Raising children is a challenging yet fulfilling experience, whether you're a full-time mom, a working woman, or a single parent. But what if you could do it all while building a successful business? Meet Sarah Keates, founder of White Orchid Insights, a boutique marketing agency that specializes in niche industries.
In this feature, Sarah shares her personal story of resilience, from the hurdles she faced while founding her agency to the joy she finds in living and working in Hong Kong. Read on to learn how Sarah navigates the ups and downs of motherhood and entrepreneurship!
1. What were your thoughts when you first started your business while being a mother?
Sarah's son in The Wee Bean'sorganic T-shirt (shop here)
At the time, I had recently separated and needed the additional income. I was motivated to create stability for my children and I. Like many mothers, I had “mom guilt” and was exhausted, but it was also an exciting and empowering time.
2. What was your dream as a little girl?
I wanted to be a doctor or gymnast; so nothing remotely related to what I do now! That said, I have always loved reading and stories, so a career in communications made sense.
Sarah with The Wee Bean x CASETiFY boba phone case (shop here)
3. Who is the most inspiring woman to you?
I find resilience, grit, and integrity impressive. There’s not one person I can point to that embodies this – for me, it changes all the time.
I am inspired by women that achieve big, impressive things and those that stand up for their values. I am also impressed when I see a friend or colleague pick themselves up from a hard time.
4. How have you been able to empower other women through your business?
"Regardless of your circumstances, you can move forward and create financial independence."
Over the years, I have been open about the good, bad, and ugly sides of running a business as a single parent. I hope this has been helpful and empowering.
5. What is something you're proud of as a mompreneur?
I am not a fan of the phrase, mompreneur – but I understand its popularity. I am proud of my (and any parent’s) ability to keep going.
"Parenting is relentless; as is running a business."
If I reach the end of the week and everyone is fed, clothed, well-looked-after, my clients are happy, and we’re all having a bit of fun and a balanced existence, I am proud.
6. What is the biggest challenge being a female entrepreneur in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is one of the best places I have ever worked! There are lots of women leading incredible businesses across multiple sectors. We’re able to lean on the incredible support of our helpers, which makes life as a working parent possible for me.
"The city is small and transportation is convenient – you can fit in a workout, a full day’s work, a friend's catch up, and family life - all in one day."
There will always be challenges, such as exhaustion, stress, competitive market-spaces; but in my view, Hong Kong is a great environment for working women.
7. How do you balance your responsibilities as a mom and an entrepreneur?
With routine and by maintaining my wellness (to have the necessary energy to get it all done).
What works for me is waking up early, ensuring I am as efficient as possible from 8 to 6, and then being present for the family in the evening. I also don’t give myself a hard time for having fun and taking a break where I can.
8. Do you have any must-have items as a mompreneur?
Everyone has their preferred way of working. I am fairly no-frills – laptop, headphones, notebook, and snacks.
Not an item – but podcasts keep me sane and provide daily learning while I am on the go.
Get ready to meet the adorable star of ourNovember Bean of the Monthspotlight, the charming 8-month-old Emerson, known as Emmy! This delightful Canadian family, hailing from Toronto and now rooted in London, Ontario, is more than just a story of parenthood; it's a heartwarming journey enriched with culture and love. Emmy joins her big sister, Charlotte, adding an extra layer of joy to their bustling household. Thank you, Mommy Wendy (@ms_wendydarling) for sharing her secrets of selecting clothing for her eczema-prone little ones, favourite places in the city, and cherished ways of unwinding!