Mom to Know: Mansi Hans on How to Enjoy the Mompreneur Journey
When Mansi Hans’ daughter Maahi was just eight-years-old, she came home from school crying because she had just received a B- in art class. “Since I was an artist, Maahi was worried that I would be disappointed in her,” says Mansi. “But even more devastating was that Maahi was disappointed in herself. That grade made my child doubt her ability to create. And as a mother and an artist, it made me uncomfortable to know that at such a young age, she critiqued her creativity and became self-conscious of her art.”
This one afterschool moment inspired Mansi to create a hands-on method that would integrate art and creativity at home, a process that led to the launch of A Colorful Affair. A Colorful Affair is a creative art studio located in downtown Naperville where visitors can explore all different kinds of imaginative adventures—from canvas and glass painting to candle and soap making—both in the studio and at their home. “It’s a place where we celebrate self-expression,” adds Mansi. “It’s a place where you can create happy for yourself and others.”
Although Mansi is surrounded by creativity and happiness each day, her mompreneur journey hasn’t always been easy. “The biggest challenge was just starting,” says Mansi. “There isn’t an exact blueprint for how to do this, and sometimes you don’t even know what questions to ask. You don’t know what you don’t know.” For Mansi, and a lot of other “accidental entrepreneurs,” learning how to do everything on your own can be a bit overwhelming and tapping into resources—both with online tools, offline classes, and building a solid network of support—helps keep the process moving and alleviates anxiety.
Another mompreneur challenge? Work/life balance. “It’s a myth,” explains Mansi. “The idea that each day can be fully balanced between family and work is not very realistic. Some days, I have to spend more time at the studio, and other days, my family needs the bulk of my attention. My focus is more on quality of time instead of quantity. I am always where I feel I need to be, and when I’m there, I’m present in the moment. That is a way better definition of balance for me.”
The juggle is real—and not only for mom business owners but for moms in general. “We expect too much of ourselves,” says Mansi. “We need to remember not to take ourselves so serious all the time, to celebrate our successes and our failures. Mistakes are just learning opportunities—It means we are willing to take risks, that we are moving forward and making progress. We are way more resilient than we know.”
Mansi’s tip for not sweating the small stuff? When worry and doubt creep in, Mansi takes a break from the moment and asks herself if this thing will be important to her in–
She chooses how to deal with the situation based on the answer to those questions. “If it’s not something that is going to be important in two hours, it certainly doesn’t deserve two hours of your time worrying. It really changes your perspective on everything.”
Mansi, her husband Vineet, her daughter Maahi (who is now 15) and their beloved dog Veer, live in Naperville. And although being a mom and a business owner is sort of like riding a rollercoaster—“the ups and downs never stop”—she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s so important to enjoy the journey as much as you do the destination,” adds Mansi.