Feature Series: "Mother's Day is everyday!"

In our family, Mother's Day is everyday! With mother’s day round the corner (Sunday 19th March) we thought it’d be fitting to focus our featured series on none other than the most important women in our lives, Sal Ismail Pickles aka our Mum.

Born in Singapore, Mum was the eldest of four siblings, brought up with strict rules and little financial income; she moved to Paris, worked in the Middle East, then returned to Singapore before finally residing in the UK over 30 years ago.
Now based in Oxfordshire and London there are not many things Mum cannot do. Her path to her success from the residential blocks of Singapore to now is nothing but inspiring to all and something which should be shared to all entrepreneurial women from all backgrounds.

Mum has worked in sports television for over 30 years working with the likes of The FA, Premier League and NBA to name a few. Her journey began when she started working in advertising for a publication company with varied titles to include Sport and Fitness in Singapore before she met her husband (dad). When they met, they started working together in beach soccer in the early 90’s, before forming their own sports and communications company, Advisers Media International (AMI). AMI specialise in global television rights as well as highlight shows on football, Formula 1, boxing, plus more. The company then expanded to a production house that partners in television channels throughout Eastern and Central Europe.

Her knowledge and understanding of sports media and the business industry is invaluable. Overall, her road to success working in an industry predominantly run by males is nothing short of a landmark (or thereabouts). 

We caught up with Mum to chat about everything from family to business and of course Mother’s Day. 

What’s Mother’s Day mean to you?

It means a lot to me because it reminds me that I am privileged and blessed to become a mum. It's an honour not to be taken for granted nor bestowed upon every women. My children and family are everything to me.

If you could spend Mother’s day with your mum, anywhere in the world, what would you do?

I'd take her travelling with lots of food stops. When we were growing up both my parents sacrificed a lot to put food on the table and nurture us to be responsible adults. We may not have a lot of material things but we always knew we were loved and had a lot of fun childhood memories. My mum and dad love travelling and seeing my mum is a wonderful cook, food albeit basic always turned out to be fantastic. Since my dad passed, I’ve taken the mantle in exploring new countries and restaurants with my mum. She finds great joy in posting it in her FB pages!

Favourite spots to spend with your family in London?

Restaurants followed by theatre. I love the theatres in London, nothing beats the immersive nature of a live show.

If you could choose a mother’s day gift for yourself from the store, what would you choose?

Bowls to Bento book.

What’s your favourite thing about being a mother?

Cooking and being there to help or listen. I’m good at problem solving being part of my corporate life. I’ve always remembered a quote I saw but cannot remember whom it’s from and has become my favourite all time great - “Happiness is when you know your children turn out to be good people”.

How did you balance a life between motherhood and business women?

Prioritising on what is urgent and what is not and that applies to both business and family. Everything has a time and place. Once when they were school going age, my husband would talk and engage in work every moment he could. I had to set a rule and told him that between the hours 5-7 before bedtime is my time with the kids to do homework and chat about their day. He cannot interrupt until then. It worked and boundaries were observed. It’s all about balance and when you get it right it can be quite seamless.

What’s the biggest challenge and did you overcome it?

When my child needed me to help through a difficult phase and I come from a zero tolerance background, I didn't know how to help. It scared me not to be able to deal with it and I overcame it through the support of my husband, parent and sisters. It’s their advice I listen to most and how my mum was very pragmatic in approaching the problem. My mum said every problem has a solution but it’s whether we want to find it.

Where does your style influence come from?
Currently, at my age it's more about comfort and practicality. Depends on my mood and environment - whether it's for a board meeting, a casual gathering amongst work colleagues or out with family and friends. Different strokes for different folks as the saying goes.

Any advice you would give to new mums?
Enjoy every moment both good and bad times. Memories are made not with money but with time spent wisely.

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