Interviews

Kids Inc Interview

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As advocates of entrepreneurial opportunities in Saudi Arabia, we’re all about helping our fellow business owners with navigating the ins and outs of running their businesses and supporting local talent when we see one.

Amongst those groups of hard-working entrepreneurs, are the stay at home mothers, who have taken the initiative to start something incredible and uniquely their own from the ground up. We like to call these business owners, Mompreneurs.

And as such, we’re very excited to introduce to you guys, this new segment of Teem blogs where we have a sit down with these awesome Mompreneurs to talk about their business ideas, leadership skills and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

To kick things off, we’re going to interview our very first Mompreneur, Sarah Shamekh! Sarah is the owner of Kids Inc., a destination for children who are interested in various hands-on and stimulating STEAM related activities.

Talk to us about the origin story of Kids Inc.

After being a stay-at-home mom for 4 years, I decided to take my passion for arts & crafts, and kid activities and offer it to a wider audience, than just my daughter and her friends. Inspiration struck and everything aligned, and I had my first class in an unoccupied room of my home 10 days later!

What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened since starting Kids Inc.?

I’m always learning from the kids I meet, and I find the most joy in figuring out what types of activities they like the most, what keeps them the most engaged, and what sparks their creativity.

What sort of resources or homework did you go through in preparation for Kids Inc.?

I just followed some amazing art studio owners that inspired me to provide a similar experience.

We’ve noticed your activities include different STEAM-related activities like making playdough, perfume, slime, etc. Why was it important for you to include these sorts of activities, and how have been the responses so far?

I always wanted our sessions to include an educational element to make them more appealing to parents, and I discovered very quickly that combining science with process art was a kid favorite.

As a businesswoman, what difficulties, if any, did you go through and how did you go about solving them?

I think the most difficult aspect in the first year was staying motivated to continue. Since the number of registrations was very low, it was hard to get people to commit. But I kept doing what I love and enjoyed it and I slowly gained a loyal following that shared my philosophy on kids’ entertainment and education. That gave me more confidence and more control over my offerings.

You’ve been open for almost three years now, that’s huge! Congratulations! Are you the sole employee of your company or do you have someone working alongside you?

Thank you! Yes, so far it’s just me full-time, but I have a wonderful assistant that helps during our busy days, and handles our birthday parties.

I’d say a Kids Inc. employee must be energetic, proactive, flexible, good with kids, and is ok with messes!

Have there been any marketing tools that have helped you with Kids Inc.?

Instagram has been such a valuable tool to reach new people. Canva is a very easy to use design site I use for designing posts, flyers, instruction manuals. And of course WhatsApp is our favorite form of communication.

If there was one thing that you can think of, that would have offered immense help when you first started out, what would that be?

I think having a website with online registration and payment is something I wish I would have invested in from the beginning. But better late than never!

We love the idea of your mermaid tail kit. What inspired you to approach that concept?

I saw the activity on @hatchartstudio where they painted their own cotton mermaid tail apron, and I built on the idea by curating a beautiful box of mermaid goodies.

Amongst the many activities and initiatives implemented at Kids Inc., you have decided to open up a girls art club within your business. What do you hope to achieve from this club specifically?

There were a few reasons; the types of projects we wanted to focus on were more “girlie” like rainbows and unicorns. Another was because I love the idea of having a special place where girls can create and make friends every week, sometimes boys ruin the vibe!

Not only does Kids Inc. offer some really fun hands-on artistic or scientific projects, but it also offers physical activities like Yoga and Zumbini. Do you have any more physical activities that you’d love to teach in the future at Kids Inc.?

When we first started, I wanted to incorporate yoga or bootcamp into our sessions but we stopped because it was too much work to move the tables around. So now we focus on process art for kids ages 4-11. And of course Zumbini is our “Mommy and me.” music class for babies and toddlers, a class so close to my heart.

One of the many things that a new business has to figure out is their finances. How did you know the ways to price your services in the beginning?

I think my approach to this business is “baby steps”, so everything I do is slow and steady, I didn’t want to rush without enough experience.

I priced my classes based on what was common for similar activities in Jeddah.

We’re curious, where do you see Kids Inc. in five years time?

I see the team growing and our focus being mobile classes and parties/events.

What’s one misconception about women entrepreneurs that you wholeheartedly disagree with?

I don’t know what the misconceptions are, but I do know women that are super hard working and driven when they are doing what they are passionate about.

If you were to collaborate with another business on a project or initiative or event, who would you love to work with and why?

It would be fun to work with Jarir, I envision doing a series of craft tutorials using Roco products😍

What advice would you give for aspiring businesswomen or mompreneurs, especially those in Saudi Arabia?

Don’t underestimate the power of social media! When you spend the time and learn how to properly use social media and keep followers engaged with consistent content, the more you will get out of it. When you’re passionate and believe in what you have to offer it will shine through.

Thank you for reading this week’s blog post. Let us know if there’s anyone else you think we should interview in the comments below!

Follow Kids Inc. on their Instagram here.

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