Mixing business & kids: 1 mum’s story & tips


Naomi of Babamoon.etsy.com, with her children

We’re excited that BritMums is partnering with Etsy to celebrate great crafting and provide advice for all you entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be who have been toying with setting up a business based on your crafts, collections or other work.

We’re featuring cool crafts and inspiring creators over the coming weeks. Here, Naomi, an owner of two (!) stores on Etsy describes her journey:

A knitted Babamoon item for babies

A knitted Babamoon item for babies

I am Naomi, a hard-working mum of two beautiful children and the owner of two stores on Etsy and a handmade blog. Babamoon.etsy.com is my biggest focus at the moment. My kids totally inspired me to bring out my inner girly-girl and to start making these cute knitted goodies!

Combining work with mummy duties is by no means easy, but I consider it a life skill now. I started my Etsy business when my son was two. It was a month after my daughter was born and as you can imagine it was pretty much chaos. It’s still busy, especially during the holiday season and I bet some days I look like I stuck my finger in a power socket! At the moment I spend the majority of my time working on hats and being with my children. I am glad that time is more readily available now that they are both in school, which has helped both my business and my hair!


One of Naomi’s adorable knitted goodies

But still, I could do with a break, a piece of chocolate and a hot cup of tea.

Chaos aside, I personally think that it’s important to work, both for personal achievement and in order to provide for our families. Self-employment is great for us mums, as it gives us more control over our financial circumstances while at the same time giving us the flexibility to combine work with looking after family.

Etsy makes running an online business easy, and I love sharing my skills and passion for handmade goods with people all around the world. I enjoy doing custom orders and take special care to get them right, because even though we are from all corners of the world, I can identify with my customers when I make products for their children because I was inspired by my own.

Etsy has grown into such a giant community. After doing this for years I am still amazed at how many people take the time to look at what I do. That is why I ship worldwide. Of course it broadened my customer base, but I also get to talk to wonderful new people from all walks of life and all over the world. (Learn all about shipping.)

girl in knitted hat

A fan with one Babamoon hat

What a workday looks like

Combining family and business does require focus and planning, as it can get a little hectic. An average workday involves me doing the usual morning routine: waking up the kids, eating breakfast, and getting them ready for their day.

Once they are at school, I go straight back home and get cracking on my orders. I continue working until the end of the school day and I combine picking up the kids with a trip to the post office to ship finished orders. We have a few hours of family time, until the kids go to bed. When they are tucked in, I am back working on my hats.

If my husband is home, he will help out by doing the kiddy or home duties, which gives me an extra few hours, and those are always welcome. I do this job practically every day now and when things get busy I work all hours, but I really don’t mind. I am so proud of my achievements; my own efforts and determination have gotten me this far. I am so lucky that my job allows me to me a mum and a professional business owner.

I think you won’t be surprised that I would definitely recommend to other stay-at-home mothers to start a business on Etsy. However, it’s important to think about a few things before you start. I have learned a few things along the way, so here is my advice.

Naomi’s 5 tips for starting your business

1. Make sure you have a plan and possibly a small budget for things like supplies and advertising.

2. Seriously think about how many hours you are prepared to put into your working week. Being self-employed takes up much more time than any 9 to 5 job and randomly switching between business and mummy-mode and taking on whatever is being thrown at you – orders or toys – is tough work.

3. Know there will be difficult times. With a good plan, a lot of determination, passion and perseverance, those harder times will benefit you greatly in the long run, especially as your children get older. From my own experience I can tell you that it will get easier and you will find more time to get things done. Those mad moments where you have a kid dangling off of each arm and toys flying in all directions whilst you are trying to work will eventually pass!

4. Stay inspired, positive and focused. A good attitude and approach to life will keep you enthusiastic and passionate. Treat setbacks as an opportunity for a new or different path. Let them fuel your drive to achieve your goals, even if that means developing a whole new approach or plan. Don’t let them be a roadblock that leads you to eventually give up.

