A new interview in the Mommin' It Business Series is here! Featuring mom owned businesses that support pregnant and new moms.
Today I’m speaking with Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel's Labels. Julie is a recovered lawyer and mom of six who has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition, and win countless entrepreneur awards.
Julie is a serial entrepreneur, regular television contributor, published author, sought after speaker and emcee, digital influencer, and blogger.
Tell us about your business. How do you help expecting or new moms?
Frustrated by my children’s things getting lost, mixed up and leaving home never to return, along with my co-founders, I knew we could do better than the scribbles on masking tape that were being passed off as labels. From there, the idea for the product was born: the very best personalized waterproof name labels and tags that were equally cute and durable.
Mabel’s Labels started humbly out of a basement and has grown to be an award-winning, market-leading company loved by Moms and kids alike.
Today, Mabel’s Labels is the best-known brand of durable labels for families, and our growing line of products features baby bottle labels, allergy and medical alert products, sports labels, household labels and seasonal items. They’re extremely durable, they're laundry, dishwasher and microwave safe – and they’re 100% guaranteed.
What makes you unique as a mom & business owner?
I started Mabel's Labels 17 years ago from a basement and it now does 12M in sales a year and employees 40 full-time team members. I also have six children which has made growing a business and a family a very interesting journey!
What's the hardest part of running your business and being a mom?
In the early days, it was managing a start-up while also providing an incredible ABA program for my son who is on the autism spectrum. Oh, and also his five siblings! The most difficult thing is making time for everything that needs to be done, learning how to prioritize and knowing when to take an opportunity and when to say no!
What is one "messy" thing about being a mom/biz owner that you would never share in public?
I have been very transparent about the realities of being a mom and entrepreneur. Now that I have teenagers, I am respectful of their privacy so if there are any teen related issues, I get their permission before sharing.
What's your favorite thing about being a mom/biz owner?
It is the flexibility - but as I often tell anyone who will listen... flexibility does not get your work done for you! Sure, you can volunteer at the school or go to the park in the afternoon, but you will be on your laptop at midnight making up for it. That was the life I chose and I wouldn't have it any other way.
What advice and words of encouragement would you give to expecting or new moms?
I know when you are in the thick of it, this can be difficult, but there are a few things:
You are the expert of your child. Take on what people share with you, read books, chat with friends - but you were given mama guts for a reason. Don't be afraid to use them.
Cut yourself some slack. If you have a newborn and are stressing about the toddler having too much screen time or your family has had cereal for dinner, that's OK! There are times we just have to get through the day. It won't last forever and your family won't get scurvy if they've had hot dogs three nights in a row!
Know your needs. If you need a break, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you are managing just fine, don't let others tell you to take a break. Everyone has different tolerance levels. Know yours and honour them!
Perspective is my secret sauce. When life gives me lemons, I make a gin and tonic! :) Your perspective is the only thing you can try to control. Don't take life or your parenting too seriously. Lose the mommy guilt. I gave it up four kids ago. When I make a mistake, I apologize and try to do better the next time. That's enough. The kids are alright!
How has motherhood changed you?
I think I am essentially the same person I always was, just busier, tired but with way more mom friends!
What is one toy, item, product, book, resource, podcast that you would recommend to a new or expecting mom?
Well, Mabel's Labels of course! There are so many great products, blogs and podcasts out there. I always try to support those created by MOMS!
About Julie Cole
Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards.
Cole is a serial entrepreneur, regular television contributor, published author, a sought after speaker and emcee and a digital influencer and blogger
Find Julie Cole here: