In this interview with Ownr, Tara Filteau shares her journey as Founder & CEO of Mother Daughter Empower, her keys to success, and the advice she has for aspiring entrepreneurs.
What is Mother Daughter Empower?
Mother Daughter Empower is a social enterprise on a mission to empower the next generation of young girls, to be who they are and become anything they want to be! Girls today are growing up in a world that looks far different than the one that we grew up in, so we provide moms and caregivers with the tips, tools and resources that they need to raise empowered girls. Join our empowering mother-daughter community, check out our podcast, join us at our annual conference or at one of mother daughter retreats, each opportunity is a one-of a kind experience that will empower your relationship and inspire you to lead the way, together we will raise the next generation of empowered girls!
Tara, tell us about yourself.
I am a wife and a mom of three, (two girls and a boy all under the age of 10) a parent and community advocate and the founder and CEO of Mother Daughter Empower or as I like to call it, my fourth child.
Give us some background on your business and how you got started as an entrepreneur.
Ahhh it’s a long story are you ready? Back in 2018 I ran for council in my local municipality in Innisfil, Ontario because I really wanted to bring change to our community and create better traffic safety measures in and around our schools. My daughter Sophia, who is now the co-founder of Mother Daughter Empower was just seven at the time and took a great interest in the whole campaign trail. She would ride her bike beside me while I knocked on doors, she helped me collect petition signatures and overall, she was my biggest little supporter! Long story short, I lost against the incumbent, but I had truly gained more from that experience than I could have ever imagined.
As I was growing and learning about municipal politics so was my daughter, I put myself out there to do something way out of my comfort zone, there she was, eyes wide open and as I failed after working so damn hard, she watched my every move, and I knew that every interaction and reaction that I had was teaching her so much. The whole experience was truly empowering for the both of us, so what happened next? We sent flowers to our new ward councillor and started to think about what we would do next? After months of research, I came across a statistic that stated the following; at age 7 girls and boys confidence levels are the same, but by age 14 a girls confidence level will have decreased by 30%, I was so shocked by this and knew that we needed to create change, we needed a movement. Sophia came up with the name, Mother Daughter Empower and the rest is history! I told you it was a long story!
Tara’s words to live by as a business owner:
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know, that can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”– Sara Blakely
Also read: why entrepreneurship
What does a day in the life look like for you as a business owner? Do you have a morning or night routine you swear by?
Coffee. Let’s keep it real, my day can’t start without it! Next, I try to move my body, sometimes that is literally only 5-10 minutes but it’s something and then I get ready. It’s important for me to get dressed so I look and feel my best (although working in your PJ’s is so tempting when working from home) when I feel good then that reflects on the rest of my day and the work that I do. I often get as much work done in the mornings and early afternoons so that I can dedicate late afternoons & evenings to the kids. I used to try to work and parent at the same time but now I check out by 4-4:30 pm and find that it just gives me a better work/life balance. This pandemic has shifted things around so both my husband and I take turns with the kids while the other can work and we are all just doing our best! I am not going to lie when there are deadlines, I sometimes have to creep back into my home office at night. To fall asleep, I find it really helpful to play meditations or hypnosis recordings and I am usually out within 5-10 minutes!
What is one key lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
Listen to your gut. Everyone and your mom are going to tell you what is best, what ideas are best, what to budget, how to price but at the end of the day you need to make decisions that FEEL right for you and your business.
Favourite app or platform you’ve used for your business?
For me, it’s about scheduling out my content. Planoly really helps to keep me on track with that!
Fill in the blank: the most rewarding part of doing what I do every day is….
The bigger picture, our mission, to empower the next generation of young girls.
Was there a certain point that you knew the industry you’re currently in would be your career?
It’s interesting because I have a background in communications and I am currently studying social work, so I feel that my business allows me to truly combine so many of my passions and creativity.
Supporting small, local businesses is now more important than ever. Can you share a few of your favourites?
Absolutely! First, I would say support your local restaurants, I mean it’s a win/ win, you don’t have to cook and you’re supporting local businesses! Restaurants have struggled so much during this pandemic, so order out as much as you can, there are so many local options, don’t forget the local ice cream trucks too! Another local organization that we love to support is Girl Gang Strong, they offer a bi-monthly Canadian subscription box for tween and teen girls!
What’s next for Mother Daughter Empower? Any exciting plans you can share?
We can’t wait to run our Mother Daughter Retreats again! COVID had put a stop to them over the last year so we look forward to welcoming our moms and daughters back for this one-of-a kind experience as soon as we can! We are also working hard at developing our movement program that would allow businesses to really make an impact by sponsoring young girls and their moms who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend your events.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Start with your mission statement, develop your why, go with what your passionate about. As I mentioned before, your business becomes your baby, think about how you want that baby to grow into something that your truly proud of. If you are confident about your mission, nothing will stop you! Also, it takes time, be patient with yourself and learn to celebrate all the little wins, just as much as the big ones and don’t forget to surround yourself with like-minded individuals and people who want to see you succeed!
Where can we learn more about Mother Daughter Empower?
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @motherdaughterempower or check out our website at: www.motherdaughterempower.org
Read more about business ideas for moms
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