The start of the journey to being a "Mompreneur"
How (more importantly why) we started Snuggles n Bubbles
I’ve been meaning to blog my business journey for a long while now. Who knew starting your own business would be so challenging! If you asked me about entrepreneurship a year ago, I would have never thought about all the struggles and the challenges that come with launching your own business.
I’ve postponed blogging my business journey as there are always a continuous number of urgent tasks that keep arising. . Finally, I started to realize that the blog serves as an important way for me to communicate with all of you, and as a result, the blog post became as important as any other tasks.
I am one of the founders of Snuggles n Bubbles and more importantly a mom of two young boys. But before I begin telling you my story on why I started the business, I want to clarify that I am like everyone single one of you; struggling and learning with the challenges that come with motherhood. I hope this place serves as a means of providing each of us a place to go for guidance, help and support. And to those who don’t know me, I’m the type of person who keeps everything as real as possible.
Since the start of this journey, the question that I am asked most frequently is “why did you decide to start your own business?” and more specifically, “why this business?.” The answers to these questions comes in two parts.
I graduated from business school and decided to pursue what I thought was a practical, safe, low-risk career, that would give me a good job and make me good money (my CPA). That is exactly what the CPA has done for me. I have been working in the corporate world for about 9 years now and probably could work in a similar situation for the rest of my life. However, the problem is that, for me, practical, safe and low-risk has been equivalent to zero passion and excitement. To be honest, most days I don’t wake up excited about what I do. I do what I do because I need to pay the bills and its safe. Now, hold that thought until I explain the second reason of why the business journey started.
Let`s just say I got very lucky with my first-born. Besides the regular struggles of breastfeeding and body image issues that most new mom`s face, I was quite fortunate. With my second born, it was pretty much a roller coaster from day one. It was around 15 months when we started to worry that our second was not showing any signs of walking. At his regular doctor checkup, I recall sitting and debating in my head whether to mention something to the doctor – after all, I didn’t want to ever admit something could be wrong. Finally, I gained the courage to discuss the issue with the doctor, and she examined his legs. Her first recommendation was to help strengthen his leg muscles through massages. As a heavier baby, sometimes it takes longer to walk as the child’s legs have to become stronger to carry the weight (my son was born at 10lbs).
I took that little piece of advice; on my daily calls with my mom I mentioned what the doctor had recommended. My mom was not surprised. She mentioned that this was a very common practice where she grew up. They had special doulas come to massage a newborn every day for the first 40 days. The practice is done as a way to help strengthen the baby`s muscles, relax the baby for better sleep and help reduce colic.
Now the idea became even more intriguing. A massage for babies? Was there such a thing? Who gave massages to babies? I began searching for the benefits of massages for infants. The more I searched the more I found. This was a very common practice done in many European and Asian countries. The popularity has slowly been expanding in the US as well. Working at a company that focuses on well-being and benefits, I was soon to realize this was also covered through my insurance plan at work.
We started taking my younger son for bi-weekly massages and hydrotherapy sessions at a spa that was about 45 minutes away. Though the distance, I would do anything to help our son! Within 2 sessions, we saw a tremendous improvement. We further realized that hydrotherapy was probably the best muscles strengthening exercise/physiotherapy. The improvements from the sessions were beyond what we expected. We saw an immediate improvement in his sleep (after his first massage session he napped for 4 hours). As I started to realize the benefits, I asked myself, why do we need to travel so far for a much needed service? If I wanted to go for a massage for myself, I could find multiple registered massage therapist spas within a 5km radius of my house. When factoring the commute time, a session would cost our family an entire weekend morning or afternoon.
After conducting more research, I was very surprised to realize that many parents are now aware of the benefits of massage and hydrotherapy. It’s a highly beneficial natural form of therapy, and I wanted to share this with others.
I started to ask myself, do I want to be part of this growing industry where I can apply everything I learned from business school and motherhood all under one umbrella? The only thing stopping me was that I was worried about the time commitment that and the struggle of balancing the business and family.
I quickly recognized that I needed a business partner to help me offset my weaknesses, bounce ideas off of, and make this business a success. A natural fit was one of my best friends, Afnan Attia. Although not my sister by blood, she might as well be. Afnan Attia and I went to school together and we had an instant connection from first-year university. They say if you want to know someone, travel with them. Afnan and I have more than travelled as we both survived a 6-week long backpacking trip throughout South East Asia. Afnan is one of the kindest and most loving individuals you will meet. As you connect with us, you will soon find out why she has made and continues to make an amazing business partner on this journey.
This journey has only just begun. We started this business to support other parents in their parenting journeys. We all have our struggles, and we want to offer and share natural, healthy alternatives for our children’s growth and development. We hope you join us along the way.