prayer and meditation, for me to look at what I had to offer, acknowledge my experience and potential and realize I had NEVER been in this position in my life before. I now had the time to fully invest all my energy into something I truly wanted for myself, there was no job to keep me back.
FINDING MOTIVATION. When all this clicked, I got started and because all the pre work had been done from 2016 ( right down to a full business plan), it was reallya matter of getting right into it and to start creating content and make my business known. The pressure that I had was also my motivation because – I am a parent now, therefore a provider so I can’t stuff this up.
My husband of course has been both excited and supportive in this time of uncertainty but we have chosen to explore how much can be achieved in the pursuit of happiness and a healthy work life balance. Its been fun, its been rough and its been hard work. The rest is history still in the making.