Welcome to the Mom Owned Business Spotlight. In each installment, I will feature a new Mom Business Owner. I am so excited to show how different each business is as well as how everyone has different experiences and lessons that go along with entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur that started my business when my daughter was born, I am passionate about business ownership, as well as honoring the mom experience while growing your business.
Today, I am asking 10 questions of Mallika Malhotra of mikifoto.
Tell me a little about yourself. Who do you share your life with?
I am a fun-loving Mom of three boys – 14, 12 and 7 and wife of a pediatric heart surgeon. I live in NJ and enjoy traveling, reading, eating, drinking (wine lover), dancing (hip-hop and 90s) and being with friends. I am so lucky to live near NYC because that fills my foodie and adventurer fix. I am a learning addict so I am constantly reading, taking courses and growing. I have lived all across the country (for my husband’s multiple residencies) so I feel like I can get along with anyone and have a resilient spirit.
How did you get into business? Did it just happen one day? Did you have an exit strategy from your day job? Do you still have a day job? I love to hear how women got their start in business!
I opted out of the advertising corporate world 14 years ago, when my oldest son was born. As soon as I became a mother I entered the
entrepreneurial life for the freedom and flexibility. I had a bag business, a kids t-shirt collection and 8 years ago I started my photography business which was the winner! Photography came to me as a way to stay connected with faraway family and friends. I was obsessed with storytelling and capturing my children so I could share it with others. Soon, I was photographing other children and families and mikifoto was born.
What makes you excited to “go to work” each day? What helps you push through the long days?
My passion for business. My gratitude for having something of my own that allows me a creative outlet and to be home with my sons. My love for storytelling. My need to help other women (especially moms) entrepreneurs gain the confidence to be the face of their business and share their message.
What is the hardest thing about being a mom and being in business for you? What tradeoffs do you make when trying to balance both?
Balance. It is so hard to be great at both. When my business is killing it, I am not making as many home cooked meals or spending the quality time with my kids. When I am a hands on Mom, my business to do list grows long. It’s a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Also it’s exhausting, my mind is always racing. The older I get, the harder it is – lol. There never feels like there is enough time.
Tell me about your business! What do you do/make? Who are your ideal clients?
I am a brand photographer and branding mentor helping women in business tap into their story and share their message with confidence through photography, branding, social media and creative workshops. I love to work with newbie entrepreneurs who are just getting started AND established creative entrepreneurs who have a few years of experience under their belt and now are clear on their message and are ready to up level and be the face of their business.
Where can we find your business online? Please include your social media links as well!
Where do you work geographically? Do you work from home, have an office?
I work from home in NJ but dream of having my own creative space one day!
For someone considering starting their own business, what advice would you give them? How would you encourage them to start out?
It’s scary to start but you must go do it! Braindump your resume, your skills, your talents, your gifts, your personality, your values and your
big fat WHY…look at it daily and use it as fuel to motivate you to just get started. Try not to look at everyone around you and their successes. This will be a confidence killer. Put your blinders on and focus on your lane and your own growth (I still have to do this). And find support – join a networking group, go to meet ups, arrange a biz girl lunch. Find your people because they will be your lifeline during your entrepreneurial journey.
What do your kids think about your business? Do they think what you do is awesome?
I think they are proud of me and my passion for my business. They admire my fire to start something of my own. But they also can feel frustrated because my business time is time away from them.
Lastly, if you had to do it all over again, what change would you make, if any?
I would have worked with a business coach earlier. I would have found more networking groups in the beginning or started my own. It’s lonely being an entrepreneur!
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Mallika! If you have any questions for Mallika, please ask them in the comments below. Thanks for tuning in to this installment of the Mom Owned Business Spotlight!