If you are thinking of a Malaysian brand of jewellery that has won the hearts of Jessica Alba and Gigi Hadid, you\u2019d think Jenn Low of Wanderlust + Co \u2013 a mumpreneur who fits the bill of what International Women\u2019s Day (IWD) is all about. She is proof that equal opportunities in a tough business world exist, a female achiever in all senses of the word, and a trendy mum to boot on top of all that. Jenn Low is one of our many mums in the IWD series on celebrating Mothers in Business. IWD is celebrated every year on March 8 to commemorate gender-equality, or more specifically \u2013 women\u2019s achievements in the workplace, businesses, politics, society, and the community. For 2021, the IWD Campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge \u2013 an apt theme in a year of so many uncertainties and challenges \u2013\u00a0and we begin by celebrating one woman\u2019s success story called Wanderlust+ Co. A homegrown fashion jewellery brand that started online as an e-commerce business from Jenn Low\u2019s bedroom floor; it has today attained international recognition by being espoused, loved, and worn by Hollywood celebrities, fashion icons, and social media influencers from all over the world. Mumpreneur Jenn Low is the founder and managing director of Wanderlust+Co; a homegrown fashion jewellery brand that has touched the hearts of the global market. What\u2019s more, in the decade since Wanderlust+ Co encompassed both the online as well as offline retail space, Jenn herself became a mum of two, where she juggles \u201cmumpreneurship\u201d of a full-fledged fashion jewellery business with the perpetual down-to-earth duties of being a mother. Motherhood takes a moment to chat with Jenn about her journey and how she handles it all while being a doting mum to Olivia and Oscar in these challenging pandemic times. Jenn's Glittering Story 1. Motherhood: Please tell us more about your humble beginnings 10 years ago. What inspired you to go into the jewellery line and how far has Wanderlust+Co gone today? At her #WCOpopupshop in Bangsar Village II. Jenn Low: When I first came up with the idea of Wanderlust + Co, I was living and working in fashion in Australia. I realised at that point, (this was before Instagram existed!), that there was not a digital jewellery brand with a design focus that is kind to our skin and our planet. Fast forward to 11 years, today we are proud to be a Malaysian-based brand with a conscious production ethos, and compete on the global stage as over 80% of our orders are export-focused. We have been lucky over the years to have strong, beautiful women like Bella and Gigi Hadid, Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, Chriselle Lim, Joan Smalls, Aimee Song, and more wear our pieces, along with our diverse groups of customers from more than 150 countries worldwide. We started exploring omni-channels with our distributors, and then ourselves, in 2019. It has been really rewarding to experience offline retailing, as well as meet and get to know our customers in person, from KL, Malaysia, Manila, Philippines, Singapore, and more. 2. Motherhood: And so, we are into our second year of the pandemic. How has it affected (or not affected) the business? What are the new ideas that have sprung up because of the pandemic? I read you gifted the Le Monde Necklace to frontliners in 2020. Tell us more about that and other \u2018community give-backs' that you may have done? Last year\u2019s Le Monde Tarot Necklace was pledged to Loveland Foundation; an organisation that supports the efforts to bring opportunities to communities of colour. Jenn Low: Managing different teams, productions, and SOPs has not been easy through this time, but we consider ourselves very lucky to be in e-commerce. Looking back through 2020, I am proud of my team for finding new ways to be creative and producing thoughtful content and products that were really authentic to us and our #WCOgirlgang. Jenn believes in paying it forward and this she has done by contributing and donating laptops to Shelter Home; a shelter for abused and neglected children located in Petaling Jaya. Late last year, we designed the Le Monde Tarot Necklace; inspired by people and communities coming together in support of one another. We've pledged a portion of our sales to Loveland Foundation; an organisation that supports the efforts to bring opportunities to communities of colour. Locally, we contributed to Shelter Home; an organisation that shelters children who have suffered from abuse, neglect, or abandoned backgrounds, and donated laptops to assist the children at the home with their online learning classes and lessons. 3. Motherhood: We have already had a run of the MCO in 2020 and by now, I think we know the drill.\u00a0 How are you prepared for the challenges for the rest of the year? Do you see new challenges ahead for the business? Are you starting new initiatives? The SS21 collection GOLDEN is a tribute to women who are growing and thriving, in spite of the challenges of the global pandemic. Jenn Low: Consumers have evolved from just wanting to purchase things that look good on the outside, to wanting their purchase to contribute to something more meaningful. With our latest SS21 collection, GOLDEN, we wanted to acknowledge how far every person has come since the outbreak of the global pandemic. It has been a challenging journey and GOLDEN is our tribute to the women who are growing and thriving, in spite of it all. The collection explores the power of manifestation \u2013 courage, mindfulness, honouring your heart, and trusting that all things are possible. These meaningful mantras are intended to bring new energy to our #WCOgirlgang through the year. 4. Motherhood: What are some tips you would offer mums and women in general about building their brand online should they decide to venture into e-commerce? What are the challenges they would most likely face? Jenn Low, a mum of two. Jenn Low: There is never a perfect time to start. So, now is as good a time as any. Be prepared as a business owner to have to embrace challenges, where you will inevitably experience \u2013 some days will be harder than others but above it all, allow yourself a mental break. We tend to be so hard on ourselves as entrepreneurs and as mums and take so much upon ourselves, but with the work-from-home setup, the line between home\/work can be blurred, so it is important to be able to call it a day, honour the work you have done, and allow yourself rest before coming back at it again tomorrow. 