The Ongoings of Sotela's founder, Hanna

Motherhood and Entrepreneurship

There have been many times within the past year that someone has complimented me for being an entrepreneur and a mother. I’ve gotten the “you are a superhero,” “I don’t know how you do it,” and my favorite, “you are living the dream life” comments since Olivia was born. 

And my response to all of those comments? “Why yes, that’s true. I AM a superhero.” Being a mother makes you a superhero and if you are doing anything else on top of that full-time job, kudos to you! 

I don’t really know how it feels to run Sotela without a baby. I got pregnant 6 months after launching, so the past 2.5 years has been a whirlwind. It took some time, but we now have a routine that works for all of us.

Up until Olivia was 6 months old, I stayed home full-time and worked while she napped. During that time, I launched the winter 2017 collection. My husband and Olivia went to every fitting with my seamstress during those 6 months because I was breastfeeding around the clock. We typically went to fittings in the evening after my husband got home from work. There was one specific time that I think I will always remember— on the way to my seamstress’ house, Olivia cried and screamed the entire way. She lives about 45 minutes away and it was non-stop the entire car ride. When we arrived to her house, Olivia was drenched in sweat from crying and was completely inconsolable. That moment solidified it for me and I knew I had to find a better way to do both jobs. 

My mom who is retired and lives nearby offered to take care of Olivia during the week. We started off with 2 days a week and have now worked our way to 4 days. We are finally in this nice groove that works for everyone. 

This is what a typical day looks like for me:

6:30 am- Wake up and shower 

7 am- Hopefully eat breakfast before Olivia wakes up

7:30 am- Olivia is up and wants milk

7:30 am – 9 am- Breakfast, play, get ready to leave

9:30 am- Drop Olivia off at my moms 

10 am- 4 pm- Work work work 

4:30pm and on- Play, dinner, play, Netflix, sleep 

I’m usually in bed by 9pm..

This has been our schedule for the past 6 months and I can honestly say it’s pretty amazing. I’ve noticed an increase in my mood and work productivity because I have a set schedule now. Some days I will go to a coffee shop if I need to get out of the house, but most days I work from home. I’m hoping that will all change in the near future when we have our Sotela HQ! 

One of my biggest fears when I first got pregnant was that motherhood would hinder my ability to be a successful entrepreneur. Even though my mom had done it, and was a single parent, I still wasn’t sure how it would be for me. I’ve been running a business on my own for 2.5 years all while keeping an 18 month old healthy and happy..

I can safely say being a mother has propelled this business. The drive I have to succeed is unlike anything I had before. Sure, I was motivated, but now I think of my growing family and how I want to contribute to their livelihood. Before getting pregnant, I was pretty relaxed with Sotela and just went with the flow. Now, I actively work to grow this business.

I believe motherhood and entrepreneurship is a beautiful partnership that can go together if you let it AND have the right support system. It is a constant dance of figuring out what works and doesn’t, but once you find that sweet spot, it’s pretty amazing.

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