From One Jane to Another: Q+A
How many little ones did you have when you founded JaneMade? How did things change as your family continued to grow?
When I got pregnant with my second, JaneMade was pretty new; it was a delicate balance of trying to get new clients and not wanting them to work with someone else on account of my being pregnant. Fortunately, all of our clients were women. When Duke was born, nobody batted an eye to me nursing during calls or hearing a screaming baby in the background.
I got pregnant with Lyla in the fall of 2019 right before the pandemic hit. That pregnancy was definitely the hardest. I had two little kids at home, no nanny, homeschool, and exhaustion—all while running a (thankfully) crazy busy business.
We’re on the other side of COVID now, fingers crossed, and I have three kids under six at home. It’s a lot. We have a wonderful nanny who is with us Tuesdays through Fridays, and I maximize the hours she’s with us. My kids come first, always, so that’s baked into everything JaneMade does—the number of projects we can take on, the deadlines we’re comfortable with, and the rates we charge.
How do you focus on both raising your children and successfully growing JaneMade without compromising one or the other?
It’s tough! And it’s been a big learning curve. With three kids, trying to juggle a too-heavy workload isn’t really an option. Bringing on Lindsay, our studio manager, was one of the best decisions I’ve made for the business. She’s able to make sure we don’t say yes to too many projects at once (a mistake I’ve made in the past) and help with both client and creative management. I don’t work on the weekends, because I want to ensure that time is strictly for family. However, I crank really hard during work hours to make sure I’m optimizing my time. I truly love to work, but the key to staying sane with everything going on is to make sure I’m not burning the candle at both ends too often.
How has the pandemic impacted your ability to separate work and family obligations?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was juggling at-home pre-k for my daughter, watching my toddler son full-time, pregnant, and running JaneMade. It was… a lot. We lost our nanny for a couple of months out of precaution, so in order to work, I had to set aside a couple hours here and there when my husband was available to watch the kids. I’ve always run JaneMade from home in order to be available to my family, so that part wasn’t new, but having everyone there 24/7 definitely was!
Has motherhood taught you any lessons or skills that have improved the way you work?
I’m not sure if it’s motherhood or just growing up, but there has definitely been a shift in the way I approach my career since having kids. Criticism has a *much* lower effect on me than it used to. I’m so lucky that we partner with like-minded, respectful people, but of course, there are times when things go awry or clients don’t like something. When I was younger, I would let these issues ruin my whole day. Now, it doesn't really bother me, and I think it's because I’ve realized how little it matters in the grand scheme of things.
Do it. I started this business because I’m a mother. Because my mom worked crazy hours and wasn’t home with me growing up. Because I didn’t want to miss any scraped knees or sports games or after school stories. It’s a lot of work. But if you’re raising kids, you’re already doing the hardest job there is, and you deserve to carve out space for yourself.
Follow @janemade to stay up-to-date on what Lindsay and all of us Janes are working on.Do you have any advice to those who are hesitant to start their own business because they are mothers?