I’ve met a lot of work at home parents these past few weeks and a lot of them have amazing stories. They’re all so different from one another but what they all have in common is the passion they have for their families and a go to attitude.
These parents are proof that you can work at having it all. It’s not going to be easy, there’s no formula for it and there are no rules. But these parents have shown that if you really want it and you’re willing to sacrifice for it, you can have it all.
For my very first WAHM profile, I would like to present clay artist Saosao Ypil-Bisares. She has a booming business, 2 kids (one still exclusively breastfeeding), and she’s doing this all WITHOUT a nanny.
1. What did you do before you became a work at home mom?
Before being a happy WAHM, I was a ‘zombie’ working mom, a call center agent. Zombiefied because I only have 4 hours of sleep per day, I’m pumping breastmilk, and when I get home, I still had to do take care of my baby. My husband then was a stay-at-home-dad and we had to do everything because we couldn’t afford a nanny. We married early and were fresh graduates when we had our first child.
2. What made you decide to become a work at home mom?
The zombie life made me decide to leave it all behind. The pay was not good enough as an exchange for my stress, worries, and missed moments with my child. Plus, everytime I’m at work, my mind was floating, still thinking & worrying what happened to my (hubby & daughter) esp. during that stage where my baby was learning to walk already, around 7 months old. So I choose to be with my baby. Too bad I just weaned from breastfeeding because of my employment, that’s the most stupid decision I ever made (wean too soon).
3. Can you tell us how you got started?
When I stopped working and my hubby finally had a job, we got a DSL & wi-fi. I started selling stuff (I started selling when I was a student) I liked online like accessories, cellphone load, whitening products, gluta, soap, lotions, perfumes, bags, clothes, etc. It did well, it’s just that sometimes I’m so poor, I can’t restock my items (yes I am that poor). And so I kept on thinking what items require lesser investment. And aside from that, I wanted something unique.
It took a while for me to realize that I could use my talent for money-making.Photoshop editing is one of my hubbies and when people saw the layout work I did for my child’s tarpaulin banner, I started getting orders from people to do some lay out work for them. That’s when I got the hint that I could actually use my hobbies for business.
But there came a time that our old computer (the one I used since high school) finally retired, so I had to stop my layout business. I had to find another way.
When I was still pusuing my nursing degree, I met an artists who became my friend. We decided to try doing business using art. (realizing that working as a nurse here in our country won’t make us rich. Hehe). I suggested polymer Clay, since I know a cousin & a classmate of mine who did well on that stuff.
The only problem is the materials needed are quite expensive, I don’t have enough funds. But she insisted that I try it because she believed in my talent. And so, with only a P500 worth of investment, I bought some Clay and started creating MTO (made to order) clay works. With talent, patience and creativity, I was able to create unique pieces and the orders started coming; and I hardly did any marketing. It was such a blessing!
4. What were the challenges of setting up your own work at home business? Rewards?
The challenge is managing my time as a full time mom and clayist. Especially right now, a mom of TWO kids (no nanny since birth! We still can’t afford to get one).But thanks to my nursing training, I know can handle extreme pressure and multitasking. And I know I can make it because I’m doing something I love. And I love how my customers love my works. Seeing my creations and how people respond to them makes everything worthwhile.
5. How is business so far?
So far my hobby-turned-business is doing great. I always have customers and ideas, the only thing I need is more time. Right now I can’t take any more orders and I actually have plans of taking it slow. Motherhood is still my main job and priority, this craft is only a part-time job.
6. What do you hope to achieve with your business?
I want to earn more money and experience. With each project, whether layouts or clayworks, it just keeps getting better than the previous ones. And I also have been dreaming that someday in the future, after I go find a high paying job abroad (I still want to use my profession as a nurse), I’ll be able to invest more in this business and hopefully have my own craft shop.
But for now, while I’m still starting & my kids are small, my goal right now is to finish my job orders on time and have more satisfied and amazed clients.
7. How did your kids/spouse/family reacting to you working at home?
All out family support. My family approved of my decision to put my kids first. Plus, they love my work. My mom, sister, and husband are artists too. In fact, my husband is even better in microsculpture than I am so I sometimes ask for his help in making realistic images. My toddler also enjoys playing Clay with me, she can help with the kneading!
Work at home is fine for now. I know pretty soon they’ll be wanting me to pursue my nursing career. But but now, the kids need my presence more than my presents.
8. How do you manage your time to balance work and family?
Multi-tasking is the key. While watching over the kids, I work. I just make sure to secure my things and my unbaked clayworks or else, my ‘tornado’ toddler would ruin my labor of love. Second, I find time to work at dawn, & I bring my work bedside (we co-sleep with my baby).
There are days that I really don’t feel like doing anything (this is a weird MOOD syndrome most artists have). So i give myself a break and just spend time with kids, internet, or my husband. It’s challenging but I just had to get the hang of it.
9. Any tips for moms who want to strike out on their own and become a work at home mom?
I strongly recommend knowing yourself, knowing what you want or love. Coz if it’s business, it has to be something you love doing for you to do great. You don’t have to “work” at all if you enjoy your work per se. And you have to learn to trust clients (friends, relatives, strangers) and yourself.