Women’s Business Stories
Nov 10,2022 | Atezr
Emma Gannon, a blogger, podcast host, and author has an opinion: she thinks women are experiencing a collective confidence crisis. “We’ve got all the tools, we’ve got a Wi-Fi connection, we’ve got all of these inspirational people around us, [and] we’re seeing what other people are doing on social media all the time,” she says, “but yet there’s something standing in our way.”
She says three main challenges are holding women back: time, money, and confidence. “I think if we can conquer those, we’ll be starting more businesses.”
Many acquiesce to the idea that it is their responsibility as housewives to send their children to school, make meals, and take good care of their husbands and kids, doing the same things every day and dedicate themselves to their families. Although times have changed for the better, this still seems to be relevant for some long-term housewives, whose routine-driven minds may not be receptive to newer ideas about women in the outside world; they may also gradually feel ignored or even forgotten by society. Due to the strain of pregnancy and raising children, housewives who used to be motivated, intellectually focused women live ordinary lives filled with trivial housework. Unable to recognize their value, they gradually disconnect from society, and their lives become bleak and lose their colour.
Everyone is an individual with the potential for a bright future, but housewives, who should be free people whose identities just happen to include the words wife and mother, are taking on too many essential responsibilities. They, too, have their dreams and ideas that they long to make a reality. Life is not an ideal utopia where everyone always wins, but housewives need to be able to invest in themselves and their personal successes instead of having to hide their brilliance behind the work they do to care for their husbands and children.
The word "housewife" brings to mind a clean and tidy house supported and maintained by a pair of skillful hands. In their leisure time, housewives often dabble in handmade craftworks, such as making decorations for their homes or knitting sweaters for loved ones. Home is a small world, but it belongs to them. Karen is one of these housewives who has made a business out of her pastimes. How did she do it?
What motivated and inspired you to start your business?
I am a handicraft enthusiast who beautifies my home by creating exquisite decorations. Nowadays, with the development of technology and the advancement of society, people spend most of their time at work, which leaves little time for life, which in turn means they have almost no time to be creative. However, home decorating can inspire people to start every day off on a joyful note, so I hope this hobby can spread to more people. That feeling is what inspired me to sell my decorations.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
This year, I discovered that I could make patterns on a variety of materials using laser engraving devices. The product could be personalized and have a special meaning to the customer by choosing a design they liked and engraving that pattern on the item. With this in mind, I purchased a 10W engraving machine combo set. In order to persuade consumers to come to me with their orders, I also posted images of things I’d made with my laser engraver on social media and expressed that I was ready to take orders for customized home decorations.
How do you arrange your time between your business and family?
Actually, I have a two-year-old daughter. Although I am occupied with starting a business and taking care of my family every day, this life fills me with a sense of achievement. Here’s an approximation of my schedule:
6:00 AM–7:00 AM
I get up at 6 o'clock and spend an hour uploading pictures and videos I took of engravings while making them the previous day, as well as preparing the materials to be engraved that day.
7:00 AM–10:00 AM
After making breakfast for the family and caring for my child, I have to do household chores, such as washing dishes, putting clothes that were left unwashed the day before in the washing machine, and cleaning and tidying up the house.
10:00 AM–12:00 PM
I take my daughter to a nearby park and then to the supermarket to get groceries.
12:00 AM–2:00 PM
I make lunch, feed my kid, and then put her down for a nap. After that, I can have a quick meal and wash the dishes.
2:00 PM–4:30 PM
I customize decorations according to customer's needs with the engraving machine and contact couriers to send packages. Sometimes, my daughter observes how to design decoration patterns as I do them. Additionally, I incorporate her random doodle lines or patterns into my engraving concepts.
4:30 PM–5:30 PM
I take my kid for a walk and go grocery shopping if there’s anything else we need.
5:30 PM–7:30 PM
I make and eat dinner with my daughter and husband.
7:30 PM–9:00 PM
I give my daughter a bath and put her to bed.
9:00 PM–10:30 PM
I check whether there are any questions from my customers about products and answer them. And if I’m getting new orders, I order supplies online.
10:30 PM–11:30 PM
I'm lying in bed browsing Youtube or Etsy with my phone, and plan to create a YouTube channel in the future.
What advice would you give to other housewives?
Frankly speaking, it’s challenging to start a business, especially for housewives who take care of children, but it will make your life so much more fulfilling. Also, stay in love with what you do—keep checking in and change direction if you need to to keep your business fresh, exciting, and innovative.
Karen's experience might be considered a miniature representation of the conflicts that women who want to pursue their aspirations face when they’re caring for a family. For women, a natural maternal instinct can forever restrict them from taking care of children in the background, and they have to speak louder to get the attention they deserve, even though many traditional restraints are reduced or no longer present in modern society. As such, it’s vital to honour wives and mothers all around the globe.