Before starting my business I was a stay-at-home mom with two kids and my husband was running a restaurant full time. I never thought I would be able to find the time beyond making products as a hobby. What had started as a healthy escape for me to concentrate on something that was all mine had come to the point where I knew it was something I wanted to share with the world.
I loved being able to pick my kids up at school and be with them as much as possible. I feared starting a business would take me away from family life and the parts of being a mom I so cherished.
What I realized though, was that if I did want to spend all the time I wanted with my kids, escape on weekends and take time off when they are out of school, then I would have to be my own boss.
So I set out to create a business that I could grow at my own pace, and that would give me room to continue to be present with my family.
I have two boys, ages four and seven, and while they do require a lot of attention and work, I never think of them as a burden. They are my inspiration and are what motivates me daily. They love to collaborate on creative ideas, especially coming up with (their own crazy) names for products and testing out colors and scents.
My other main collaborator in life was always my mother. She was an artist her whole life and made abstract paintings and sculptures in the most vivid colors and bold shapes. Those colors and the ideas and feelings behind them were all linked to emotions and healing. I hope to convey some of what she taught me through making healing and nourishing products with colors and scents that inspire.
She was always the first person I asked for advice and sent new ideas to. When she fell ill and suddenly died a year ago, I was just taking on my biggest account. I got a huge order for lip balms that was due within weeks of her passing. I wanted to throw in the towel, thinking I couldn’t possibly find the energy. But I thought about how proud she was of me and how she would be sad if I turned down any opportunity, so I dug in and got the order out (yes, making 1000’s of lip balms by hand with just me and my husband.) It was a great and positive way to concentrate on something with a clear goal. Also acknowledging that repetitive work is meditative, thus giving me the space I needed to process my feelings.
I like to think that I take every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. I draw upon that boundless energy I receive from my boys every day, and I hope through seeing my accomplishments, however big or small, that I may inspire them as well.
Sage Lehman is the founder of LOVE+SAGE.