Stephanie Lee, left; Kristin Reichert, right
Image by Emmy Lowe Photo
Stephanie Lee and Kristin Reichert were moms who wondered why they couldn’t find stylish bibs for their young children. To address this, they launched Copper Pearl, a line of trendy and fun bibs, blankets, multi-purpose covers and more in 2015. They shared their wisdom about finding creativity while in the parenting trenches, advice for other moms who dream of starting a business, and some savvy words about the ever elusive work/life balance.
We love the unique, fresh feel of Copper Pearl’s designs. Where do you get your design inspiration?
Kristin: From the world around me! Everywhere! I often am inspired by things I would love to have for my own kids.
You were both stay-at-home moms when you launched Copper Pearl. Do you have any advice for other moms who have a business idea they’d like to pursue?
Stephanie: Don’t be scared of not having all the answers. There are so many hurdles that come up when you’re running a business, but I’ve always been a fan of the phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it.” Nobody really knows what they’re doing, so just do your best to figure things out and keep pushing forward.
Between the two of you, you have seven kids. How do you keep your creative juices flowing while in a very busy stage of parenting?
Kristin: I think that being in the baby/kid stage helps me to be inspired by the kinds of products and patterns I would like to have for my own kids. Also, creativity is my outlet! When I’m having a hard day I love pulling my paints out to unwind.
Stephanie: I really try to utilize naptime and bedtime; that’s when I get most of my work done. My kids are so young right now and I really want to enjoy this phase of life with them. I try to minimize how much work I do during their waking hours.
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Kristin: The dishes! I’m lucky though because my hubby doesn’t mind doing them so that’s one that he takes on every day.
Stephanie: Laundry. I don’t mind the washing and drying, but folding it and putting it all away is basically the worst thing ever. Most of our laundry just sits in bins for more days than I care to admit.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
Kristin: Binge on Netflix!
Stephanie: Travel! There’s nothing better than escaping your world and exploring a different place. I find it more relaxing than anything else, and it really helps me take a break from the stresses of everyday life.
What is your best parenting hack?
Kristin: We try to get out of the house every day. Whether it’s to a museum or even just grocery shopping, we are all happier if we’re not cooped up in the house all day.
Stephanie: I don’t know if this is a hack, but I’ve always been a big believer in my kids getting enough sleep. Early bed times and sticking to naptimes allows my kids and me be our best selves.
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
Stephanie: My kids literally think I have eyes in the back of my head.
Image by Emmy Lowe Photo
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
Kristin: The other day I went to pick my daughter up from school and she came out much later than usual. I asked her what took so long—I was a little flustered from having waited so long. She told me that there was a little boy crying so she stopped and asked him if he was okay, gave him some encouragement and helped him calm down. That made me so proud!
Stephanie: There are so many, but one that just came to mind is from a few weeks ago when my son participated in his first grade talent show. He was terrified all week and wasn’t sure he wanted to do it. But when it came down to it, he decided to play the piano. Watching him get up there and face his fears (and totally nail it!) had me bursting with pride.
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
Kristin: Life can be hard and you will have lots of ups and downs, but what defines you is how you react when you’re going through the downs.
Stephanie: I’m someone who gets caught up in the to-do lists and the stresses of every day life, so my advice would be to remember to enjoy each moment for what it is and don’t get so caught up on what’s coming next.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Kristin: Make sure to set aside 10 minutes to be present with your kids every day. Those 10 minutes might not seem like much, but they will make a difference to your kids!
Stephanie: Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself grace. We expect ourselves to be perfect parents, but we can still parent great kids even though we’ll make mistakes along the way.
Image by Emmy Lowe Photo
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
Stephanie: I try to remember that I can’t be everything all the time; each day looks different. Some days I’m a super fun mom. Some days I make a lot of progress with my business. Some days my house is clean and dinner is on the table. It’s not going to happen all at once, and that’s okay. As I plan the day each morning, I prioritize my time based on whom or what I think needs me the most, and shrug off any mom-guilt by having confidence in whatever decision I make.
What was the last book you read?
Kristin: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Stephanie: I’m in the middle of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, and I’m totally loving it.
Image by Jenisse Photography
Favorite Beauty Product:
Stephanie: Batiste Dry Shampoo. I don’t think I would survive without it.
Favorite Form of Exercise:
Kristin: Running! Although this mom-bod doesn’t like it quite as much as my high school bod did. haha
Stephanie: I live for long-distance running.
What is on your DVR?
Kristin: Fixer Upper on repeat!
Stephanie: Grey’s Anatomy, Life in Pieces, This Is Us, The Middle
Kristin and Stephanie: Marco Polo!
Favorite Kids Store:
Kristin: Thrift stores! I love to buy books, but I really love finding them at thrift stores because they’re slightly used and I can get them for a big discount!
Stephanie: Target will always be my favorite everything store. Their kids clothing is so cute these days!