5. Motherhood: Let\u2019s talk about your children. I understand you have two? How old are they now? Have they started preschool? How are they coping with the MCOs, online learning classes, and the stopping and starting of schools? (Left) Jenn with Olivia and (R) Oscar. Recently, little Oscar had to go for surgery. Jenn Low: I have a four-year-old daughter, Olivia and a nearly two-year-old son, Oscar. They are both honestly such troopers all through the year and constantly inspire and frustrate me all at the same time \u2013 which is quite a talent really! Like all working mums, it has been a struggle with homeschooling, ensuring proper care and supervision at home, all whilst juggling work, as well as our new apartment renovation. I tend to feel down and sometimes overwhelmed as we are only human. I learned over the last year, the importance of keeping things really real, and acknowledging when things are hard because that can be really freeing and necessary before we jump into problem-solving mode and figuring out what is next. \u201cI believe in positive parenting, and allowing children to take ownership over their thoughts. It is important to teach them how to solve problems, have a growth mindset, be resilient, and have joy in their hearts, come what may.\u201d 6. Motherhood: I recently read on your Instagram about your son\u2019s surgeries. What happened? Many mums go through trials and tribulations like these and they have the same worries. Maybe you would like to give them some moral support and words of encouragement or perhaps, even advice on being vigilant about anything that may be amiss. Oscar\u2019s condition was spotted by his paediatrician during a regular check-up. After two surgeries, he is well on the road to recovery. Jenn Low: Early September 2020, we've learned that Oscar was born with a brain cyst, which happens to 1 in 2,000 babies. We are grateful to his paediatrician for spotting it via his larger than normal head circumference, as we would have not realised otherwise due to his on-track development at seventeen months. The two surgeries and entire experience were really challenging but I learned how resilient the human heart can be, and re-learned the importance of compassion \u2013 instantly feeling so much for any mum\/parent out there who are battling different medical situations with their children; let alone during the time of COVID-19. Overall, Oscar is recovering well and as I shared on my personal Instagram, it is super important to keep up with medical check-ups. As much as COVID-19 poses a risk when we visit the hospital\/doctor, the reality of the alternative is very real, so please do not miss your scheduled appointments and vaccinations. 7. Motherhood: What are your thoughts about bringing up children, about the importance of instilling values and giving them the kind of foundation that they can build on to rise to their challenges when they grow up? Mother-and-child moments: Jenn believes in positive parenting and allowing children to take ownership over their thoughts. Jenn Low: I read somewhere that the mindsets of children are formed by the time they are seven years old! That is just really crazy! But with that, I believe in positive parenting and allowing children to take ownership over their thoughts. It is important to teach them how to solve problems, have a growth mindset, be resilient, and have joy in their hearts, come what may. With these skills, they can face anything and be kind to themselves and others around them. I always try to remember that the way I speak to my children ends up being the voice in their heads and would focus as much as possible on encouraging, and not on faults or blaming as that really promotes unhealthy thought patterns. \u201cI always try to remember that the way I speak to my children ends up being the voice in their heads, and would focus as much as possible on encouraging, and not on faults or blaming as that really promotes unhealthy thought patterns.\u201d 8. Motherhood: It is not easy being a mum and a businesswoman while staying on top of a raging pandemic storm. How do you stay balanced and look so good and cheerful all the time? Do you practise some form of exercise or is there a diet or skincare or health regime that you practise? Jenn Low: Honestly, it has been really tough balancing everything! I find a lot of recharge in taking time out \u2013 be it a walk, a 30-min yoga stretch, face mask and along with a good book, or just watching a good TV series. I really value my quiet time and I think I am a better mum and leader when I can take the time to nourish myself. I have also become very adaptable during the pandemic as self-care can come in different forms through different days, and that is all perfectly OK. 9. Motherhood: Finally, what are your thoughts about the future and about women (mums especially) making a difference in shaping the world we live in today. How important is their role? Jenn hopes that society will find a way to honour more women in the workforce. She herself leads a team that is female-strong. Jenn Low: Personally, I find it very disheartening to see very few women in leadership roles. I hope that we find a way as a society to honour more women in the workforce. The pandemic has specifically shown us that female-led countries have performed way above average when it comes to thriving through COVID-19. And I believe that having more women in government sectors, management teams, and having them as leaders in education and various other sectors, is the balance the world needs. Motherhood IWD Special: Be sure to read all the other stories on inspiring mums who have developed themselves, created a niche, and shone in leadership roles in their own different spheres of interests.