Spending the day with a family built on the foundation of entrepreneurship truly makes us appreciate our backyard a whole lot more. From San Diego, the Rowleys of Solly Baby Wrap give us insight into what it's like being parents, business owners, and a free-spirited family.
Your family left us a sense of certainty that your family exudes much ‘togetherness.’ Does that opportunity, for both parents, come from being self-employed?
I think, for better (and every once in a while for worse - hah), we are all together a lot. Jared and I really share our responsibilities with work and family, which keeps us a bit more connected. We are both figuring it all out as we go, but I think we make a pretty good team. Jared is endlessly supportive and thoughtful so I give all the credit to him.
That’s so sweet! It’s such great team work! Well, talk to us about how you generally start the day! What is your routine?
Right now, the routine starts with me trying to escape to the gym and then to the office first thing, depending on how well or not well Frances slept the night before. While I do that, Jared gets the kids ready for school and for the day. By the time he gets our 6 and 4-year-old to school and the baby down for a nap, I’m done with my big daily projects. We swap out a little before lunch so he can work until evening. I try to leave work behind me for the afternoon… It’s not always so successfully, but I do my best to focus on our little ones. We eat dinner together and then get to the bedtime routine. Of course we work more at night, but we try to get some good hangout time with each other. And, unless we have a special event or scheduled post, we unplug over the weekend.
Of course, this changes all the time with special events, a new line launching, having babies, sick kids, etc., but this is the general schedule we stick to for now. It seems to change every six months or so, but we try to stay flexible.
If the kids aren't in school, then how does the morning routine change?
Our kids have school off on Fridays, so I try to do something more fun with the kids on those days. We try to keep it the same. Jared will get to do something fun with the kids in the morning and I’ll take the afternoon. Or we try to just get the minimum done in the morning so we can take the day to do something fun. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we own a business and not the other way around. There’s never perfect timing and there’s always more to do but our little ones will only be little for so long.
What time do you generally head to the office?
Frances has been teething, so she’s been up all kinds of hours in the night. I try to get to the office between 6 and 7, but lately it’s been between 7 and 8 and I’ll work from home the first few hours and just go into the office for meetings.
While on this topic, your office is beautiful! We love a good, bright space. What have your goals been for your new office?
Thank you! It’s all Jared. Our goal is to have a creative space that inspires us and reflects our brand values. So far so good, but we’re taking it slow.
So you attempt to unplug on the weekends or when you’re not at the office! Aside from routine, how are you maintaining your work-life and family-life? It must be difficult to stop talking about business-things!
I really try to keep the spheres separate, but it’s tricky when social media never stops and you’re managing employees. We’re figuring it out as we go along, but I feel like it’s all about priorities. We don’t always strike the perfect balance but our priorities are almost always straight. Our kids and our marriage always come first. Then, work and whatever else can follow.
I will say that we don’t ever want all of work to stay at work. Entrepreneurship is definitely something Jared and I value and want to pass down to our kids. They learn a lot by being in the culture of our business. For hundreds of years, families ran businesses together whether it was on a farm or in a bakery and there is so much valuable education in that experience. Our kids sometimes have to sit at the office with us if it’s an especially hectic day or make a post office run or tag along for a meeting with our suppliers and I don’t apologize to them for it. These experiences will serve them well one day.
And, yes, Jared and I have to watch ourselves so we don’t talk about the business all the time, but to some extent we embrace that this is something we love to talk about! Luckily, we both have a lot of other interests as well, Jared is especially random with all of his hobbies, so that gives us plenty of conversational material.
You just launched a new collection! It definitely sounds like it went well! What was the response like for you?
Amazing! I’m always blown away by how well our new lines are received. So grateful and honored to be part of and supported by such an amazing community of mothers!
You live right by the beach, which is something only people can dream of. There is definitely a free-spirited vibe that you and your family exude. How does such freedom translate to the children? Are they as creative and imaginative as you and your husband?
(Laughs) I’m glad that’s the vibe we’re sending. I think our kids are pretty wild because of it. Mostly in a good way. They have no problem expressing opinions and they are incredibly creative. Way more so than Jared and I are. I’m constantly inspired by them. They make me want to learn more, try new things, and be better.
What are some of the life lessons that you hope to pass onto your children?
That they can do anything as long as they work hard and are kind. I know that sentiment has been floating around as of late, but it’s true. At least it has been in my experience.
Service and kindness are really paramount to living a good life and happiness, but I also just want them to continue exploring and learning. It’s just a recipe for a happy life.
What are some of the ways you wind down after a long day?
I love reading books with the kids at night. It kind of puts everything back in order in my brain. Also, Jared and I always eat a late night snack after the kids are in bed and talk for a while. We usually watch a show like Jimmy Fallon or something lighthearted.
Lastly, what does an ideal day look like to you?
I want lots more days when I get all my work done early in the morning followed by a really great day at the beach. The kind that lasts until sunset. We leave, sand-covered and worn out, pick up street tacos on the way home, and the kids crash in the car. Jared and I eat a treat in bed and watch a movie. I don’t know, is that boring? Sounds really nice to me.