Self-Start Mums showcases mothers who have created their own self-employed business. I’m very happy to share my interview with Alyce Cowling, Founder of Mumma Cow.
This series includes sponsored content.
Alyce Cowling Interview for Self-Start Mums
1. Tell me about yourself?
I’m a mum of two, Kiara who is three & Nixon who is almost two!
I’m a wife and a dog mum too ? at last count I’m 27 and we live on the beautiful Gold Coast!
2. Tell us about your self-employed business?
I’m the owner, operator, mumpreneur behind Mumma Cow. I make personalised, unique and funny baby and kids clothes.
The idea all started when I was pregnant with my first and I wanted a fun way to tell my family. I decided on a printed onesie and it cost me an absolute fortune!
A few months later I wanted some personalised onesies again for the baby shower, then again for her 1st Christmas. So it all snowballed and I started doing the items myself. I showed them off, everyone loved them so it just grew and grew from there!
I officially started it as a hobby business when Kiara was around four months old. Meaning I’ve been in business over three years now.
3. How did you transition to working for yourself?
Before going on maternity leave with my first I had worked at Australia Post for seven years.
I loved it there but when I left I hoped I wouldn’t have to go back. Then the business started and really started to gain traction… there was no going back to any other job. This was it and I loved it!
4. What was your previous career?
Australia Post, which I started at whilst at high school and worked all the way through Uni where I did a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communication and History.
5. Describe a typical day in your working life?
The social media side of things is all day every day. Posting photos and creating content, talking to other small businesses and customers online… which is definitely the funnest part!
The kids are at kindy two days a week and on those days I do designs and package orders.
6. How many hours do you work per week on your business?
Too many to count, but I truly wouldn’t have it any other way! I had Kiara in kindy one day a week when she turned one and then Nixon didn’t go until he turned one.
But I would say I’ve always really done at least two full days, whether that was all at night or now when it’s kindy days.
7. Do you supplement your income in any other ways?
We are lucky enough to ‘survive’ off hubbies income. But Mumma Cow pays for my fuel, phone bill and nowadays it pays for most of our holidays.
8. How do you manage your family and working for yourself?
Work/life balance is THE HARDEST part of working for yourself. The business is essentially another child which needs pretty much the same amount of time and effort.
It can be exhausting, especially in the beginning when it feels like there is no return. I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends and family but it took everyone a while to realise that this was my ‘job.’ And it needed to be treated like one so I had to set ‘working hours.’ Organise babysitters, endless late nights and eventually kindy.
9. What challenges did you face in setting up your business?
I think, in the beginning, being taken seriously and having others support your business as a job. Everyone thinks you’re so lucky to work from home (and yes I am) but it’s hard to separate work from home life and you feel like you are always working.
10. What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
There is so many positives to working for yourself. There is a massive sense of pride in every little thing you achieve and the support you receive. It’s just so rewarding. It’s hard work but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
11. What’s your best advice to another mum who is considering setting up her own business?
Do it. Be prepared for late nights but make sure you’re doing something you’re really passionate about. You might not be the only person doing what you’re doing so find your difference, your difference could just be because you are you and people want to buy that item from you! And lean on others in small business, lean on people who understand, we all started somewhere.
12. What’s next for you and your business?
I absolutely love where I am now.
I finally found my balance which is allowing me spare time to work on bigger and better things like expanding. I just did t-shirts for three years but now do hats, water bottles, backpacks! And I’ve started stocking other small business items I love too!
Now I think it’s about growth and finding my tribe.
I also did some charity shirts for Buy a Bale which was a massive success and would love to do something like that again, to use my small business to make a big difference.
Are you a self-starter mum? Read more interviews with self-employed mums here.
To chat about taking part in this series and sharing your story, contact Mim here
I hope you’ve enjoyed my interview with Alyce Cowling at Mumma Cow!