Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.
In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.
Meet Tiffany Okumu
Tiffany Okumu, a professionally trained graphic designer, runs RAPH&REMY with her husband. The family business was named after their sons. She has been featured on several magazines and websites, such as Little Magazine, BWN Asia Magazine, Trialsaurus, Mummyfique, SassyMama etc.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Tiffany Okumu, and I run RAPH&REMY.
RAPH&REMY is a premium baby-gifting business that sells locally designed eco-friendly baby products with our tropical climate in mind. Featuring sustainably-sourced high quality bamboo clothing, RAPH&REMY now offers personalisation across a range of their product offerings.
What got you started on your business?
The inspiration behind the label comes from the gap we spotted in the market for people like ourselves looking for high quality, sustainable, chic and beautifully packaged baby products at affordable prices, along with our determination to help support and simplify the introduction into parenthood for others out there who are starting their own journey.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full time basis?
I am professionally trained graphic designer who has worked for well known MNCs in the real estate, advertising and beauty industries since 2008. I have lived and worked in Brisbane, Sydney, New York & Singapore and have now called Singapore home for close to a decade!
What excites you most about your industry?
Witnessing the happiness that our uniquely designed products bring to mamas and babies, seeing the joy they have received from their unboxing experiences and engaging with our community about all things motherhood on a daily basis, is what puts a pep in my step every morning! Gifting is the most rewarding feeling for me and I love to spread positivity around as much as possible.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
There is no greater feeling than witnessing love between family. It is an impossible pain to want to create a family of your own and for whatever reason, struggle to do so.
For all the pretty pictures you see with my kids, please know, there was a time I was there too – let’s call it what it is, hell. A mental hell.
There was a time I was convinced we would never be able to conceive one, let alone two children. I was angry at my body because I believed the lies my mind was telling me.
I am extremely well versed in shots (and not the fun kind), and I also know how it feels to experience pregnancy loss. When your wildest dreams have finally come true, only to have them literally pulled out from you – it’s an incomparable trauma.
I count my blessings everyday that all of our perseverance led us to the reality we are living today. And I know I wouldn’t have got through any of it if I didn’t find a good support network to talk with about it.
There is absolutely healing in speaking out. I encourage other mamas to speak their truth. You would be surprised to learn just how many women are facing these same issues and are wishing they too had someone to speak with who could relate to them.
Not everyone is going to understand, or unfortunately even care. You don’t know what you don’t know. I encourage other women to lean on the stories of the strong community of woman who have gone through this hell too and let themselves be inspired by those success stories.
To the mamas going through the pain of trying to create a family – I know you feel like you’re battling these demons alone. You are not. I know you feel less than, insecure and weak – these are lies of your mind. That mama bear within you is strong and fierce. This road will test your strength & spirit – But you CAN win. Don’t forget that.
What is your vision / personal motto?
Have courage and be kind.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
Motherhood can at times be incredibly lonely, a journey that can start to leave us feeling slightly detached from society and/or even our own lives – something which is often very difficult for others to understand.
Through RAPH&REMY, I’m connecting with lots of women and mothers on a daily basis – it’s one of the things I love most about my business. I didn’t want to create just another company that sold products, I really wanted to build a company with a soul. A brand, a business and a community that really gave people a platform to connect and engage with each other. A platform to build genuine, supportive, uplifting and sustainable friendships and relationships.
I believe it’s really important to always keep it real with one another. When we allow ourselves to show vulnerability, own our flaws and speak our truths, that’s when healing occurs and from which, confidence and empowerment builds.
I think about this quote by Marianne Williamson all the time that I feel is important for us all to remember “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – That’s power.
What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
Challenges, issues, problems are all just part of the journey.
What we should aim to avoid, at every opportunity, is making the same mistake twice or allowing ourselves to be disheartened or distracted from the end goal.
The biggest opportunity for us to learn and grow, both in business and in our personal life, is when we’re faced with a challenge – so face it head on knowing that you’ll be lot better off having gone through it.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business / starting to pursue their dream?
I can speak on this from the perspective of a mum dreaming of starting her own business.
1. There is never a good time or the right time to make the leap. Kind of like having kids!
2. Being a mum and running a business are both full time jobs and two of the most demanding there is. Mentally prepare for this.
3. Create a support network around you! No one can do everything on their own. But with the right support in place, anything is possible.
4. You just have to back yourself and work incredibly hard. You really just have to unapologetically go for it.
5. Being able to achieve personal fulfilment and success – is worth every sleepless night. The satisfaction of knowing that all the victories are your own, is an extremely empowering and liberating feeling.
6. When you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing though, it doesn’t feel like “work” and I’d caution anyone against starting a business if their heart truly isn’t in it!
What is one thing you are grateful for?
A husband that backs me 100%.
What do you do in your free time as self care? How do you unwind?
This is something I’ve learnt the hard way – that is incredibly important to work self-care into your daily routine.
My 5 go to’s – and not necessarily in this order:
1. Massages. Not as often as I actually think about them but I adore treating myself to a massage.
2. A shower long enough to finally wash my hair.
3. Losing my phone (on purpose) and just sitting somewhere quite for awhile – preferably with a nice view.
4. Taking the kids and our dog to the park.
5. Red wine at the end of the day, catching up with my hubs!
Let us know more about what you do!
RAPH&REMY deals with Personalised Premium Bamboo Baby Essentials & Baby Gifts. For the chic and modern mama who won’t compromise on quality; who is thoughtful about environmental impact and prioritises their precious baby’s comfort in our tropical climate – RAPH&REMY is for you!
You can enjoy 10% off for your first purchase at RAPH&REMY online store with the promo code “GET10OFF“. Happy shopping!
Connect with RAPH&REMY!
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us via our social media.