Angelyne Larcher is one of those people who is always calm and smiling when you meet her. After you start to speak with her, you discover a world full of vibrant activities going on in her life and you ask yourself how on earth she can remain so cool and calm while dealing with everything she has going on.
A friend of mine recommended that I speak with her for the collaboration of one of the 1000 of Angelyne’s projects. Our first call, which was months ago, was very enlightening. I had the pleasure to speak with a working mom who arrived in Switzerland from Kenya 10 years ago, serial entrepreneur, organizer of exhibition and events for entrepreneur, and founder of the Swiss Entrepreneur Magazine(SEM). Very quickly my attention to our main call purpose (of course organizing an event together) shifted to her own story.
Recently we met again and I decided to feature her in my blog. You do not meet so many women like Angelyne, and her story as a working mother is quite amazing.
The Serial Entrepreneur
Arriving in Zurich with her daughter from Kenya after a wedding with a Swiss man, Angeline was restless. She could not stay home and drive a comfortable mom-and-wife life, not after a very active life in Kenya were she was used to working.
Angelyne: “I’m an active person and have an entrepreneurial spirit, I have to work. Stay at home was not an option for me. “
She busied herself and found a job in the airport. Very quickly she realized that without Swiss recognized qualifications she could not aim for higher paying job.
A: “Often I see women with high-level jobs in their countries arriving in Switzerland and find nothing or settle for less. Education is very important and here even more. It is difficult to access to good jobs without proper and recognized qualifications. That’s why I started to go to school”.
With this in mind, she started her training as Detailhandel Frachfrau while working at the Zurich airport. Still it was not enough. She opened her own cleaning company, she started a lingerie business and creatde her own blog on the latest news and events in Zurich. Soon she found out that it was very expensive to promote her businesses in the lay media. She wanted exposure without having to spend too much on marketing so she decided to create her own magazine, Swiss Entrepreneur Magazine(SEM).
Mother and Wife
I’m amazed on how she is keeping up with all of this while having a family. What do her husband and her daughter think about it?
A: “My husband had no choice, he has to support me! “ and she laughs. “My daughter supports me and admires my work, but I see she does not have the entrepreneurial gene like me. And this is also good. She is studying and preparing herself to have her own career in a company.”
While speaking about her daughter, I ask what are the main differences between the working moms in Kenya and in Switzerland.
A:” In Kenya women respect men and what men say and in most cases women will always let their husbands decide for them. In contrast to here in Switzerland women have the freedom to make their own choices and decisions. I think am lucky to be able to make my own choices and decisions, this is something I do not take for granted and I will use each and every opportunity to the maximum, and I think other moms should use the opportunities available to them as well.
Of course I realize that in Switzerland the biggest barrier for working mothers is the cost of child care. This is a big challenge for families and I see that sometime mothers work for keeping in track their career and not to earn money, because what their earn goes in childcare, house costs and taxes.”
This is a new concept for me: some working mothers keep working for the sake of their career and curriculum and not really for the money. In one of my previous posts (this and that) I make a general estimation of costs for household and the child care, and considering Angelyne’s comments, I think she has made a point.
A: “ We cannot blame Swiss mothers to not come back to work after their got children. The Swiss school system does not help to have a smooth and easy family organization and all childcare solutions are very expensive. As a parents of a young adult daughter, I’m teaching her to be independent, have a good job and in the future I hope she will have her own family. I do not wish for her to get married and stay at home with her children. Unless she really wants this. But at the same time, I know it is going to be a challenge for her to have it all, and I will be there for her.”
Meet Angelyne Lacher, a working mom like us, doing her best to keep her businesses and family on track.