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In true heymama fashion, our event at LA’s Plant Food & Wine was a multi-tasker’s dream. Not only did we get to spend the morning with our heymama LA community, we were treated to the most delicious cooking demonstration and tasting by the restaurant’s incredibly talented head chef in one of Venice Beach’s most glorious backyard gardens. To make the morning even more magical (and productive!), we had a moment to have an open and honest chat with some of the most respected mamas in the industry about what we at heymama refer to as the “juggle” – how we go about balancing our busy lives as both mamas and full-time entrepreneurs.

We’re not overstating it when we say that Plant Food & Wine is one of our favorite venues to date. The interior of the restaurant is a minimalist’s dream with whitewashed walls, clean lines and pops of natural elements in the cushions and cacti scattered throughout. Where the restaurant literally comes to life however, is in the backyard garden. From the fresh herbs growing in one corner to the twinkle lights draping from the tree branches, you feel as though you’ve found a natural paradise, right in the heart of Abbot Kinney Blvd. The communal style tables were the perfect gathering spot for our women to connect and share with one another and the plant-based menu was delicious and divine.

Event Recap: Plant Food & Wine, Los Angeles: The Juggle is Real Panel

We shared a family style breakfast of Polenta & Hash and Bananas Foster Pancakes while we were treated to a live cooking demonstration of Kelp Noodle Cacio E Pepe. We know that we’ll definitely be back for more and can’t wait to see what the kitchen dreams up next.

Event Recap: Plant Food & Wine, Los Angeles: The Juggle is Real Panel

Next, we joined our panelists; founder and designer, Anine Bing, founder of Weelicious and One Potato, Catherine McCord, co-founder of Richer-Poorer, Iva Pawling and journalist, Abbie Boudreau for an intimate and heartfelt discussion on what “having it all” truly means and whether you can indeed have it, the all too real struggles of balancing your online life with your real one, and what the “juggle” really looks like for each.

Each woman is in different industries and career stages but they all share a common ground, they want to be the best mothers and business owners they can be. Early in her career, Abbie Boudreau was interviewing for a job at a big network and was told by a female executive, “you can have it all, just not all at the same time.” At first, she was taken aback, she wanted it all, and could do it all (or so she thought) but after having a family, she quickly realized that “all” means something very different to everyone. Abbie shared, “Having it all means something different to me now. Priorities shift to what we can handle day-to-day. Now, I have my own version of having it all,” which is something that deeply resonated with all of us.

The heart of the heymama community is the notion that we’re stronger together.

For Iva Pawling, a momentous moment for her was when her son started to refer to her office as her business partner. Her son thought that his mom’s work was to go to SoulCycle and be at home, but if any of you have had the pleasure of meeting Iva, you know that she’s as prolific in business as any man could ever be. Iva shared, “I think that with this many moms working that this is the new normal. I hope with the new generation we see more of that.” We love the idea that we won’t have to explain to our kids that a woman’s contribution isn’t any less than that of a man. Iva also had some incredible wisdom to share with our community, including the reminder that “we don’t have to cater to our kids!”. Kids need to feel disappointment, learn to fail, learn that life is not set up to be convenient for them. To truly build leaders of tomorrow, we need to build resilient kids and empower them to manage and control their expectations.

For Catherine McCord, she shared that she started her business Weelicious as a “science experiment to figure out how to feed [her] kids.” As the demand for more content came to a head, she launched One Potato, a family-focused organic meal kit which is as easy to prepare as it is delicious. For her, her mini empire wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of everyone around her. “Every day is a juggle. It’s hard when you’re building little people and a brand at the same time. I’m a big believer in partnerships – there’s no “I” in team. To build a brand and be smart about it is to have people build it with you.” The heart of the heymama community is the notion that we’re stronger together and we salute Catherine for her commitment to connecting with other women and helping to elevate them along their entrepreneurial journey.

For Anine, what started as a small label that she ran out of her garage in Silver Lake, has quickly grown to eight stores worldwide and a following that is nearly half a million strong, positioning her as the next fashion “It Girl.” It’s easy to think that her life is perfect, but the truth is that there are days where her daughter is in tears because she’d rather be with mom than with her nanny and Anine is paralyzed with the desire to be a successful business woman and a good mom. Haven’t we all felt that? Her solution is to “try to invite people in with positive energy” which will support her being a mother while building her brand. We love Anine even more than we already did for her candid stories and honesty with her struggle with the juggle. There was a collective sigh amongst all of us as we realized we’re all trying to do our best, one day at a time.

 

There is so much we can all learn from each other, and when our members get together it empowers us to keep building our community. We were so moved by our members for their continued support but also by the new friendships, business partnerships and mentors that we’ve watched grow over the past few years. We can’t wait to bring this magic to other cities and we’re already looking forward to our next chance to get together.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Plant Food & WineGoldno.8Ranavat Botanics and Tula for your generous contributions. 

Photos by Emma Feil Photography

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