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Launching a global skincare brand while pregnant- my top tips and learnings on how to be a successful business wo-mom.


Launching a global skincare brand while pregnant- my top tips and learnings on how to be a successful business wo-mom.

Launching a global skincare brand while pregnant- my top tips and learnings on how to be a successful business wo-mom.
By our CEO and Co-founder, Kim van Haaster

*I would like to preface this by saying that every mother's experience is different and unique and these are my personal experiences*

Every pregnancy and experience is different, unique and poses its own hurdles - my pregnancy and maternity experience was as unique as any. For Hein and I, we realized that we were pregnant a few days before our inaugural press event for Bloomeffects - right in the middle of tulip season in April/May, 2019, where we were revealing our brand for the first time to a select group of people. After doing the math, we realized that I was going to be entering the third trimester of my pregnancy during our official Bloomeffects launch that was to be later that year, on October 1, 2019.

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Today is Kings Day in the Netherlands and what better way to celebrate the beautiful country than to throw it back to our Amsterdam event last year! Here is a throwback to this time last year when we invited all of our friends from around the world to our home in the Netherlands to celebrate the tulip season and share a sneak peak of what we were launching in the fall (@bloomeffects of course!). 🌷 The Inaugural Amsterdam Event was packed with all things Dutch… including a canal boat ride and VIP access to Keukenhof gardens, brunch in the breathtaking tulip fields, and of course, running through rows of red, yellow, and white tulips in our own, privately owed, tulip fields. Although we weren't able to hold our event in the tulip fields this year, we have vowed to bring as much joy from the tulips fields to you all as possible. There are many things to be grateful for right now, and the beauty of tulips is definitely one of them! We hope you enjoy our favorite moments from our event last year and hope to see some of you joining in next year. Thank you to our friends of the brand, our team and amazing vendors for the support during the event - we can't wait for round 2! 👯‍♂️ @jbailly @jenn_edit @katiejaynebecker @catquinn @mimielashiry @clairerose @colormecourtney @by.iris.sophia @tusharnesenior @diipakhosla @waikeiofficial @colormeparis @xthuyle @deleuropeams @clusiustulipvodka @denhamthejeanmaker @nicktsindos @vormproductions @nadjimtsouli @rutgermflowers

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Around the time of our press event in the Netherlands, my Co-founder, Monica, was also pregnant. She was much further down the track though, with a little baby girl being due any day. We had planned for her to try to have a somewhat normal maternity leave of 3 months. For those following along, this meant that Monica would be mildly 'out-of-action' (when you're a business owner, are you ever 'out-of-action' though?) for the time leading up to our official launch. 

Given that Monica was on maternity leave, and we were launching out very first skincare brand, I didn't read motherhood books and I didn't attend pregnancy classes - Bloomeffects took precedence. Honestly, I was slightly in denial about being pregnant and just focused on Bloomeffects. I worked and lived life as normally as I could - I commuted to work from Amsterdam to NYC every few weeks up until 36 weeks and was still pitching to retailers like QVC a few weeks before I was due. It wasn't until towards the end of my pregnancy, after months in a 'launch-at-all-costs' mentality, when it actually hit me. I remember saying to Hein in the final weeks, "sh*t this is really happening!".

Of course I still had my check-ups and did the usual 'mom' things - like stroller and nursery shopping - but I wouldn't have been able to do it without my mom-friends. I was so lucky to not only have Monica 6 months ahead of me in the journey to becoming a mother but also fellow co-workers, best friends and past clients who had all become new moms around the same time. 

Throughout the whole journey, and through the advice of my friends and family, here are a few things that I learnt that might be helpful for working/entrepreneurial moms; 

Reach out to others- don't try to recreate the wheel
Don't try to recreate the wheel and do all the research and heavy lifting yourself. Mom-friends are the best resource. Get recommendations for the best crib, the best stroller, maternity clothes, baby registries etc and collate them - I just got lists from all my mum friends (they all have lists trust me) then collated and ranked them in excel and purchased online! I was done within an hour or so and felt prepared for Eva's arrival. 

Sleep while you know what it is
SLEEP as much as you can during the pregnancy because once they arrive a full night sleep seems like another life...something I wish I listened more to.

Trust your partner
Trust your partner to support you. For the first time in my life as a type A, semi-control freak, I realized that it would be really hard to do this alone and Hein's input became my saving grace. In Hein's eyes, I was busy "making an eyeball" (to quote Ali Wong), so the least that he felt that he could do was organize our lives and ease how much was on my plate. He planned our wedding, bought a house, moved us from Amsterdam to Haarlem, renovated our new house and then moved us to our dream home. All while I was busy "making an eyeball". For this I will be forever grateful.

Be present
Try not to multitask work with baby time at the same time. I made the mistake of emailing while nursing late at night. It doesn't help any aspect of motherhood or work - the baby knows that you aren't giving your full attention, the quality of your work decreases, and it stops your milk production (no-one told me this!). It is also hard to switch off mentally and go back to sleep especially when quality sleep is rare to find when you enter motherhood!

Have grit
Stay single minded about your goals- some call this 'grit'. It can be daunting and completely overwhelming at times, becoming a new mother and leading a start-up. I just remind myself that everyone has bad days and tomorrow is a new day. Learn from each mistake because there will be mistakes, take it in your stride and never take your eyes off the end goal. For me that's Eva's happiness, our family unit and Bloomeffects to continue to BLOOM.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers everywhere!