Kim Vopni is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, BC. As the founder of Pelvienne Wellness, Co-founder of Bellies Inc, and the author of Prepare to Push and Your Pelvic Floor, she has created a successful business model as “The Fitness Doula”. We’re excited to share Kim’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
After using a pelvic floor product in my first pregnancy I realized how few women knew about it and about the importance of preparing for birth. I contacted the manufacturer of the product and became a distributor in 2004. My intention was to sell it on the side and make a bit of extra cash, not to turn it into a business. In 2007 my family and I moved to Ontario from BC for my husband’s job. I was working full time, with two young children in daycare, no family around and a husband who was away a lot. It was then that I wondered if it would be possible for me to turn the little ‘side thing’ into a real business. I gave myself a year to try and grow it before I left my corporate job but obviously the universe felt I should be doing it sooner! I was laid off from my job in early 2009 (about 3 months after I said I would give myself a year) and all of a sudden I was immersed in the mompreneur world and in a position to create a niche that no one else was doing at the time – preaching pelvic health! In 2010 I met 2 other women who shared a similar passion and we created a separate business Bellies Inc that has now become the bigger business.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part of being a business owner is the flexibility I have to be with my kids and spend time with my family. We have all benefited from me working from home. I must say I also love the fact that I am free to make decisions and try new things without needing head office approval or being tied to corporate plans. While there are days I miss the corporate world, I can honestly say I would never go back.
Can you describe a typical day?
I am an early bird and am usually up by 5:30am. I enjoy a lemon water while I answer emails and bask in the bliss of a silent house. I then do some yoga, eat breakfast with the kids and then head out the door for a walk. By 10am I am back in my office (in the basement) and I will work from there to answer emails, ship out product and do admin. When I write, I typically sit upstairs on the couch or in a coffee shop. Thursdays are my client days and I see them at a local wellness clinic. By 3:00pm I am coordinating the kids and thinking about dinner.The evenings are filled with sports activities, and by 9:00pm the house is quiet again. If my husband is home we usually watch an episode of our favourite show. If he is away then I use the time to answer emails, check in on social media and get to bed early so I can get up and do it all again.
Who do you count on for help?
We moved back to BC in 2011 because it is home and it is where our support is. My parents live across the street and are a HUGE help! My husband is also a huge help when he is home. I also have a great community of friends who are there often last minute if I am stuck in traffic or need to go to a networking event and my parents and husband are away. I love my family and community!
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
We live in a 3 level townhouse and the bottom level used to be the kid zone – it was awesome! As my business grew and I needed more space it made the most sense to take over the basement instead of finding a place to rent. The kids no longer have their own space but it has allowed me to stay at home and also save money.
What do you do on a day off?
The only place where I truly take a day off is our cabin on Gambier Island. We have no phones or wifi so it is truly a place to escape. I go for walks, beach comb and sit on my fave little perch and stare at the ocean and mountains for hours. So grateful for that place!
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
Nadine Woods is a single mom who not only started a business (Mayana Geneveire – a beautiful breastfeeding lingerie company) but also started a not for profit aimed at improving the postpartum experience for women. Maternal Goddess is an amazing online community of contributors from around the world who are educating and empowering women as they become mothers. Nadine is creative and driven, organized and a visionary. All while raising a beautiful daughter on her own. She inspires me!
What does the future look like for you and your business?
My business, Pelvienne Wellness Inc, grows each year and I have someone helping me with my shipments so that I can focus on other things – like my other business – Bellies Inc – a partnership with 2 other women. It is the bigger business and is now taking more of my time. Thankfully my personal business kind of runs itself now and it is on a nice steady upward trend. The future for the 2nd business (Bellies Inc) looks bright and busy! Plus with 2 books out now, I’m enjoying the experience of being an author as well!
Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?
Outsource what you are not good at. Find a mentor or mentors who can guide you along the way. Remember that working for yourself should contribute to your freedom, not contaminate it. Practice your elevator pitch because you will be asked over and over ‘what do you do’ or ‘what is your business’ and you need to be able to concisely answer that question and leave people with an impression so they remember you. Grow your online community, always. Collaborate, don’t compete.
A version of Kim’s Success Story was previously published on December 28, 2015