Mumtrepreneur: Salem Baxter of Root2Tip
Mumtrepreneur: Salem Baxter of Root2Tip
Salem Baxter is the founder of the natural hair care brand, Root2Tip. Sal is also a mother of 5. In this interview, she shares her experience of being a mumtrepreneur and tips she has for other mumtrepreneurs.
When did you first become an mumtrepreneur?
I always thought about being an entrepreneur from when I was about 11.
My mum always had her own business. She used to have a catering company, then went onto have her own restaurant and she always used to involve us from a very young age.
I remember running around function halls and serving corporate clients to help her with her catering business from the age of about 7/8. This was just normal to me.
Before Root2Tip, I had a catering company called Smuice, which ended in around 2007. It was a combination of smoothies and juice. We were a vegetarian south American- inspired brand. I’m half Jamaican and half Guyanayan and was raised vegetarian so this inspired this.
How do you find managing being a mother and business owner?
It’s quite challenging, to be honest with you.
However, I first became a mumtrepreneur when launching Root2Tip as I was pregnant with my daughter. After Smuice, I fell into starting Root2Tip.
I find it quite challenging managing both because I love business but I love my children too, you have to try and create a balance.
What I try to do is get my children involved.
My daughter has been all over Europe with me participating in workshops. We launched her YouTube channel which is focused on hair when she was just 9 years old. She’s now 15! She loves her hair, it’s super long and healthy.
And even my son has come to events and sold things. So I always try to get my kids involved.
I also speak to my children about having their own businesses as well. I always encourage them to be leaders and not followers and to think outside the box.
So I’d say it’s quite a challenging thing, but if you include your children in your business journey, and teach them from a young age, it’s much easier.
Working from home more and having those set days for family time, is the best way to do that I think.
What tips do you have for mothers wanting to become a mumtrepreneur?
Think about it because managing the two are very challenging.
So if you find a business that you are naturally good at, that you can do whilst you’re sleeping, breastfeeding on the phone and it’s not a problem for you, for example, then it’s going to make life a lot easier.
So for me it’s always about hair and I’ve been focused on my daughter’s hair when she was younger and built a business that will help other children enjoy their hair as much as she does.
That’s made it easier for me.
So, if you have a passion, marrying that with motherhood is going to be the safest bet.
What are your thoughts on Generational Wealth?
I think it’s a quality narrative to have. We don’t really think about it enough in the Black community, due to systematic oppression, etc.
We are always disproportionately affected by so many things and on so many levels. Even down to COVID-19 our treatment in hospitals tends to be a lot worse than our white counterparts, so we have to be careful on so many levels.
But I think that generational wealth is something we have to teach our children.
For me, it’s about having a sustainable business that my husband and I can then leave to our family when we pass away.
It’s really important to me that we build a DNA for generational wealth in the Black community. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.
What do you love most about being a mum?
Unconditional love. Children are very different and challenging haha. They all have their own unique personalities and they teach you something about yourself too.
What do you love most about being a mumtrepreneur?
Being creative and seeing something you’ve had in your mind come to life. It’s the same with children too; when you teach them something and they begin to implement it.
So entrepreneurship and motherhood are quite similar to me. I like the creativity of it and seeing something manifest and grow.
I also like the flexibility entrepreneurship gives you with your family and not being tied down to someone else’s schedule in a PAYE job, for example. I’ve done that before, and felt trapped.
I like the freedom to be yourself.
I love being a mumtrepreneur!
Written By: Maxine Harrison – a freelance writer and founder of the Remi Reports blog – a blog helping freelance creatives build their business and lifestyle. She has published pieces in The Independent and The Voice Newspaper.
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