Monday, August 24, 2009

Mommies-in-Business Series - Little Gems Inc

One of the best things about working from home for me is definitely the opportunity to spend more time at home with the kids while pursuing my own interests. However, ask any honest mom running a business from home and they can tell you that it is certainly no bed of roses , especially if you are managing both the business, kids and various household responsibilities with very little help. In many ways, my days are much more hectic than before but in many ways, more fulfilling and interesting.

Before I started Pupsik Studio, I had very little idea where it would lead to. I still do not know and this is what excites me each day. This business has brought along many surprises and new experiences. One thing I never quite expected to be blessed is so many new friends who share similar interests, tastes and passion in bringing up their babies. While many of our loyal customers turn into friends whose support I deeply appreciate, I have also gotten to know other like-minded moms in business who are running it with the same deep passion and belief they have for their kids.

I have been wanting to share more about such fellow Mommy-in-Business here on Pupsik Studio for the longest time to introduce you to many lovely home businesses run by mommies out there. Hopefully, you will be able to find something you like from these home businesses and extend your support to these mommies too!

The first Mommy-in-Business Mommy I would like to share here is Gloria. Gloria runs Little Gems Inc, an online boutique that carries many brandnames like Carters, Gap, Old Navy and Oshkosh B'Gosh all priced at less than SGD$30! How is this possible, you may ask? Well, most of the authentic stuff that the ever resourceful Gloria gets hold of are actually factory overruns, cancelled orders, shelf pull outs or delayed shipments. Yes, the kind of stuff that you would actually travel all the way to factory outlets in the US to get your hands on before but no longer have to do so because of Gloria! I got this lovely Laura Ashley Summer Dress from Gloria recently and absolutely adore the print and price tag!

I posed Gloria a few questions about her business some time back and she was really lovely to agree to share more about her life and business through this blog.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a work at home mum. Mum to Nicole who is turning 8 this year. I have a webstore called Little Gems Inc. I am your typical ordinary mommy next door, except that I am also living with cancer. I was diagnosed at a pretty young age of 30, when Nicole was barely 2. It was a pretty trying and humbling episode in my life, dealing with the diagnosis and treatments that follow. But it did help put my life and priorities in perspective. I had a relapse in 2007, but with God's grace, i am still trugging along

2. How did you start with Little Gems Inc?
Little Gems Inc came about sometime in 2004. It was borne out of my passion for shopping, and dressing nicole up. However, at the back of my mind, the practical side of me kept reminding myself that kids do grow out of the clothes quite quickly. I started sourcing around, and realised that there are many like-minded mums like myself, always out to look for a bargain. Little Gems Inc. made its first couple of sales on Ebay and I decided to create a webstore in order to have a web presence, and since then, there is no turning back.

3. What were you doing before you started this home business?
I spent a good part of my career in the cruise industry, followed by some years handling events and medical courses in a public hospital. The hours were long and demanding, and weekends were often spent away from the family.

4. What is a typical day like for you?
The day usually starts early at 5.30 am, getting Nicole ready for school. Afterwhich, its some housework and paperwork. Work "officially" starts at 9 am, and I will be answering emails, and packing orders. I am usually off to the post office by 1200. Afterwhich, I wll do a little grocery shopping, and make my way home by 2.00 pm to wait for the school bus to drop Nicole off from school. While she takes her afternoon nap after lunch, i will prepare dinner. Once thats done, its back to the desk again. Evenings are quiet time we spent together watching TV, and catching up on Nicole's schoolwork. Depending on my stamina and whats on TV, I will be back at my desk after 10pm when Nicole goes to bed. It does get a little more hectic when new inventory arrives, and the day gets busier uploading pics and product info onto the webstore.

5. Do you face any challenges running this business from home?
Time managment. Wish I have more than 24 hours in a day
Here is a picture of Gloria and her lovely daughter Nicole. Gloria also has a lovely blog (Little Gems Unravelled) which she uses to share more intimate details about her life, including living with Stage 4 cancer and taking the time to smell the roses. Knowing that there are many young moms reading this blog, Gloria was concerned enough to ask me to help stress the importance of doing regular breast checks for lumps as she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer at a very young age of 30.

"If you have a lump, get it checked. Never let the docs tell you that you are too young to get breast cancer. Having said that, not all breast lumps are cancerous. Its better to err on the side of caution, than to live with the regret of not catching it early."

Thank you Gloria for this insightful sneak peek into your busy life and for the concerned reminder to all young women to do regular breast examinations.

In the coming weeks, I hope to interview another mommy-in-business on the subject of Home Schooling! This busy mama not only takes care of her kids full time (no domestic helper, mind you!), she also runs her own business from home and home schools her own boys! Curious how and why she does this? Well I am so stay tuned!


mirrror said...

Thank you for sharing this! Being a SAHM, it sure helps to read other fellow mums journey and of course, more shopping sites. ;)

kristalangel said...

Awesome. Now we know a bit about the woman behind Little Gems !!

UrbanKandy said...

Great article Pupsik! I find myself relating to this.. I've just started a home business myself called Urban Kandy and finding it hard to juggle time with my 5mth old and getting the business moving forward.

This story is so inspirational and I hope that people like me will learn and appreciate what we have and understand that life is all about the process and learning along the way.