We both decided to be entrepreneurs when we became moms
Updated: Jan 2
Andrea and myself always knew we wanted to run a company on our own. The curious thing is that we had to wait to be moms to finally make it… It’s probably just a coincidence or destiny? The future will tell us.
According to a survey run by Shopify in the US, more than half of women with children are interested in entrepreneurship. We were very impressed by those findings but not much surprised…
All we can say today is that it's never the right time to accomplish and embrace your goals. It might be that the pandemic has accelerated the shift in the way we were working, moving away from rigid work arrangements and towards a more flexible model.
Back to the roots
At the beginning of the pandemic, I got pregnant and quickly realized that I would need to make a shift in my life and change my working habits very soon to enjoy my daughter to the fullest. At that specific time, I wanted to find a sustainable solution to be able to gain more flexibility and freedom when the moment will arrive.
"How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing."
says Annie Dillard, in her beautiful book The Writing Life.
Challenge #1: From being a mom to opening a Comms & Design Studio
May 13, 2021: The end of my maternity leave
This date marks the last month of my maternity leave. For those who are parents know that this month is crucial as all parents need to be prepared for the “separation”.
My daughter was only 5 month-old at that time, I was still learning how to be a mom, how to make her happy and trying to be there for her as much as I could.
But in about 3 weeks, I was about to get back to work at Badi but still had this thought coming up in my mind:
How am I going to manage to be a mum and work full time, five days a week from 9-6?
I was happy to get back to my routine, work with my colleagues and peers that I really liked but from my deeper inside, I felt worried and very anxious about how my new life will be from now on.
June, 2021: Going back to work
Here I am! Back to reality, Back to the office! Well, not exactly back to the office… I was working from home and was BACK through Slack, emails, meetings, whats'app from 9-6. The robot mode was ON.
I felt that the days were passing very quickly. I didn't take time to do sports or any extra activities. I was focused on my work, catching up on what I’ve been missing while I was away and spent 40 weekly hours in front of my laptop.
In the evening, I kept my energy to go play with my lovely daughter before she went back to sleep.
July, 2020: Starting freelance projects at night being a mom. Yes, it’s possible!
After a full month back on track, in-between breastfeeding, cleaning, preparing food, working, I felt very exhausted and weak. This is when I decided to work MORE. I decided to start working on freelance projects in the evening while my daughter was sleeping hoping that it will give me the freedom (one day) to start my own business and work WHEN I want to work, WHEN I feel like working and from WHERE I want. I forced myself to become more efficient and try to ensure my time was aligned with my priorities.
July, 2021: Launching our Communications & Design Studio
My ex-colleague from work, Andrea became my co-founder when we decided to open our Comms & Design Studio. From that day, everything went very fast. We were finally ready to take off.
Being an entrepreneur while being a mom can be a very solitary & stressful journey and I personally have been thankful to have a cofounder who I can talk to.
This was the end of our corporate job and the beginning of an exciting roller coaster.
I used to start my day early around 6am to work one hour before my daughter woke up, and spent two hours playing with her before bringing her to the childcare center.
We enjoyed having this flexibility so much and knew that we would never work again from 9-6. We liked the fact to be in different places all the time, enjoy different specialty coffee, and go meet clients at their offices. All of those little things in life that we’ve completely lost during the pandemic became essential.
We both decided that we didn't want to plan our life according to our jobs but the contrary.
We wanted a type of work that allowed us to be working on our own terms and spend time with our daughters.
Challenge #2: Managing the company being both moms
Summer 2021: My partner Andrea announces to me that she is pregnant, only 3 months after the creation of our studio.
I was very happy for her from one side but from another side, I was stressed. Stressed because we just started our project together. Stressed because I wanted to make it work.
Stressed because for a few minutes I thought this would be the beginning and the end of our business.
Challenge #3: Starting a new life in a new country
Christmas 2021: I’m moving to Dublin to follow my husband who got a job at Google.
This was unpredictable. After living the last 7 years in Barcelona and having bought a flat a year ago, we were about to leave the country and go on a new adventure with our 13-month-old daughter.
I was not prepared at all… Our daughter was already set up in Spain in a creche and now, we were talking about starting everything from 0. Looking for a new place to live, a new school and a new office…
At the beginning, Andrea was very surprised (exactly like me when she announced she was pregnant) but she was happy for us at the same time. I remember her saying:
We’ll manage our studio also if you’re living in New Zealand. It’s just a question of organization. We’ll not give it up now.
Challenge #4: Andrea became a mom too
March 10, 2022: A busy period of time
We managed to discuss beforehand and found alternative solutions to make sure the studio will continue to run while Andrea will be away, setting partnerships with collaborators.
Then, Andrea could leave quietly and take some time off for her newborn daughter, taking enough time to get into this new mom’s life chapter and bond with her lovely daughter.
During those 3 months, I had to take over all the business, the management of the team, daily talks with clients while I was trying to get to know the new city, the culture, the people…It was not an easy time but we made it! It’s just a question of mindset and ambition.
Challenge #5: Meeting with babies
June 03, 2022: Andrea is back to work
Andrea is back at work, coming with even more energy, good vibes and 1000 of ideas in mind. She is not creative by coincidence…
The first months following the reincorporation of Andrea in the company were epic as her baby was very little and tiny. She needed to breastfeed every 3 hours without counting the endless visits to the paediatrician and physiotherapy sessions.
Sometimes, she had to work in the evening and be away all afternoon. But it didn’t prevent us from continuing to keep caring for our clients. It’s not about controlling anymore, it's about delivering no matter how and when we do it.
"Mom is also a person with goals to achieve and dreams to fulfil. Luckily I had Sandra as a reference and I knew it was possible. Being both mothers (apart from friends) makes our life easy. We know that there are good days and bad days, and it’s just fine. We both love the ease of enjoying free time with our daughters without having to worry about keeping to a tight and non flexible schedule."
said Andrea, Cofounder of Flatwhite Studio.
This mindset is the mindset we have for every collaborator that works with us. Each person is capable of deciding when and how they’re more productive and work with their own schedule.
Andrea was always in for every project although she had to work for hours with her daughter in her arms. She made our clients happy and myself too.
"Our daughters are our reason to make this work, because in the end, everything we do is for them."
added Andrea, Cofounder of Flatwhite Studio.
Reflection / Take Away:
Andrea, Cofounder of Flatwhite Studio says:
"Starting your own business is a mental game. Every entrepreneur has ups and downs, you just have to learn from them."
There is nothing more beautiful than being a fulfilled mom that feels that we can accomplish a lot also if we sometimes have an agenda similar to the one of the Prime Minister.
Today we know that the most important thing is to enjoy what we do. If we did it, you can do it too 😉
If you also want to start your business but don’t know where to start, feel free to drop us a message at: email@example.com or if you need advices from a professional coach to help you reach your dreams, contact: Claudia Warias, our friend and career and mindset coach 😄