Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Balancing work and family is not easy, especially since Emilio is now a toddler and starting to drop his afternoon nap, but this is the kind of business that allows me to work from home and spend time with him.
My working hours start usually in the early evening, depending on the workload, that is why we offer limited spaces for custom orders every month so I can organise my weeks and priorities. I am very lucky that late nights are not a big problem for me, I got used to them when I was at university, and I honestly prefer working late at night at my own pace than waking up early. Emilio is starting kindy very soon so I will be adding some extra hours to Nido & Pino and will be able to offer more ready-made products and custom orders.
Organization is a must if I want to have some sanity, so I organise all the orders at the beginning of each week with their deadlines, so I know how to split my time, and stay on schedule
I make taking time to relax a priority during the weekends, but sometimes it is hard when the business depends so much on engaging in social media and answering emails. So I block one hour or two a day just for that, early in the morning or late at night – in that way I have the day to spend it with my partner and Emilio. Also, I am a big fan of scheduling apps to manage social media, to keep things moving and on track without feeling I cannot switch off.
Having my sister as part of this adventure helps balance things even more.
The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
Owning and running a small business can become a bit overwhelming at first because there is so much to deal with: admin, pricing, sales, new business, production, suppliers, etc. I had to read, study and research the products I am offering so I could manage the business with confidence.
Mistakes are made but that’s OK, I always learn from them. The key here is to research, join a business group for tips, learn from other people’s mistakes (podcasts are great for that, I found some very helpful ones like Ace the Gram, Entrepreneur on Fire or Goal Digger), take note of social media experts, networking, listen to other experts that were in the same boat as I am now and never stop researching. There are so many communities out there always teaching me something new and are amazing, like Felt, The Hive, Made by Mum, Girls in Business and the list goes on.
Another challenge is switching off at night. It is the most difficult part, as you can’t help but to start thinking about your next product. So practicing mindfulness and switching off one hour before bed is one of my biggest challenges. But, I am getting there; trying to get enough rest and enjoying the present, so that I can give my best the next day.
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
There are always a downsides to running a small business. I work from home so it can be hard to make the disconnection between work and family (but I am getting better at it). I need to manage my holidays around down time.
We are a small company, so I cannot just call in sick and be in bed the whole day when I have orders waiting. If I take time off, I have to stop receiving orders – but the advantages make it all worth it!
I created a business around something I truly enjoy so there is no price on working on what you are passionate about. Getting thank you notes from happy customers is so rewarding. It’s a great feeling knowing our products create so much joy with our customers and their children.
Being the owner of my time is the best perk. I can organise it how I want around all my other commitments. Not having to be at a certain place at a certain time gives a lot of freedom. Being my own boss and having the autonomy to make crucial decisions is great although it can be scary sometimes.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
Our next project is to take Nido & Pino to the next level and start offering products outside New Zealand, but there are some logistics we need to sort out first. We are also working on other new products that we are hoping to offer later in the year, not just for kids but for grown-ups too so keep and eye on our website for any future updates.
Are you looking for personalised height charts, milestone blocks and other modern kids decor? Head over to the Nido & Pino website to see the full range, and join their communities on Facebook and Instagram.