Naushaly De Livera – Balancing motherhood and work
As part of the Getsy.lk ‘Woman of the Week’ series, we are truly pleased to feature Naushaly De Livera, a caring and talented wife, mother and successful business owner, who balances her many responsibilities with grace and joy. Naushaly started her journey as an entrepreneur more than a decade ago by launching Cozy Linen – a one-stop luxury linen store. Today, she continues to run a thriving business, whilst always putting the well-being of her family first. Learn more about how her story and how she seamlessly juggles multiple roles and duties in the Q & A below:
Q) Tell us a little about yourself and why you started Cozy Linen?
A) I always thought I’d become something along the lines of a banker, and throughout my school and university days, I never even dreamed of starting my own business. However, I’ve always loved fabrics, colours and textures, and this ignited a real passion in me for working with different types of linens. After I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance, I spent a year working at my father’s factory.
While working with my father, I developed a growing desire to start my own business, and this coupled with the realization that there was a gap in the market for bedding, linen and home accessories, gave me the courage and inspiration to start Cozy Linen. With a lot of support from my mum, I started a little shop next to her café, and that’s how Cozy Linen came to be, 12 long years ago. Last year, I also partnered with my husband and a good friend to start Bubblelement.
Q) Tell us about your products and your journey of growth (how you started and expanded over the years)
A) Cozy linen has carved a niche segment in the market and we strive to deliver elegant, trendy, high quality products at affordable prices. Our primary focus is to supply household linen and hotel bedding items such as bed linen, bed spreads, duvets, quilts, table linen, table mats, table runners, serviettes, throws and cushion covers. The products are uniquely designed using quality fabrics with high thread-counts, and a great deal of thought and intricate detail goes into selecting fabrics and styles for each requirement. We cater to homes, hotels and corporate spaces, and our typical orders range from single pieces to collections comprising hundreds of pieces. Each product is designed and stitched in-house under a great deal of supervision and we adhere to very strict quality control measures.
As for my journey of growth, I am really thankful to God, I have benefitted from a upward trend of growth from the time I started. The competition however, has always been strong, but I believe that it’s important and necessary because it keeps me on my feet and motivates me to constantly improve.
Q) Can you give us an overview of your new product ranges and any interesting linen pieces and collections that you have introduced?
A) Apart from our standard household linen collection which was mentioned previously, we have a bamboo sheet range which is made of bamboo pulp. It is extremely soft and perfect for our tropical climate, and it hugs the shape of your body to provide optimal comfort. Most of our bedding is made using 100% cotton and we also deal with other exotic fabrics such as Egyptian cotton, Irish linen, jacquards, brocades and more.
In addition, we create customized bedding as well, where you can get a logo or monogram of your choice placed on your entire linen collection. We also supply our products to many boutique hotels and larger hotel chains as well. Due to increasing demand from our customers, we also started providing upholstery and curtaining as well.
Q) How do you juggle and balance the demands of running a business and being a wife and mum – what advice can you give other women who are trying to do the same?
A) Indeed, the word is juggle. Well actually, I try my best to organize myself at the beginning of each day, otherwise it can prove very challenging. I am fortunate that, as hectic as it can get, running my own little business affords me the privilege of taking a little timeout when needed. After I became a mother, I realized that the greatest blessing I could have is to just spend quality time with my sons, so I try my best always to balance my time around them and their needs.
I’ve been blessed with a very supportive husband who plays an active role with raising our kids. Sometimes being there for my kids, means that my work days get cut short, but my husband takes turns with me to get everything done for them and between the two of us, we manage to juggle and manage kids schedules and ours.
Q) What are the biggest business challenges that you face on a day-to-day basis and how do you overcome them?
A) Managing my time effectively is definitely my biggest challenge. I start my day with a plan and checklist in place, and that helps me to get through everything I need to and it gives me a sense of direction. Even though I may still have a long way to go, my goal is to make Cozy Linen the best store for bedding and soft furnishings. I want it to be of a global standard in terms of design, quality and trends. It’s extremely challenging to achieve that in this niche, as the processes are extremely meticulous and time consuming. There are always so many things to do to achieve a consistent level of quality at the store, so I need to manage my time very carefully to cover all of the areas that need my attention. We are also continuously trying to find new ways to increase our volumes whilst maintaining the same high standards of quality that the store is known for.
Q) What do you love the most about your job?
A) What I enjoy most about my job is meeting the many different people who visit my store. They all have such diverse needs, wants and tastes, and just meeting and talking to them and watching them find the perfect piece of linen at the store is truly fulfilling and satisfying.
Q) If you could give other women one piece of important advice on how to set up a successful business, what would that be?
A) I strongly believe that a female entrepreneur or working mum needs a seamless support system at home and within the family. You need to have the peace of mind that your children are happy, safe and well taken care of at home, while you’re out there running a business. I am extremely blessed to have such a wonderful mother and mother-in-law, who are huge pillars of support and reassurance to me. My mother is an incredible example to me, she was a working mum all her life and always put myself and my sister first, and she continues to do the same with her grandchildren. It is also crucial that you choose the right team of people to work with.
My main piece of advice is that, if you have a dream, do everything in your power to achieve it and live your dream. We all have the potential somewhere within us, and all you have to do is start, the rest will follow. Starting out is the hardest, and often, it’s our fear of failure that holds us back from taking the first step. It’s okay to fail from time to time, it is nothing to be afraid of and sometimes we learn the most valuable lessons through failure. I’ve failed many times, trying to start new things but I’ve always picked myself up, dusted myself off and continued the climb.
A successful business is nothing to me if my God and family are not a priority. Happiness to me starts at home, and yes there are days when I struggle and fall short at work and at home by trying to juggle and handle everything, but isn’t that the beauty of womanhood – our ability to constantly keep going and trying our best to manage our many responsibilities?
To find out more about Cozy Linen visit – https://www.facebook.com/cozylinen/