I wish this service had been there when I was pregnant! Before She Pops is a subscription box for mums-to-be, filled with organic pampering goodness. But how did this idea come about? Let’s hear it from founder and CEO Zuliana Zulkiflee Abbas:
Can you give us a brief description of your business and when it started?
Before She Pops is a subscription service that curates beautiful gift boxes filled with must-have pregnancy products for expecting mothers. Each box contains items that cater specifically for the three trimesters of pregnancy. All three trimester boxes contain a unique set of products including organic teas, bath and body products and other delightful surprises to pamper moms-to-be. On top of that, we aim to eliminate the guesswork for the new mother and provide items that are natural, organic and 100% safe to use during pregnancy.
The gift boxes are in line with the recent shift that sees more and more women equally emphasising both the journey and the destination of parenthood. Our customers realise that a healthy baby starts with a healthy mother – physically, mentally and emotionally.
The business was founded in August 2017, just 6 months after my baby girl was born. After working as a sustainability consultant for 5 years, I became a mother and decided to take the leap in starting an online business from home in order to be able to spend more time with my daughter.
What made you decide to turn your interest into a business?
The idea of Before She Pops came about when I was pregnant myself, working from home during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Feeling somewhat confined, I thought it would be nice if I could have pregnancy essentials such as herbal teas and body oil sent to me, as I was in no position to go and shop around for these things. Then the idea struck me: it would be wonderful to have a gift box with all these essentials delivered to pregnant women as a treat, to pamper themselves and to emphasise their well being.
I truly believe that pregnancy is a special time in every woman’s life. After experiencing it, I know that it is not always easy being pregnant – growing a tiny human is hard work! I figured that every pregnant woman deserves gift boxes to pamper her along the way and make the struggle a little bit easier.
How do you balance your time between the other aspects of your life (i.e. being a mum) and being an entrepreneur?
By involving my little one in the process! As a mompreneur I sometimes have no choice but to bring my baby along for meetings, deliveries and events. I was hesitant at first, but along the way I found that people are actually very understanding and accommodating. Maybe it’s the fact that I prefer collaborating with local businesses run by women, so they can relate to my situation. Whatever it is, I’ve been blessed to be around such supportive people who make the juggling act a lot more manageable.
Technology has also made it possible. To an extent, I can work from anywhere with my mobile and don’t have to glue myself to the desk to get things done.
What challenges did you face getting your business started?
One of the challenges I faced at the initial stage (and still struggle with now!) was finding time as a new mother to start a business. To say that babies are demanding is an understatement! I owe a lot to my husband and family for helping me to overcome this challenge, by helping to take care of my baby while I had to work. Working at night while the baby sleeps is also something that I have to do regularly in order to have some uninterrupted time to focus on more strategic work and long-term planning for the business.
This is the first time I’m running a business by myself, so apart from being a mum, I also have to wear multiple hats in my company – customer service, social media, sales, business development. There are a lot of things that I had to learn quickly and on the job.
What tips do you have for others who are thinking about setting up their own business?
There is no perfect time to start something you are passionate about. Sometimes you just have to go for it – take a leap of faith and dive right into it. If I had waited to have it all figured out, I probably never would have started. Start small, make the most of what you have and keep going. Strive for progress, not perfection.
I also believe that instead of cracking your head thinking about what product to sell, sometimes it is easier to find a problem that resonate with you and think of a solution for it. I believe the best businesses are ones that solve a problem or gap in the market. Finally, always believe in yourself and keep going!