Monday Mumpreneur with Joanna McLeman Gisbey

Every Monday we feature a mumpreneur 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. Our message is “If we can do it ~ then so can you!”

Today I'm delighted to introduce you to another mumpreneur I met through the Scottish Mumpreneur Network.  The regular meetings have given us all a wonderful opportunity to share and support each other.  When I first laid eyes on today's mumpreneur I just knew we would be friends.  She has a special twinkle in her eye, a very wise and wonderful soul and she gives THE best hugs in the whole world. She's my kinda gal 🙂

Your name: Joanna McLeman Gisbey

Your website:

Brief description: The website shows images of my Art and Design work - paintings, sculptures, jewellery, and my studio.

Tell me about your children:

Xander is 21, Iain is 18. It is a privilege to have had these people come into my life. They are amazing, and I have learnt so much from them.  Although being a Mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world, it is worth putting in all the effort and love.

Where do you live?

I live in a wee village near Castle Douglas on the south coast of Scotland, UK

PC or Mac?

Mac - my elder son has lent it to me.

Tell us about your business:

I am an Artist/Maker/Designer. I work in many different media as I find that keeps my work fresh and exciting. I love colour, and exploring materials to see what they can do.


I am currently working on a series of sculptures based on my experiences of Motherhood. The gesture has been changing from Carrying and Holding to now, Letting Go, as the boys are much more independent.

The colours of local landscapes, and fruit, inspire me to paint in pastels.

I create big sculptural jewellery from balloon material. Natural latex is environmentally sustainable, and is a wonderful material to work with. The jewellery I make are big, fun, colourful pieces which are quite fluid in their movements.

What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?

I was keen to join Mumpreneurs to be able to meet other Mums who are in business, to hear what motivates them, what talents they have, how they overcome obstacles, and how they approach areas of business that I may find challenging, but that they might know a way to solve, and move forward.

What’s been your biggest challenge in business?

My biggest challenge in business has been to keep motivated, when feeling flat as a pancake. But that is for Life in general - business is the same.

How have you overcome it?

I look to see what the problem really is, what I can do about it, or if I don't know what to do, then I ask for help. Then I try to calm down, make sure I rest well, eat well, and keep focussed on the task in hand. It usually all moves forward.

What’s been your proudest business moment?

Proudest business moment was being accepted onto the Starter for 6 programme for Scottish Entrepreneurs in 2011.

What’s your catchphrase or favourite quote?

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." Goethe

What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?

I nurture myself by cycling most days to the beach, sitting, looking, thinking - getting geared up for the day ahead. There is also a great deal of prayer, thankfulness, chatting with friends and family, eating and sleeping well.

What was the last treat you bought for yourself?

The last treat I bought myself was a chicken fillet stuffed with haggis, and some cream to make a whisky and cream sauce for it.

Favourite colour: purple

Favourite flowers: calendula, poppies, peony roses

What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?

Don't try to achieve everything at once. Yes, be clear about what you want to achieve but let yourself travel there step by step - then you will see the path you have taken, where you have struggled and what you found easy, so you can look back and say, I did all that. I am here now, I want to go there, but I have already come this far. And you will feel encouraged by all your own hard work, and by all the help you have had along the way. x

Fancy featuring as one of our amazing mumpreneurs? Drop me an email over on the contact page - and I’ll be in touch.   Or let me know in a comment below.