More Chaldean stay-at-home moms are using their creativity, experience and education into starting businesses on the side. No matter if your goals are as simple as adding to the family’s income or as big as building a million dollar company, starting part-time from home is a great way to test the business waters.
But between helping the kids with complex homework assignments, shuttling them to countless activities and volunteering at their school--all while managing the household and trying to carve out a little time for yourself--where do they find the time to start a business?
www.CHALDEAN.org interviews Chaldean stay-at-home moms who have been able to successfully juggle their family and business, all from their home headquarters.
Jennifer Sacoum who has turned her Beauty and Beads business into a lucrative money maker says, “Turn your hobby into your business.” Her business resells sequins and beads from all over the world. The mother of three turned her childhood hobby into a business.
“My mom and I loved to do arts and crafts as a hobby. We used to order special sequins and beads from Iraq, India, China, and Mexico. We would sew them into dresses and make cosmetic jewelry. More and more friends asked for them, so I turned it into a business. Now I sell through the internet and we do over a few thousand dollars in profit, working less than 20 hours a week.”
Chaldean stay-at-home moms are running businesses as florists, hair stylists, manicurists, food processors, tailors, interpreters, journalists, computer programmers, authors, and sales to name just a few.
Hiba Hinawi was a teacher’s assistant in Iraq. The college educated mother of four came to America with her husband. “It was hard for us. My husband was a military nurse, but when we came to America he was told he would have to go back to school again if he wanted to be a nurse. We had to find work. He worked in a grocery store. My children were young and I had no family or anyone to watch them to help him with work. So I stayed at home.”
Hiba’s husband, Habib did not want his wife to work, but had little choice in the matter as their meager income barely was enough for the family. “Our children are our lives. I am happy eating a slice of bread every other day, as long as our children have their mother and father near them,” Habib says.
The family fell on harder times when Habib was fired for refusing to work on Sunday. “Our faith is important to us and we go to church as a family every Sunday. My husband’s boss wanted him to work on Sunday and he said he could not. So they fire him.”
As the Hinawis began looking for job a friend at their church suggested Habib consider work as an ambulance driver. As luck would have it, Habib accidentally visited a fire station where they were training local residents CPR looking for work. The firefighters were impressed with his skill and after talking with him, they decided to enroll him into a few training programs. “They pay him for his training and then they give him a job working at night. He made very good money and benefits and our family was still able to go to church together.”
The experience left Hiba wondering that there had to be other mothers who needed someone to watch their children as they ran errands or looked for work. She shared her comments with friends who all agreed that having a place to drop of their children for emergencies was needed.
Hiba decided to open an emergency 24 hour day care in her home. Her husband helped her with all the medical care training certifications she needed, their house was inspected an approved, and shortly thereafter families were able to drop of their children. “From the start Chaldeans would bring their kids if they were attending a wedding, visiting a doctor, or buying groceries and had to leave the home for a few hours”
A local newspaper ran an article on Hiba’s House and within months the mother of four was making over two thousand dollars a week. “Friends tell other friends and now I have customers that travel over thirty miles. Most of my customers are American and need someplace to leave their children in an emergency or when they go to school or have some work party.”
The Hinawi family has been in talks with lawyers and venture capitalists to franchise Hiba’s House and open centers across America.
Chaldean stay-at-home business moms say that before launching a part-time business, be sure you have the support of your husband and family. Now--not three months into startup--is the time to bring any of their concerns into the open. Work with your husband to come up with solutions to possible problems (could you divide up some of your household chores, for example?). Lay some ground rules--for instance, no working on Sundays or discussing business at the dinner table.
After you launch your business, know there will be even greater demands on your time as the business grows. At this point, it’s extremely important to stay on top of things. “Be organized, use your time wisely, and try to be on a schedule,” Jennifer Sacoum suggests. “Write a daily to-do list. Be realistic, and make sure you get the key tasks done. Also remember that things always take more time than you think, so don’t get frustrated.”