Juggling a business with a growing family is no easy task. Rachel Leslie and Ali Hurwitz found that starting a business with a partner halves the workload, and lets each partner focus on her strengths. Together, they own and operate Designs by Rali, a handmade jewelry company in Fairfield County, Conn. Until recently, the partners did all of their own marketing, promotion, website design and maintenance, but now a finance consultant helps them meet their growing business needs.
“It’s a lot of work!” Leslie said of starting a business. Many other women with similar businesses do it on their own and find it harder going, she said. Still, it's important to find the right partner and set out distinct roles and contributions before you start working together. You should have a plan of action to grow your business as well as a plan to dissolve it in case it doesn't work out, Leslie advised.
Incorporating business and family into their daily schedules is not simple. “I do the best I can. Fortunately, both my kids are in school, which gives me a little bit of time to work and take care of the house. But it’s rarely enough time and I barely get everything done,” said Leslie, whose children are 6 and 2 years old, while Hurwitz's are 7 and 4.
Leslie said she tries to be social and go out with friends as much as possible. “I find taking time out for me, whether it’s for a facial or to grab a drink and listen to some live music with my friends, really helps me feel like I haven't given up anything to have the business. I also play tennis, which I love. The competitiveness and the physical act of hitting the ball with the racquet go a long way in easing my stress.”
She can't imagine going back to working a regular 9-5 job for someone else. "I am the kind of person who thrives in being too busy. I constantly put too many things on my plate and I think it is so I don't get bored,” she said.