Monday Mumpreneur with Amy Simpkins
Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur just like you and me who’s ready and willing to open up their lives and their business to us. They share with us their motivation, their challenges and their proudest moments in business and they also tell us how they take time to nurture themselves.
If you’re looking for inspiration, then our featured business mums show you what’s possible.
Is there something you're really good at?
I mean so good at that family and friends see you as their expert and 'go to' person when it come to this skill?
This week's mumpreneur shows you how she is turning this skill into a much needed service business.
Your name: Amy Simpkins
Tell me about your children:
Andrew is 2.5. He loves construction equipment, all modes of transportation, and listening to Pentatonix. He has been to 16 countries and all over the US. Clara is 20 months old. She loves cooking, stuffed animals, and climbing anywhere she can get a foothold - the higher the better. She has been to 11 countries (hopefully she'll eventually catch up to her brother) and all over the US. They are 13.5 months apart in age, which is an adventure in itself.
Where do you live? Denver, Colorado, USA
PC or Mac? PC
Tell us about your business
My husband and I dated long distance across the US. Travelling to see each other morphed into a travel hobby to see the country and the world. When we had kids, we briefly considered "quitting," but decided to give travel with kids a shot, and the rest is history - our kids have flown over 200,000 miles each in their short lives. Along the way, we've learned all sorts of tricks for making travel - particularly travel with kids, but also travel in general - cheaper, easier, more fun, and more frequent.
We always try to help family and friends out with travel planning and arranging, and over the past few years and with some word-of-mouth recommendations, we have swizzled that into a nice little side business. Stroller Packing is the next level of that venture - it provides a blog with awesome tips and tricks to make family travel better. If families want more personalized help, I am also available for hire as a concierge travel consultant.
I have all sorts of visions for Stroller Packing - a book about long-distance dating my husband, an e-guide for hacking your stroller into the ultimate travel machine, a compendium of my best travel advice... but for now I'm focusing on the blog, establishing an audience, and getting a few travel consulting clients.
In the process of starting Stroller Packing, I have found that I also have a passion (and talent) for setting goals, laying out plans, and executing. I started Life Architecting to blog about goal achievement, positivity, and encouragement for people trying to Do Their Thing. I'm planning to release an eCourse there later this year.
What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
I currently work outside the home 3/4 time as an engineer. I would love to be able to quit my corporate job and be able to travel more freely with my family and worldschool my kids.
What’s been your biggest challenge in business?
I'm still very much in the starting up phase. I am finding building an audience to be very challenging, and feel like I write to a very small audience, which can be discouraging.
How have you overcome it?
The biggest thing is just keeping the faith that, eventually, it will take off. I'm also trying to get used to talking up my businesses to whoever will listen - as an introvert, that's difficult for me. I carry Stroller Packing business card with me when we travel, so when other travellers comment on our stroller setup, or the toys we make for our kids on the plane, I can hand them a card.
What’s been your proudest business moment?
I recently completed my first travel consulting project that was directly related to Stroller Packing. I helped an American expat in Shanghai plan a family vacation to the resort town of Hoi An, Vietnam. I loved planning their trip so much that I wish I could have gone myself!
What’s your catchphrase or favourite quote?
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau
What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
I wake up early to exercise for a half hour most days before the kids get up. If I don't work out, my energy is all off and I get super cranky. In order to focus, I need exercise. I get in a yoga workout at least once per week, and that's by far the most important one to me.
What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
A punch card for 10 massages with my darling masseuse. I'm a big believer in the power of human touch (and preventative maintenance!).
Favourite colour: Red
Daffodils - they are so happy! I know this UK-based site has readers from all over the world (like me!), but many of you will be pleased to know that it was a visit to the English Countryside in spring when I was 17 forever cemented my love of daffodils.
What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?
Just do it. You can. That thing that's inside you? It can come out, and people in this world are just waiting to hear it. And when you come to a point where you are afraid or you start to think you can't - just keep doing it, keep taking action. You CAN. I believe in you.
Find out more about Amy and her business at her websites:
And connect with her on social media . . .
Fancy sharing your story and becoming part of our wonderful supportive mumpreneur community? Drop me an email over on the contact page – and I’ll be in touch. Or let me know in a comment below.