Yewande Ogunkoya, Media Lead, Essence Global & Entrepreneur, Mummy’s Muse

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Yewande Ogunkoya, Media Lead, Essence Global & Entrepreneur, Mummy's Muse

My Story

I love my career, but I was looking for an opportunity to build something of my own.

I am not a frustrated entrepreneur who is beat down by her 9-5, desperate to break away and be ‘free’. I really like my job in the media industry. I’ve done it for about 11 years now (including two maternity leaves). I’ve learned and continue to learn so much. I work with smart, kind people, who embrace a fast changing world. I get to be analytical but get to think creatively too. However, I’ve always wanted to build something and be truly responsible for whether it succeeds or fails…oh and I want to do it on my own terms. I also long to be much more creative in my day to day work, but I don’t think I have what it takes – nor want – to be a Creative Director.

Shine Experience

A turning point for me was when I went through a Shine programme with my company.

I can still remember the stand-out exercise for me. We had to sit on our own and think about the things that give us energy; we had to think of our values. I also had to create a mood board to visually represent how I wanted to see myself and feel about the work I could do one day. When I observed my finished mood board,I strongly felt that I needed to build something that allowed me to play to my strengths and be around the things I love and that energised me.

Over the following years, I had a few business ideas. None of them left the ground because I had a strong set of values and criteria that I needed my work to align with. If it didn’t fit, I let it go.

The Impact

I’m creating a brand that is true to my personal values.

When I was pregnant, I wanted baby clothes that incorporated the bold colours and beautiful prints I’d grown up with. However, I struggled to find something I liked and I felt like my only options were from small independent stores that made clothes out of traditional wax fabric. This fabric looks great, but wouldn’t be my choice of fabric to put on a baby.

I am inspired every day by my two daughters’ confidence and their lack of inhibition. Their spirited nature makes them the ideal ambassadors for these patterns and prints that I love so much. In a moment in my head, and in my heart, Mummy’s Muse was born. My design inspiration comes from African prints, however I like to play with how they exist within a Western context. This very much reflects my own heritage, I was born in Nigeria but have grown up in the UK. The offering solves a head problem – an online destination to buy beautiful and bold prints for children; and a heart problem – designing bold clothing for children that celebrates their fearless nature.

I’m proud to have redesigned my life so that I can build my own brand at the same time as continuing in career that I love, all whilst staying true to my values.

It’s not easy doing two jobs, but they are two jobs I love and feel passionate about. I will always turn up 100% (and often some more!) for my clients. This is important and in line with my values. If I employ people one day, I want them to show up for me the same way.  I work very hard but I’m having a good time as I do so. I struggled (and sometimes still do), with the fact that my business is a ‘Mummy’ business. But the honest truth is that it’s a category that holds so much potential. Many people – especially women – are waking up to this and are trying to build businesses that serve us. So I won’t grudgingly accept the title, I’ll embrace it. I’m proudly joining a league of women who went through a transformative life experience and it birthed something in them above and beyond a human being.

If you would like to know more about Mummy’s Muse, and to browse Yewande’s beautiful designs, visit her website here, and follow @mummysmuse on Instagram.