In a past life, Kiindred founder Emmy Samtani spent most of her early working years in the beauty industry. Her most significant and loved role back then, was as Regional Training Manager for luxury brand Chanel.
“I spent so many years sharing the story of this incredible woman, who was so strong, independent and ahead of her time. I really lived and breathed the brand and knew I wanted to do something for myself one day – with equally the same amount of quality and polish.” Emmy explains. “It’s funny though, I always felt sad for her when speaking about the fact she didn’t have any children. That is definitely something I knew I wanted for myself one day.”
Like most mum-centred businesses, Kiindred evolved from a need she had as a new mum who didn’t know what she was doing. Before having children, Emmy had a pretty clear idea of how she thought her parenting journey would go – but like so many of us, she quickly realised that nothing could prepare her for the reality once she finally held that precious baby in her arms.
“When my daughter Ishq was 3 months old, I realised there was a real lack of quality resources available that spoke to me as a modern parent. I also felt that the parenting space hadn’t caught up with the world of tech and couldn’t understand why” Emmy recalls.
“New parents are often bombarded with so much information and opinions, that it can be overwhelming and downright confusing knowing who to trust. I knew there was an easier way!”
“There were a lot of development charts and a few ok apps – but none that had practical expert-led content that really spoke to me as a modern mum,” adds Emmy. “The parenting space hadn’t caught up with the change in generation, and the way parents now consumed content.”
Here Emmy chats about how Kiindred came to be, balancing business and motherhood and the best advice she’s learnt along the way.
Tell us about the Kiindred and how the idea was born
I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted to start my parenting journey, but nothing prepared me for what lay ahead once I had my precious newborn in my arms.
I remember that very moment my newborn ‘woke up’ around the 6-week mark, and I quickly realised there was a lot more I needed to learn about my baby’s needs. I thought I was going to be a ‘go with the flow’ mum but it was obvious there was a lot to learn. When researching, I noticed a lack of easy-to-digest content that was targeted to the millennial parent. I didn’t have time to search for the answers, and all the information was either too ‘mumsy’ or outdated. At 5 months in, I was introduced to a Mothercraft Nurse and I couldn’t believe the simple tips she gave me and how they made the biggest difference to my little one’s sleep – and my confidence!
As much as Kiindred is focused around education, it’s around lifestyle as well – and focused on mum. So how is mum feeling, how can we support mum (and of course dad!) The app is age-based, so we can identify exactly how old the little one is (or how pregnant you are) and make sure we can give specific and relevant advice, guidance and things to look out for – oh, and of course recommended products too!
How important do you think community and connection are for both new and experienced parents?
I think it’s extremely important. I was hesitant to join Mother’s Group, but I didn’t have any friends who had kids at the same time so my husband encouraged me to and now they are some of our closest friends. Especially in the current climate, online plays a huge part and we might not be able to have as many physical connections at the moment but we have such incredible resources where you can make contact with other mums online and experts and get that support. We all want to feel connected and to know that we’re not alone, that other parents are going through the same things.
How does Kiindred support parents in their day to day lives?
We empower parents to feel confident in their own parenting. Because if you are armed with the right information, at the right time – that’s powerful! It means you can stay one step ahead at any given time. Sure each child it’s different but a lot of their basic needs are quite simple, especially in those first months. Having credible information that is easy to follow, can make all the difference.
How would you describe your parenting style?
I think that it really depends on any given day. Having a business and three small kids can be stressful (and busy) so everyone requires something different from me. If I had to wrap it up, I would say practical and unashamedly routined – with a bit of fun thrown in.
How do you balance being a mum and a boss?
I never feel like I’ve been able to achieve balance but have a lot of experience with blending the two! I would say that I am always in tune with what each child needs from me and set realistic expectations – I can’t do it all. So there are definitely moments where something has to give – I just make sure I don’t carry any guilt.
Why is there so much guilt around motherhood?
I think because we all want what’s best for our little ones and we are always striving to be that perfect mum. Nobody is perfect, although social media might paint it this way. I have definitely had moments of guilt early on but quickly learnt it doesn’t serve a purpose. Keep telling yourself that you are doing the best you can, at that particular time. As long as your little one is fed and safe and loved – you are doing a great job.
A parent’s day can be crazy, what is your favourite time of the day?
On a normal day, it would be coming home to the kids. Decompressing on the way home, walking into lots and lots of squeals and cuddles and then that precious time together reading stories and getting ready for sleep. Lately, I have been spending extra time with my 5-year-old doing meditation to help send her off to sleep. That’s probably the best moment.
What’s the best parenting advice you’ve received?
This isn’t advice as such, but it was a game-changing tip I received when my baby was a few months old about awake times. Finding those ideal windows for putting them down for sleep and then better understanding their developmental needs. I loved this so much, it inspired a lot of the initial content in the app!
How do you switch off?
At the moment I am always on.. and never really disconnect fully. This is a period of our lives that we know will be busy and tough (we had 3 kids under 3.5 years and a business ) – but we know it’s not forever. I do find solace in the simple things though, like getting on the floor playing LEGO with the kids.
What does your regular morning routine look like?
This can vary depending on if it’s a school day or not. But generally, it starts with my eldest two at the breakfast table before rest of the house wakes up for breakfast. I need to get myself ready before they all wake up because it’s then go-go-go. We are quite routined, so everyone knows what is expected of them – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t go pear-shaped sometimes. We’ve had our fair share of tough negotiations to get everyone out of the house in time – especially last year with our eldest starting Kindy!
What’s your best mum hack?
Organisation! I make sure everything has a home – and the kids know this too. I think it helps to keep the house in order. The kids might not always adhere to it of course but if they consistently observe it from when they are little and then will start to help out as they grow. Kids love helping out and feeling important so if they know where it goes they can be tasked with putting it there.
What does it mean to be a woman in 2020?
I think being a woman in 2020 (Covid aside) is empowering. We are finally in a time where we are making headway with women and young girls seeing themselves as equal. This is personally something I am championing in my home. I want my kids will grow up to believe in themselves and what they desire to achieve is possible.
What advice would you give to a mum wanting to start their own business?
Take the time to plan it out and do your research. So many people go in with a great idea and spend ages building it out, only to find that there are others doing the exact same thing already. You need to make sure you are offering a solution to a problem and be nimble. I certainly made some mistakes in the beginning but that has helped to ensure we don’t make them again.
What is the best advice you’ve received as a woman?
“Don’t get upset about things you can’t change.” As women, we can tend to get emotional and we so often load ourselves with guilt, but that doesn’t move us forward. Perhaps it was my very practical Dutch side of the family that instilled this from an early age – but it really does help. Especially now more than ever!