Womenpreneurs Project: an up-close and personal view of women creating power.
“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity or your curiosity.”
Amelia Earhart, aviation pioneer and author.
In this difficult times of Covid and ISO, creativity has become the most essential tool of all. We are taking about family, social, entrepreneur, medical, governmental and world systems’ breakdowns. Everything is under the spotlight of change and readjusting, which is definitively not an easy situation to handle for many, but let’s be honest, hurdles in life are a constant, so we have to face it in the most creative and positive way possible. Survival is about trying your best to make thinks work. And this is not about what you know, or what you learnt while growing up. It’s about your willingness to overcome any situation. It’s about you being innovative and reinventing yourself.
Life is about who you want to be, no matter the circumstances. Obviously our environment is constantly offering us challenges or even impossible situations to deal with. However, we have the last word in every matter, even if we don’t see it or it is the hardest thing ever to do: WE HAVE ALL THE CAPACITY TO DECIDE HOW, WHEN and WHAT TO DO.
From the very first breaths of any life, the future ahead is a wonderful range of possibilities to choose and decisions to make. I am fully aware of the fact that we life in a world full of inequality and injustice. And Despite not having the same opportunities nor the same freedom, NO ONE can take our soul and freedom of being humans away from us. It’s within the depths of ourselves.
Let’s find our inspiration and put in action. The future is in our very own hands and only by being creative and original we will be able to find the right path to advance to a brighter destiny.
MONTSE ESTEBAN, age 40 OWNER of LA PANXAMAMA FIELD: Ecological, natural, equal and respectful maternity and paternity nurturing and upbringing
Tuesday, May 19th, 2020
Meeting point, Skype (Granollers - La Granada)
Montse is the 5th woman to interview for our Womenpreneur Project and I must say that so far, each one of them are unique in their own style. Montse seems like a very easygoing, sensitive and intuitive woman, which makes total sense when we go deep into her business project La Panxamama.
She is someone who deals with live in a very acceptant and open view approach. When we met, it was during the Covid19 crisis and we were in confinement, so she was at home with her daughters while having our talk. Kids are in general demanding no matter the circumstances, so I was happy to see how well she managed to deal with me and her daughters at the same time, with a wonderful sense of patience and control. Admirable for a woman who started a business in 2016 and has managed to find a consolidated place in her field as well as growing a family with two babies, now 6 and 5.
She is in charge of her life and her shop, but she is also appreciative and thankful to all those around her who helped her become who she is now as a woman, as a mother and as an entrepreneur. She knows about the importance of your inner circle. All those family, friends, colleagues that become friends and clients who walk alongside your path in life. An entrepreneur, and on the bottom line any human being, is no one alone. We all need our own support system to lean on.
She knows what she wants, for sure. When she took over La Panxamama, she fought hard to make the place hers. She knew about the importance of a business having your own soul, something that totally represents who you are and who you want to be seen as a woman and as an entrepreneur. Any business without a soul, is no business at all. I have the feeling she is someone who is constantly growing and learning by listening and paying attention as well as working hard and making all the efforts necessary to become the best version of herself, openly and naturally.
And her naturalness is what makes her special to other’s eyes. She has this aura of someone you can trust, someone who will listen to you and offer you what you need in a fair way.
All in all, she is a woman who believes in experimenting with creativity, imagination. Growing up without patterns and limits, and embracing the non-definition as a way of finding you own one.
Ladies, that is the best way to become who you want to be. Running away from established labels to create your own suitable definition and brand. Follow your instincts and be faithful to your believes. Don’t let others make distinctions. We are equal and we should fight to be equally ourselves.
- INTRODUCE YOURSELF, WHO are you?
Well, Montse Esteban is a woman who, when she became a mother, discovered a whole new world that trapped her to such an extent that motherhood became a whole by living it in the present, at home, but also when she embarked on a store project with products for families who are committed to more conscious parenting and a workshop space where we offer courses and talks to enjoy and share the experience of motherhood / fatherhood.
1. COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR PROJECT? WHAT MADE YOU BECOME AND ENTREPRENEUR?
There was a time when I loved reading blogs and dreamed of having one. When I got pregnant for the first time I quit my job and thought it was time to start my own blog. This one, given the personal moment I was living, was focused more and more towards motherhood and I started to create a very beautiful network. After the birth of my second daughter, some women who had started a very beautiful project called La Panxamama, of which I was a client, said that they were transferring the business and since at that time I was dealing with the whole issue of motherhood. and the project matched very well with my line, my partner saw clearly that this was an opportunity for me. We talked about it, I went to ask and after 15 days I was flying La Panxamama without much awareness of what I was doing but with a lot of enthusiasm. And thanks to this enthusiasm and always doing what I was feeling like doing, La Panxamama has not stopped growing ever since.
2. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST HURDLE YOU HAVE FACED AS AN ENTREPRENEUR AND AS A WOMENPRENEUR? HOW DID YOU SORT IT OUT?
There are many difficulties. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster because there are too many inputs. Personally, the hardest part is finding out that not everyone likes your project. The fact that people close to you do not come to your store is hard when you think about it but you end up understanding that we each have our interests and after all I follow a very specific line of feeling motherhood and life in general and not all of us feel the same. Then, when a client tells you that she doesn't know what she would do without La Panxamama, you go up to a cloud and suddenly everything makes sense, but there are also those who tell you ugly things because they don't agree with your way of handling and running the company and that also hurts you a lot. It's hard to take those punches because you put your soul into what you do and the criticism hurts a lot but, as I say, you end up accepting that you can't please everyone, that not everyone follows your roll and that understanding a small business is difficult when people are increasingly accustomed to what the big internet platforms offer. I prefer to stay but with all the people who connect with you, who value the effort you put in and who understand that we are human because precisely what they come looking for from you is this humanity. And these are the people who help you and your project grow.
3. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT AS AN ENTREPRENEUR? WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS CONSIDERING BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Phew! Every day you learn new things. I think that it doesn’t matter how many years pass by, you always learn something new. What I am sure of is that whoever sows winds, will reaps whirlwinds. Anyone who wants to embark on this journey should say that they should be willing to give up. That you shouldn’t be afraid to work hours and hours because today’s society doesn’t allow you to rest. You must always be present and always fresh. So it's best to do it if it's really your vocation, if it really hooks you. Because then you will do it naturally, it will come out of you, you will do what you like and what makes you enjoy and others will notice that you enjoy and will be impregnated by this power. You quickly see the fruits when you work hard but you have to give up a lot of things along the way.
4. DO YOU CONSIDER CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION AS BEING ESSENTIAL IN CREATING YOUR OWN COMPANY/PROJECT? HOW DO YOU MAKE A USE OF THEM?
Totally. Today creativity and innovation are (or should be) in the vast majority of jobs and whoever leads a project should be attentive to everything that moves around because quickly you can fall behind. Don’t be afraid to try new things, people like to see your project come alive. Making new bets because the market is moving at high speed and getting stuck is the worst thing that can happen to you. I listen to clients a lot. They give you lots of clues as to where to go to cover latent needs, they help you a lot! And I also watch how others do it, shops I like or also influencers. I pay attention to how they present the product and how they express themselves. I also listen to a lot of podcasts and whenever I can, I do some courses. You learn from everything (this is one of my mantras)
5. COULD YOU MENTION A ROLE MODEL OF YOURS? IF ANY, ARE THEY STILL A ROLE MODEL AND AN INSPIRATION FOR YOU?
One thing I am proud of is that thanks to this project I have been able to meet and surround myself with many women, all of them different but all inspiring. Thanks to whom I have come to the conclusion that a world of liberated women, who do what they love, is a long way from that world of harpies that I was made to believe, the idea that we were women with very little power. But if I have to choose someone who has helped me infinitely, that is a group of women I met shortly after starting La Panxamama project through social media. A group of women who were also starting out in a company like mine but in other towns. Far from feeling fast competition we became friends and without a doubt they have been my model, my teachers, my moral support, my inspiration and my classmates in the broadest sense of the word. We talk every day, share everything and support each other. Because we are sure that together we add up. I have told them many times that La Panxamama would not be what it is if it were not for them and they are Constanza de La Lloca, Anna de Son la Pera, Laia d'A Collibé and Alba i Zeida de La Beehive.
Thanks Montse for your sincerity and authenticity.
Written by Noèlia Ribó.
Pic by Sílvia Servat @silviaservat
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