Our LagosMums mum of the month is Lara Rawa, a trained lawyer, mum and a mixologist. Read more about this amazing mum of one as she shares her experiences as a mum and the importance of a support system.
Please tell us about yourself? And one unexpected thing about you?
My name is Lara Rawa. I studied Law at the University of Lagos and I was called to the
Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2007, and I
have a Master’s Degree in International Business Law from Queen Mary University of
London. I am now a mixologist!
One unexpected thing about me is… the fact that I forfeited being in the somewhat secure and predictable field of law, to become an entrepreneur in the mixology sector at a time when it was regarded as an unstable career path.
Can you share all the hats/roles that you wear?
I am the MD/CEO of Eventi Verdi Nig. Ltd. The head mixologist at Eventi Cocktails, a trained lawyer, and a mum.
Tell us about your beautiful family?
I have a daughter, she is seven years old; she is very lively, funny, lovely, and very
What has surprised you the most about motherhood?
For me it is the fact that you become very selfless, you don’t think about yourself; you are more concerned about the next person. In my case, as a mother, I want to make sure she has everything, even if I don’t have anything. I want to make sure she is fine. Even if I have not eaten, I want to make sure she has eaten.
Can you tell us some of the funniest things your child has said or done?
The funniest thing my daughter has done is actually what she says and how she says it.
There was this day that she was crying and I was wondering what happened. She said I hurt her feelings. I was looking at her thinking, at this young age what do you know about feelings and someone hurting your feelings? lol.
She said “you hurt my feelings, you said this to me, you said that to me…”; and I found myself apologising for hurting her feelings even though I don’t think her feelings should have been hurt.
It’s just seeing them acting like grownups and using big words, it’s really really surprising.
Tell us about the Lagos Cocktail Week. What inspired you to start it?
I started out as an event planner in 2009, then I began to make cocktails at different events. I got trained and continued making cocktails at events and parties.
The Lagos Cocktail Week started when I was looking for something to do to promote the
cocktail industry. I felt that there had to be an awareness of the cocktail culture.
After doing research to find out what was happening around the world, I found out that there was something called London Cocktail Week.
I volunteered to be a part of the Festival. I went down to London. It was an unpaid role. I worked with them there, came back here and started Lagos Cocktail Week. Lagos Cocktail is a platform where we entertain, inform, educate people on everything about the cocktail industry.
Any advice for women who are venturing into male-dominated industries?
Any woman coming into a male-dominated industry, such as the cocktail industry, needs to first and foremost understand why they are in that job/role. They need to have focus.
I always say that if you do not have a vision then you are going nowhere. Have a vision. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
It is your vision that will take you far.
If you are coming into a male-dominated industry because of money, then there’s a problem. You might not get that far, because when you encounter any obstacle or any hindrance, you would run back and you would close your shop. But if you are relentless, if you’re dogged, you will make it. You have to persevere and keep pushing. You have to stand your ground and value what you are doing. If you do all these things, the sky will just be your starting point and never your limit.
What are your thoughts on Work-Life Balance vs. Work-Life Integration?
Work-life balance, as the name implies, means that your work and your life are put on the
same level. You invest in work and you invest equally in your life, your life being especially
your family and your personal development. I think that work-life balance is possible. It’s difficult, but it’s possible.
As an entrepreneur, I am intentional about having time for family. So It means if there is something happening in my daughter’s school, I am there. I still take her for her piano lessons, I drop her off for her drama lessons, I take her to school every morning, I do not joke with that because I feel like those few minutes where we drive and we are all alone, we can talk about anything that she needs to talk about. I can find out how she feels about the day, I can ginger her up for what to expect for the day. And I just know that it gives us that connection so she does not feel left alone.
She might come back from school and I am not at home, but she knows she sees me in the
morning and I take her to school. I make sure that maybe three times a week I also pick her up from school. I especially like picking her up from school so we can have lunch together; so we have that mummy and daughter time.
On the Importance of Family Time
I also make time for myself as well. Some weekends when I am not working I go to the spa or stay at home the whole day and have our movie time. Movie time is usually Saturday evenings. We make the plans, we have our popcorn ready and watch a movie together.
How important is a support system for a mum? Who is in your Tribe?
Trust me, a support system for a mum is very vital. I think that is what has actually helped
me. My family and my friends are my support system. I have a friend whose daughters and
my daughter are really close. So sometimes she’s there at their house. She supports me; if they’re attending the same lessons, she makes sure her driver picks my daughter up and takes her, so I can share the responsibility.
My family is also very supportive of me. If there’s anything that needs to be done, they are there for me, they have my back. I feel like without my friends and my family I really don’t know where I would be, what would have happened and how I would have been able to pull through. It’s really vital, especially for a single mum. It’s vital.
Use one word to describe one thing that should not be missing from every home?
Love. Love should not be missing from any home. It is the greatest gift, it is even in the Bible; the greatest commandment is love. If you love you can give. If you love, you can give your time and give your resources. No matter what, whether things are good or whether bad. Love.
Share one self-care tip. How do you relax and spend time on yourself?
I relax by watching a nice movie at home. Everywhere is quiet, I just watch a movie and fall asleep. Sleep. Movies. That’s how I relax. Even if I go to the spa for a massage, I still want to go home and sleep. It’s just that me time, that quiet time when I’m able to meditate, there’s nobody in the house and I’m all by myself, that’s how I relax.
As a Yummy Mummy – can you tell us how you stay stylish and your beauty routine
As a yummy mummy, to stay stylish I diet, I work out, I take care of my skin and drink lots of water because it is important.
It’s really important that you don’t let your looks go! I know there was a time I was getting so fat and I didn’t like what I was seeing. I’d do my makeup and just thought my face seemed a bit bloated, and my clothes weren’t fitting me nicely.
So, for me, looking good is good business. Just put in the effort to exercise, to eat healthily, and to have a good skin care routine. A good skin routine includes cleansing your skin, washing your face thoroughly, a good you scrub and all these little things. [Read: Healthy Skin Routine for Busy Mums]
What are the top three survival skills LagosMums need?
The first skill you need is patience. Dealing with nannies, help and staff, you just need
patience first, if not they are going to drive you crazy.
As a Lagos mum, you need to be able to forgive. So many things happen that if you hold on too tight, you may become a resentful person.
You can’t give love to your child if you are not a forgiving person.
[Tweet “You can’t give love to your child if you are not a forgiving person.” #LaraRawa on #LagosMums]
Also, you must be prayerful. You can’t do without prayers, it is very important. Start your day with prayers, God just takes control of everything.
What do you love about LagosMums?
I love that on LagosMums people share inspiring stories, you’re able to read about other people, know what’s going on, and you get tips, you get advice. So it is just a 360 thing.
N1million or more sleep?
Go on a shopping spree or all expenses trip to your top destination
Going on an all expense paid trip to my favourite destination
Homeschooling or traditional school
A spa day or Eat out?
Read Past Mum of the Month Here