A big reason I wrote Mom Bosswas to shine the light on other women. I think you'll agree that there are a slew of amazing women out there managing biz and kids. Take Mya Zoracki, Founder of Feed Your Soul Bakery for example, she is a total Mom Boss - a super mom and a great business woman.
Mya is an attorney and NYC mom. Prior to becoming a mom boss, she was a trader at the American Stock Exchange. Now you'll find here at Feed Your Soul Bakery (www.feedyoursoulbakery.com), an online retailer for cookies, brownies, and other delicious things from the oven. It's not just about the most divine vegan brownies you are likely to taste, it's also about making the world better for her two young sons.
For every order placed, Feed Your Soul Bakery gives a cookie to the Coalition for the Homeless, the oldest not-for-profit advocacy group focused on homelessness in the United States. For nearly a decade, Mya ran the bakery with the mission to do good (read more about the 1 for 1 donation here). This year she open the company’s first storefront café at 14 Wall Street in Manhattan. I caught up with Mya to talk about her career pivot and her mom hustle.
What did you have to give up to get where you are?
I am so grateful for the opportunities given to me and I have worked tirelessly and passionately to build my brand. I recall being single, 35, and poor. I recall the countless weddings and baby showers, the family gatherings that always ended in someone trying to unlock the secret as to why “a great girl like me was still single.”
It was a difficult time. I could have buried my head in sadness, I could have settled on a partner just to keep up with the status quo, but instead I realized how lucky I was that I could build a company with a mission to give back to those who really needed it. That was my true passion. I believe my experience was less about what I had to give up, and more about what I had to endure to get to where I am today. I made the best of the circumstances life dealt me and I kept moving forward. My “fairy tale” happened for me in its own way and I am so fortunate to have my career and my family. I am humbled every day by the gift of being a mom and an entrepreneur.
Do you ever feel like you get in your own way?
Absolutely. I like to think that everyone needs me to do everything. But they don’t. Many aspects of my business run better without me there, and I have to put more trust in others and their capabilities.
How do you prioritize what gets attention at any given moment?
I have always lived a life of moving parts. I thrive on the energy of “controlled chaos." Each day starts out with a list of priorities, but life is full of surprises. My priority is and always will be the people that I love. My children will always be my number one priority. I am fortunate to have a career and to be a mom, but being a mom is the biggest honor and my most important responsibility.
Have you ever had to turn down a business opportunity because it interfered with family time?
No, I have not had to sacrifice one for the other. I built my business to create a life so that I could choose to put my children first. My most important task is to make sure they feel secure and loved.
Sometimes it’s hard to leave the house in the morning. My children are only 3 and 4 years old. I struggle with the “mom guilt” of not being home with them every day. I struggle with my own thoughts on missing that tiny giggle or an all-day snuggle. I make a point of being home with them on Fridays and I go to every school function and class trip. I feel fortunate that I can choose to be present. I also think it’s important that my children see my passion for what I do. They know I “go to work.” They also know that I work in a place that always has cookies!
When the school nurse calls or you get that dreaded lice letter – who in your family handles that?
I like to use the term “default parent” to describe my role, but my husband and I are both very available and hands on. Getting the kids when they are sick is something both my husband and I do.
If an investor gave you $50k to spend – how would you spend it?
If we could put this investment into the proper online marketing and SEO channels, we could increase our visibility and attract new customers. Fortunately, most of our customers are loyal repeat purchasers, but getting that initial opportunity is priceless. We bake using only the finest quality ingredients. We value our partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless and our pledge to donate one cookie per order. We have such a talented team at Feed Your Soul Bakery and we are doing so many exciting things, we just need more people to know we exist.
What’s holding you back today from hitting your next goal or desire with your business?
Our business has grown tremendously over the last few years and we are very grateful for that. However, the one thing I’ve learned is that you can have the best product in the world, but you are only as good as people knowing that you exist. We continue to seek sales channels that will help us to expose our products to consumers.
How do you recharge?
I love to run by the ocean. There is something magical and peaceful about putting my toes in the sand and watching the ocean.
Do you work traditional hours?
I am not sure what traditional hours are these days, but I believe it is safe to say that I do not. One of the greatest benefits of having my own business is that I can work on my terms for the most part.
I like to do my creative work at night when the house is quiet. I split my week between the bakery manufacturing facility and our new retail café at 14 Wall Street. Much of my work can be done remotely.
When do you log off for the day?
I don’t ever log off for the day. When you do love what you love, it becomes part of who you are. I do try to separate work from my personal life.
What recent work achievement are you most proud of?
We opened our first Feed Your Soul Café retail location at 14 Wall Street in New York City, directly across from the New York Stock Exchange. I remember baking out of my apartment 11 years ago like it was just yesterday. I am proud to have come this far and immensely grateful to my husband and my Feed Your Soul team. I would not be where I am today without them.
Mom Bosses like me and Mya know that life is never dull, the key is to think creatively and stay positive… oh and keep Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes in the kitchen, bathroom and office. These wipes help kill germs and bacteria, and remove kitchen grease and countless other nasties you find lurking in your home. Clorox powers through the mess to reset so the next moment can begin. Stop worrying about the mess, enjoy the moment, and let Clorox take care of the mess. The next time your kids want to make brownies in the kitchen, don’t stop them, join the fun and worry about the mess later.
Get more information about Mom Boss and the book tour here
Meet more Mom Entrepreneurs in the series:
Clorox is a generous sponsor of the Mom Boss book tour and these mom entrepreneur profiles