To celebrate the launch of our latest Play Jacket in Grey Leopard available in both adult and child sizes, we profile 4 inspirational mums and their daughters.
In Part 2 of 'A Day Out' we meet with Belinda Cannon, super stylish mum and business owner behind New Zealand accessory brand Sophie, and her 8 year old daughter of which the brand lends its name, Sophie.
Sophie is a New Zealand lifestyle brand creating easy-to-wear accessories for women. Her range includes delicate silver & gold jewellery, leather goods, hats and scarves in beautiful neutral colour palettes. Each Sophie piece is designed in New Zealand and created overseas, using quality materials and excellent craftsmanship.
When Belinda is not designing new collections and running her business, Belinda keeps busy as mum to 8 year old twins Sophie and Henry. In her own words, “The best thing about being a business owner is being able to do something I love and have the flexibility to do what I want with my days.”
We ask Belinda and Sophie a few questions…
Q1. In today's world, what do you think is the most important lesson to teach our daughters?
I’m trying to teach Sophie to be nice to people and respect everyone. Bullying is rife and I’d be horrified if she was subject to it or was a bully herself. At the same time, I want Sophie to have an opinion and a voice of her own, I’m trying to teach her that it’s okay to not agree with others, but to be respectful when you disagree. The sooner women work out who they are and what they stand for, the better life can be. It took me a while to have true self-confidence, so I’m trying to instill that in her early.
Q2. Which of your qualities has your daughter inherited?
Sophie has a real eye for detail and astounds me with the things she notices daily. She loves prints and art and is very happy drawing away on her own. She’s got a great eye and is always offering her opinion on my designs, and I appreciate it! She’s also down- to-earth, sporty, naturally coordinated and not a girly girl which is very me. She’s quite shy, follows the rules and absolutely loves school. As a child, I was exactly the same. Soph prefers to be busy over relaxing and is out on her bike or skateboard if anyone is out on our street. That’s not me these days, but the women on Mum’s side of the family are like that and always busy and very practical! Soph mixes a cake better than I do!
Q3. What does your daughter teach you?
Being a Mum teaches you so much, it’s phenomenal. Both my children have taught me that I have a big responsibility as their Mum, and I need to make sure they’re equipped for life. They have taught me to be patient, slow down, laugh a little more and that the love of a child is like no other love in the world. Sophie teaches me that even though you may be little and sometimes shy, you can still front up and do whatever you want. Her determination is huge and she’s very resilient. She doesn’t worry about things, and I’ve seen her confidence grow so much. Soph loves a joke and she’s a reminder to always be silly as I’m quite serious sometimes!
Q4. How do you juggle being a mum and business owner?
Foof! It’s hard, and if I wasn’t a Mum, the business would be a lot easier. When I started, I was working another job, so I’d work quite late into the night often until 1am -I’m a night owl! Now I just work on the business. At the moment, my amazing Mum collects the kids twice a week so those days I can work until 5, and a year ago, I employed an assistant which means I don’t have to be in the office every day and she can keep things going. I don’t work when the kids are awake, but I will do social media at night. Strictly no work on the weekend, but again, customers still get in touch and I reply to their questions which is important to me. It’s a 24/7 thing having your own business. I need to exercise to stay sane, and that sometimes falls by the wayside (the sanity and the exercise!). My husband is amazing and without him this wouldn’t be achievable. I LOVE working, so for me, I just have to continually work on the juggle. My family are my top priority, so that trumps work every time.
Q5. What tips have you got for mums wanting to start their own business?
- Just start! Seriously, get the logo made, start working on what your offer is, start making it. Do anything, just do something. I always wanted my own business and had no idea what I wanted to do and didn’t even set out to do what I’m doing now. You never know where you’ll go!
- There is no such thing as failure. Seriously, there isn’t! You simply learn something and move on. Don’t worry about something not working how you expected as everything takes you one step closer to something.
- Don’t expect to earn money straight away. I’m not sure anyone does! I worked part time right up until I could see my business had a future, but I only recently started paying myself. Look at the numbers or find someone who knows what to look at and ensure it’s viable before you get in too deep.
- Never want it more than you work for it. It’s simple, just work hard. If you’re not up for hard work, and lots of it, don’t do it. It’s a huge amount of effort. Sure, the rewards are wonderful, but it’s a lot of work.
- Connect with like minded business owners. This is a must! I’ve got a crew of women that are also Mums that have also started their own businesses. They truly understand what it’s like, and you can learn a lot from sharing the highs and the lows.
Q6. We ask Sophie, what is the best thing about your mum?
She cracks me up! *giggles*
Thanks Belinda and Sophie!