Career Vs. Family - The Risks and Rewards
When did you first decide to start your own business?
This just evolved as my life marched
forward.....Since my kids were small, I knew that I wanted a flexible schedule, one on MY terms, not someone else's. The only way to do that was to be the "Boss." So I started looking for opportunities to make my own schedule and be my own boss. Over the years, I've tried various things until I discovered that I had a talent for designing bags.
What would you tell other women who are wrestling with the decision of which path to take, home or career?
Ignore the pressure to choose. You have to do what is best for you and your family, no one can tell you what that is. I know, from my own experience that you CAN have it all.....just not all at once. If you want to be a full-time Mom, then do it. If you think that people will look down on you because you chose a traditional path, ignore them. ONLY YOU know what's best for your family.

We also must be realistic. Because of that which makes us WOMEN; the beautiful ability to give life, our DNA, our hormones and the way our brains are wired, we are the ones that agonize over the career vs. family decision. Men simply don't think the way we do because it isn't built into their unique design. Men, while also wanting the best for their families, simply don't feel as conflicted over this decision. So give yourself a break, and build a full life that includes both family and career. Just be realistic and understand that you can't give 100% to both at the same time. No matter what you choose, do it to the best of your ability, without guilt, without regret, without 'what ifs'. Be uniquely YOU, and be true to HER.

What do you hope your daughter or granddaughters learn from your journey?

I want them to see that no matter what stage of life you're in, you still have goals and dreams. No matter what, it is important to always pursue your dreams and set new goals for yourself. Also, you may have dreams later in life that you have no idea of right now! Life evolves, so let it and be present every day to the possibilities before you.

How does it feel to wake up and work on your business every day?

It's exciting and very scary, especially now that I have so much time and money invested, yet am still pre-revenue. I can see revenue in the future, but don't have it yet! It's like pushing a snowball uphill, waiting to reach critical mass so that the snowball can carry itself down the hill and build and build and build!

I can't imagine working for someone else at this point. Yes, I've taken risks, and I'm happy to be a risk-taker at heart. It was a huge risk to forgo an engineering career in order to take care of my children. I don't regret the risks I've taken. I've learned so much from all my choices, and feel that I'm a better person for having walked this journey. Although the business hasn't made money yet, I'm still happy to be on the journey. The decision to keep moving forward was not a one-time decision. Things just kind of happened as I began investigating whether or not Animal Packers was a good idea. Each step forward presented another problem to be
solved, and each problem was solvable.

So.....I kept moving forward.......