Mommy,  Momtastic

Momtastic – Umm Mu – Family First!

The purpose of my blog has been to share my journey as a parent, and to celebrate motherhood! Not just me, but mommies all around me as well! And with that in mind, I am starting a new section called MOMTASTIC 🙂!  I will be interviewing inspirational mommas who are wearing multiple hats, and managing it all with panache!

Name
Shafna Majeed / Umm Mu

Tell us about yourself
Dubai was my home before moving to Doha, born, raised and went to university there. I came to Doha after I got married, and we have been here for eight years. My three kids – boy, and two girls – are raised here. My hobbies include sewing, reading and travelling – all activities that is a tad difficult to be committed to with kids around.

Ten words to describe yourself?
Mom, Wife, Seamstress, Colorful, Efficient, Multitasker, Reader, Non-judgemental, Experimenter, Cheerful.

Why did you launch your own business?
I had realized that a lot of women put themselves in the backseat or lose themselves when they have children, and when my son was born, I was sure that I wanted to also do something beyond being his mother, sort of like keep my own identity as well. At the same time, I wasn’t up for a job that took me outside the house.

Tell us about your businesses
Umm Mu stands for mother of Muhammed in Arabic, and Muhammed is my first born. Umm Mu Handmade is all about creating handmade personalized keepsakes for children.  I make gorgeous quilts, cushions, birth announcement frames, towels and more with children’s names and birth details.  Apart from the keepsakes business, my other venture, also on social media, is MiniB.U.M.s Handmade Boutique. This is where I showcase stylish and exclusive boutique style clothing for children.

Why did you launch this business?
The trigger that made me take the leap was a simple question from my brother in law – what will you do once the youngest grows up and leaves home? It shot me like a jolt! We don’t tend to think that far, and the thought of not having a house full of my kids was not something I had thought about. And since I had been doing sewing as a passion, for family and friends, I decided to jump in with both feet and started an FB page. Initially it was very slow, but my family kept my spirits high. Finaly, a good friend made an order and the rest as they say, is history.

What is your most popular item?
My current popular item is the memory quilt made out of children’s clothes.  When children grow up, all we have are the memories, and a memory quilt takes you back to that sweet time when the child wore that particular item of clothing.

How do you find the time to juggle motherhood and your work? 
There are ups and downs, but I try to commit myself to doing a few pieces with a set timeline. Most of my sewing happens after my team (the kids and the husband 😉 ) goes to sleep. In fact, there was this once my husband asked me if I was married to the sewing machine. Last year was a bit difficult, but this year, with my youngest in nursery, I find that I have the free time on my hands. And it works out well for me, I can pay full attention to my sewing and then when the kiddies are home, it is family time. Plus, I have immense support from my husband, my mother, and father in law.

What makes your items special?
What sets my products apart is the simple fact that it is one of a kind; manufactured with a little cherub in mind. It is customized for your child, and not mass-produced in any factory. The piece you own is the only piece in the world. Even with fabrics, I try my best to not repeat a pattern to ensure the uniqueness of each item. I also think parents and children love the personalization aspect of it. Kids get their name on a product they like, and parents get a keepsake.

Tell me about your challenges
A lot of times, many people don’t understand the amount of effort that goes into each piece.  I could have used that time to be with my family, or even just do nothing. I have invested a lot of money and effort to reach where I have today, and it becomes difficult to explain this to potential customers. You will never find quality items for cheap prices.

What is your parenting mantra?
Family comes first, no matter what.  Oh and invest in wet wipes.  You will always find a use for them every day!

To find out more about Umm Mu’s products, and to see her designs:
Www.facebook.com/ByUmmMu
Www.facebook.com/ByUmmMuMini

If you know any mamas who you think deserves to be featured, do give me a shout! 🙂

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