Being a successful Woman and Mother in the workplace comes with its own unique challenges and rewards. In celebration of Mother’s Day – 12 May – Absolute Mama will be interviewing 6 inspirational women this month, all Mother’s, all doing it for themselves.
Q & A with Jana Leonard, Director Jack & Jill Communications
1. Tell us about yourself and your company/venture
My name is Jana and I am the founder of Jack & Jill Communications and The PR Hustle as well as the co-founder of a baby clothing range – Poppyseed – to be launched soon. I am also a brand new mom to baby Axel.
Jack & Jill Communications is a boutique PR Agency specialising in Curated Storytelling within the consumer Lifestyle Market. The PR Hustle is a networking event for PR & Media professionals, where we get a speaker at each event, talking about a specific topic shared between these two industries.
2. How did your business come about and has it changed your life?
I started Jack & Jill Communications 2 years ago, as I wanted to work with smaller businesses growing their presence and their bottom line. I always knew I wanted to work for myself, as this allowed more flexibility in my day-to-day schedule, especially when we start our family. It has been a game changer for me with our son.
3. Do you have any tips for working Moms who are looking to start their own business?
I was pro-active in the way I approached my business as I knew I wanted more flexibility when we do have a baby. The only way for me to do this was to work from home as travelling took almost 3 hours out of my day and I couldn’t do it anymore, but I wanted to stay within my industry. I knew I wanted to build my brand and portfolio before we have a baby, so we would be settled once he / she arrives.
However, if I can give working moms any advice, it would be to start your side-hustle while still earning a salary. When you’ve reached a point where your side-hustle can financially support you enough, you are ready to take it on full time. This way you won’t have the additional stress of making ends meet while growing your business and client portfolio.
4. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by mothers/women in business?
I think the biggest misconception is that working moms don’t give it their all when it comes to their jobs. Moms actually work harder because they know when the clock hits 5 they want to be with their families, but they still have deadlines to meet.
Having a support structure is VITAL in keeping sane – especially within the first few weeks.
5. Where or from whom do you find support?
Having a support structure is VITAL in keeping sane – especially within the first few weeks. My husband was and still is my number 1 support system, but our families are also hugely involved helping us with some downtime when necessary.
6. How do you achieve work/life balance, and what do you do for yourself?
I found it very difficult to achieve any form of balance the first few weeks of being a new mom, but it does get better! Now, Axel has a nanny 4 days a week, which allows me to put everything into my clients when I’m working. The one day I’m with him, I only spend time with him. Weekends are for family and we make sure we go out and enjoy what Cape Town has to offer. We spend time with family and friends who all also have kids, so it makes life so much easier and more fun.
7. In your opinion, can you be a good Mom and a successful entrepreneur/ business woman?
150%! Being a good mom drives you to be an even better and more successful entrepreneur. Everything I do in my professional career is for my family. You work harder to give them the absolute best you can!
8. What is the most rewarding thing about being a Mom?
I’d have to say the smiles and giggles of pure love and excitement when your baby sees you, must be the best, most rewarding return for me. It also means he is really happy and that makes me happy!