Mommy behind the business: Melissa Budding (BabyCarryWorkout)

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Mommy behind the business: Melissa Budding (BabyCarryWorkout)

Posted on November 22, 2013.

Many women arrive properly during pregnancy and want to get their old figure back and gain weight quickly after giving birth. Unfortunately, many gyms do not have childcare. So you have to be creative to exercise when you’re still tied to your little one. A smart mom from Zimbabwe has set up a new concept in the Netherlands: BabyCarryWorkout, where you exercise, with your baby in a sling. Introducing: Melissa Budding.

Can you tell something about yourself and your company?

I am Melissa Budding, born and raised in Zimbabwe (Africa). I have been living in the Netherlands since end of 1994. I studied in Delft and also had various office jobs. I am married and have two children. The first (girl) is almost 6 years old and the second (boy) is 2 years old. My company name is Bereka, Concept is BabyCarryWorkout, and Mbereko Brand

What was your motivation for starting your own business?

When I became pregnant, my husband started freelancing and I decided to be home for our child. I wasn’t even planning to become an entrepreneur until I became a mother. I am inspired by my own roots, my mother and the whole community then back home, my life experience. I automatically breastfeed and carry my baby as people do in Africa. I received a lot of positive response on the street and also from Dutch family, so I decided to teach others how it all works. Then I followed the necessary training to set it all up in the world. Also to be able to teach and certify professionals

What is the biggest challenge you have ever had?

The first time I was at a trade show without expectations, and suddenly my stand was full of people! And setting up of BabyCarryWorkout an African business woman/

What do you like about running your own business?

The freedom. Get in touch with various types of people. Bringing people together with the same goals and vice versa. Introducing my new thoughts and sharing them.
Most important of all, the comfort that I experience when I share my culture and background with others. My children participate and I see my work as a part of parenting as I involve them both in my work.
The response and feedback from customers, but also from people I voluntarily help in this area. My husband’s support, moral, emotional and more.

You are a mother, wife and momtrepreneur. How do you combine work and private life? For example, what does your working day look like?

It not easy! And would like to explain this. It doesn’t always work, but I always try to find balance. I don’t like black and white agreements with my own family, it feels so business ike. We release each other a bit, but we try to do something fun together every month. The children lead us. They have the first priority. I also provide free time for myself so that I can recharge for a while so that I can look positively at my own family again, otherwise its difficult to combine, I occasionally try to get help from family to look after every once in a while
As a producer of carriers and wraps I know little tricks with which I can function faster with my children and with which I can save space and time.

Where do you always go with your children in your own place of residence? What is your favorite playground, park or restaurant, for example? And why?

We regularly go to a gym, about 3 times a week, during BabyCarryWorkout. We go to the Stadsboederij, Het Haagse Forest, Farms Het Geertje, Library and often we travel a little further to find even nicer places. Why? We consciously choose a cozy child and environment-friendly environment etc

What have you learned about yourself since you launched your company?

That I am quite socially strong, and yet a go-getter.

If you could reverse your life, what would you have done differently?

I would have invited My parents on time to visit us here in Netherrlands. Unfortunately they are now deceased.

How do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself between two continents, Africa and Europe.

Do you have tips for other mothers who would like to start their own business?

Believe in yourself
Take your time before you rush for something important or get to know people/
Be true to yourself and others even if you know truth hurts
Be objective and look beyond your nose
Never let your family down, because that is your home front.


I feel that some men think it’s not them to fit in but women. I feel that some men think it’s women’s work to cover up and men should not be strong enough to cover themselves when they see an almost undressed woman for example when breastfeeding which is essential.


It’s high time we look back to our culture and see how people used to dress themselves, yet respected one another. Its not because its past. We still can learn from it
I recently had a beautiful conversation with a friend about dresscode for “women” this has been a discussion for years. I feel I have to write my thoughts and worry so to remind our African brothers about

In my mother language we would say “tsika dzedu nemagariro”

There are people who are used to tone polis others such that when they get any chance they start putting someone down to an extend of reducing their confidence. And ofcourse some are truthfully and mean to help others.

This is done sometimes unknowingly. Imagine a lot of people have put you at a higher position such that their expectations of you become too high than your high self can deliver.
These people seem to have understood what life is all about and why people should behave in a certain way for them to win or gain respect.
We have different job carriers in the world. We also have different types of companies that existed to represent culture, norm and wellbeing.

I sometimes feel like women are not really taken seriously when representing their work. Some people come up with different reasons. We have women who work in offices, or women with a position that allows them to stand in front of people representing their work. I remember in this conversation agreeing that some carries are there for uou to give up certain lifestyles for you tonbe taken seriously.m

Surely it all depends on what you are there to represent. I personally have been in different fields where I worked in an office and wore a suit or dresses. I have never found myself trying to draw men’s attention exposing certain body parts. Unless if this happens by mistake. I cannot speak for others than for myself.

