Many people come to me asking what it’s been like to be a mother while running Coolhaus. The questions they have are very similar to the ones I had before my son was born:
- Will motherhood change the way I will feel about work?
- How will I afford being a mom if something goes wrong in my business?
- Most common question: how will I get it all done AND devote the time I want to loving and parenting my child??
I can speak to all the above and more, now that I’m on the other side of things as a mother to my amazing two-year-old (as of March 4th!) son, Remy.
Regarding the changing perspective on work, I believe that if you are passionate about what you do, it only makes you more passionate when you become a mom. Now I am growing Coolhaus not only for myself, and my wife Freya, but also for my son Remy, who I hope to inspire with my awesome ice cream legacy. This makes me think about my work in a bolder and bigger way than ever before. It fuels my drive and passion to take things to the next level.
As for lingering questions around money: of course, you will always need to stay on top of it. Becoming a mom forces you to remain as organized as possible about your budget - when there’s someone else’s financial security on the line, you will want to know what’s coming in and out. Recognize that this is the truth, but don’t carry this weight on your own. It will become easier when both people in a working relationship manage finances and financial goals.
Remember to ask for help. Being a CEO helped me to build a community and support system; I knew I had to incorporate this insight into motherhood. Because Freya and I work full-time, we knew we would want a nanny to care for Remy. We were able to apply our many years of interviewing, hiring, and growing our collective teams to find the person we could trust with Remy. We are very lucky that we found Porsha, who is not only an extremely loving and super cool soul but also a fellow woman with a passion for food and pastry. Just like how great it feels to connect with someone on another level in the workplace, the same goes for someone you’re bringing into your home as well. Use the vetting skills and sharp instinct you’ve acquired as a businesswoman to build your safety net. It’s an important decision, but remember that seeking help in another person is meant to alleviate your stress in both your professional and personal lives.
Setting reasonable financial limitations encourages you to look for creative solutions. While looking at the numbers of having full-time care against our own budget, Freya and I decided we wanted to find ways to alleviate costs while thinking about what would be best for Remy. We elected to do a nanny-share with some good friends; this was a way to be fruitful with our budget but also give Remy social interaction with both Porsha and another baby. Approach the economics of parenting the way you would as a business owner. Finances don’t have to be another stress point around motherhood.
Lastly, on the subject of making time: being a mom will make you more efficient with your day than ever before. When your child is little, you may have very few hours in the day to spend with them outside of work. The instincts kicked in for me; I became super prioritized with my working time to make sure I got what I needed to get done.
There is a saying that I have found to be very true: “If you want something done, give it to a working mom.” Being a business owner is great preparation for the different aspects of parenting that feel daunting. After all, you are run a business...you can do this! The skills you’ve developed in your career don’t go out the window simply because there’s room to make for motherhood. Instead, let being a business owner and a mother complement one another.
Motherhood and business ownership is not an easy balance to strike from the get-go, but you start to learn how much more passionate and creative you can be as you figure things out. I hope that my experience provides the encouragement that growing a family can enlighten your work and stretch your horizons beyond what seems possible today. Ultimately, being a mother is an inspiration to keep you going. You will create beautiful things in your entrepreneurial journey.
Los Angeles native, Natasha Case, received her Masters of Architecture degree from UCLA, and began interning at Walt Disney Imagineering in Hotel and Master Planning. During this time, she started baking cookies, making ice cream, and combining them into “cool houses” with co-founder and wife Freya Estreller. After discovering their newfound passion they purchased a beat-up old postal van, and debuted Coolhaus at the 2009 Coachella Valley Music Festival…and the rest is history!
Today, Coolhaus is the leading women-owned and led ice cream brand distributing in 7,500+ grocery stores ranging from Whole Foods to Safeway to Publix markets including hand-crafted ice cream sandwiches, artisan pints and chocolate-dipped bars. Natasha works as CEO, creating new products, designing merchandise and packaging, running the marketing department, building new relationships and innovating ideas that keep Coolhaus on top of its game as zealous expansion continues. Natasha has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 for Food and Beverage, and Zagat 30 Under 30 in New York City.
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