Izabela: revolutionizing the conventional workspace organization
Izabela lives her “accidental” dream! She believes that women can take care of their kids, and at the same time have a career. So she revolutionized how women work by disrupting the conventional workspace organization and rules.
Please introduce yourself and Bebemoss.
I am a French expat living in Turkey for about 12 years now, mama of 2 boys (4 and 7) married to the love of my life and as I like calling myself I am an accidental social entrepreneur.
Where does the name Bebemoss come from?
Our company designs and manufactures goods for babies and kids. For those fluent in crafts and more precisely knitting, therms moss stitch is a knitting stitch, one of my favourites to use for kids and babies since it makes very soft fabric. Moss is also representative of nature and greenery, as we try our best as a company and as a family to live in respect with nature.
What inspired you to start making toys for children?
I love design and hand craft since a very young age. My grandmother and then my mother in law were serious craft women and I learned to knit and sew very young. I also hate mass market products, especially plastic toys. So when I became a mum I wanted my kids to have unique handmade items. I had complications during my 2nd pregnancy which obliged me to bed rest for over 4 months. In order to stay sane and occupied I knitted all the time, so much in fact that it was way too much for my own new baby and thus the accidental in accidental entrepreneur: my husband came up with the idea of selling them online. The social part came at a later stage of this adventure when I was just not able to care for 2 young boys and knit day and night to finish the incoming orders. Therefore I needed a team.
Tell us a bit about your team.
Our Team is a group of Mums (of all ages and all cultural backgrounds). the only thing they all have in common is that they live near Pendik, a suburb of Istanbul and they are all very crafty and hard working mums. Most of those women are really in need of an income and all have families and homes to take care of. The concept of either taking care of your kids or working is disturbing to me somehow. I need lots of time with my kids and for being a hands on mama, but I also need an outlet for my creativity and professional fulfilment.
Some of my team members have different reasons (economic, education, cultural) which don’t allow them to work in a conventional environment. Together we revolutionized to some extent how women work by disrupting the conventional workspace organisation and rules. When you are a bebemoss team member you can work as much or as little as you want or need, either at our atelier or from your own home. When you come to the atelier you can bring along your kids as we organized the space to accommodate them comfortably. Interestingly a local governmental employment agency in another suburb conducted a study recently and they came up with the same conclusion, there is a big need for women to work but with more flexibility in order to conciliate easily their care taker and home maker duties. We will hopefully soon join forces in creating another production centre. So if business continues to develop we will have 25 women in Pendik area and another 25 or so in Beylikduzu (another suburb of Istanbul), all busy crafting bebemoss goods.
Please tell our readers why fair trade and organic goods are important.
I could talk about this for a long time and give you millions of reasons to buy fair-trade and organic goods: from protection of the Planet to human rights. I am sure many people are aware what fair trade practices mean; sharing the profits better and in a fair way, promoting sustainability and higher social and environmental standards, and prohibiting child labour, etc.
Using locally sourced organic raw materials ensures the respect of our Planet and toys without harmful substances. But the most important of all is because we can, we can start taking responsibility and spending our money wisely and we have the power to ultimately change the world we live in. For me, consumerism is acceptable only when you buy with higher purpose.
What is one impact you feel this venture has had on you and your family?
Meeting amazing women who taught me tolerance and humility and very often showed me different perspectives on life and business, in addition to values I share with my husband and try to teach my kids. As a family we consume more responsibly and we live simpler and I believe happier lives.
*You can visit her page here: http://bebemoss.com/