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Inspiring Superwomen: Meet the Brains and Hearts behind Qidz Mobile App!

Inspiring Superwomen: Meet the Brains and Hearts behind Qidz Mobile App!

By Aya

Dubai|Expert Advice|For Moms|Lifestyle|Parenting|Small Business|Travel|What's On

Prepare to be amazed by the incredible journey of three remarkable women and mothers who have brought magic into the lives of families across the Middle East! Their brainchild, the Qidz Mobile App, is not just a success story; it’s a heartfelt solution that has touched the lives of countless families!

As business leaders and innovators, they have carved a path of success in the competitive world of startups. But what sets them apart is their unwavering dedication to being loving mothers. They understand the unique challenges of motherhood and the constant juggling act it entails, as they strive to create unforgettable memories for their families while chasing their entrepreneurial dreams.

1. How did the idea for Qidz Mobile App come about, and what motivated you to pursue it?

Simona: I always wanted to start my own business but knew that it was not something that I could or do alone so one day the stars aligned… The three of us were all busy corporate women juggling the demands of work related travel, demanding jobs and families and one day the three of us sat down together and started discussing how we could help other busy working parents make their lives easier… and that is how QiDZ was born. We wanted to help other parents solve the problem that we ourselves were facing – finding the best and coolest things to do with your family all from the comfort of your phone.

Ines: It all came from a personal experience. At the time, I was juggling between work, three small daughters, managing a house and with a non-stop traveling husband. My cofounders where in this same exact situation, so we decided to do something about it and make the life of busy parents easier, so we could solve the problem of finding and booking cool things around the city from the comfort of their sofa! Although launching my own business was never on my mind, now I feel it’s one of the best things I have done in my life! Plus, launching a business is an opportunity to set an inspiring example for my daughters.

Claudia: I have always been a multitasker and an entrepreneur at heart. My first ‘real’ business was as a party organizer at the age of 14. Together with one school friend I organized my younger cousin’s birthday party and they had so much fun that all her friends’ mums started to call us, and we were booked every single week for some years! I also used to do tutoring to pay for my university outings and used to finance my travels selling jewelry and bags that I had bought during the trips itself.

In the last term of my MBA I took a great Entrepreneurship course and the final project was to ‘create a business’: from idea, business plan, how we would execute it and pitch it. We were selected from among the top ones by a jury of successful entrepreneurs, funds, and top executives. We were interviewed and published in one of the biggest business newspapers in Spain and approached by some possible investors. It was a great idea, a great team, we had loads of fun and really enjoyed it but we never had the courage to bring it to life (btw, funny enough now one of the giants of the entertainment industry has a very similar concept and is doing very well).

Later when I joined the corporate world, I had the opportunity to work in different roles, always with an entrepreneur approach finding solutions and having mini ‘start ups’ inside the big corporations, always having to go the extra mile and being creative for every obstacle across the path.

QiDZ just happened at the right moment, with incredible partners in crime, out of a need as working mums. The opportunity, gap in the market and solution was a no-brainer:  we could help make other mums’ lives easier just as we needed and save time to be and have quality time with who it matters, the kids. It was a big ‘aha moment’ that with a lot of hard work, passion, effort, commitment, hours and ups and downs became a reality and an amazing journey up until today. And yet the best is still to come.

2. As mothers, what challenges did you face when starting and growing your business while simultaneously raising your children?

Simona: I have always worked – and have demanding jobs that required me to travel outside of the country extensively. This meant that since becoming a mother, I have always had to find a way to juggle the work and family requirements. Starting our own business just meant that on the one hand you have some more flexibility than when working with a corporate but the work load is even higher. I think the biggest challenge is switching off from work (which is difficult to do when it is your own work) and creating the quality time with your child.  Its about making sure that you do turn up for the important events for your kids and its all about prioritizing.

Ines: a working mom and entrepreneur always has to balance the responsibilities of being a mom with those of running a business. I have to admit that at the start it was a challenging journey as I felt I wasn’t paying enough attention to my family needs and I experienced the so called “mother guilt” quite a few times given the focus I had to pay to the business. However, over time I learned to dedicate more quality time to my family, surround myself with a support network and delegate more at work! However, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and each motherhood journey is unique, and what it was a challenge for me might not be for other moms.

Claudia: I think the challenge has not changed overtime: when it’s enough work done and when it is time to switch off. Not an easy one but the best way of being a great mom and a great business woman is just being yourself. There is no right or wrong, it is just the way you are and you do it. Do whatever makes you comfortable, don’t seek too different opinions and don’t let others tell you what is best, when you should or not switch off, you know better (even if you think you don’t!). Ask for help, delegate more and let others help you. Build a great team around you and a support system that allows you to be YOU. Have some ‘me time’. Just enjoy the ride, be happy, be grateful and SMILE- that’s your superpower! Believe me… it works!

