Interview with Ziggy
YOU & YOUR BUSINESS
Tell us about yourself and your business?
My name is Ziggy, and the business “Zig FitMama” really started off just as my Instagram account name and grew into so much more. I was a Personal Trainer, became a mother, and shared my prenatal and postpartum fitness journey. Things such as how I was trying to stay fit, move well, and nourish my breastfeeding body in a tiny Hong Kong apartment, as a young stay-at-home mother. Whilst dealing with postnatal depression and anxiety, I realized that exercise and connecting with other mothers were vital to my mental and physical recovery. So, I started a few small classes where we worked out with our babies, grabbed a coffee, and shares stories. From there, I became Pre-and-Post Natal Fitness Certified, and have focused everything since then towards working with female health and wellness, specifically in motherhood.
Why did you decide to start your business in Hong Kong?
On the Fitness side, working out and incorporating your kids, was something I had only seen online in countries where domestic helpers aren’t available. I was a stay-at-home mother with no extended family or childcare options, and my husband worked long hours. I was turned away from multiple fitness establishments when I asked if I could bring my child while I worked out, and from there, set out to change what was available wellness and fitness-wise for mothers in Hong Kong.
What sets your company and product apart? Why the world needs your product?
I’m always on the lookout for the next Mama Hack because, in all honesty, I am lazy; I don’t want to spend hours cooking a meal or cleaning my house, because I just don’t have the time with a toddler running around. So, when Milky Mumma Nutrition approached me from Australia, asking if I wanted to help distribute their pre-mix bags of lactation products in Hong Kong, I was sold. One of the biggest stresses of motherhood for me was breastfeeding; trying to produce enough milk, and keep myself fed and hydrated, whilst figuring out what a good latch is, mixed in with the worry of wanting a baby to be well was extremely overwhelming. The Milky Mumma products are quick and simple to put together, packed full of galactagogues (breast-milk producing foods), hormone balancing, and immune system supporting foods. The Hong Kong wellness market is missing such a niche product for mothers! Especially since so many mothers return to work so after only a few weeks, many start exclusively pumping, and milk supply can take a turn. So, say no more giant bowls of oatmeal, endless fish soups, and gallons of fenugreek tea – I’m providing something delicious that provides results. All products are either vegan or vegetarian and are safe for the whole family to eat, including children and non-lactating counterparts!
THE BIG BEGINNING
How was your business idea born and what were your first steps towards starting a business in Hong Kong?
Without repeating myself too much, I didn’t realize that I had a business until people started asking for more. What started out as me doing a few small classes at my husband's gym, so I could exercise and meet other mothers, has turned into a giant community of women who I’ve seen through multiple pregnancies and births now. I wanted to celebrate and empower women to move well, with their children in tow, and connect with other mothers.
What was your biggest motivation and inspiration when you decided to start your business?
Helping mothers – educating pregnant women, and let them realize that their bodies (in a standard pregnancy) are capable of so much more than swimming and prenatal yoga. Empowering postpartum mothers to move well and with intention, rather than focusing on “bouncing back”, which I don’t believe in.
What was the most challenging part of starting your business in Hong Kong? ( how did you overcome it)
I’m still in the beginning stages of more organized business, and the challenging thing in Hong Kong is the cost of marketing, the costs of renting space, and trying to offer affordable service. I don’t believe that only a certain earning-capacity of mothers should have access to good information, health, wellness, and nutrition. I’m still trying to figure out how to make a profit, but stay true to my values.
What you wish you’ve done differently when starting your business?
I just wish that I would have started my business earlier, saving money or finding investment from an earlier starting point, because my ideas were just as concrete then as they are now!
On a practical side, did you find and used any free resources in Hong Kong to start your business?
Not really, I didn’t realize there were any! I’ve just been muddling my way through it, learning as I go along with a bit of help from google, just like motherhood, really!
THE LEARNING CURVE
Which marketing tools you found to be the most successful to start and grow your sales?
I’ve done everything through social media, I had a small, but large-enough Instagram following that I was being approached by companies to promote their products, collaborate with them, and so that’s all I know! Conventional marketing ads are out of my small-business budget, but the Hong Kong Mum Community is thriving – everything is word-of-mouth. Instagram has been the best marketing tool for my business.
Which digital marketing tools you would recommend for fellow female entrepreneurs to check out?
I am entirely self-taught when it comes to tech. Granted, I am a millennial, but I’m not tech-savvy. Editing videos are about as good as it gets with me, so I’d recommend Viva Video (not sponsored, but should be!) because it’s a really simple video-editing tool that you can use on your phone, upload directly to your YouTube Channel, Instagram or Facebook. Instagram and Facebook ads are also extremely affordable and yield really great results.
How would you evaluate your digital marketing skills and how important are them for your business?
They currently drive my entire business as I don’t have a large budget for marketing and ad-space.
What did you find to be the most difficult part about running your own business?
Setting boundaries around work. I constantly find myself answering my phone when I’m meant to be spending quality time with my family.
What is that you love the most about what you are doing?
I’m providing a range of products and services that mothers actually love and enjoy, that produce real results! Whether that’s boosting their milky supply by 50ml in a day, or being able to pick up their children pain-free, or taking responsibility for their nutrition. That’s why I got into personal training – to help make people feel good about themselves by empowering them to move and eat well.
What is your favorite part of the day?
Mornings with my son before I head off for work – whether that’s us making a smoothie together or eating breakfast together, or him just saying “see you later!” - He’s always in the best mood in the morning. Its definitely not bedtime, because he is a terror then!
Your days must be busy, could you share with us your time management ideas and secrets?
Meditation on my commute, packed lunch is a must, and I schedule what time I eat as I coach back-to-back most mornings to midday. I allocate admin and social-media time for the afternoons before I coach again, then try to make it home before bedtime. I prep food every evening, which I find is a form of mindfulness, and I love cooking! Down-time before bed-time and social media are usually for in between clients.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS SUPPORTING WOMEN IN BUSINESS
What do you wish every business women in Hong Kong knows? Any particular challenges in being expat businesswomen?
( Your opinion, what every female entrepreneur should know when starting a business in Hong Kong )
There is abundance – there is enough for everyone. It’s corny, not very poetic, but there is a saying that “I’ve never met a hater doing better than me”. If we covet and are jealous, view everyone as competition, and are only trying to get ahead, that energy fuels more jealousy, greed, and singularity. When really, I’m about bringing together women, so I want to reach out and touch every single pre- and post-natal coach, practitioner, midwife, chiropractor, etc out there, so we can exchange information and help mothers. There are enough mothers in Hong Kong for all of us, and I certainly can’t have them all as clients!
What is your entrepreneur's superpower?
The ability to let go. There is nothing more harmful than trying to control every variable in our life. I do the best that I can in a given situation, and the rest is up to the universe!
When times get tough, what helps you to keep going?
Coffee, cuddles from my son, and big long cries with my support network of mamas.
Thank you for your story! What an incredible and inspirational experience.
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