Posted on August 9, 2015
I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented Mompreneur behind MarMar Land, Maren Gerber. MarMar land is a chic online furniture store for your little angels.
From wall decals, lamps, carpets, blankets to playhouses, creative toys & outdoor toys. All their products are not only different & adorably stylish but quality tested as well.
Tell us something people don’t know about Maren?
I am not hiding any secrets ☺. I am obsessed with Hotels especially their interior, I could surf the Internet and plan my travels for hours. I am a cappuccino addict and I can’t live without my to do lists.
What are the 5 most important things to you?
My kids, my family and friends, travelling, MarMarLand, a great night out with my husband and friends
What was your main inspiration?
I was always interested in interior design. I love to have nice things around me. My style used to be very minimalistic but of course with little toddlers running around, I had to do a few changes to our interior but I refused to put ugly, plastic, “made in China” toys in my living room or teddy bear and princess bedding in my kid’s rooms. So I started to search for products, which are stylish, of high quality, preferably organic and fun for kids and adults. I found lots of amazing brands but they were not available in the UAE. For example the Jupiduu slides. They are made of wood; look extremely stylish but so much fun for little kids. Or the Luckyboysunday knitted toys; made of 100% baby alpaca wool, which makes them incredibly soft, combined with a super cool design.
How did the name “Mar Mar Land” come about?
MarMarLand comes from my children’s names: from my daughter Marleni (3) and my son Marnus (1). I have added the “land” to highlight that we would like to help parents to create spaces, where their children love to play, relax or sleep. Spaces with room for imagination and creativity, rooms, where children feel safe and special being in their own little “land”.
With such a busy schedule, how do you manage to stay in shape?
I can’t give any great advise on this one. I just don’t have time to do any sports at the moment and I have to admit I hate running or going to the gym. But I am planning for a long time to start with yoga and pilates again. I think I am lucky with my genes because I was never on a diet in my life. Generally I don’t like fast food and prefer fresh preferably organic food but we order food at least twice a week because I just don’t have time for cooking. And as being German I really love some good bread.
Any quick tips for getting ready on the go?
I like clothes with are easy to wear, I like dresses, jumpsuits etc. that you just put on and you are ready. I am not a mix and match type of person. I also wear silk trousers or jeans with a plain white top a lot. I just add a nice bag and flat shoes. I need maybe 5 Minutes for my Make up. I use a good moisturizer, sunscreen, a light foundation, mascara, a bit blusher and eye shadow, lipgloss and I am ready for a normal day.
How do you maintain work life and time with your kids? Do you set hours per week dedicated to MarMar Land?
I don’t really set dedicated hours for work and kids but I try to work when the kids are at nursery and school and in the evenings. We do something together nearly every afternoon even if it is just going to the playground for 1 hour and we have breakfast and dinner together. The good thing about my work is that I can do a lot from home and I have a great maid who is taking care of household and helps with the kids. But I have to say it is either work or kids, I don’t have much time to read a book, watch TV, go shopping or meet friends at the moment.
What are the main challenges you come across as a Mompreneur?
Honestly I was not really facing any big challenges. Maybe my experience as Operations Manager helped, too. The thing, which is new and a challenging for me is the PR and social media part. I think I could do much better in getting the word out about MarMarLand.
How do you go about fixing that?
I try my best and ask people for help. It always a good idea to ask people for help. There are so many women out here in the UAE who have started their own business and are happy to share their experiences and give some advise.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
“Kids are happy if their mom is happy” and spend quality time with your kids. Work time is work time but if you spend time with your kids put your mobile away.
What’s your advice to mothers who want to start their own businesses?
Just do it. But you have to decide if you are looking to do something as a hobby next to your kids or if you want to start a serious business because it is not easy to run a company and it will take a great amount out of your time.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I would love to have more time to go to the Spa but as a quick fix I bake some muffins or cake with my daughter or scroll through Instagram and have a coffee.
And finally take me through a day in Maren’s life..
I get up between 6am and 6.30am after checking Instagram and my emails, prepare breakfast and snack and lunch boxes, get dressed and ready, drop off my son at nursery and go to the office to work in my “other” job 4 days a week. At 12.30 I pick up my son and at 1.30 my daughter. My son takes a nap and my daughter relaxes on the couch (with the ipad ☹), which gives me one hour to work. In the afternoon we go to the playground, play dates or classes. In between I order Aramex, answer emails and customer calls and post on social media.
Back home we have dinner and some playtime. At around 7pm the kids go to bed. They both don’t fall asleep on their own and when I am lucky I can sneak out of my son’s room at 7.30pm.
In the evening it is my lounge chair, tea, chocolate and nuts and my laptop nearly every day.
You can follow Maren on their instagram page @marmarland or visit their site www.marmarland.com