Mama Mentors is powered by Lincoln. Learn more about our partnership here. To us, our partnerships with brands are about so much more than business. We carve out relationships with brands whose values reflect our own and those of our members, and work together to thoughtfully tell stories and create experiences that speak to moms’ real lives and real interests.
Through projects like this one, HeyMama endeavors to enhance the professional success of our members by bridging the gap between those who have already arrived and the ones who are still on their way. We hope this journey will keep us all moving forward, just like Lincoln.
Divya Gugnani knows how to multitask. The co-founder and CEO of Wander Beauty, a multitasking beauty essentials business that helps women streamline their beauty routines, is also a mom of two children, ages 8 and 6. And now, in the era of COVID-19, she’s become a de facto teacher, facilitating at-home e-learning while maintaining her business, in addition to handling the near-endless responsibilities of parenthood.
“Zoom school has definitely been an adjustment,” Gugnani told HeyMama. “We’ve reworked our family schedule and space to accommodate remote learning and running the business.” But the juggling act that is working motherhood is not foreign to Gugnani. In fact, it’s the reason why she co-founded Wander Beauty.
“I would apply my concealer on the F train during my morning commute and I realized how many other women I saw doing the same thing every day,” she explained. “I realized then that there was no beauty brand speaking to the time-starved modern woman on the go.”
There’s arguably no one more time-starved than the entrepreneurial mom. In a 2005 Pew Research study, four out of 10 working moms said they always feel rushed, and a 2008 Pew Research study found that working moms are more stressed than working dads. (Surprise, surprise.) And this was before COVID-19, which has disproportionately impacted working moms. Recently, HeyMama and InHerSight conducted a survey of roughly 1,000 women and found that while two in five moms are doing more work as a result of the pandemic, three in five working moms feel less productive.
But these moments — the moments when we feel like we have far too much to do and not enough time to do it — is why Wander Beauty was created: to help moms do something for themselves in the midst of the endless chaos of daily life.
“Lindsay, [my co-founder], and I were both time-starved women on the go. We were doing our makeup on subways and trains, doing our skincare routine at the gym, and hair was an afterthought,” Gugnani explained. “We were reading labels and were conscious about the ingredients we were putting [on] our face, hair, and bodies. We synthesized these pain points into creating Wander Beauty — clean beauty essentials for wherever you wander.”
And as the pandemic rages on, Gugnani says she’s using the circumstances to get creative and find new, innovative ways to help working moms maintain their beauty routines — something that can provide a moment of self-care when they need it most.
“While the pandemic has put us in uncharted territory in a variety of ways, it has also provided a unique opportunity to experiment,” she said. “We’re taking this time to refine our storytelling, invest in our brand marketing/building, test new digital initiatives, and launch new wholesale partnerships.”
Gugnani is also using this moment to mentor other entrepreneurial moms as part of our Mama Mentors program. In partnership with Lincoln, HeyMama has connected our Mama Mentors with up-and-coming business owners and working moms to foster supportive relationships, share ideas, and find new and innovative ways to stand up and/or grow their businesses at a time of so much financial certainty.
“It’s because we’re busier than ever that I wanted to be a HeyMama mentor this year. We’re all navigating new challenges this year and it’s more important than ever to have a supportive community of fellow mamas,” she explained. “It’s amazing to have a support system filled with those who understand firsthand your experiences as a working mom. We inspire each other and empower one another to succeed.”
Whether it’s fostering community, finding ways to get creative, or laughing through her children’s recent Zoom meeting cameo, Gugnani has found a way to prioritize self-care by streamlining beauty and skincare routines. And it’s something she hopes will teach her kids what she has come to learn as an entrepreneurial mom: you can multitask your way towards the life you want to create for yourself.
“I want them to learn that they can work and have a family at the same time,” she explained. “They don’t have to choose between the two.”