Female founded. Family led.
The birth of a baby and a business
For many female founders who are also moms, it can be a continuous balancing act leaning into their entrepreneurial passion while caring for a family and running a household.
I knew that founding a business while five months pregnant with my second child would be a balancing act like no other. With an active toddler at home and raging pandemic outside, it seemed the perfect time to focus on family, not business.
Yet, while still in my second trimester, the incorporation papers were signed and Mouche was born under the ethos, female founded, but family led.
An idea that couldn’t wait
In late 2019, my daughter began bringing home runny noses on a seemingly daily basis from daycare, so facial tissue boxes were stuffed in every corner of the house for easy access. These, frankly, ugly facial tissue boxes now sat on every coffee table and countertop that I had spent so long styling just right.
I wanted a facial tissue box that would fit in with my home decor, not distract from it. Also, it would be a welcome bonus if these tissues were a bit more sustainable than the ones made from tree pulp I was currently using.
Mouche unbleached bamboo facial tissues were born. No trees. No bleach. No eyesores.
Work and life as a whole, not as a choice
I enlisted my husband, Eric, not just as a cofounder in the business, but also an equal partner at home. The first Mouche meetings were taken as a team, equally trading off changing a dirty diaper or entertaining a toddler while the other parent continued the call.
Neither of us chose a role as full-time entrepreneur or full-time caregiver. Instead, each of us takes turns diving into the work when the opportunities arise, and also equally sharing the childcare and housework responsibilities outside of the business.
As such, Mouche is family-led by default. There is no work-life balance—simply work and life as a whole. The ethos works because the family leans in together to the work and at home. The parenthood grind and entrepreneur hustle happen side by side, so we can each try to have the best of both worlds.
A business for our most precious spaces, people, and planet
Mouche creates products that always consider their practical place in your home first. A product doesn’t work unless it fits in with its surroundings, both in function and appearance. Mouche designs products that you can proudly display in your home.
As a family-led business, Mouche considers the impact our products have on the people that use them, especially our youngest and most precious. Mouche chooses materials that are better for you, favouring natural over artificial and fewer additives over more.
Finally, Mouche chooses products or materials that minimize the impact on the environment and maximize sustainability. Our goal is to have a positive impact on our climate and the longevity of our planet. Products are always designed with sustainability in mind.
Continuing to try, fail, learn, and grow
Whether we're trying to get a toddler out the door with her toque and snowsuit, or designing our next Mouche marketing campaign, we've learned one thing: you won't get it right the first time.
Parenting can be a crash course in failure. One day, after nine months, you become a parent and are tasked with caring for another human. You have no idea what you're doing, but you try out of necessity, fail a lot, and then learn and grow into a more competent version of yourself the next day.
Such is entrepreneurship. Suddenly, you give birth to an idea and you nurse it into reality. You don't really know what you're doing, but you try, fail, learn, and do better the next time.
As we continue on this journey, we hope our family-led approach proves successful so other mom-preneurs and daddy-caregivers can make a go of it too.
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Erin and Eric Arthrell live in Toronto, Canada. While they're working on Mouche, they can also be found enjoying a meal around the kitchen table with their children, Elin and Max, or taking a family walk by Lake Ontario with their dog, Henry.