Wild Woman- Heather Schuck on Garden Hose's, Goofy, and Mom Guilt!
Oct 18, 2012 07:33PM
HeatherSchuckFull21-702x1024 (107x150) (2)
As the CEO and founder of a leading children’s clothing brand, Glamajama, Heather Schuck is a passionate, well respected, and admired mom entrepreneur. Heather has overcome great odds through her creative spirit and innovative thinking. With dedication, and a now seasoned track record she was able to turn a failed eBay hobby into a multi-million dollar company. Her “wild” spirit, uncompromising will, and perseverance thorough online outreach utilizing blogging, social media, and video since 2003 have proved effective.
I recently caught up with this petite lil 5’1 classic bombshell to gain some insight into how she did it and what drives her passion. Heather’s nickname comes from her celebrated July 4th birthday as well as her firecracker spirit. Read on to see why she is a headliner in Aphrodite’s Wild Woman Interveiw!
Question: As a wife, mom, CEO, and entrepreneur, you transformed a $2,000 investment into a multi-million dollar lifestyle brand with your innovative branding strategies, the early adoption of social media and a relentless pursuit, how did it all start?
Answer: Accidentally! My degree is in Psychology and I spent several years working at a psychiatric treatment home. From there I was recruited by an investment firm and was a stockbroker for several years. It wasn't until I had my first little one in 2002 that I stumbled upon my passion for business and my love for fashion. I launched GlamaJama in 2003 with very humble beginnings selling baby clothes out of the trunk of my car at the playground. Today, the glamaLIFE brands can be found at national retailers such as Target, JCPenney, Sears, BuyBuyBaby, and Burlington. We've come a long way and I count my blessings each day!
Question: Tell me about the typical day in the life of Heather, if there is one.
Answer: Nothing in my life is “typical” and I'm okay with that. I learned a long time ago that I thrive off the chaos. Why fight it? Current projects always change but I do keep constants in my life. I strive each day to make it a great one and I do regular soul searching to define what makes them “great.” For me, it’s an hour long workout, home cooked breakfast/dinner with my kids, and an hour devoted to writing for my upcoming book. As long as I knock those off my “to do” list I feel happy, productive, and in control.
Question: You have achieved a lifestyle based on hard work, what was your initial inspiration?
Answer: Honestly I was probably most driven by my demons. I had absolutely no background, experience, or education in business. I was hell bent on facing my insecurities and proving to myself that I could do it. Some of my greatest strengths have come from my most epic failures. For example, when I first started I had NO idea what “publicity” was and got conned into spending $15K on an infomercial that ran once at 4am that not even my mother saw. I was beyond frustrated with myself for being that naive and vowed to right my wrong. I quickly became an expert on securing free publicity and secured many high profile features in outlets such as Oprah, USA Today, Entertainment Tonight, and even a guest appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Failures are often more inspiring than our successes.
Question: Tell me about your upbringing, your parents, how much do you attribute your childhood to who you are today and why?
Answer: I came from a very traditional household. My parents have been married 49 years and still have a loving marriage. My Dad worked and my Mom was a stay-at-home mom. We had our share of struggles, but the emphasis was always on family. For better or worse, you were there for each other. We're a close knit family and they're a huge part of the kid's lives. I feel very blessed to have that support and it helps give me the confidence to go out and tackle the world.
Question: What is your approach to life, your philosophy?
Answer: I have quite a few, but the simplest one is “Stop pursuing happiness, start creating it.” I'm usually smiling and laughing 24/7, but that's a CHOICE I've made. If I don't like something in my life, I fix it, it’s that simple. I see no value in complaining, feeling sorry for myself, or blaming others for my unhappiness. That's the beauty of personal accountability; it empowers us to live our best life.
Question: Where did you learn about finances?
Answer: The school of hard knocks! I had a good grip on things early on, but once we started to scale I quickly realized I was out of my league. Know your limits and hire a CPA you genuinely like and can trust. Building that foundation early on will pay dividends once your business grows.
Question: Tell me about the “Luck Factor”.
Answer: It doesn't exist. It’s a matter of taking chances and being prepared to seize the opportunities that are presented to you. Carrying business cards has gotten me a lot farther in life than any rabbit's foot has.
Question: Aphrodite Fitness Magazine is all about Fitness, Fashion, and Fun- you are all of those things! Tell me about your approach to fitness?
Answer: Fitness has been a part of my life for a long time. I did quite a bit of bodybuilding during college which I'm incredibly thankful for! I didn't realize it then, but all that muscle building helped me keep my shape and bounce back after having my three babies. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing! These days I mostly just maintain with body resistance exercises and cardio. Since I've been working out so long, the key is keeping it fresh and not falling into a rut. I've done everything from judo to pole dancing and I'm always on the lookout for new workouts to keep me inspired and challenged. Workouts should be fun- not just more work!
