Five Lessons That Swiss Mompreneurs Learned from their Kids
I asked Five Mompreneurs in different cantons of Switzerland what lessons they learned from their own kids. And luckily discovered that kids have always been the main drivers for these successful women.
Photo: Kasia K
Lesson 1: To Listen Carefully
Kasia, Language School Founder (Geneva)
My daughter Cecile is 23 months old. She still does not speak but she already made a great impact on the development of my business – Spell Languages. She makes me see things from a position of a mom.
When she was born, I felt like there were too few activities for moms. So, I created Mom and Baby French classes. These were planned as classes for moms but we changed to parents around maternity leave and beyond.
As my daughter and her friends started approaching the age of rapid development of speech, I had a chat with a fellow mom who started worrying for her sons English. She is an English speaker and the dad speaks French. Her toddler went to French speaking crèche and started turning to French instead of English. My daughter on the other hand is bilingual with Polish and French and yet somehow also started speaking some English. All of the above had me inspired to create Baby to Toddler English playgroups for young kids accompanied by their parents who wish to offer their child a sensory, fun and stimulating language immersion. We have now announced quite a few languages for native speaker minorieties in Geneva like German, Italian or Portuguese!
Last but not least, I am a linguist and the theory of multilingualism is something I have not only studied but also taught to others. With Cecile growing up trilingual I have the opportunity to see the language development in practice and have the opportunity to marvel at multilingualism from birth.
Photo: Gabriela Castellanos
Gabriela, Mexican Restaurant Owner (Geneva)
We celebrate all traditional festivals and holidays at El Catrín. Independence Day, Day of the Dead and our Posadas are always oriented to families with kids. We incorporate face painting, piñatas full of candies, traditional Mexican songs and play traditional music.
We brought coloring Mexican images so kids can learn about our country a bit more. We have a lot of little costumers and when they come to the restaurant, they think about Disney Pixar Coco and they get super exited, of course our menu is child friendly. We have costumers that have been growing up with us and we love that.
Photo: Sharin Hossian
Sharin, Indian Restaurant Owner (Nyon, Vaud)
As I am in the cooking business, I always have them criticize my menus. As my teenager goes to school at the gymnasia near my restaurant, she guides me on what kind of prices make sense for kids, how long they take to eat, what they like to eat. How to also manipulate social media. So I do actually use and value a lot of their input.
Photo: Viktoria Toth
Lesson 4: Healthy Life-Style
Viktoria, Vegan Cakes Designer and Founder (Zurich)
My kids have always been my main drivers in business. I lost my second baby and this situation was a terrible shock for my body. I got an autoimmune reaction and started to have multi foodintolerances from next day. For 3 months nobody knows what was the problem. I lost 20 kg, my hair fell out, I did not have any energy to wake up and take care of my daughter.
I could not eat because of a terrible stomach pain. I was at the hospital where I was told that gluten, dairy products eggs, soy, chicken, meat were forbidden products for me. It changed my life. I started to drink green cold press juices and eat healthy food. Soon I recovered but of course I missed the nice cakes and sweet treats. As I could not find any substitution at that time and I started to make my own recipes. Gluten and soy-free, raw, vegan and naturally sweetend cakes. I started my business when my second son was 3 months old.
Photo: Didem Ray
Lesson 5: Stay Focused and Be Proud of What you do
Didem, Eco-clothes designer (Zurich)
Once my 16 years old made a lecture about conscious consumption in front of her class and she told about Xquisit’s value chain. We developed the content together and it was amazing. I listened her and noticed something for me for marketing words. She was explaining everything honestly and clearly that everyone would say “oh wow, Xquisit, must be an incredible company!”
I learned from her that I do not have to make a long sentences to explain my vision. It should be short and clear. My younger daugther, 13, reopened my eyes during shopping. I saw a big green letters on the showcase of an international label on the Bahnhofstrasse : “Sustainable fashion is a trend”. For me it sounded a bit confusing to realize that it is so easy to use “sustainable” to influence the consumer. And my daughter said: “No worries Mamma. They can do everything but they will not be like you. You must say: ‘We don’t follow the trend, we are the trend!” Today I use this short sentence for marketing.
My daughters try the samples and give feedback on color, design or comfort. And when they ask to wear a blouse or trench coat from my new collection, I’m overwhelmed to hear it. They give tips to models when we make photo shooting. They monitor trends and give me advice on elements that I have to add to my collection.
And finally, I received from my younger daughter a flat sketch with her new collection. She created new styles which she always would wear them.