Mother’s Day was just last weekend, but we’re not quite done celebrating. After all, Mom deserves more than just one day. To keep this party going, we sat down with a few of our favorite female founders – who also are mothers themselves – to discuss motherhood, entrepreneurship, and the intersection of the two.
First, we spoke to Tamara Mayne, founder of Brooklyn Candle Studio, who considers herself “a proud mama, and though I am an entrepreneur, I consider myself an artist first and foremost.”
“I started Brooklyn Candle Studio in 2013; our mission is to create clean candles and home fragrance goods with delicious botanical scents and minimalist, luxury packaging at an accessible price point.”
“I had been experimenting with the art and science of candlemaking and mixing fragrances for about 10 months, and, working as a graphic designer and art director, decided on a whim that I would create a business from my newfound hobby. I designed packaging and created a website and Etsy shop. It was really just for fun at the beginning—I loved the meditative process of making candles and creating beautiful scents and designing packaging, but the brand quickly attracted more interest from customers and retail buyers, and I felt more confident I could pursue entrepreneurship on a serious level. “
When asked about her advice for other female entrepreneurs, Tamara stressed the importance of doing your research and not being afraid to take risks. “The internet has all the answers. Always be resourceful and Google EVERYTHING. You don’t need anyone to tell you what to do; anything you need to know or learn how to do, you can find online. I learned so much from Youtube, different forums, and just looking things up. Don’t be afraid to experiment, take calculated risks or even fail, because you will. Learning through trial and error will make you a better businessperson over time.”
We had time to catch up with Alissa Bayer, the founder and owner of milk + honey. “I have three kids -10 year old twins and an 8 year old that makes my day job look easy. Shortly after attending grad school at UT- Austin, rather than take a traditional post MBA career path, I decided that I wanted to make a living making other people feel good.”
“After much soul-searching (and many massages), it became clear that I wanted to combine my professional experience, my creative, playful nature, and my desire to do something that makes others feel great. milk + honey is the result.”
“At milk + honey, we have always focused on products with clean ingredients, but it wasn’t until about 8 years ago that I launched our own line of clean, effective products. Utilizing the passion, experience, and expertise of our talented team of estheticians and massage therapists, our milk + honey products were truly born from the spa and allow our clients to bring that wonderful spa experience home.”
She also stressed the importance of putting together a reliable team. “I haven’t done it alone. I was fortunate to have surrounded myself with a talented, dynamic team of individuals, all Spa Partisans, who have helped to make milk + honey the best day spa in Texas.”
Alissa encouraged other women looking to start a business to “Go for it! Do your research, trust your instincts, and surround yourself with talented individuals that share your passion and are not afraid to take risks – and ask for help along the way.”
Finally, we met with Melanie Bolin and Lina Dickinson, founders of luxury apparel and home brand Mersea.
“We both lived much of our lives in California, where the ocean wasn’t far away. We moved to Kansas City, far away from any beach, because of our husband’s jobs. With a connection to the California coastline and our children, we became fast friends. After 10 years of raising our kids together, we both became restless to answer the question…what’s next?”
Lina chimed in to add “Melanie always wanted to start her own brand and was percolating an idea until, one day, asked, “what’s with all these candles?” It was soon after that Mersea was born – a brand that would offer a mental escape to the ocean through scents, colors and textures borrowed from the sea. Today, our line encompasses home fragrance, bath and body, and a deep assortment of travel apparel and accessories.”
“The best advice we can give to women looking to start their own company is to follow your passion, follow your gut & follow your heart! Laugh and learn at every single creation, idea & accomplishment (and failure). Failure is a good thing – learn from it, adjust your plan & go for it again! We pride ourselves in supporting women interested in getting back into the workforce after raising their children and have the best and brightest women working with us because of this!”