Julie Cole, mother of six and co-founder of Mabel's Labels, a personalized label company that moms love, knows a thing or two about being busy. The entrepreneur is a regular parenting contributor for HLN's "Raising America" and "CHCH Morning Live." She appeared on NBC's "Today" show and is a syndicated blogger for The Huffington Post, Yummy Mummy Club and more.
Now that the new school year is in full swing, I recently caught up with Cole to ask about her six kids, her well-known business and how she balances it all. Take a look:
Q. What inspired you to create a label-making business?
"My business partners and I were all working in the traditional workforce and managing our young families. When my eldest son was diagnosed with autism, I quickly realized the law books would have to be shelved and the search for a family-friendly and flexible career began. In addition, there was a product missing from the market. We wanted to create adorable but incredibly durable labels for all the stuff kids lose. Our clever little business plan combined with the needs of our families provided all the inspiration we needed."
Q. I have two little ones. I can't imagine balancing life and work with six kids! How do you do it?
"I have several survival tricks! The most important survival tool is perspective. I really don't sweat the small stuff. I'm not a perfectionist; my house is not immaculate and my children are not served beautiful dinners every night. And guess what? I'm OK with that. I'm also not afraid to ask for help when I need it. Most importantly, I have raised my kids to be self-sufficient and independent. I don't wait on them hand and foot. It takes every family member's contributions to keep this machine running, so everyone must pitch in, big or small."
Q. What is the best part of owning your own business?
"It's amazing to create something and then nurture its growth. I often compare owning a business to raising children. Both are challenging, fulfilling and a source of great pride. I feel like I am a great role model for my children: They are so proud of seeing their mother passionate about work and life. Owning a business has also provided me with flexibility that the traditional workplace does not always value. This balance is necessary when you are raising six children!"
Q. What activities do you and your family like to do in your downtime?
"We love to visit our cottage in the summer and go skiing in the winter. All my children play hockey so we have lots of fun at the arena. I'm really enjoying my bigger kids now because we can do things like play euchre and chat around the campfire when the little ones go to bed."
Q. What's up next for Mabel's Labels?
"We hope to break into new markets and continue to create innovative and fabulous products that parents and kids love. We are looking to expand our retail partnerships. Most importantly, we will continue to foster the amazing online community of moms and customers that we have already created."