Mumpreneur Profile: Joanna of L’Occitane

l'occitane logoName of Business: L’Occitane Party Plan with Vnatural Well-being

Your Name and Age: Joanna Mulaku 34

Tell us about your family:

joannaI live in Isleworth South West London with my Husband and two children, Delfina 5 and Maximus 18 months

What did you do before coming up with your business idea  and how was it making the transition?

Prior to having children I was a Restaurant Manager for Cafe Rouge, after having Delfina although I would return to work quickly I soon realised that I did not want to go back to the restaurant business. That together with health complications meant that I was out of action until Delfina was 20 months. Due to financial reasons I went back to work full time as a Recruitment consultant, which I did for 2 years before having Max. Just as my maternity leave was coning to an end I was made redundant, I had been doing a small amount of working from home selling end of line, high end cosmetics on eBay and was enjoying it, most of my stock was coming from America so when the value of Dollar increased I wanted to find something that was more consistent.

When did you launch?

Vnatural with L’Occitane launched in March this year, I joined as an independent area team manager in August.

What research did you do before launching?

I have known and used L’Occitane products for many years so I was more than happy with that side of the business I researched Vnatural on the web and spent time talking to the and meeting founders.

How have you funded the business?

The start up costs are already relatively low which was one of the reasons I chose this particular business, and through Womans wsdo,m a not for profit organisation which helps women get in to business and self employed roles, the costs where even lower due them sponsoring the first 10 women who joined £500 towards the cost.

How do you promote your business? What has worked best?

I have so far used mainly on line advertising, as my main role is to recruit and train consultants I have advertised on gumtree and viva street etc, we also advertise on www.Workingmums.co.uk and www.remotemployment.co.uk and specific sites such as www.stallfinder.co.uk  and www.partyplantogether.co.uk.  I have also find social networking sites like twitter and www.everywoman.co.uk very helpful.

What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?

My biggest challenge is finding the best balance for my work and home life, I am still working part time, 2 days per week and have two children, 5 and 18 months so time is precious and I often find myself working late into the night.

How do you fit in work with the family?

My husband works lots of evenings giving me time to attend meetings and meet with and train new consultants, during the day while he has the children and does the school run etc, I then work on the computer when the children have gone to bed.

What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?

Be prepared for hard work, you get out of what you put in.

If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.

Being a L’Occitane with Vnatural consultant gives you the opportunity to work flexible hours from home which fits in with your family life. The products can be sold at parties events or within corporate organisations so the is plenty of scope for building your business, to find out more about becoming a L’Occitane with Vnatural consultant in West and South West London contact Joanna Mulaku at jojomulaku@googlemail.co.uk or visit www.vnatural.co.uk and click “become a party planner”

Your website link: www.partyplannerslondon.co.uk or www.vnatural.co.uk

Special promotion for Family Friendly Working readers: There is currently an offer on the starter kit available to anyone who joins before the end of 2009. The starter kit price is £95 + vat reduced to £75 + vat until the end of 2009. PLUS, Joanna has just secured TWO FREE KITS for the first two people to sign up. Contact her via her site for full details.

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