There are certain people that I come across in my life that I just click with immediately and it feels like I’ve known them forever. Julie Hide from Parenting Hub is one of these people and I have never even met her face to face, but seriously it feels like I have.
I can’t remember exactly when or how I met Julie Hide but it was through my main business website which was initially an online baby store when I launched it in 2012. I am going to take an educated guess here and say that I believe I contacted her first to advertise my business on her website but I can’t be 100% sure about that.
I remember advertising with Julie once and we struck up a firm friendship that has continued over the years.
The first thing that struck me about Julie was her willingness to go all out and give me advice and support in the online business world which I was completely new to. I was a new mother trying to start up an online business and I was so wet behind the ears.
I have come to realize how important it is as a mompreneur to have support from other mompreneurs. I sent Julie a list of questions for her to answer for my website so you can get to know her.
Julie Hide from Parenting Hub – Interview
Tell Us A Bit About Yourself and Your Company
I am a mother to 5 beautiful children. My eldest is 22 years old and works at the Monte Casino Birds Gardens as a curator. Very proud of him as he has worked incredibly hard to get to where he is today. I think have two sets of twins Andrea and Alyssa. Andrea is in mainstream schooling in Grade 11 and Alyssa is a homeschooled free spirited individual. Emily and Claude are also homeschooled and are 12 years old.
I work with them and try to run my business each day which can be a task and a half. Trying to concentrate or meet clients deadlines can often mean long hours or weird hours to get the job done.
I actually never started Parenting Hub but purchased it about 9 years go. I received an email from the previous owner (I must have been on her mailing list somehow) and roped my poor brother into purchasing the business for me. (He is one in a million)
Parenting Hub was this tiny little lost business. I knew nothing about websites, a little to a lot about marketing and figured that I could easily learn this. I have failed many times with it but for the most part, I was just so lucky that I had the right people around me and clever google to help me a long the way.
I have since built many websites but my main focus is Parenting Hub. I breathe it every day and often have to remind myself that it is good to take some time off.
As you can imagine, my life is busy. With 4 kids in the home and various activities for them to attend to, managing home life can be crazy to say the least. My husband is also disabled and so although he cant do everything that he wants to do, recently he took the load off me by helping the kids with school every day. It is a big relief to have one thing off my list.
I get to do it all and I have no idea how I do it. From making meals, cleaning the house each week (kids with asthma sure make you keep your home clean), the garden maintenance and then my most crazy experience was learning how to change my brake pads on my car this past weekend! With my darling husband sitting beside me in his wheelchair and Claude as my assistant, my car is back to being a safe one.
Many people wonder why I take on so much with my home life. Why don’t I have a maid, why don’t I just take my car in to be repaired. Well you see, firstly I believe that I can learn anything. Gender specific tasks really don’t sit well with me… I may battle at first but there will be no way that I will not ever try to do something and most times I succeed.
Maids and the fluffy things in life are nice, but I love my home and I love my family and as crazy as it sounds, I WANT TO DO THESE THINGS. I feel that I am a better person for doing it.
Ok enough about me and that crap.
What Inspired You To Start Your Own Business?
MONEY AND TIME. I had done this whole 8 – 5 job and I hated it. My last boss told me to choose between my family and my job (working from 5.30 in the morning for him until 4 each day) – I chose my family. Then I decided I never wanted to be held to someone else’s rules again. I wanted to do it all and was confident and risky enough to try.
How Has Your Business Changed Over Time?
When I purchased Parenting Hub, they were achieving around 3000 visits each year, I managed to grow this to 120 0000 min per month. From small tweaks to new looks to exciting and different offerings. I often see my methods of advertising that I started with my clients being used by my competitors. I really don’t mind this because it shows that a concept that I worked on works well. It is actually inspiring.
What Has Been Your Biggest Setbacks and Challenges For Your Business?
Time! Deadlines, family and life is hard to balance. When a site gets hacked (which mine has) it takes so much extra time over and above the time you need to actually earn the money that you need each month.