3. How do you maintain a work-life balance and ensure that both your business and family receive the attention they deserve? 

Simona: for me – its about being clear on your own personal values and prioritizing what needs to be prioritized when it needs to be prioritized. I do believe that you can have it all – but that does not mean it does not come without compromise. Having a support system around you – whether it is family, friends, home help is essential to making it all happen. For me – work life balance encompasses many things – spending time with my family, spending time with my friends, doing sport as well as making the business grow. As women and particularly as mothers, I think we get to be extremely efficient and prioritize things efficiently which helps us create that work life balance. But of course, there are compromises along the way

Ines: I learned over time that, as a working mom, you  need to prioritize and focus on essential tasks in order to reduce the pressure on both work and family life. If you can’t do it all, then let go! Learn to say no at work and don’t overcommit if that will interfere with your family life. Learn to say no to having two family events in one day because it will increase unnecessary stress. At times when that cannot happen, surround yourself with a support network (family, friends, domestic helpers) who will help you juggle around in times of high demands at work. Most importantly, make sure you allocate time for self-care. Taking care of your mental and physical well-being will help you stay balanced and energized.

Claudia: As women generally we have the misconception that we need to take care of everything, NOW and of course without a mistake: work, go to the supermarket, take kids from school, feed the kids, workout, look nice, call the plumber if something is not working at home, and the list can go on and on. I think it is possible to make everything happen by having the right support system in place and by letting go (frozen style). Just share responsibilities (with your husband, with your helper if you have one, your friends, colleagues, etc..) and make use of technology whenever you can, there are amazing businesses and solutions that will only help you to make your life easier.. And most importantly .. spend time where it really matters to you to make sure that you are happy!

4. What are some strategies or tools you utilize to stay organized and manage your time effectively as both a mother and an entrepreneur?

Simona: I try to plan out key things of my week – including the food that I will eat. That makes it easier to stay on track and know what are the big events during the week. I usually review the week on Sunday before the week starts. But sometimes things happen – you just have to go with the flow

Ines: I usually create a schedule of weekly activities and have both my work and personal calendars combined in my phone so I can see how to fit as much as possible all activities into my daily routine so they don’t overlap. Since it might be challenging sometimes, I will need to prioritize whenever I have to. There are things I would block and not move because it’s time allocated for myself or my family that I try to stick to, or things work related that I also block to stay focused.

Claudia: It’s all about priorities and what makes me happy (if I’m happy I ‘ll make sure everyone is happy around me!). It’s impossible to do everything perfectly and alone. Reality is that you need to compromise as days have only 24 hours, but believe me in 24 hours you can do more things that you can imagine, it is just a matter of organizing yourself and not falling into the trap that you, personally, need to do everything.

What works best for me is to write down my weekly goals (professional personal) and the things that need to be done to make them happen, and then I classify them into: 1) urgent and now, and 2) nice to have. I prioritize them, and take action on them! I might get things wrong and I might forget school things..  but that’s ok, I learn and I live in peace with it!! As tools…I’m a big fan of everything that makes my life easier. Online apps and business that are a key part of my daily life and I wouldn’t be able to live without them are Amazon, Instashop, Careem and Kibsons.

5. How do you involve your children in your entrepreneurial journey, and what lessons do you hope they learn from observing your work?

Simona: I have taken my daughter along to some pitches I have done and some meetings and she asks interesting questions. She also often hears me on calls and subsequently asks me about the team or the business. She has also suggested some ideas and is in fact a user of QiDZ so she has some very good insights and ideas

Ines: My children have been involved in the business since the very beginning; either by being in photoshoots, or “testing” the venues we work with, or helping with video editing and other small related tasks. They also sometimes listen and observe while I am on work calls and we always celebrate milestones and great moments at QiDZ. All in all I think they are experiencing a great life lesson that could help them in the future to pursue their dreams.

Claudia: My children have played a key role and are a big part of the inspiration behind QiDZ. On our day-to-day QiDZ is part of the family, they ask, give ideas, know all the team, ask about them and they help to think through many things from other angles. I love listening to them when I ask them what I should do, what they would like to see more or less, or hearing them explain what QiDZ is about when they sell their own hand-made bracelets or lemonade in our neighborhood. They are truly our best ambassadors!

They see me juggling around, making time for their important things, caring about other people, going out with my husband, spending time with my friends, taking care of myself and working long hours too. I believe there is nothing better than learning by example so hopefully they are seeing that commitment, resilience, hard work, passion, trying to keep balanced, prioritizing and following your dreams it’s worthy and pays off. I am happy!

