In this series, previously known as “mompreneur series”, we talk to parents who have made a career change to balance their work and family life by starting a business. For Racheal Kwacz this meant starting to build a business around her expertise as a parent coach. Racheal is also one of the regular Happy Go KL contributors!
Can you give us a brief description of your business and when it started?
Hello, I’m Racheal Kwacz and I am a Child & Family Development Specialist which is a very fancy way of saying “parenting coach”. After working with kids for over 20 years, I am passionate about respectful parenting (no shaming, no bribing, no punishing, no guilting, no yelling!), having seen the benefits for both parents and children first hand.
I run parenting workshops, host forums, give talks, as well as consult with private clients and businesses on respectful parenting, learning through play, happy healthy mealtimes and various other toddler-related crazy!
What made you decide to turn your interest into a business?
Before I moved to Malaysia, I spent a decade in America working with teachers and children – developing curriculum and programmes in preschools and nurseries, providing support and resources for management, teaching and training teachers as part of their professional development and running an arts programme (my degree was in Child & Family Development and Theatre) with a focus on infant and toddlers.
Everything changed the moment I became a mum. I went on bed rest my first trimester and never went back to my job. When my daughter, Ella Grace, was born, I volunteered with an amazing family resource group called IBU and fell absolutely in love with working with mothers.
You see, I have been that mama at 3am, sleep deprived, exhausted, overwhelmed, feeling guilty and questioning so I can truly relate. With all my training, degrees and experience – I knew I could really support and help these mamas. I love walking through the trenches with other parents, to remind them of their beauty and their strength, empowering them with tools and resources and really just saying I got you, this too will pass, come hold my hand for a while.
How do you balance your time between the other aspects of your life (i.e. being a mum) and being an entrepreneur?
I have an amazing management team that allows me to do what I do and still get to be a mum. They take care of all the nitty-gritty details like schedules, payments and contracts so I only need to worry about being there for the parents and companies that come to see me.
I’m fiercely protective of my time with my husband and daughter. It is how I stay fueled and humble so we literally schedule in dates and times and I guard them with my life!
You know how in an airplane they always say for you to put your oxygen mask on first before your little one? It seems selfish but then you realise that if you pass out, you won’t be able to care for your child either. With that in mind, I feel passionately about self-care for mamas.
I know how hard and overwhelming being a parent is, and that is exactly why I know I have to prioritise and give myself permission to take care of myself so that I can be wholly present and at my best for my teeny tiny one. Also, I’m a totally a better mom after date night! ?
What challenges did you face getting your business started?
In America, my services as a consultant were highly sought after but in Malaysia, it was hard at first to sell the idea that sitting with me, using my skills, troubleshooting based on my experiences in education and as a mama, was an actual profession. Just the idea of respectful parenting itself was a tough sell!
Thankfully, the business has naturally developed as more and more mamas tell their friends about me and what I teach. I love what I do and I find so much joy and fulfillment in helping parents find connection and confidence!
What tips do you have for others who are thinking about setting up their own business?
Put on a BRA! Build, review, adapt. Stay relentless and hungry, but more than anything, stay humble and be kind! It will open up more doors than you ever imagined possible and really be purposeful about the culture you want to build in your business so it can propel your vision. Have a tribe where you can be honest and they can be honest with you. But mostly, believe in yourself. Trust your gut. Dream big dreams, mama. You got this.