Question: What about your approach to fashion?
Answer: My style is very playful and a bit quirky. I'm petite (5'1”) and curvy (35-25-35) so I shop for clothes that lengthen me and don't add bulk. I love finding a fab fitting dress that accentuates my curves and then add fun accessories to showcase my personality. Also helps that I have a wicked heel fetish. Nothing completes an outfit like a pair of ultra-feminine, sexy heels.
Answer: Fun is in the everyday. You don't need to go to an amusement park to have “fun”, you can have a blast with just a garden hose and bad intentions. I'm definitely a bit goofy and don't take myself too seriously. Being perfectly polished is overrated.
Question: What is the best thing your kids have taught you?
Answer: That it’s okay to never grow up. When I was a new mom I was really hard on myself. I stopped having fun and let the weight on the world come crashing down on me. Everything was so serious and intense. I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw. I did some soul searching and came to realization that being a parent doesn't mean you have to lose touch with the kid in you. If anything, it’s more of a reason to hold onto it so you can relate and connect with your little ones. I've learned how to be the grown-up without losing touch with the kid at heart.
Question: In your mom role, what is the most important thing you do for your kids?
Answer: I play with them! Kids need our presence- not presents. I focus on making big memories out of the little things and we spend most of our family time just being silly. For example, Mommy doesn't scream at them to clean their rooms. We make it a game by putting “war paint” (make-up) on our faces and then battle the “dirt devils.” Ridiculous? Yes. But the room gets cleaned and we all have a good laugh. That's win/win in my book!
Question: How about kids and nutrition? What do you teach them?
Answer: Nutrition is important and I educate them every chance I get. Our trips to the grocery store are interactive adventures as we read labels, brainstorm recipes to try, and discover new foods. My oldest was also just diagnosed with gluten intolerance so we've transformed our house into a gluten-free zone. Overall I focus on teaching them the importance of moderation and being healthy.
Question: How about balance in love and relationships? How do you keep that with your schedule?
Answer: My love life is pretty hilarious these days since I'm navigating the world of dating as a single mom and CEO. That's a whole book in itself! My struggles are more about allowing myself to be available for “love.” There's the finding time issue and then the even bigger issue of allowing yourself to be vulnerable...again. It's tough? I'm at a point in my life where I'm incredibly happy and comfortable. On the one side, I want someone to share that happiness with. But on the other side, I don't want to let someone in my life that might screw it up. Ahhh...what's a girl to do? Ha! ;)
Question: What is “mom guilt? How do you know when it hits? What do you do about it?
Answer: When does mom guilt hit? Probably at conception! It’s basically the feeling on never being “enough.” You blame yourself for everything and anything and it can be very isolating. In an effort to be “enough” you typically go into overdrive taking care of everyone BUT yourself. You end up rundown and empty which just adds to your feelings of helplessness. It's a vicious cycle. The reality is that happy kids come from happy moms. Motherhood isn't about being the real-life June Cleaver. It’s about loving your little ones without abandon and promising to always give your best. To give your best, you must make sure you're at your best. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. It just might be the best thing you can do for your child.
Question: I love the one YouTube video out-take I saw with the fire- is it always fun, doing what you do?
Answer: Yes, absolutely! I have a very curious nature and I'm always seeking out new adventures and experiences. It keeps things interesting and very exciting!
Question: Do you cook?
Answer: Yes, I love to cook and bake. I'm very domesticated! I think cooking is an art in itself and a heartfelt expression of love. Nourishing and nurturing go hand and hand at my house and its a family affair. We never miss an opportunity to connect over fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!
Question: Favorite cheat food?
Answer: I'm obsessed with coconut so I'd have to say homemade coconut gelato. Yum!
Question: What is the one thing you wish women knew?
Answer: That work/life balance is a myth. It’s impossible to draw an imaginary line in the sand that will compartmentalize your two worlds. If your husband is sick, you're going to be distracted at work. If your project has a ridiculous deadline, your kids will know Mommy is stressed. Life happens. Instead of chasing after balance, empower yourself by defining your core needs for happiness. Then strive each day to incorporate those core needs into your day. The simple act of committing to your daily happiness is a HUGE STEP towards overall wellbeing. When this happens, you stop being a victim of your “to do’s” or “the man”. You restore a sense of balance, take back control of your happiness, strengthen your sense of purpose, and create an optimistic outlook for your future. It’s all about mindset.
Question: Fill in the blank “When Heather does not need to be in business mode you will find her …………..
Answer: ……..joyriding in my 6yr olds new go-kart (shhh...don't tell him! ;)).”
Heather Schuck can be reached at www.glamalife.com. Follow her on twitter @glamajama, and on Facebook at facebook.com/glamalife.