Dina Maktabi is the founder of Kensington Mums, a parent network established in 2011 with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences to help fellow Kensington mums learn from one another. Today the network command an audience of London based mothers, many of whom live outside of the Kensington area but tap into the community for its blend of events, advice and connectivity
What inspired you to start your business?
I set up Kensington Mums over 8 years ago as a way to connect with other like minded mothers with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences to help fellow mums learn from one another. What inspired me I would say would be my experience, I went through periods of loneliness and isolation not being around my family for the support that I needed. I was also the first one from my group of friends to have children. Kensington Mums was created as a way to meet and mingle with other mothers but also while working flexibly around my children and by providing solid information on our platform to help empower and inspire other mothers.
What is your favourite West London park?
Hands down this would be Holland Park as I grew up there playing with my friends after school and on weekends. There was a huge adventure playground that we used to play in for many hours. Hidden inside Holland Park is a gem, known as Kyoto Gardens, that’s one of my favourite hang-outs. I then enjoyed going there with my kids so it brings lots of great memories, as a little girl and now as a mother.
When did you first realize you wanted to run your own business?
It’s not something I envisaged doing, it’s something that developed naturally when my second child was born. I felt there was a need at the time to create a platform for mothers.
What were the most difficult obstacles you faced starting up?
I had no clue or skill set in place to run a website or online magazine. It took a lot of training and workshops and meeting different people with various backgrounds with whom I worked on the identity of the brand and what I wanted it to represent: a platform run for mothers by mothers, providing them with solid information by experts and keeping them in the loop with the local scoop.
What activities do you enjoy doing as a family? (Update: this was written in non Coronavirus times!)
We love to go to the park and discover our local museums. They have lots to offer including free workshops, tours and hands on activities. But most of all, we all enjoy eating, be at home or outside and watching Netflix!
What motivates you to run your business, what is your ‘why’?
I love to connect mothers. We have lots of international and expat mothers and many of them have met via our online platform, events and meets up. This brings joy to my heart and something I am truly passionate about, because its important for mothers to find their tribe no matter where they are in the world. Motherhood is a wonderful and life-changing experience that comes with abundant joy but also many different challenges, and finding someone you can rely to is something very important.
What are your main business/ self-development goals for the next few years?
To grow organically and find the balance from within whilst juggling work, life, kids, house, husband and still keep my sanity.
Do you have any advice for a parent thinking of starting their own business?
My 3 top tips on anyone wanting to start their business would be: do it with passion or not at all, do your research and outsource when you can. Its not easy, and it all requires loads of multitasking and time management skills.
What is your proudest achievement in your business?
My proudest achievement in my business is growing organically and reaching out and connecting with local mums, international mothers, celebrities and royal family members too. This gives me great joy and also to all the friends I have made along the way, who have pushed me and inspired me along the way.
Where can people find you?
We have a website which you can subscribe to our newsletter here. Connect with Kensington Mums on Instagram, and download our app for free on itunes and Google Play. Check out their upcoming events and meet ups going on in February at Sweaty Betty and in March in time for Mothers day.