Spending quality time with my little ones has always been on my top priority list, as I am sure it is to every mother on earth. Being a full time working mum, I have always had that guilt feeling that I am not doing enough for my kids, and it has haunted me for many years. I have always been eager to find ways so that I can sign off from my busy life and connect with my kids. It has not been easy, especially that I had to come up with ideas to keep them entertained without technology and TV! Then Magic happened, and I was introduced to The Happy Box! We should call it “Genius in a Box”! Find out how it Saved My sanity and Read more about it through the cheerful and Amazing Jumana Darwish, and how the idea came to life in Trending5000.com exclusive interview below
Q: The idea of “The Happy Box” came while you were a full time working mother. How did you balance between your family, your work and your ambition? And how long did it take you to decide to leave your job to dedicate your full time to “The Happy Box”?
It wasn’t easy trying to balance between family and work, and I don’t expect it ever will be. It’s a constant challenge, and it keeps me on my toes, and I appreciate that. I’m grateful not only for being ambitious and for daring to dream big, but I also have a support system who encourages me to chase after my dreams and turn them into a reality, whether it’s my wonderful partner and Happy Box co-founder Linda, who is my best friend as well as being my sister-in-law, or my husband, or my friends and family. Basically, having this support network is what helps in achieving some kind of balance – there’s no reason to feel you have to do it all alone or sink. Leaving my full-time job with Dubai Cares was not easy, because I loved it and I loved what I did there, but at the same time I craved more quality time with my family and especially with my daughter Ayla, who is now almost four years old. I am blessed with The Happy Box because it particularly allows me to combine work with my family and with my ambition. I can involve Ayla in almost all aspects of the business and it is being run out of our home, so I’m present in her day to day and this is exactly what I wanted.
Q: Starting up a business is hard work, and maintaining it is not easy. How can you inspire other female entrepreneurs?
Set up a support network for yourself and use it, whether it’s someone whose opinion you trust, or someone you feel comfortable going to for advice, or something as simple as having someone to rant to or to leave your child with when you need a break! Embrace organisation – be so incredibly, overly organised that there’s simply no room for error, and I think as women, we can do this one easily while still maintaining the wonderful ability that we have to multitask, multitask, multitask! It’s a chaotic thing, building up a business from scratch, so any area where you can be organised and completely in control, do it. And keep a notebook on hand at all times to jot down those crazy, innovative ideas, so that you make sure to turn them into real tangibles. Don’t give up on your ideas, there will always be a way to make it work. And finally, always work on solidifying great personal connections. Relationships are key because those relationships will be a big part in taking your business forward, especially in a community like Dubai and the UAE as a whole.
Q: During your journey, you have met many inspiring female entrepreneurs, who had inspired you the most?
It is honestly impossible for me to just name one person, or even five. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that every single female entrepreneurs, or even more specifically every MOTHER who has taken a wonderful idea and turned it into an enviable business, has taught me something about perseverance and creativity. Simply by going for it, they are an inspiration, let alone becoming the success that they have become. And I’ve been very privileged to cross paths with many of them, from the Ripe Market, through Concept DXB, through the pop up shops and event that occurred as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival, and so much more. They are women just like me, struggling to balance their roles as mothers and wives with their newfound role as a business woman and small business owner, and every single one has something to teach me. Every time I meet one, I’m grateful!
Q: Where do you see “The Happy box” in 5 years?