I felt called to chat with Shan about her journey through motherhood, business & life in general! I had watched her grow her community of heart led business mummy’s & wanted to know more! I think it’s so important we hear other women’s stories, the highs, lows & craziness in-between! Not to compare them with our journey, but to inspire us to keep going, to empower us to start & to know we are not alone!
Tell us about your childhood & growing up!
So a little about me! I was born in SA (South Africa), in a big city called Johannesburg, but we moved around SA a lot. I was never in the same city for longer than a year to two years max.
My parents always owned their own businesses which they built up, sold off and would do again & again. Which I feel had a huge impact on me wanting to own my own business -because I had seen first hand the freedom that entrepreneurship could bring.
When I was 13 my whole family had a direct encounter with crime in SA, where we were held up with guns in a Chiropractors office…which became the main reason my parents started exploring immigration options!
We moved to New Zealand in 2011 when I was 16, just turning 17.
In 2013, because of my student visa requirements, I had to repeat year 13 otherwise I’d get sent back to SA.
But I ended up having to go back anyway for 8+ months in 2014 (because of my visa) and I consider that my “travel time”.
How’s Mumma life?
Mum life is amazing, it was really challenging during my pregnancies though – I had HG (Hyperemesis gravidarum which causes severe nausea & vomiting!) with both of them and it lasted the whole 9 months, both times! I also had really bad PND after my first birth – it was a combination of things that sent me on a downwards spiral.
But I managed to muster up the courage to start my first business at this point. I started around 4 months post partum when I was looking for products safe for my baby & coming across so many that had unsafe ingredients in them & were being used world wide! Always having been crafty & good at doing things with my hands, I figured why not give it a go making my own products for my baby. I remember I put it out there online & my phone went nuts from all the enquiries it was crazy! Unfortunately there was a lot happening in my life, so my mental health really took a hit. I was just not well enough to see it through and so I closed it down soon after.
I decided to use that time to work on myself and do things that I love, i started getting into gardening a bit, I’m not any good at it, but nature makes me feel calm so we grew some of our own veggies and I started practicing daily affirmations. To rebuild my self confidence and to retrain my brains thinking, because I was very negative about myself and my body and my life and everything around me- and I knew I needed to change that if I wanted to achieve my goals.
I fell pregnant with my second about a year later and after having him, I was in such a different headspace it was insane. I felt so confident -and I was so ready to try start my business back up again.
At that point I invested my savings into relaunching my skincare line under a different name. I even started to expand and invest into different products from overseas …. And then Covid hit, we went into lockdown & everything I had been planning for just wasn’t going to happen!
After having a cry about it, feeling sorry for myself with the whole situation, I decided to close my product based business down completely in March 2020. It was so disheartening!
I knew I wanted to do something meaningful, empowering, something people wanted to be a part of it. I started to think about what I liked to consume. I wanted to focus on boss babes, Mum’s that were working their buts off to be successful for their families. That’s what inspires & motivates me, so I wanted to provide that for other people. I love to hear why they started & how they started, their ups & downs, how they get through things. SO I decided to start a digital magazine that would focus on sharing the story behind the brands, the motherhood journey and parts that aren’t often spoken about.
Since starting IALM in April 2020, I’ve had sooo many challenges!
I feel like ALL business owners face challenges on the DAILY and some are minor, and then some are SO major that you poop yourself!
I’ve had all sorts of things go wrong, like delays in orders from suppliers, website issues, label and packaging issues, finance issues, typos, incorrect orders arrive.
I’ve been rejected by soo many brands and influencers, I’ve had a lot go wrong actually! But you know there will ALWAYS be things that go wrong or don’t go the way you’d hoped.
And In saying that, I try and stay as positive as I can in those moments, or sometimes I give myself extra time off or space if I need it. Because doing all this online work and showing up as your best self every single day is so draining sometimes you just need a breather.
And if I’m dealing with rejection then I go even easier on myself, because it can be a huge confidence knock, but you always have to just keep going.
The worst that someone can say is “no” to working with you and you feel shit for a few hours or a day or whatever.
Community – how important do you feel it is for you?
Yes! Community is so so important to me! They say it takes a village, but a lot of us mum’s didn’t or don’t have a village! So having a safe, judgment free space to be able to thrive as your best self is absolutely essential!
I have a love hate relationship with being online I’ll be honest.. I love the community and how easy it is to connect with other like minded mum’s! But I’m also really shy and introverted…which can make showing up online a bit tricky sometimes. I’ve also had my fair share of trolls, and even had some issues with other brands stealing content and customers, gossiping and bullying. There definitely is THAT side to all of this too. And I don’t really talk about it often because I believe that what you focus on grows, so I try put my energy into things that actually make me feel good.. and I just block the haters and keep doing what makes ME happy! I feel SO much better when I stick to things that have good energy and good vibes, and if that means blocking a brand or an influencer that makes me feel like sh*t every time I see them pop up on my feed- then so be it!
But in saying all of that, I have also been REALLY lucky and have such an amazing and supportive tribe of local mum’s backing me, I feel like they are my soul sisters, and I learn SO so much from them every day! I’m inspired every single time I come onto Instagram!
I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of them already, and had even planned to do a meet and greet soon to hopefully meet more of my Instagram friends, but this Covid nonsense is making that a little tricky so we may have to postpone to next year…
Goals & Dreams?
That’s such a tough one because I’ll be honest, since I started I’ve just been winging it! I never really know what I’m doing-because I have so much I feel like I want to do, and I’m making it all up as I go along haha.
I was actually about to launch a new style and product right before lockdown again haha..
But I HAVE thought about opening a brick and mortar store somewhere near the coast in NZ and stocking other mums products. I’ve thought about hiring a bunch of my followers and renting an office and working on the digital magazine side of things full time and try get more Issues out every year. I’ve thought about starting a skincare line again, there are lots of avenues I want to try! But with Covid it makes it hard to plan things like this..
So for now I’m focusing on staying sane during lockdown firstly, and getting issue 03 of IALM out! And I have just organised a really friggen exciting “local” raffle with a huge prize worth almost $2000, with ALL proceeds being donated to The Mum’s Clique Charity! So rewarding!
Thank you for sharing so much with us Shan – I loved learning so much about you & can’t wait to see what you do next!
To stay up with all that is happening with Shan & her brilliant business ‘I’m a Local Mummy’, you can follow along on her journey by following her on Instagram & checking out her website!
You can grab your very own copy of the first two issues of the I’m a Local Mummy magazine on Shan’s website! ISSUE 03 of IALM is coming soon & I can not wait to read it!!
Thank you for chatting to us today Shan we loved hearing about your journey & look forward to following you as you live out your passion while loving motherhood!
Thanks for reading everyone!