Thursday, November 17, 2011

When moms get inspired

Being a stay at home mom myself, I find comfort in knowing that this role, as wonderful and rewarding as it may be, no longer means saying goodbye to a professional career. 

Indeed, Mumtrepreneurs everywhere are not only taking charge and finding new creative ways to balance their families and their jobs but they are also getting inspired by their responsibilities at home to create new career opportunities for themselves. 

In the past, women were confined in a traditional professional set-up that forced them to either sacrifice their personal desires and needs in order to compete with men in the workplace (who do not find themselves necessarily required to make a choice) or simply choose to leave that part of their life to dedicate themselves to their children. Sometimes successfully and other times living with some sort of hidden resentment or regrets, and probably the motherly-guilt that comes with feeling as such.

Today, this dilemma no longer exists: women are able to achieve both personal and professional fulfillment as they please, should they opt for such an alternative. And what is the better way to combine the best of both worlds in the 24 hours that you have in a day? Be your own boss!

That's what Mumtrepreneur Batoul Alameddine Tabbara has chosen for herself. The brains behind BettySue Beirut is a former designer who reconverted into what she calls a "Birth Planner". 

The mom who describes herself as a "box of ideas with a special temper" explains that the time she spent  as a designer was not making her "happy" and "could not convince [her] to continue". But it is only when she got pregnant that genuine inspiration finally came and she found a way to use her creative skills in a career that now feels more like a true vocation rather than a laborious job. The passion with which she speaks of her venture is enough proof that this happiness she could not find while working as a designer is now an inherent part of her life. 

"My inspiration was simply my son!"
says Mumtrepreneur Batoul Alameddine Tabbara

So how did BettySue Beirut actually come to life?
When I got pregnant I did many research on brands and accessories for baby because I wanted the best for my son. I compared strollers, diaper bags, accessories for bedrooms, beds, clothes, etc. My envy to stay at home with my son was bigger day after day so i decided to quit my job and to have my little something at home. It was a very small project that grew up slowly. With at first only one brand of clothes to begin but I ended up with everything a mom could use and need. As a designer it was easy to set up a logo, business cards and website so here I am. I ordered clothes and accessories from Spain, UK and USA and my home was transformed into BettySue Beirut!

What is the logic behind BettySue Beirut? You describe your label on Facebook as a "Birth Planner Project". What do you mean by that? What is the added value to expecting and current moms?
BettySue Beirut is not a store: I opened my house to mommies and I called it "A Birth Planner Project". I think this is the first time you hear about it in Lebanon. A Birth Planner is here to help mommies not to buy much as we tend to do when it is our first baby. We tell you what you need for the few first months and we simply help you to welcome baby and be ready. Being pregnant is not very easy and all mommies know that and to tell you the truth I wish I could have met a birth planner when I got pregnant because of the so many things I have and did not use! We are not here to sell: our client knows, we are here to help.

What kind of services and products do you offer and how do you select the brands you display? How are they different from what's already in the market? 
We offer many Services: 
Almost a 24/24 availability for any question mommies have! 
We of course deliver and we are available on Whatsapp and Viber to try to do it the easiest way as pregnant woman can't always go out. 
We have a shopping adviser guide: we can go half a day with you to shop for babies. 
We differentiate ourselves by carefully selecting our brands: we choose the best fabrics and we ask for certification. What I love to say is that BettySue Beirut offers healthy clothes, Azoic free tinting, hypoallergenic fabrics, softness and even temperature regulator such as our Bamboo fabrics. 
We also work with designers in Lebanon like Dee Little and Baby and the City

Are you the sole representative for those international brands in Lebanon? 
I have my brands: Kicky Pants, Inch Blue and Pasito a Pasito. These labels are  available exclusively at BettySue Beirut except for Inch Blue which you can now also find at Dee Little

How and where can shoppers browse these products? What are your points of sale? 
You can find our products on our Facebook Page, prices are under the pictures. Of course you can also contact me to come and see in person what we have at BettySue Beirut. Our clients are mostly "online": you choose, we deliver, and payment on delivery! And you can also find Inch Blue products at Dee Little in Sodeco Square.

What does the future hold for BettySue Beirut? Are you planning to expand in some way? Physical or online? Will shoppers outside of Lebanon get the chance to access your products through an online shop?
Well our target is of course to expand, we are working on an online shop and of course we will expand physically as well, but this is not for right now. I am actually waiting for my son to get older (Smiles).   
The idea is to have a “Maison pour Bebe” where you can feel comfy and shop as you want with advisors. All our advisors being mommies of course! BettySue Beirut is not a traditional store or boutique, it's a project for mommies, not only for me but for every mum that said good bye to her career! We want to expand the idea of "Mommies working at home". 

BettySue Beirut
Aramoun district, Phoenicia street
Al Fatina Bldg - 3rd floor
Beirut, Lebanon
Email Batoul or call +961.70.754714
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