She is a strong-headed woman who does not like to repeat herself. No wonder she stuck it through and started an online business during lockdown.
Samantha Rayson from Southcrest is the director of EMMABLUE, an online business selling toys.
A business born out of her need to be able to contribute to the family, even if it was just to buy a few groceries a month.
‘My husband used to own a guesthouse in the Alberton area. The guesthouse was sold in 2019 and in January 2020 we found ourselves both unemployed and living with my parents to cut costs.
‘My husband found a job very quickly; however, I soon found myself in lockdown, alone with a toddler feeling pretty much useless.’
Emmablue comes to life
That was when she decided to do some research and came upon a business she thought could work for her.
‘I first started selling clothing and beauty products, but once I discovered the world of toys and baby product sales I knew that this was something that could do well.
‘There are always new babies being born, there are always birthdays and there will always be a Christmas.
‘Each month sales grew and grew. I started taking on other moms also looking to make extra money to help their families as agents. I have 80 moms working with me around the country.
‘Oh, just by the way, I could not think what to call the business and then one day my brother asked me what my daughter, Emma’s favourite colour is – and there you have it – EMMABLUE,’ she said with a smile.
The business has grown to such an extent that her husband, who works long hours as a restaurant manager, has resigned and will be joining the business to help with the workload.
Running a business and being a mum
‘Emma turns three in May, but I am just not ready to send her to school yet. So yes, it is difficult to run a business and still be a mum.
‘The nature of the business requires me to be on the phone most of the time and my little one does not always understand that. Fortunately, she still naps and so I make the best of that time to do the most of my business.
‘There is nothing worse than hearing her say, ‘Mommy stop your messages now’. You cannot feel guilty and therefore I am so grateful for the growth in the business and for the fact, that hubby will now be able to step in.’
Aspirations for her family
All she wants is to be financially stable and in a place where they need not worry about tomorrow.
‘But this goes further than that. I would love it if everyone realised that we need to help each other in these difficult times. I support smaller businesses now because going bigger is not always better.
‘Since I have started this business I search local, I support local.
‘The business was born from Covid-19 and I’m so grateful that something good came from something so terrible.’
* Text: CARINA VAN DER WALT. Photo: SUPPLIED.