Balancing A New Baby & A Business During A Pandemic
Running a business is hard. Becoming a first-time mom is hard. Doing both in the middle of a pandemic is really hard.
When I found out I was pregnant, I did what any type A business owner would do - I spent the next 9 months meticulously preparing for my upcoming maternity leave. I knew that my leave would be anything but normal - when you have a 17-month-old business you don’t have the luxury of checking out for 3-4 months. I was planning to have a few weeks off uninterrupted and then would likely be back online for some portion of every day. The reality was that Weezie was my first baby, and it wasn’t just going to go on pause because I had my second baby. Even still, we prepared as best we could. We invested in our team, ensuring we had the best talent in place, and helping everyone set clear priorities for the upcoming quarter and year. Most importantly, we made sure everyone felt empowered to achieve their goals with or without my physical presence in the office.
What happened next, of course, was something no one, not even this Type A business owner, could have planned for.
My daughter was born on March 6th and I spent one full week with her mostly uninterrupted. What happened next, of course, was something no one, not even this Type A business owner, could have planned for. I watched the news unfold from my New York City apartment with a heavy heart - hundreds of thousands of people’s lives were at stake and millions were losing their jobs. Like all small businesses, our company was flipped on its head seemingly overnight - any future plans and sales forecasts we had made were now completely ludacris. It turns out that during a pandemic the last thing on people’s minds is luxury towels and robes. I went from enjoying a sweet few days with my newborn to planning my family’s evacuation from New York City, trying to understand what government relief might be available to Weezie, and keeping our team motivated and informed while we transitioned into this new normal.
Before the pandemic, Weezie’s focus was always on achieving profitable growth. We were ambitious, and every seemingly unrealistic sales target we set, we beat. In today’s new world, however, we are no longer trying to grow exponentially. We are instead just trying to survive. We are not fighting to hit ambitious sales goals, we are fighting to make sure our 20+ employees can keep their jobs and keep food on their families’ tables. The stakes have never been higher for companies like ours.
I don’t say any of this so that people will feel bad for me, or for our company. There are people in far worse situations than I am, and businesses in far worse situations than Weezie. I do say it to shed light on what everyone always tells you about starting a company - it is difficult. You have people’s lives, and people’s families’ lives in your hands, and even if you do your absolute best to protect them, sometimes the universe throws you a curveball. You have to be prepared for the unexpected, make some really tough decisions, and make sacrifices that affect your personal life as much as they affect your professional one.
You have to be prepared for the unexpected, make some really tough decisions, and make sacrifices that affect your personal life as much as they affect your professional one.
Only time will tell how this all unfolds, and until then we will continue to express gratitude for the health of our employees and their families, for those who are working on the front lines to keep us and those we love safe, and of course for our community. We have always known that without you, there would be no Weezie, and those words have never been truer than they are today. Thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times. Whether it be through making a purchase, sharing your love for Weezie with your friends and family, liking or commenting on our Instagram, emailing or texting with our Customer Experience team or dropping us a product review- these small acts have a HUGE impact on our business, and from the bottom of my heart I thank you.
I am confident that with your support Weezie will not only be able to survive in today’s environment, but we will once again thrive in tomorrow’s.
xo Lindsey, Weezie Co-founder & CEO