My name is Dominique Olfsen. I have been married for, going on, 5 years. I have been blessed with the most amazingly, beautiful and precious little girl, named Mika. She just turned 2 (going on 12).
We live in Bedfordview in Gauteng and both my husband and I work a stone throw away from home. This makes it easy to get home early, spend quality time together before bedtime etc.
I am blessed with an amazing husband who, although has the sensitivity of a rock and not one romantic bone in his body, is super good to me in every way and is a fantastic father to our child.
I couldn’t ask for more.
What is the name of your company and when did you start your business?
The company is called Elite Lifestyle Functions, however the brand that we market is called Preggi Perfect Retreat and it was started February 2010.
What inspired you to start your own business?
My own experience! I suffered severely from PND. Being the type of person I am, I refused to accept it, didn’t think I needed help… in fact I wasn’t totally sure that it was PND. I just couldn’t seem to get out of the rut. 18 months after my daughter was born, I could finally say I was feeling back to normal – this was of course after treatment with a psychologist, kinesiologist and psychiatrist.
It was this experience that made me realize that there is this HUGE gap in the market for proper education for first time moms. Especially first time moms. All the antenatal classes do is prepare you for birth, but what about afterwards – it is then that you are at home, by yourself with nothing more than your indecisiveness and inability to not question everything you do.
I was angry that nobody had told me how really tough parenthood is. I was angry that nobody had prepared me better… and so the concept that carries our Preggi Perfect Retreat came to life.
What are the challenges you face or have faced being a working Mom and how have you overcome them?
I think the biggest one is the guilt. I was fortunate enough to be at home with Mika for the first 15 months. I decided to go back to work because I just couldn’t be at home all day anymore – it was brain numbing. Having a start up business, I found myself constantly checking the clock because I knew that I should be home with my child, but just wanted to finish that one more thing… this made me feel guilty – why didn’t I want to spend time with her. Finally I came to realize that its not that I don’t want to, but rather that I too need goals and challenges and things have to be done. So I finally drew a line and now make a point of being home by 3pm and spend the rest of the day with her, uninterrupted by work – I refuse to let work cut into my time with her, as I wouldn’t let her cut into work time – I think its about finding a balance really.
What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business?
Financing (or lack there of) and time were big issues, but I think the toughest part is taking an up in the air concept that came to me pretty randomly and getting media houses, major sponsors, producers etc to buy into and support it.
How do you balance your business and your family?
As mentioned – I have work time and I have family time and I don’t mix the two. (unless of course there is an emergency or something like that)
What or whom has been the greatest support for you and your business?
Probably my partners, Kirsten and Lynne. They understood the need for the concept from day one. They bought into it 100% and they too want to see it work.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have more time in the day. 🙂
What advice can you give other Moms out there who are starting a new business?
Passion! You can deal with a lot of things as long as you are completely passionate about what you do. That passion will come through in every aspect of your business and even when things look bleak, its that same passion that drives you forward.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that I may have missed?
I think the journey of coming through severe PND, losing my best friend, being on the brink of divorce and wanting to end my life all makes me who I am today. It makes this concept of Preggi Perfect Retreat work and it has given me the opportunity to help somebody else avoid going through what I did.
If other Moms would like to keep in touch, how can they contact you?
Email: dominique (at) elitelifestylefunctions.co.za
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