- BC Games
Cowichan moms making business their business
That’s right. This is actually a term now being used to describe moms starting their own businesses.
The quirky label may just be the result of what seems to be a trend of more moms following their passions and dreams and creating their own home-based businesses after they’ve become parents.
Two local moms and sisters fall into this category.
Masika Allan not only started Masika May Photography, but also Pretty Frilly Things (home-made headbands and accessories for newborns and tots), after she became a mother. She’s also a makeup artist.
Meanwhile, older sister Fawn Townsend, who’s also a hairstylist and a mother, recently established shabby chic-inspired Not Too Shabby Home Decor.
Both sisters agree starting their own businesses felt natural.
They don’t consider their businesses work, and have agreed the biggest perk is setting their own schedules.
“I had no idea my photography would take off the way it has but I’m incredibly grateful it did,” said Allan, who’s won awards and has had several photos published in magazines.
She was nominated this year for a Black Tie.
“I finally feel like I’m doing what I was meant to do and my ‘job’ does not feel like work at all. I have met so many amazing people and learned so many new things.”
“My family comes first and foremost, and my work, if you can call doing something you love work, comes after,” the mother to four-year-old Crue explained.
“I like to include my son in my work with me whenever possible. He actually helps me paint quite a bit. We also enjoy doing art projects together, reading books, going to the park, baking etc.”
Allan was 27 when she first started shooting professionally in September 2011. Her kids, Keaton and Kienna were 30 and 16 months old then.
“I knew it would have to be all about balance,” she said. “I cut back on my makeup work and crafting to fit the photography in, and made sure I still had lots of time for my family.”
Allan said her schedule’s evolved from when she started taking clients, too many clients in fact, to now where she’s set specific shooting days.
“I would say my schedule is more organized now than when I started. At first I would schedule sessions whenever worked best for my client which usually meant I would run around having to find sitters at all different times of the day and week. I now have my children in daycare Mondays and Fridays and shoot sessions then, as well as on Sunday mornings when I have childcare set up with a family member.”
Allan’s photo editing is done at night when her children are snoozing.
Her biggest challenge thus far has been learning when to say ‘No.’
“Having three businesses, two children, and a partner who works away makes for some busy times so it’s important I keep balance in my life as well as some time for myself.”
She does this by heading to the beach or park when it’s nice outside, “but for rainy days our favourite things to do are baking treats, making art projects or heading to a friend’s house for a play date.”
Townsend also ran into scheduling wrinkles, but like her sister, has smoothed out her day-to-day with Crue attending pre-school while she designs and paints. She also works when he’s sleeping.
Like two peas in a pod, Townsend’s business is also taking off.
“My business has grown more than I could have hoped for,” she said. “I have added more sizes of signs since the beginning as well as developed better techniques and purchased new equipment to offer more variety of styles.”
She recently teamed with the fundraiser Jesse’s Gift with proceeds going to the neo-natal unit in Nanaimo Hospital.
Half the proceeds of her vintage wooden ‘I Love You To The Moon And Back’ signs went to the fundraiser. She hopes to have more signs carried in more stores on the island as well as expand to Vancouver boutiques.