5. Balance is crucial. Make sure you give your family as much time as you do your business. But as it is so easy for us mums to get overwhelmed and busy, we may definitely never forget to give time to ourselves as well, in order to maintain our own inner peace.

Feel inspired by Naomi, but need help?

Imagine having the chance to follow your entrepreneurial impulses without risking your savings account. Our friends at Etsy have offered to help BritMums mums get motivated this January & February to do what they’ve always wanted. Learn from the Etsy experts of handmade and vintage business in a 4-week program designed to help you ramp up a creative business and find customers online.

Many Etsy sellers are Mums just like you

You can open a shop on Etsy.com–the online marketplace for handmade and vintage products–and sell what you make or collect to millions of people around the world.

Get 20 free listings when you open your first Etsy shop. After that, it costs only $.20 to list an item for four months.

Open your shop today!

See all our posts about crafts, Etsy and starting your own craft business

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  1. 18 January 2014 / 22:29

    Great post Naomi.
    I too am an Etsy seller and a mum, and relate exactly to everything you’ve written. My daughter is nearly 3, so not at school yet, but I do have her in childcare a couple of days a week so I can work on my Etsy shop. It would drive me insane to have her full time and also try to run a business, especially now the days of daytime naps are gone (sigh)!
    I’m off to check out your shop now 🙂

  2. 20 January 2014 / 14:12

    Great write up 🙂 I’m also an Etsy seller and Mum of two (mine are 5 and 3, so one’s in school, the other at pre-school part time) and it is hectic, but totally wonderful and has helped me combat PND so I am doubly loud about the benefits of running your own business with small children about!

  3. 20 January 2014 / 17:56

    I am mummy to 4 young girls aged 11-2 years and have always (had to have) been self employed since the eldest was born – I couldn’t afford childcare for 4 and am doubtful I could find an employer to allow me to see 4 nativity plays, 4 harvest festivals etc!! I usually split my day up and try not to work when the girls are awake/home, instead catching an hour or two before they are up in the morning and then of course working into the small hours in the evening and a few hours snatched at weekends if they are playing happily without me! I have become incredibly mobile with my work technology wise over the last couple of years 🙂 Somedays, I do look forward to the days they will all be at school and I will have uninterrupted 6 hours a day and other days I know I will miss them terribly 🙂

  4. 21 January 2014 / 20:49

    Really great post! I have an Etsy shop and two kids (5 & 18 months). It really can be tough going to find the time to work on things. I do most of my sewing at night, but it can be very tiring when you’ve been running around after a toddler all day! It is so rewarding to see your business take off though!

  5. 22 January 2014 / 21:49

    Thank you so much for this article! I started my Etsy business selling personalised jewellery last year when I was on maternity leave with my daughter. I’m now back working at my old job part-time, but I hope that one day I will earn enough from my jewellery business to work at home and manage my hours around her school days. Your description of a typical work day sounds great, and about as manic as I imagined! I love your shop too.

  6. Ruth Cross
    18 February 2014 / 20:16

    Thanks Naomi, that was a really useful post, especially the tips for starting your business. I am researching and planning for my own business which I hope to get started when the time is right and everything is fully prepared. We got married last year so the plan is to have something in place by the time we have our first baby, fingers crossed.

  7. 01 April 2014 / 11:50

    Thank you; it’s interesting to hear about what other mums do. I started my business about six months ago and I find the hardest thing is that other people think that I do nothing all day because I haven’t made millions already, when even doing a simple thing like making an Etsy shop banner can take two days if it’s something I haven’t done before. I like the sense of achievement, though, in doing things I’ve not done before, such as setting up my website, and now that my youngest has started school it gives me something to talk about, a long term aim, a short term daily focus and, I hope, sets a good example to the children of having a goal and going for it. I find it hard to work in the evenings though, well done to you for doing that!