Meet Ellen: Mamapreneur and Founder of The Great State
Mother's Day is just around the corner so we caught up with one of our favourite 'mamapreneurs' - The Great State founder Ellen Newman. Ellen shared with us her thoughts on motherhood, what it takes to grow a successful business, and her plans for this Mother's Day.
What is your Life Mantra?
Stay humble. Be grateful. Add value.
What do you do for a living?
I am the founder of The Great State skincare company.
What is your dream job?
I am working on building it with The Great State. I would love to be the Head of Brand and Creative Direction.
Who inspires you?
My husband Luke and all the women in my life who have lived wonderfully ordinary lives defined by purpose, resilience and resourcefulness.
What makes you feel empowered?
When I accomplish something I didn't think I was capable of. All those little achievements fuel the tank for bigger challenges.
Describe your usual daily routine.
I wake up early, read and have some quiet time, go to the gym, often have a quick dip in the ocean, grab coffee and head home. That's all before 7am! Then I get my boys sorted for the day and begin work. After work, it is the night time routine, dinner, evening walk, tuck the kids in and then crash out on the couch with Luke for a cup of tea.
What are the five things that you can’t live without?
Books, denim, my Soothing Skin Balm, swimwear, sunglasses.
How has motherhood influenced the way, if any, that you approach your business?
I feel like I am far more cautious that I used to be. In the past we put a lot on the line to pursue business ventures and I look back on some of the decisions we make and think how crazy we were! Now, we think of our choices in terms of how they will impact our kids. It means we are far more mindful with how we use our resources. On the flip side of that though, I feel like I am more brave because I want my boys to know that their mum was a woman who pursued her dreams motivated by a desire to create a life less-ordinary for her family.
What has been the most challenging and rewarding parts of motherhood, for you?
I think I assumed that I would operate in a very similar way to how my mum did when we were little; creative, spontaneous, adventurous and patient. On the contrary, I really struggled with the lack of stimulation, the monotony, mess, emotions and same-ness of every day life with little kids. I struggled with depression after my second son was born, which I did not expect at all. In retrospect, the challenging parts were also happening simultaneously to the most rewarding parts. I look back now and feel such a sense of joy when I think about the slow and simple days that at the time, were sometimes so difficult to endure. These days, I am rewarded by loving words from their little hearts in the moments before they fall asleep. Those are the moments I savour and the moments I feel like it's all worthwhile.
What is the best piece of advice that you have received about motherhood?
Pick your battles. For me, good manners are a non-negotiable, but I couldn't care less if my kids want to wear a hideous clashing-print outfit. Some things are worth holding your ground on, others are not worth disturbing the peace for.
What advice would you give other mamapreneurs juggling parenthood and a growing business?
Ride the rollercoaster and remember your WHY while you are going. And take your kids along for the ride. Our kids are very much a part of our business and I think this helps them understand that sometimes mummy has to go away for a few days to "sell her special balm", or that I need to work alone in the office without interruption. I do make sure though, that when it is time to be with them, it is uninterrupted time focussed on them.
What is your favourite thing to do with your sons?
I love drawing with them and going for walks or spending time at the beach. Time at the beach is always better when it's one-on-one because otherwise they are off in opposite directions and it's not at all relaxing!
How will you be spending Mother’s Day this year?
It's actually a non-event in our household because my hubby's favourite skate event is televised on Mother's Day every year. As he says "It's Mother's Day every day of the year in this house" which I can't argue with. He spoils me the other 364 days of the year, so I guess he can have this one ;) I usually spend the day with my mum; we sit out on her terrace overlooking the garden, drink tea and chat.
What makes life beautiful, to you?
Finding pleasure and enjoyment in simplicity and the everyday tasks of life.