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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Spotlight on Mum: Why I involve my children in my business


Juliette Sawyer has more than 20 years of experience in running a business and she believes this wouldn’t have been possible without adapting around her children.

There is no denying that Juliette Sawyer is on an exhilarating journey towards inner and outer success. Anyone that meets her is able to recognise that she radiates kindness, inspiration, and confidence. Juliette’s goal in life is to walk with purpose, not just as a thriving photographer but also as a dedicated mum. 

Although Juliette has spent the last 20 years running her own business to deliver  sentimental photography to her clients, her biggest passion is her role as a protector, healer, and nurturer to her two beautiful children. This comes as no surprise since Juliette was born and raised in an uplifting setting in the South Island of New Zealand. 

Juliette frequently reminisces about the good old days spent in her family home where she was thoroughly surrounded by forests. Hours were spent trekking through the hills and exploring with her dog, two cats, and pet sheep. These days, her love for nature is reflected in her beautiful photography and in her love for travel with her family.

Read also: Spotlight on Mum: Finding myself as a former accounting director turned full-time mum

Juliette has lived in Doha for the last ten years and it is here that she has truly understood and mastered the importance of balance between her photography business and her role as a full-time super-mum.

What began as a school assignment at the age of 15 at the local newspaper and evolved into a weekend job as a photographer, has now turned into a fully-functioning business that also allows for her children’s involvement. “It is nice that my kids get to see me doing my job and already they are learning about how I run my business.They want to get involved and help me set things up before a shoot,” Juliette tells Doha News.

While being a parent is an incredibly important role to Juliette, it is also a symbolic part of her photography. Her love for motherhood is beautifully exuded in her work. This is evident from her Instagram page, where she shares artistic pictures of proud mums and dads with their children, photoshoots dedicated to precious little ones, first time parents radiating with excitement over their baby, and mums happily cradling their pregnancy bumps. 

It is moments like these that see the passionate photographer pick up her camera to feel empowered, fulfilled, and grateful for the opportunity to capture a sentimental moment for others, she notes.

But while resilience is a key factor in succeeding in her roles as businesswoman and mum, it does not stop challenges from arising – lack of time, patience, and sleep are just a few.

Read also: Spotlight on Mum: Surviving a pandemic as a full-time teacher, PhD student and mother of four

“I need sleep to be able to think about the technicality of photography, as well as creativity, and to be able to direct and communicate with people on my shoots. Thankfully I have an incredibly supportive husband and if I have a big shoot, we will move sleeping arrangements in the house and my husband tells the kids to go to him if they need any help in the night so I get a full night of uninterrupted sleep!”

While it is clear that Juliette is a busy mum, she says a huge part of achieving goals is in creating lists to help maximise productivity – while also ensuring goals are kept realistic. This allows for other tasks to weave into her schedule, including school runs, preparing meals, and time spent with kids as well. 

Find your why

“If I feel frustrated that things are not getting done, then I look back at the past 2-3 months and go over all of the ticked off lists and make a list of all the things I have achieved. As a result, I am alway amazed at how much I accomplished,” she says, suggesting that looking at the bigger picture is helpful for maintaining focus on direction.

But for mothers keen on embarking on their own business ventures, “finding your why” is key, Juliette advises. The photographer says reflecting on intentions for business, questioning what exactly is hoped to be achieved and how your venture will benefit the world is essential. More importantly, identify whether the new journey will positively or negatively affect your kids, she says.

But even in these scenarios, solutions are plenty. 

“There are jobs you can outsource to free up some of your time. You can partner with other mums who share the same vision and share the workload. Or if you feel stressed at the thought of time away from your kids, then brainstorm ways you can make your business family friendly so your kids could get involved,” she says.

Read also: Dear Mum: Relax, your ‘best’ is enough this pandemic

“The most fun part is the love and connection with my little family, exploring together, being together, all while having fun and learning,” she adds.

To see more of Juliette’s photography visit her instagram: @juliette_sawyer

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.

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