Interview with Nonie White, founder of AMotherBrand

Read the story behind Nonie Whit’s new business, AMotherBrand – a social network and membership community launching to founding members on 31 July 2020.

What’s your career background and how did it lead you to set up AMotherBrand?

I spent 12 years working as a producer/director of television documentaries.

It was very rewarding but when I started to plan for a family I realised that the lack of control over my life (I was often called to go film the other side of the country for days at a time with little notice) was not going to be conducive to being the present mother I wanted to be. 

I honed in on what I thought was really driving me in my career, making positive social impact. I decided the best way forward was to start up a business with social impact that I could run around a future family. I immediately signed up to a Masters degree in social entrepreneurship and began planning!

Despite my shiny new degree, I was lacking real life experience and an appropriate network, so my first business was a flop. I worked on it during pregnancy and the when my daughter was a baby. It was a fantastic idea but I was working on it in isolation.

I knew no one who ran their own business, let alone who was a new mother trying to combine the two. I didn’t know where to look for the right information to help me with my business and I was desperate for a co-founder, or even anyone like-minded to talk to. I didn’t do any financial projections and invested months on logos and product designs. 

When I finally found an appropriate expert to talk to, I realised my business was not a good fit for where I was in my life then. It was going to require more investment and time on the road than I was comfortable with as a new mother looking to try for her second child. 

How did you come up with the idea for AMotherBrand?

From this experience was born my second, current business! After a bit of research I discovered that my experience was far from unique and two out of three women who try to start up businesses fail to get them to launch.

I created AMotherBrand to address all the issues that hold female entrepreneurs back, with a special focus on empowering mothers to create a business and life in which they and their family can thrive. 

AMotherBrand is a membership platform and social network providing a private supportive network of like-minded mamas, who can connect by proximity, interests or business, a step-by-step pathway to take them from having an idea for a business to having a flourishing business and targeted training with brilliant guest experts.  

I created AMotherBrand for me and for all the other mothers like me who want the freedom to be the mother they want to be and do work they love, that works for them. 

What’s your USP?

AMotherBrand’s mission is to help mothers set up a business that works for them whilst thriving – we’re all about creating and maintaining optimum wellbeing in the process.

We provide practical support for entrepreneurship but are also really mindful that your business success is only ever going to be as strong as your personal development and wellbeing.

A large part of our power is in connecting mothers with other like-minded mothers who totally ‘get’ their experience. Without a community to support you and keep your mindset positive, setting up a business is a million times harder.

Who’s your target audience?

My target audience are early-stage entrepreneurs, so either you’re thinking about starting up a business or you’ve been in your business 1-3 years and you’re looking to grow and build it.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

I find Instagram is a great place for AMotherBrand but I also have a lovely supportive Facebook group as well, so I hang out in both places. 

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

I think the biggest challenge is keeping a positive mindset. Tony Robbins says that business success is 80% mindset, 20% mechanics and that feels spot on to me. You can have everything else in place for your business but if your mindset’s not right and you don’t believe you’re going to succeed, you won’t.

And your proudest moment so far?

My proudest moment so far is being thanked by a mum who is an artist and had just got her first big commission.  

Before lockdown she didn’t have an idea for a business, but during lockdown she found she turned to painting to help her process her emotions. She hadn’t painted since she was a teenager but once she started, she couldn’t stop!

She joined the AMotherBrand facebook group, got engaged in all of the training and now has a new sparkly business she loves that she can run around her children and a long wait list for commissions. 

Who inspires you?

My children are my motivation and my inspiration. I want to be a present mother for them growing up and I want to help other mothers do the same.

I want to help create a world where it’s normal for mothers to choose a third option, to create a business around their families, so they can unapologetically be their whole selves – proud, present mothers and proud, passionate entrepreneurs doing work they love, that actually works for them. 

How do you balance your work with your family?

Balancing work and family is challenging but I find having healthy boundaries about when I’m working and not working really helps me. Also leaving my phone far away from me when I’m with the children so I don’t get sucked into a social media scroll!

What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

1) Find a like-minded community of people who ‘get it’

Connection and community are absolutely the bedrock of your personal success. Friends and family are fantastic but unless they’re also entrepreneurs and mothers they won’t understand what you’re doing or why.

You need a community around you who totally gets what you’re going through. You need a support system of people who will share your journey with you, encourage you to keep going when things are tough, and cheer loudly for you when things are going well.

2) Get really clear on your numbers from the beginning 

Don’t waste time and energy on a business if it’s not going to be viable and be in line with your vision for your life. Make sure the foundations of your business are in place from the start. 

3) Know how to deal with overwhelm

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with ALL the things that need doing, all the time. Overwhelm can lead to procrastination and at worst, total paralysis.

Here’s what I recommend to beat it:

  1. Take a breath. Calm your nervous system down so your thinking brain can kick in. Try ‘Square breathing’ – breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 4 and hold for a count of 4 – repeat.
  2. Know that you are not expected or able to do everything at once.
  3. Brain dump everything in your head. Brain dump on a piece of paper everything you’ve got swimming around in your head. Start to categorise and prioritise ALL the things. Getting it out of your head so you can visually see them is immediately calming.
  4. Choose ONE thing to focus on next. Start that ONE thing. It doesn’t have to be big. Do one thing and in feeling good for accomplishing that one task, you’ll built momentum.

AMotherBrand is a social network and membership community opening its doors to founding members for a few days on 31 July. Join the waiting list (and get a great freebie at the same time!) here.