Summer has almost officially started in BC and working from home has become the new norm. Balancing work with kids can be tricky, but you can always fit parenting and online work from your home together. With only a handful of in-person summer camps available, how do you manage your day to actually be able…
We are excited to be sharing some mompreneurial insight with you from sisters, Victoria and Phillipa, the founders of Pip and Vix Art Kits! My children had the please of trying these art kits out and had an absolute blast. Read the review here.
What was the inspiration for Pip and Vix?
I first thought of the idea for Pip & Vix Art Kits a number of years ago, but at the time was busy raising two young boys and working as an art teacher in a K-12 school. I put the idea aside, telling myself that someday down the road I would give the business a try. It wasn’t until last year that the idea surfaced again after relocating to the Vancouver area for my husband’s work. The move allowed me to open my own art school for children and the time to pursue and develop the idea of creating a series of innovative art kits for kids. Designed to be fun and educational, I wanted each kit to reflect the way I would teach in my own studio. I wanted my philosophy to guide each project with ample room for the child to experiment, explore, improvise and problem solve. My vision for my business was clear – but there was one problem, I needed a partner. I called my sister Victoria in Montreal and asked if she would like to join me on this adventure. After all she’s a mother, loves art, enjoys working with children, we share the same philosophy & approach and……. she just so happens to be a marketing guru! After a full year of meetings, we were ready to launch Pip & Vix Art Kits for Kids with six art kits and more to come each month.
How many children did you have and what were their ages when you started Pip and Vix?
When we first developed the concept of Pip & Vix Art Kits, my 2 grown boys were 20 and 22 years and my sister Victoria had two teenagers; a boy aged 17 and a girl aged 15. Our kids were more independent, so both of us were at the beginning of a new chapter in life where we had a little more freedom with our time.
Since having kids, I’ve always brainstormed ideas to support my professional career, but to ensure it was balanced with home life and being a Mom. So I developed a home-based art school that would enable me to continue with my passion for teaching art and also be there for my family. From this original concept, the idea of making my art lessons available to other Moms & Dads with Pip & Vix subscription-based art kits was born! Our goal was to design kits for ages 3-13+ years that provide comprehensive lesson plans where our top priority is to provide an opportunity for FUN experiences that encourage exploration, discovery, creativity, and problem solving …less time planning and shopping for parents and more art fun with the kids!
Where did the company name come from?
We wanted a name that would represent the natural playfulness and curiosity kids have, so we used our childhood nicknames…Pip short for Philippa and Vix short for Victoria.
What was the biggest challenge you had becoming a mompreneur?
I think for a lot of Moms it would be a similar answer…balancing your role as a successful entrepreneur and being a Mom. Motherhood is the most important career love for both of us and finding that balance between being Mom and running a business has probably been the biggest challenge we face. Moms have a big “mental load” to juggle; between the responsibilities and time it takes to run a profitable enterprise, and truly being there for the kids to provide guidance and support. Multi-tasking and time management are key as the lines between home and work can sometimes get blurred! And of course saving a little bit of time for ourselves to get to the gym, make healthy dinners or go on a date night with the husbands is also a big challenge, but worth the effort!
What advice would you give to other mother’s looking to start their own business?
Choose something that you’re really passionate about and then have the confidence in yourself to do it! Remember that work will always be there, but childhood is so fleeting and will be gone before you know it! Make the time to get to their basketball game, school play or dance recital. Remain firm that when you’re in your office, stick as much as possible to business tasks (especially important to remember if you work from home!), but when you come home leave it all behind and be present with the family. Easier said than done, but if you set out those boundaries in the beginning, it’ll be easier to stick to them.
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