Thank you so much to Heather Hamilton for her guest post today! Heather began creating skincare remedies for her family shortly after the birth of her first child. In 2010, she founded Zoe Organics, a company dedicated to creating the most clean and toxic free skin care. The organic skin care line uses only premium grade, high performance and organic plant ingredients. Her company has quickly gained respect and loyalty from parents, medical professionals, and a growing list of retailers for her award winning eco-luxe pregnancy and baby skincare products.
I’m convinced that there is not a more exhilarating or challenging lifestyle than one of a momprenuer. Mom (mother): a) a female parent, b) tenderness or affection Entrepreneur: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. Although, certainly not a criteria, many entrepreneurial endeavors by moms are inspired by their children; whether creating a new product or service that solves a problem parents face, or starting a business out of the desire to work a flexible schedule around their family.
When I gave birth to my first child, my world changed. I was a young, motivated 27 year old, who was working full-time in marketing in the tech industry while earning my MBA part-time. I had planned to continue business as usual when my son was born, but the moment he entered the world that mama bear instinct rose up in me and I fell in love with my 7lb, 5 oz son, Boyd.
As the first weeks flew by, I knew my former life was over. I couldn’t imagine putting this precious child in the arms of another woman 50+ hours/week. I began desperately scouring craigslist and working on business plans, knowing that I would need to supplement my husband’s income to meet our expensive Orange County, California mortgage every month. As they say, “desperate times call for desperate measures” and although it neither made sense financially or practically at that point in my life, I plunged head first into the creation of my first company, Zoe Organics.
Five years and 2 additional babies later, I look back on the journey I have taken and I am both amazed and, ahem… a wee bit exhausted. For to say that life as a mompreneur is a juggling act is an understatement. From the moment I wake up to the sweet face of my daughter at 5:30am, to the moment my head hits the pillow – I am juggling. Juggling the everyday duties like meals, laundry, grocery shopping and housecleaning. Juggling tee-ball practice, doctor appointments, kindergarten and holiday events. Then there is the business, which I have been running from my home office and production studio. As a small growing company, I have been juggling all the “hats”, from marketing to manufacturing and an average day can include putting labels on containers one minute and collaborating with another CEO or editor the next.
Life is NEVER dull. I love that at this moment, I am breastfeeding my infant while my 3 year old builds a block tower next to my desk. The hum of the electric mixer can be heard in the room next door as a batch of organic Love My Belly Butter, is being whipped.
Some days are really hard; when the delicate balance of our schedule is thrown off by a sick baby or a really big order that requires extra attention. There are days when I feel completely discouraged by a lull in sales, the overwhelming number of tasks that I can’t imagine accomplishing myself, or the guilt of time and energy spent away from my kids.
Sometimes I even daydream about what life would be like if I had a “normal” job, where work was actually left at the office on the weekends. Perhaps something that didn’t take me a thousand different directions throughout the day. On the really hard days, I secretly pray that someone will give me an offer for my company I can’t refuse.
But the truth is, I love my chaotic life and I know I could never go back . There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the living fruits of your passion and creativity (blood, sweat and tears) – whether speaking of your children or your business. Mothers make a lot of sacrifices to care for their families, and one of the things I remind myself of constantly is that running my business allows me to exercise and nurture “me”. When I pour myself into creating beautiful things and have relationships with likeminded people, my cup is filled. When I develop myself, my children see a healthy role model.
Over the years I have connected with other women and mom entrepreneurs who have been an incredible source of encouragement. I am so inspired by the unique strengths women have in business and their ability to turn it into a lifestyle, rather than just a job or career. As this entrepreneurial journey continues, with my babes at my side, I will remind myself of how blessed I am to be living my dream. And on those days when I haven’t had a moment to shower and I am trying to fill orders with a baby on my hip and toddler tugging on my legs, I will press onward knowing that my heart is full.