Taking the step to self-employment
We would like to introduce ourselves briefly. We are Tiina and Yvi, we run and manage MAIN Design. We are both mommies since 2018. We remember very well how we founded an Ltd. online completely spontaneously on a playground in Zurich on a park bench. A step that we have not once regretted to this day.
Balancing self-employment and motherhood
Since then, we have been trying to balance work, family and free time. Which is not always easy. We would like to tell you a little bit about our journey to self-employment, with the rewarding as well as difficult moments.
Difficulties of self-employment and motherhood
A tricky topic. You already have the feeling that you don’t have enough time for everything. Now, in addition to the family, there is the desire to realize oneself. Is it even possible to reconcile everything? Playing with the daughter, time with the family and friends, household, the business and where does that leave the time for yourself? We say yes, it is possible, but as we find, anything but easy. It takes an enormous amount of self-management and a lot of planning.
Planning is the be-all and end-all. The best way to help us is to make a plan, to schedule what to get done and when. To keep track of everything, the various tasks are noted down. Often, the to-do list is endless long, so prioritizing is very important. Don’t forget to plan short breaks. Then you can get back to work much fresher. We know from ourselves that breaks come much too short. You want to get as much done as possible.
In self-employment, there is basically no end to the work. You can always work more, do even more, improve even more. This makes it extremely difficult to switch off despite the never-shortening to-do list. Often there is also a guilty conscience.
Despite the many hours of work with many many overtime hours, there are times when you have to endure not earning anything.
Motivation and perseverance
Probably the two most important prerequisites, without which nothing works at all. Of course, motivation is not always the same. That’s why it’s important to motivate oneself. Our satisfied customers are the greatest motivation for us to keep going. And then, of course, there is our passion and the joy in what we do. This helps us to persevere, even if the energy level is sometimes not the highest.
Production and collaboration
For those who do not know, we produce in Bali. We have been working with our producers for several years. Even though Tiina speaks Indonesian incredibly well by now, the meetings are not always easy. The language barrier is still there.
At the same time, it is incredibly exciting to come into contact with this beautiful culture. The Balinese are very nice people. However, the work ethic cannot be compared to that of the Swiss. Everything takes a lot longer. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead. However, it is up to us to rethink, to empathize with the other culture and to accept that during certain days and weeks when there are holidays (and there are many of these in Bali) simply nothing happens. Somehow this also decelerates life, which is actually something nice. With the right advance planning, even then the delivery times can be met without any problems.
The rewarding moments of self-employment and motherhood
In addition to the difficult moments, there are many beautiful, rewarding and unforgettable moments in self-employment and motherhood. Here are some of them:
Compliments, kind words, positive feedback from satisfied customers, friends and family are probably the greatest motivation and the best reward for us. Or when your own child is always running around in the new bathing suit we designed and doesn’t want to take it off. And when you feel how many people are behind you and support you.
Joy in every sale
With such a small business like ours, every sale still triggers great joy and gratitude in us. Since we store the things at our place and pack and ship them ourselves, we experience every single order and are also able to answer every question of our customers ourselves.
Satisfaction and pride
Many small positive moments, trigger satisfaction and pride. The inner satisfaction when something is done, when you hold a finished product in your hand, when the website is up to date, when the new collection comes out and goes on sale, when you manage to get the website up and running again without being an IT specialist.
You learn an incredible amount. Since there are only two of us operating the business, we take on all the tasks, even if we had no idea about the many processes beforehand. It’s a never-ending learning process, but that also makes it incredibly exciting and interesting.
Being independent as a mommy is possible. It fills us with pride that we can set an example for our daughters that you can also live your dreams as a mom. They watch us as we plan, as we work, as we make things happen. We hope that we can pass on to our girls that you can achieve a lot if you put your mind to it and enjoy it.
Our goal is and always has been to develop sustainable high quality products that are also fairly priced. We want affordable products for the vast majority, even if it reduces our margin.
Through the last years it became more and more difficult to keep the selling prices on the same level. Fabrics became more expensive, producers increased prices, shipping became more expensive. So really all the means that lead to the finished product. The Covid period was financially difficult for us. It was almost impossible to travel and, as we know, the Swiss summer is unfortunately not of too long duration. For a long time you couldn’t go to the outdoor pools either. And who needs a new bikini then.
Since the production prices have unfortunately risen even further, for the first time we now see ourselves forced to increase the prices on the next year’s collection. The pressure was simply too big. However, we try to increase the prices as little as possible, so that our products are still sold at fair prices. We hope for your understanding.
A big thank you
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support and love during the last years, the kind words and encouragement when things were not easy. We appreciate each of you so much. Being self-employed and running a small business is not always easy, but we love what we do and hope that we will be able to do it for a long time.
All the love to you ♡
Tiina and Yvi