Dear Reader: Below are answers to several questions I’ve been asked pertaining to my journey as a mom entrepreneur. Thanks for showing interest in me and my glass straws! I hope this provides value and insight to other aspiring mom entrepreneurs. Warmly, Daedra
Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?
Nope! Not many kids dream of being a glass artist unless they’re exposed to the option, and I was not!
I first thought I wanted to be a waitress. I accomplished that early on and it definitely wasn’t my dream job. Of course, being a mom means I utilize that training everyday. These days, I really enjoy the treat of going out to eat so that someone can wait on me.
Next, I wanted to a marine biologist, and then an architect. I didn’t really pursue the marine biologist, but I am a true animal lover to this day. I studied architecture in college and have a degree in it, but that too didn’t have staying power with me.
I have always had a hard time creating goals for my future because I never knew where life was going to take me. The one thing I was certain of was that wherever I go and whatever I do, I wanted to be happy. I have succeeded in that!
How did you come up with the idea for Strawesome?
One day, out of the blue, a friend of mine mentioned the idea of glass straws to me. I fell in love with the product idea because it mixed two passions of mine together: beautiful design and eco-friendliness. I have a local friend who owns a glass studio and she hooked me up with classes and information on where to order materials. After a few months of practice, I decided I was going to claim this for myself!
What inspired you to start Strawesome and to make glass straws?
I was inspired to start Strawesome because I wanted to be more than just “mom”. I wanted to have purposeful work of my own. I wanted to leave a legacy behind for my children and make the world a better place. I was moved by the fact that my family and I could be a force in empowering people to care for the earth with simple gestures like picking up plastic straw litter we find on the ground and making glass alternatives. Everyday I experience these inspirations when I work and spend time with my kids!
What has been your biggest challenge?
I’m incredibly grateful that I don’t have to sit at a computer 40 hours a week because my biggest challenge is sitting and doing computer work. I’d much rather be in my glass workshop making straws, cooking or playing with my boys. I know computer work is part of my business, so I am super efficient and fast at whatever there is to do. I suppose it is actually one of my strengths despite not liking it. An empty email inbox and all my tasks completed makes me happy.
How do you conquer those moments of doubt that so often stifle, trip up, or stop so many entrepreneurs with great ideas…what pushes you through?
When faced with situations like these, my best strategy is to step away for a bit and come back to it. This helps me realize that the moment I’m in is not as big or dramatic as it seems and that it too shall pass. It also helps to talk things over with others (and remember I am not alone) to process whatever is on my mind so it can be released. Then a solution or next step usually arises.
Which was more rewarding: making your startup a success, or being able to continue keeping it successful?
I believe that keeping Strawesome a success is a great ongoing accomplishment that continues to be very rewarding. Kind of like marriage, it’s not easy but the longer you continue to work through things that you have to work through, the more accomplished you feel. Like marriages, so many businesses fail shortly after start-up, so I feel like the long-term is the reward. I’m looking forward to saying “It’s Strawesome’s 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th…. anniversary!”
If you could have given yourself a piece of knowledge or advice when you started what would that be?
I’d say don’t listen to the naysayers unless it empowers you to press on. There are 10 times more positive people in the world than there are negative people. The negative people are simply not happy with their own lives and are determined to make everyone else just like them. It’s not about you. Go be the mom entrepreneur you want to be!
If you had one piece of advice to a new mom entrepreneur just starting out, what would it be?
Have patience. When starting out everything takes a long time. You may have no reference from previous experience, so you need to give yourself the space to experiment, screw up, and not meet initial expectations. This will keep you in the game long enough to get some results. Then it gets easier to press on. Good things come to those who wait (or are patient!).
What are your goals for yourself and the family business over the next 3-5 years?
Personally, my goals are to be happy and healthy and continue to spend as much time with my family as possible. With my boys growing up, it matters that I take it all in.
For the family business, our goals are to exponentially grow the number of homes and businesses around the world using glass straws, thereby eliminating plastic straws, and doing a ton of good for causes that make the world a happy and healthy place.