Hello and welcome back to another week of Mama You Can, a series started to started to share inspirational stories of Mama’s who have changed career direction, started their own business or negotiated a more flexible role to fit in with family life.
This week we hear from Laura Vivo Cavaller who created In The Box Gifts an amazing online store which curates perfect gifts for special occasions. We used In the box gifts for the girls Daddy’s birthday present and we were thrilled with the present.
I’ll hand over to Laura to tell us how In the box gifts started and her top tips if you are thinking of doing something similar.
Mama You Can: Laura Vivo Cavaller
My name is Laura and I live in Guildford with my husband and 2 children. My daughter Sofia will be two in November and my son Leo is almost 9 months old.
I started In the Box Gifts, an online store selling gift packages, in April 2017. All the gifts come from small to medium independent businesses or individuals (including other Mums) and this is something that I am really proud of.
Having worked as a Retail Buyer in the UK and Australia for over 9 years, I am now putting my experiences and skills to use to carve myself a new career that works with my family. I made the decision to leave my job and come back from Australia at 7 months pregnant with my daughter, so I never had real (or paid!) maternity leave. I just left my job to come home! With 2 children under 2 years old and no job to return to, I felt that it was now or never; this was the time for me to make working for myself a reality. Something that had been in the back of my mind for years!
I first had the idea for In the Box Gifts when we were living in Australia, we missed a lot; our friends turning 30, getting engaged, married, having babies and of course people we loved growing older. We felt real heartache and devastation at times, being absent from crucial events in our loved ones lives. So the idea grew from that. Initially it was aimed at people that couldn’t be with a loved one to celebrate an important event in their life but it has evolved and although most of the orders fulfil that need, some customers do buy for themselves.
Despite having the initial idea a few years ago, the decision to actually go for it was pretty rapid; there was only 2 months between making the decision to go for it and the website launching.
Once I decided to start I was beyond excited, I loved the creativity that came with my previous career and to get back to buying product felt great. Then I nose dived into a completely different zone! The ‘what have I done’? phase! Feeling like I had bitten off more than I could chew and I had some moments of real self doubt and ‘mum guilt’ about the time I was spending on it.
Then the stock started arriving and I bounced back! The website launched mid May and despite having a million things to do, improvements to make and new ideas to develop I am feeling really positive that I decided to take the leap.
The feeling I got once the first order came through was indescribable, every time I see the customer order email in my inbox I get a real buzz!
There can be tough times, the pressure to fulfil a never ending to do list when you’re knee deep in nappies, soft play and high chair hose downs…when all you want to do once the children are in bed is also go to bed! I am still learning to make it work, every day is different and some days are a lot more productive than others! However the good definitely outweighs the bad!
My advice to any other Mamas thinking about making a similar change is to ‘Rest up, Don’t Give Up!’ It is important to rest, take a step back, put things into perspective and regroup. Sometimes it is definitely easier to give up rather than push through…but good things take time, and it’ll all be worth it!
Thanks so much to Laura for sharing her story.
Until next week,