It's been a year since the birth of The Modern Bump. I wanted to share how we first started. I could actually write a whole book about the experiences I had in the months of trying to figure out my life, I mean my goals.. ;) But here is my story in a nutshell.
Growing up, I’ve always been a nurturer. This characteristic helped me decide to become a teacher and boy was I passionate about it. I attended the University of Guam and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and then my Master’s Degree two years later. I knew that teaching will be my life until I retired, however that all changed last year.
After losing our third child from a stillbirth, I realized how I needed to really prioritize my own family especially my own children. Teaching certainly wasn’t something that would allow that because of my natural passion in working hard to reach all of my different learners. This meant that I normally spent hours after work prepping for the following day preparing lessons, activities, or checking work. I needed to find another career path that allowed me to be more flexible while still being able to help provide for our family. It was a really long path in deciding… After a few months Igave up thinking about what I could do and started the next school year in August 2016.
It wasn’t until one day in November 2016 when I was preparing an activity for my students, my daughter said something to me that changed the entire course of the next few months. She touched my arm, looked at me softly and said, “Mommy, can you please play? Just 5 minutes?” I felt like reality slapped me in the face really hard. I mean, my daughter was right! I was busy… too busy to play for “5 minutes”. I thought to myself how much of an idiot I was for allowing myself to do this. I’ve lost a child, and I’m not spending time with the children that I had right in front of me. I went right back to thinking about what I can do for a career change.
That is when the idea of opening a maternity store happened. I did my research and made plans. It wasn’t long into this when I found a place to purchase maternity wear. I obtained my business license and started selling online, via Facebook. I then wanted to start a brick & mortar as well so I was advised to meet with a business advisor for help on this new business journey. I met with the most helpful business advisor, Ms. Jane, in mid-November. She showed me my options and how I could get started. The entire process was definitely scary... Creating a business and financial plan, meeting with the bank to get more information on a business loan, etc. I backed out of going to the bank for money to help me open a brick & mortar and instead talked to my husband. I asked him if I could use our savings to open up a small brick & mortar place. Of course, I had to lay out my idea and assured him that I will work hard to make it work. HE SAID YES!
I talked to my oldest daughter who pretty much inspired me to move forward and explained to her that I would be a bit busy for the next couple of months. She was so understanding and REALLY excited about the idea of opening a store. It took me two months to make my plans a reality and so we opened our 200 sq. ft boutique on the second floor of the Agana Shopping Center on January of 2017. It was the best feeling ever regardless of how small the space was. I was learning more and more about the business life and of course, had the advice of moms and moms-to-be as to what they wished we had. I definitely worked on those. Three months later, I contacted our business advisor again and let her know that I was ready to go bigger. I must add, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for the first three months but I knew what I could do and how I could make this work.
Plans were made and finalized, meetings happened, and lots of partnerships established. With the guidance of our super awesome business advisor, our Modern Bump team, friends, family, and dear customers, we were ready to open our doors at the new location on the first floor of Agana shopping Center. This time it is over 1000 sq. feet and definitely fits more merchandise!
I am so thankful for the patience of my family, especially my husband, The Modern Bump Team, and our business advisor, Ms. Jane. Without her assistance, I definitely wouldn’t have decided to get bigger in order to serve our community even better. And I cannot thank YOU enough, my dear customers, for your support! You are a huge part of my motivation and inspiration to move forward with the mission of The Modern Bump.
I have learned so much through the hardships, failures, successes, and lessons in just one year but it helped shape the mindset I have as a woman in business. I have met so many beautiful people and were given lots of opportunities to grow, empower, and network. There are so many more things in-store for the Modern Bump and I still have lots to learn. I'm ready. ;)
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my little story.
Ednalyna N. Martin, the teacher turned entrepreneur