Inspiring female entrepreneurs balance business with motherhood.
I had a crush on Dara Schwartz's work before I had a crush on her.
The first time someone served me Dara's Moroccan Carrot hummus at a meeting a few years back, I rerouted my drive home to buy a tub at a specialty grocer. And believe it or not, the woman herself is even better than her food.
Now, her goodies—Darista Dips—are on fire (hello, Whole Foods … and the entire Midwest). And she just birthed two things: a chocolate dessert hummus and, so long as all went as planned, her second child.
Before the new babe's arrival, though, Dara put together a rockin' launch party (for the new hummus, not the kid) and asked a handful of women business owners, including me, to speak.
So surrounded by a bevy of amazing people, we talked about what keeps us up at night (beyond, of course, the emails that never stop). Feeling the weight of your family's world on your shoulders—and then, once you hire a team, feeling the weight of their lives on your shoulders, too. Figuring out pricing. Figuring out growth. Figuring out every single day how to be the best business owner and the best leader and the best mom and the best wife and somehow still managing to make sure everyone has clean underwear and showed their thinking on their math homework.
But then we talked about the rewards, too.
For me, they are moments: Being in the delivery room when my sister birthed my niece, giving a team member a pay advance when she was in a bind, and reading to my son's second-grade class—all without asking anyone's permission. Standing at our holiday party looking at the people we partner with and feeling tears well in my eyes because the work we do—and the people we do it with—means something. The night a client called and said, “I'm turning into the person I want to be, and that is in part because of you.” (Yup, cried then, too.)
Schwartz said she hit a point when she wondered whether she was being the mom she should be. She considered closing her company. Instead, she decided to reimagine how it could operate so that she could keep living both of her dreams—the mom one and the business one.
Like many, I work hard every day trying to balance a career I am passionate about and a family I love. Sometimes my family gets the short end of the stick. But sometimes I get to delight my son by showing up at school at 3:45 p.m. to walk him home.
Every woman who starts a business starts it first in her head—maybe while working in Corporate America or maybe between cooking dinner and folding laundry.
If you're one of them, I cannot tell you what to do.
But I can promise this: If you make this leap, you will have an army of women who rally to support you. Who share favorite attorneys and accountants and advice. Who share middle-of-the-day phone calls that keep you sane and middle-of-the-night emails that will make you laugh so hard you pee. Because no matter the stresses, struggles or successes, we are never alone.
Thank you, Dara, for reminding us of that. (And thank you for making some seriously good snacks to enjoy while we laugh.)
Kristy Eckert is a Powell mom and founder of Kristy Eckert Communications. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.