How Do You Manage To Find Balance When It Comes To Work, Family and Looking After Yourself?
Being selfish. There is nothing wrong with taking a little time out for yourself. It does not need to be long but short moments by yourself or doing something for yourself really helps. Learn that there are loads of times you can feel guilty in life, staying sane is not one of those times.
What Tips Can You Share For Mothers Starting A Business Today in South Africa?
Don’t over think it. Don’t screw people you work with and build a tribe that you can trust. I have two people that I met through Parenting Hub and both started as advertisers. Lynne and my relationship developed when she was marketing her online store before taking on the world of blogging!
Alison was also a client of mine. We built a beautiful relationship together and have helped each other grow so much.
Chat to people in the industry and different sections of the industry to keep you going when things get rough. You need a strong tribe!
Did I mention my tribe don’t even stay in the same province as me! Joys of technology but a week never goes by where we are not helping each other or chatting or moaning – it will keep you sane
What Are Your Dreams and Goals For The Future For Your Business?
To get bigger. As crazy as it sounds, I service over 400 clients now and I want more. I have the small clients, I have the big clients but I just want to be able to connect with as many business owners as I can and build long lasting relationships with them.
What Parts Of Running Your Business Do You Like The Most?
The flexibility helps. So I really do enjoy that. I love that I can take my kids to sports and watch them or play in the garden with them.
What Parts Of Running Your Business Do You Dislike The Most?
The flexibility. When you run your own business you can easily not use your time effectively. Keeping this on track can be hard.
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I am so excited to have interviewed @juliehide99 from @parenting_hub and be able to share her story with you. It is so fitting that she should be the first person in my Inspiring People category on my blog because she was the first female entrepreneur that I connected with when I started my online store in 2012. From the moment we met she was supportive, positive and helpful. ___ Julie is an amazing mother of 5 (including twins) and a fantastic wife to her hubby @shaunhide. What inspires me about Julie is not only her strong work ethics and willingness to empower other women, but her resilience and strength, especially when it comes to her family. ___ Julie’s husband, Shaun, was in a harrowing car accident years ago and although nobody expected him to walk again (or have kids) he defied all odds and managed to walk again (and sire 5 kids)… ___ Unfortunately things are now going wrong and Shaun is now wheelchair bound and he is in need of medical treatment to enable him to walk again. ___ While I was finishing up preparing my interview for my website yesterday I listened to a podcast on The Good Things Guy with @brentlindeque interviewing Shaun and OMG it is incredible knowing what he went through and seeing how positive and full of humour he is. I added a link to that interview on my website for you to check out. ___ Click on the link in my bio to read my interview with Julie. ☝️☝️☝️☝️ ___ And @alisondeary from @the_papery_stationery I’ve got my eye on you for an interview – you were both my rocks right from the start! I will see you on Sunday at the @boobalooexpo ❤ ___ And Julie I told Shaun to take a pic for me… even if he had to say it was part of his private collection. ? . . . . . . . . . . #parentinghub #inspiringpeople #inspiringwomen #mompreneurs #womeninbusiness #womenwhohustle #businesswomen #parentingdirectory #womenempoweringwomen #womensupportingwomen #womenempowerwomen #womensupportwomen #bosschick #tribe #mompreneur #womenentrepreneur
You’ve Been Through Some Big Challenges With Regards To Your Husband’s Health, Can You Tell Us A Bit About This?
In 2005, my husband Shaun had a blowout on the highway and while attempting to get help he was struck by a motor vehicle in the fast lane, driven over and dragged for around 900 meters and had several cars drive over him. Not a single driving that hit him that night stopped to assist him and as a result he was left in the fast lane until a good samaritan saw his eyes in the road and swerved to not hit him again.
Shaun was airlifted to hospital with multiple injuries. Everything ranging from head injuries, internal bleeding, reputed spleen, broken pelvis, broken hips, broken spine, multiple breaks to the legs and ankles.