I wrote an article before about ‘My experience with Zimbanwean men” those who read know who I am and how they have to represent themselves towards me. I have always pushed away people who deliberately come to disturb my work because they want to put me in a position that I am not in.

I am a Writer, Teacher, and an Entrepeneur.

  1. African Dance

I represent different things when it comes to our wellbeing. The things that I write are to put into practice and sometimes we have to show the situation in order for people to overstand where we are coming from. An example is when a woman like me is doing do exercises through dancing or just aerobics. Or Incan be preparing a Choreography for my students using a certain music. I am very enthusiastic! I therefore share for people to see what I am up to with African dance at Bereka.
When dancing you can wear long clothes or certain warm clothes because it can get too warm and disturb your focus.

  1. I teach about Mbereko and that includes

*carrying of babies, belly’s and back.
*I teach about human Anatomy and Mbereko

  1. I write, podcast, do coaching and make teaching videos.

Surely there is no way I can have no specific dresscode for all what I do, you will sometimes have to see me breastfeeding and you cannot come to tone police me because at that moment I am representing a case to a client.
When carrying a baby we have to bow in a certain way to show the right posture.
When teaching about

When I teach dancing. I sometimes jump, turn around and if my body is build in a certain way that colonialism made you think otherwise. Please repend


Because some people have never been, or haven’t been given the chance to be.

🟢cared of
🟢Spoken to

They do not have any idea of how to practice what they never received. All they know was probably.

🔴Disagreed with

It is what they carry into the society when never had any chance to learn it differently. Even if the chances would be there. When one is older and can make their own choices.

It’s hard for them to relate and see or feel the differences between love and hate.
How do you recognize them? Is by their choices of solving problems. ………


It is important that noone sponsors you with a secret agenda

When you were once indoctrinated and you are awoke. How you feel SORRY for the indoctrinated being used and they think they are at a better position. I had a nice conversation with my friend yesterday about those people who are moving behind with 10 years before they start knowing how the Western people truly operate. How Caucasians look at you as an African or Asian, even someone from Middle East.
I have always been active in our Dutch society I am living in for 26 years even before I had children. I would come into newspapers because I always had something to say because of the “Love” I have for my people globally. I have worked for huge companies of the Netherlands such as Unilever and Smit International, Maersk and other huge shipping companies. Even small companies. Never have I worked as a civil servant even if I had the biggest chances to be one because of their good working hours, long holidays and allowances. I told myself, I can only be a Civil servant when I am old and need to settle down without having to think too much or be creative. I have never applied for any form of benefit. When I want to be a little bit more dependent I thought.Until I discovered that as long as you are still spiritually attached to Africa you will somehow struggle to be where you truly want to be in Europe unless you sign a contract with an organisation that will instruct you what to do.
Let me go back to my point. When I wanted to start a Non Profit Organisation. I got a lot of empowerment from the bank, and other organisations who were willing to promote my Organisation, when they saw that I was very much of an African origin with a patriotic mind yet very open-minded such that I managed to learn Dutch language and Culture in a very short period of time. They connected me with organisations that were already working together with Africa. I didn’t feel comfortable because of how these organisations operate. Before any organisation starts to EMPOWER you as an African Entrepeneur. Ask yourself what they want in the end, what is their benefit. If you are a true African and you recognize the struggle your people have been through and are still going through. You cannot put EGO and popularism upfront before asking yourself whether its a new form of Colonisation. You cannot keep selling your heritage for a personal gain through the back door. Yet some are struggling to maintain this for the nature for the future generation. Think about these people who are moving 10 years behind in knowing who these people truly are.We have been there and have been protected from doing stupid stuff for money, yet maintaining poverty within your family and people. I used to be the only African whom they would call, ” at least you are different” you are very clever. You can speak good Dutch. I found that annoying. There are certain things that you cannot expect me to do.

It is important that no-one ask you to

🔴 Tell a directed story about my African roots to suit certain circumstances yet I know what’s truly going on.

🔴 Work for a developmental program to EMPOWER my roots yet at the same time not truly informing me what’s your benefit looks like.

🔴 I cannot let you write my story without my consent not my awareness of the

🔴 Tell a directed story about my African roots to suit certain circumstances yet I know what’s truly going on.

🔴 Work for a developmental program to EMPOWER my roots yet at the same time not truly informing me what’s your benefit looks like.

🔴 I cannot let you write my story without my consent not my awareness of the consequences.

These are the days when women in business organised meetings and empowerment networking high tea's. Mostly financed by the council.