For those of us who have been on a nursing journey, and trying to find stylish and decent nursing wear, we know what it's been like. Not much of a choice around, not to mention pretty nursing wear that makes us feel all feminine and classic. At least that's been my own journey with my two boys. But today, someone has bravely taken on the journey to make evergreen and stylish nursing wear for mothers who are going through their nursing journey. Ester Voon, the founder of Alexiz, has redefined nursing wear for breastfeeding mothers so that we can continue to have flattering workwear instead of baggy maternity clothes as our only option. Image credit: Alexiz Mamahood had the opportunity to talk more with Ester and here's her story about starting out as a mompreneur to take on this space of helping other nursing mothers dress to look and feel their best. 1. Mamahood: We applaud your take on not going the fast-fashion route in your collection. Can you share with us, what\u2019s the inspiration behind the designs of your nursing wear? Image credit: Alexiz Thoughtfulness and maintaining the end-user centric approach are two of the most important things behind our product design process. As a nursing mother myself, I would try our samples personally and give feedback to our designer to help improve our designs. We are focused on creating nursing friendly designs that can be enjoyed by nursing mothers during and after they are done with breastfeeding. That's why our nursing accesses are all cleverly designed to be discreet yet easily accessible. This also allows these designs to be enjoyed by women who are not breastfeeding. 2. Mamahood: In your opinion, besides dressing up well to feel good and confident about ourselves, how else can women enhance their positive self-image? I feel that being part of a community and having a strong support system really helps. You can learn and gain so much more perspective by looking at or hearing from others. 3. Mamahood: Naming this business after your eldest daughter must make her feel really special. Do you have plans for future ventures to be named after your other children, too? Haha oh my! I must admit that this lovely thought has once crossed my mind before but for now, I think the focus is all on building up Alexiz. I did name one of our product range after my second child Avery, though! And since I am expecting a third girl, I hope all 3 of them will take interest in the business and take over from me together. I have even thought of an explanation on why I named the business after my eldest daughter to share with her younger sisters in case they question me next time. It's something along the lines of\u00a0 "your sister was the one who landed me in the situation that made me want to solve my own pain points with this business". 4. Mamahood: Do you have any experience in the fashion industry prior to setting up Alexiz? If not, it must be a steep learning curve to pick up from scratch all the nitty-gritty of the business from design to materials to marketing and sales. How did you go about all that in a short period of time? Image credit: Alexiz If being an avid shopper counts! Stepping into the fashion industry with no prior experience was not easy and I won't lie. But there is also a lot that you can learn on your own now, as you try and get to where you want to with the business. I started paying more attention to how things are being done in the industry and of course, many times we had to learn from our own mistakes as well. I was lucky to also make friends with those in the industry who selflessly shared their experiences and past pitfalls with me. 5. Mamahood: What were your biggest challenges faced when starting this business, especially in this period of a worldwide pandemic hitting us? I will say finding the right people to be in my team, and balancing my motherly duties are the two greatest challenges faced running this business. But launching our brand right before the pandemic hit us in Dec 2019, posed other sets of challenges. People were spending less which reflected in our sales figures, and then we had to work from home during the circuit breaker which really impeded work progress. 6. Mamahood: We can only imagine the kind of hard work and planning that goes into starting a business. How long did it take from conceptualising to finally launching it? It took me about 1.5 years to finally launch our website with our first collection. We had to hire a fashion designer who could understand and share my vision of disrupting the current market by offering nursing mommies better alternatives that they don't even know exist yet. Then we had to make sure we work with reliable suppliers and the way we did that was to travel down personally to their factories and meet their teams in their country. 7. Mamahood: It must be a lot of hours of work put into starting a new venture. How do you juggle your time with work and being a mother? I always make sure I spend one-on-one time with my children at home e.g. after dinner and before sending them to school. That is probably the only time I am not thinking about work or working. As a mompreneur, I just learnt to "steal time" between feeds, naps and playtime to get my work done. I also sleep less sometimes so that I don't lose out on time with my children or get behind on work. 8. Mamahood: What is your advice to other women, especially mothers, who have hopes and dreams to step into the world of entrepreneurship? Image credit: Alexiz I have seen many more mothers starting their own business especially during the pandemic and I'm extremely heartened by the sight. As a mother of 3 girls myself, I've always advocated that we as women, can do anything we set our hearts to. My advice to mommies looking to start their own business? There is enough success to go around for all of us. So support each other, go forth bravely if you believe in your business plan and don't be afraid to ask for help. 9. Mamahood: Combining your motherhood and entrepreneurship journey and experience, what are some of the lessons you can impart to us in raising kids of the future? "You may not succeed at once, but you cannot fail if you don't quit. So be kind, celebrate the small victories and learn to dance in the rain." I think if we can raise our kids with these beliefs, they will grow up with hope, resilience and perseverance.