As a parent, I have always felt that it’s my job to teach my children all that I can while they are young, so that when they go out into the world they have the necessary tools to make the best decisions possible. I also want them to believe that they can do anything they set their minds to. I know that to accomplish these goals, I need to lead by example.
The idea to start my own business presented the unique opportunity to show my kids what it’s like to build something new and work nonstop to see it through. Although my kids have always seen me work hard, I was already well established as an actress by the time they were born. They would visit me on sets (Rocky was practically born on set with me breastfeeding in between takes) and then tell people, “Mommy gets her hair and makeup done for a living.”
When the idea first came up to launch Foodstirs, a line of all-natural baking mixes, it seemed impossible to me. Could this really be something I could accomplish? It was so out of my wheelhouse. However, the idea of pushing myself to do something so challenging was in line with the way in which Freddie and I view “failure.” There is a negative connotation associated with the word, but we feel differently. We like to use the word failure as we would with exercise; you want to work your muscles until they “fail,” which is critical to muscle growth. If you avoid trying new things out of fear of failure, then you will also never succeed. So I had to go for it.
It would have been very easy for me to shy away from trying an entirely new business, as I was already pretty successful at what I was doing. But we had an idea, which my business partners (Galit Laibow and Gia Russo) and I were incredibly passionate about and truly felt that if we didn’t do it, someone else would.
For the last year and a half my children have watched me dive into uncharted territory. First, they watched us try and get funding, which wasn’t an easy road. There were definitely times when I felt like giving up, but we kept going, believing there was a way out there to finance our vision. We finally got that “yes,” only to find out that seeking funding was the easy part! After that, we had to develop our products and launch. My kids watched me struggle to learn the tech side of the business and many a night smelled my recipe attempts gone way wrong.
Now here we are, and my children get to watch me launch a company that they first heard about as an idea in my head. They saw me work tirelessly to make it happen (LOL and still work tirelessly to make it a success). Now they have firsthand experience of what it takes to make dreams come true. Daddy may be a Jedi, but Mommy is an entrepreneur.