I can see they have the heart and blood to start small businesses without hesitating and with far more courage than I had at their age. The way they use technology and transform problems into just easy solutions is just amazing! Watch the space as I’m sure they’ll create great things out there in not a very far future!

6. What advice do you have for other mothers who aspire to become entrepreneurs but may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of balancing both roles?

Simona: Develop a business idea – sound it with some trusted sources. Do some scenario planning and find some advisors and partners who will help you develop and build the idea. There are accelerators and idea generation out there who can also  help you further refine your idea. But if you are passionate about doing something – then just try it – know why you are doing, what you want to get out of it and every time it is challenging – go back to your why and that will help you navigate that moment.

Ines: becoming an entrepreneur while being a mother might be scary and challenging for most of us, but it is doable! First you need to define and develop your business idea, asking for support and advice – this is a must! – you will be surprised at how many things would come up from different people that you didn’t think about before. Then prioritize and plan time in your schedule for work and for family to avoid stressful moments, and as you grow the business delegate some of the work to make your own flexible schedule. Involve your family and celebrate milestones with them even if they are small! Last, stay true to yourself, don’t lose sight of your values and priorities and remember why you chose to be an entrepreneur and a mother, and let that drive your decisions.

Claudia: Go for it! It can be a bit scary at the beginning but is an amazing experience. Choose the right partners, believe in yourself, be resilient and stay positive. You’ll have your ups and downs, but you will figure out the way as impossible as it may feel! Work hard (and smart!) talk to people and ask for advice! You’ll be (very positively) surprised how much people are willing to help! Stay true to yourself and your purpose.

7. How do you prioritize self-care and ensure that you have time for your personal well-being amidst the demands of motherhood and entrepreneurship?

Simona: I make sure to spend time with people who give me energy and that usually involves my family, my sister, my work partners and my friends…. That puts me in the right frame of mind every time – so I prioritize seeing people that I love. Exercise is another key thing I try to build into my week

Ines: taking care of myself is a priority for me as it affects my health and happiness, and I have been trying to make it an ongoing process. I always say that a happy family comes from a happy parent (and why not, most of the times it’s a happy mom!). I make sure I set the time to exercise at least 4 times a week when I finish work and when my kids are busy doing other things; I often meet with my girlfriends at least once a week to just chat and relax, and from time to time I reflect on what areas of my life require more attention and I act on it (i.e. catch with an old friend, sleep more than 7 hours a day, call a family member, practice some mindfulness, etc). It’s all about being conscious of your needs and prioritize what’s important to you.

Claudia: I believe that it is really important to take care of one’s self to have more energy and attention to the people we love; and many times due to the multi role we play as mums, wives, business women, friends, etc.. we totally forget about it!

In my case I exercise at least 3 times per week, have quality 1 to 1 time with my husband and as a family with the kids,  and have a nice dinner, glass of wine or padel match with my girlfriends;  those are my best ‘me times’ together with the time I set aside to organize and prioritize my weekly goals and actions. 

8. What lessons or values from motherhood do you bring into your business, and how do they shape the culture and values of your company?

Simona: We defined early on the values that we have for our company and they come from our everyday life and our value system. I dont think that there is anything else specific from motherhood that shape the culture of the company – but we do want to create a respectful, honest, supportive and transparent culture that is also fun, engaging and interesting –

Ines: When we first started QiDZ we wanted to create an environment where people could nurture their creativity, teamwork and passion towards work; so nothing specific to motherhood. However, mothers usually manage their time very well and have a very structured mindset, and I think we have managed to incorporate that mindset into the day to day of our company. We try and lead by example by being honest, transparent and committed, and we have managed to create a culture that embraces these values. 

Claudia: Everything! QiDZ is our kid, and for good or bad our kids are undoubtedly a bit of each of us. We ‘ve always have had very clear the big do’s and don’ts and have been very aligned on our purpose. At QiDZ, same as motherhood, there are no rights or wrongs, just different ways of doing things but honesty, integrity, transparency, commitment, and hard work are just an essential part of the company. We set clear goals and we prioritize the important things.  Same as in motherhood, needs organization, love, work, trust, and quality time.  

Being a mother and an entrepreneur is undoubtedly a unique and challenging journey. However, by learning from the experiences of successful mom entrepreneurs like the co-founders of Qidz Mobile App, we can gain valuable insights into how to navigate this path.

Their stories inspire and empower other mothers who aspire to follow their dreams while nurturing their families. Balancing the responsibilities of motherhood and entrepreneurship requires resilience, adaptability, and the ability to seek support when needed. By celebrating the joys and overcoming the challenges, these remarkable women prove that it is possible to thrive in both roles and make a positive impact in the lives of families and children.

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