Real mums

Fancy starting your on business but don’t know where to start? Find out how working mums are having the best of both worlds – a successful career and happy family life.

new year,new approach to being a working mum

New year: your new approach to being a working mum

Do you feel like you have to constantly prove yourself in the workplace because you’re a working mum? With most of us having a few days off because of the Christmas and bank holidays, this is your chance to go back to work renewed and ready to stand firm!

We don’t ask to be treated like martyrs, or for a medal, neither do we ask for special treatment, just because we have children. Most of us working mums just want to get on – by that I mean getting on with the work we’re being paid to do. Most of us want to get in with that work without feeling as though every step we take in the workplace is being scrutinised in case any semblance of life outside it is impacting on our work or how we do it.

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Podcast: Sunshine through the rain – Lorena Oberg talks success after acrimonious divorce

Divorce can be tough no matter how grown up you and your other half choose to be about it. But when it’s acrimonious and you don’t have a penny to your name, and you need to stay afloat so you can keep your children, what do you do? Well, start a business – of course!

Podcast: Yee Kwan of Dragon’s Den fame on launching into the UK ice-cream market

Yee Kwan launched her ice cream and sorbet business after being made redundant as a surveyor in 2009. Today, Yee’s business produces 18,000 litres of ice cream and sorbet a year, and is stocked in Harvey Nichols and Wholefoods Market, as well as in a growing number of restaurants and independent retailers across the country.

Real mum profile: Vanessa Blake of dreamgenii

When most people think about the best time to start a business, during a pregnancy isn’t one that often comes up – but then business mums don’t always do things in the traditional way, do they?

Married mum of two Vanessa Blake, director of dreamgenii® tells how having problems sleeping during her pregnancy and finding nothing to help improve things was the impetus to starting her award-winning business.

Real mum inspiration: Julie Deane (Cambridge Satchel Company) – an inspiring story every aspiring mumpreneur should know

We love a good success story here at Mothers Who Work towers – and we’ve seen a few over the years, too!

But, Julie Deane’s story is even more inspiring because it was done under pressure. Like many mums who need to pay a bill of some sort, Julie Deane’s need for cash to pay for her daughter’s school fees was the driving force behind her kitchen table business start up.

Real mum profile: Isobel Thompson of Morrck

They say that friends and family and business don’t mix. But if you can get the basics right, it can be very successful…even with young children.

Isobel Thompson, 48, shares how she’s managed to get everyone from her husband to her teenage son, and her eight-year-old twin daughters involved in her business.

Real mum profile: Anna Wreford, Big Bird Boutique

?Running a hobby/craft-based business sounds like fun, the cost of supplies or ingredients leaves you laughing all the way to the bank…right?

Anna Wreford
But is it really that easy – married mum Anna Wreford, 33, talks about running Big Bird Boutique and and how she makes sure she doesn’t get left out of pocket – even when doing favours for her friends.

What work did you do before you set up your company?
I was the design director at a furniture consultancy company that specialised in the education sector.

?How did you fund the business?
I’m funding the business with my personal savings, and using my hoard of fabrics I have been collecting for years.

Real mum profile: Yuliana Topazly of Phase 1 Enterprise Training

Married new mum Yuliana Topazly, 31, is passionate about entrepreneurship and is the director of Phase 1 Enterprise Training and juggles this with managing enterprise activities for London-based universities. She tells how she has managed to juggle a new business with motherhood, and how it has helped her overcome postnatal depression.

Yuliana Topazly Phase 1 Enterprise TrainingWhat work did you do before you set up your company?
I have worked in high education sector lecturing small business development most of my working life, managing students’ enterprise curricular and extra-curricular activities in London-based universities. I have a large portfolio of businesses I have supported from pre-startup stage, so I decided to use my knowledge and experience and my passion for entrepreneurship to start working for myself.

Podcast: Lindsey Benson of The Birthing Shirt Company

We love a good inspirational story of a career mum who is making waves in business…in walks Lindsey Benson, mumpreneur of The Birthing Company (

Lindsey Benson, The Birthing Shirt CompanyLindsey is a great example of how career mums can successfully use transferable skills from their career experience and turn into a business.

Listen to the podcast to find out how she has changed the way she works so she could spend more time with her young sons, and has managed to get the NCT to back product.