Mod & Tod - Josephine Leong
Josephine Leong, founder of Mod & Tod
Josephine founded Mod & Tod in December 2018. She is mum to two girls aged 5 and 3.
OHbaby - Why did you set up your business?
Josephine - I love working with beautiful fabrics and wanted to create something that’s modern and practical for mothers.
OHbaby - As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Josephine - I’ve always loved animals, so growing up I wanted to be a Veterinarian. However, circumstances changed and although I still love animals, I became more passionate about designing and creating. This led me to get my degree in Fashion Design instead.
OHbaby - Do you ever feel "mummy guilt" about spending time working instead of with your children? If so, how do you deal with it?
Josephine - There’s always a bit of guilt in the back of mind and it was quite hard especially when we were just starting the business. It’s something I’m still working on and I always try to remind myself that everything we’re doing with the business is for the benefit of the family. I’ve never had much while I was growing up, so being able to provide for my children is what drives me.
We do have a rule to limit work on the weekends, so we can have as much “family time” as possible. Whether if it’s going out for lunch, watching a movie, or going to the park. I think it’s also important to do the little things like baking a treat together or reading a story before bedtime.
OHbaby - What do you do to get "me-time"?
Josephine - Sometimes when I’m really stressed or just having a bad day, my husband will take the kids out of the house to give me some peace and quiet. Otherwise I love spending time with friends and watching a good movie.
OHbaby - What is the smartest thing you have done with your business?
Josephine - Focusing on the customer experience and listening to our customers. Each time a customer orders from us and unbox their order, we want them to feel like they’re unwrapping a special gift. We’ve put a lot of effort into our packaging and we’re really pleased with all the positive feedback we’ve been getting.
The next smartest thing I’ve done is hire my husband to handle all the finances and number crunching. Numbers is just not my thing!
OHbaby - What is your favourite thing about the business now? What do you most enjoy?
Josephine - My favourite thing about the business would be interacting with my customers. Seeing all the photos they’ve posted on social media with our products. Hearing their feedback and just knowing that our products have somehow made their motherhood easier and more enjoyable.
I love creating new designs for my products and it’s great how I can share design concepts with my audience on social media, getting their opinions and ideas before a product launch.
OHbaby - What is the most surprising thing you’ve found in running your own business?
Josephine - The most surprising thing is realizing how much I didn’t know about running a business. At the beginning I didn’t have any experience with e-commerce. So, I basically had to start from scratch. I remember spending most of my time researching and studying about E-com and digital marketing etc. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing and there was a lot of trial and error before I got any momentum going. Up until now, there is still so much more to learn and that just makes it so much more exciting.
OHbaby - What is your philosophy to child-rearing?
Josephine - I believe every child is different and there shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” approach to child-rearing. But what works for my children is having a balanced approach. For example, limiting their screen time on TV and iPads and making sure they don’t eat too much unhealthy snacks, rather than not giving them any at all. I always say everything is better in moderation.
I also find that my children’s behavior is a lot better when I incorporate structure and routine into their daily lives. For us, it’s getting the girls to clean up their toys before dinner and going to bed the same time each night etc. I also believe it’s important to prioritise my children’s developmental and educational needs, and it’s important that we give praise and lots of encouragement.
Lastly, raising children is hard work and it really does ‘take a village to raise a child’. Which is why I think that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!