"When I started Yano it was very much about talking to families and saying you know this is what I’m doing – I need your help. I’ve got a fantastic relationship with the family unit, I’m very lucky that my brother and my parents help.  I now have a part-time nanny who helps out and although yes she’s a part-time nanny, she is part of the family. She’s helping raise my children along with my mum and my husband, with the family, so it’s ensuring that the kids really have the emotional support.

"Always remember that your priority is your family first and foremost. The business side obviously supports them and it’s making sure that your family can balance that – but level it aside and make sure you are a parent first."

What advice can you give to parents on starting a business after having a family?

"Firstly you should never ever stop thinking because you’re a mum or a dad that you shouldn’t start up your own business. You might have had this burning dream that you’ve had for years and when you have that extra responsibility after becoming a parent you do question things. When you become a mum or a dad you think ‘actually now financial security is the most important thing’ and you start thinking ‘I’m never going to do that thing I’ve dreamt about.’

"The first thing you’ve got to do with any dream is, you’ve got to really believe in your idea and do some research behind it. Find out if there really is a need, if there really is a market for your idea. I think once you start doing research it’s going to give you the confidence to take that next step forward. Because I’ll tell you right now, there will always be somebody saying to you ‘you can’t do that, it makes no sense.’ You’ve got to be quite hard-nosed and just do it."

How did you deal with the pressure or challenges of setting Yano up?

"I’m so passionate about Yano and about supporting families. My motive of doing this - the fact that I’m really passionate about the whole brand and what it stands for, that nobody can really knock me on it. I want to help families; this is something I’ve always wanted to do. When I first started in recruitment, the real motivation and the thing I loved about it was helping people find a new job.

"Yano was always about helping people and it might seem a bit cliché, but truly for me – that’s the buzz I get – it’s about supporting people. And naturally this evolved when I had children.

"What I really love is supporting friends and family and really finding out the answers to those everyday questions that we have as parents."

What has the reaction to Yano been like?

"Parents have been really positive about it. I think that people are finding it refreshing that we have a website that’s quite contemporary in look and design, but also the articles we’ve featured as well – we’re not afraid to deal with some of the challenging issues we have on a day to day basis.

"For example next week we’re going to publish something about why parents find it hard to talk about ‘the birds and the bees’ with their children, because that is a real issue.

"It was always about inspiring parents, getting them to think and talk about things. We’re always one step further in understanding things when we talk about it and you might not agree with some of the debates we have or some of what the experts are saying, but what Yano will do is get people talking."

What’s next for Yano?

"We are looking to build children’s nurseries and this is something we will roll out UK wide. We had done designs for the nursery before finding the name. Coincidentally, when I looked at the Yanomami tribe they had Yanos [communal houses also called shabonos] and it was the centre of their community where they would all gather as a family and do what they need to as a tribe.

"And these Yanos are the same shape as our nursery designs, quite unique because they are circular.  So it just made sense – it made sense in terms of the environment and the sustainability side but also I think it’s quite a catchy name – and I love the whole idea again of bringing a different culture into it.

"Family can mean different things to different people. It can be best friends or it can be your neighbour for example. It’s different influences on the child that make them a well-rounded grown-up. And we’ve heard of that phrase ‘it takes a community to raise a child’, so the Yanomami influence all sort of made sense."

Yano is looking to become a fast-growing brand as Ann has plans to set up foundation to support local children’s projects and a World food range.

As she gets ready to head to Camp Bestival and a possible trip to Copenhagen with the family this summer, you’ll be surprised to learn that one of her top recommended family-holiday destinations is Ibiza where she holidayed last year.

A real inspiration for parents, businesswomen and children everywhere, Ann-Marie McKimm is set to take her brand to new heights and we’re sure that this won’t be the last we hear the Amazon-inspired memorable name, that is, Yano.

Find more on Ann-Marie McKimm at www.yano.co.uk


Shabana Adam @Shabana_FAM

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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