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Interview with Danni McCabe
Today we feature Danni McCabe, CEO and founder of Mama Tribe, a online platform that supports and promotes Women in business, and through Motherhood.
Founded in March 2017, Mama Tribe, helps Women in business to be more easily found, gain visibility and increase their brand awareness. Across the Mama Tribe platforms and through a membership community Mama Tribe helps Women to connect and collaborate online or via events across the UK.
Hi Danni, great to hear your story, before we start can you tell me who were you before you started your business and what made you decide to change direction and start a business?
When I became pregnant with my first baby, we were living in the Cotswolds and commuting three hours each way from the Cotswolds to London for work. I knew that after maternity leave I wouldn’t be able to return to work, as working flexible hours remotely wasn’t an option, so I decided to set up my own business. I launched my bridal boutique when my son was 10 months old on the high street in the Cotswolds town where we live. The business grew quickly, I gained a good reputation, had clients from across the UK and as far reaching as Australia and USA. I loved it and business was going really well. Then it burnt down.
Oh no that must have been devastating, what did you do to manage this?
Yes, at the time I was devastated, but actually it turned out to be the best thing and now I couldn’t be happier. I’d set up my first business with the intention of being my own boss and creating something that fitted around my family. However I had created a shop that required me to be there, with hours that meant my son was in nursery for eight hours a day and my busiest days were weekends, meaning I missed out on loads of family time.
It was a steep learning curve from setting up my first business to having to close it all in three years. I’d experienced the highs and lows of being my own boss! But it didn’t put me off trying again. This time I knew I didn’t want to have a business that tied me to a location for set hours. I knew what my strong points were as a business owner and I knew how hard it is and how lonely it can be.
Whilst on maternity leave with my second baby I came up with the idea for Mama Tribe. I had met many Women, that like me had chosen to try and create their own business whilst on maternity leave, rather than returning to work. With the Mum guilt and the family, work life juggle, I understood what a lot of Mums were feeling, as they tried to navigate their way through business and motherhood. So I decided to create an online platform that supports and promotes Women in business, and through Motherhood.
I help Women in business be more easily found, gain visibility and increase their brand awareness. Across my platforms and through my membership community I help Women to connect and collaborate online or via events across the UK
From startup through to the established, I am passionate about promoting and supporting Women led businesses. Mama Tribe is a membership community for Women, with two directories, marketplace, blog and business resources.
What an amazing journey, to turn around a devastating event to a thriving business. What would you say apart from steer determination has been the story behind your success?
I’ve built my business up slowly, without external investment. Just putting any profit back in to the business to make it grow. It means some months I don’t earn anything because i’m developing my platform. After having a business that had high set up costs, expensive stock and a bricks and mortar business, then going through the experience of losing it all, its made me way more cautious.
“Ask for advice, chat to other business owners and ask for their recommendations.” Danni McCabe
What would you say has been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
I’ve been on a rollercoaster. I created a business and it was successful, but there were aspects I didn’t like. Being on my own in my shop I found quite depressing and I felt lonely. Having to turn up at set times everyday and work every Saturday I found repetitive and restrictive and didn’t suit my family life . I quickly realised i’d become my own boss in a business I wasn’t really enjoying.
I had quickly grown a good reputation, but it meant people wanted to see me and I had to be available all the time in person. I also worked out what aspects of my business I really enjoyed. So after it burnt down, I was able to analyse everything and thats how I came up with the concept for Mama Tribe, how I wanted it to work around my family and as a way of life. I like the flexibility my new business gives me. I can work anywhere, any time.
From the experiences you have gained, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Being a business owner isn’t simple, its not playing shop! There are so many factors to running a business successfully and professionally. Factors that you hadn’t maybe considered or researched before launching. As a new business owner or entrepreneur, you will have to learn some things as you go, but its really useful to have people to turn to for help. Ask for advice, chat to other business owners and ask for their recommendations. You can waste so much time and money otherwise.
We feel that everyone can benefit from advice, what advice do you think every business should know,
Trademark – its not that complicated or expensive to do, but if you want to protect your business name, get it trademarked.
Before you launch create a BUSINESS PLAN
Great advice, can tell us what tools and services you use to keep your business running smoothly?
I love Trello for managing all aspects of my business. Canva is brilliant for creating branded graphics for all of my social media and I use Planoly for all of my social content scheduling.
Thank you it has been great learning more about your founder story and Mama Tribe
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