What most people don’t know is that Shaun and I grew up together but were not married at the time of his accident. It is however because of his accident that we are together.
I first went to see Shaun the morning of his accident and never left his side. I visited him every day and sometimes twice a day until his was discharged 3 months later. Initially I just wanted to be there for his sister, but I was drawn to Shaun in a way that I cannot explain to this day. I just had a need to be with him.
On the day he woke from his coma, I was in the room with his sister and she asked him if he knew who I was, he response was “No, but she has beautiful blue eyes”. To this day, he says that he has only seen my eyes that blue on that day and the day we married.
Anyway so after forming this fantastic friendship whilst Shaun was in hospital, it finally reached the day he was discharged and I thought that was great but knew I would miss seeing him. 2 months later we started dating and within 4 months of his discharge we moved in together to start our life as a couple!
That was 14 years ago. Shaun miraculously recovered and started walking in fact before we moved into together. He always experienced challenges but nothing that we could not face if we were together to get through it.
Then in 2018, I started noticing small changes, more aches and pains and when talking to Shaun about it, he simply thought it was a muscle problem. You see he used to be a coffee technician carrying heavy machine (ass with the broken spine should not be carrying heavy machines, but money is money) so I can understand why he thought muscle but also know that he tends to hide this sort of thing.
So what does any good wife do? Call their husband out on their bull-shit thats what. I sat him down on the Saturday in April this year and told him that I could see that there was something wrong. I could see him battling and at this point if him holding himself up using a trolley whilst shopping is not a sign, then I did not know what else would be.
He fessed up to his legs starting to go completely numb. Driving one day, he could not feel his legs and I think he realised that day just how much at risk he was at continuing down this path.
After loads of fussing and fighting with him, he agreed that he would go and see someone at the clinic.
I found out later that day that they wanted to take him to hospital in an ambulance due to the problems that he was experiencing. We went from doctor to doctor, trying to get answers as to the problems.
I knew that it could be a few things.
- Spinal cord damage had caught up with him
- Hip replacements – they never did this initially as they did not expect him to walk
- Nerve damage as he had cut some nerves in his spine with the initial accident
Shaun’s work so kindly agreed to keep him off work and paid for him to get initial X-rays and an orthopaedic appointment to see what is going on.
Shaun’s spine and hip have fused together. This is the main concern. He requires an urgent hip replacement and thereafter they will consider spinal surgery if he is a candidate.
This is all good and well when you have a medical aid. We don’t! We have an undertaking of medical expenses from the RAF but it only covers 40% of his medical expenses as he was found 60% at fault for walking on a highway as it is illegal.
Shaun has his first appointment at the spinal clinic in our government hospital in January 2020 to have another assessment done. Thereafter, he will be booked for surgery with a waiting list of around 5 years before his first operation. This will also be determined if he is a financial candidate for the hip replacement. … sad but true
It has left us looking at raising funds in various ways for him to get the medical treatment he needs. In a partial private hospital it will cost around R250 000 for his hip replacement operation, provided that nothing goes wrong.
My heart breaks to have him become so dependent on me, to watch as his arms go numb or how he falls over trying to get into the bathroom. To have him worry about me because he knows that I have it all resting on me and I would not have it any other way. Shaun is my best friend and my partner for life through all the shit things and all the good things so each day I will work together with him on ideas to raise funds and somehow we will get there!
As you can see from Julie’s interview she and her family have had their fair share of challenges and she has dealt with all of this while building a successful business online.
I recently came across a post on Brent Lindeque’s site Good Things Guy where Brent interviewed Shaun in a podcast and I was so captivated by it.
He has a great sense of humour and such a great outlook on life, especially in light of the harrowing details of the ordeal that he has been through.
I really recommend that you take a listen here.
Visit Shaun’s crowdfunding page – if you are not able to assist with a donation keep in mind that Sharing Is Caring and can make a massive difference.
You can find Julie Hide’s business here: