I recently connected with Julixa Newman, mom of 4 and uber successful entrepreneur and creator of stuff4multiples.com. We talked about being a working mom, having multiples and how being an entrepreneur affects family life and finding balance.
A little background
Julixa had her first child, a son, at age 16 in her native Puerto Rico. After giving birth at that young age, she made a decision that she would not be a statistic. Was being a mom at 16 going to be challenging? Yes. But she was up for the challenge. After finishing college and moving to the US, she got married and had her second child, a daughter, 10 years later. Five years after that, Julixa gave birth to twin girls. Julixa’s aunt stayed with them for about a month to help after the birth of her twins. When her aunt left, the reality of raising her baby twins and her other 2 children set in. Now, a sleep-deprived mother of 4, she knew she needed to do something to help her husband support a family of 6. Being a mom was hard. Being a mom of 2 babies at the same time was really hard. How was she going to be able to do this? How was her family going to afford it? How could she work and care for her 4 kids? A month and half after having her twin girls and suffering from insomnia, she woke her husband in the middle of the night and told him she was going to start her own business. And she did.
In 2009, Julixa took an online class on how to build a website. She read books and enlisted the help of friends to launch stuff4multiples.com. She did this all on her own. She found a manufacturer who would provide the product and she started selling shirts with funny sayings on them for multiples, like “Yes, I’m a twin” and “Yes, we’re identical”. Shortly after the shirts were selling successfully, she started creating and designing products to help make life with multiples easier, such as a carrier for multiples, diaper bags, a journal for moms to keep track of which baby ate and when, etc. The first product, The Twintrexx Twin Baby carrier, launched at the end of 2009. Parents loved it. About a year later, after listening to feedback about the carrier, Julixa redesigned and launched the Twintrexx 2 Twin Baby Carrier. As stuff4multiples was taking off and expanding with more products, Julixa started to realize that, in addition to products, there was a need for a place for parents of multiples to vent. Julixa started a blog, got on social media and starting writing articles. Stuff4mulitples not only has amazing products, but it has also become a resource for parents to talk with other parents who know what it was like to parent and raise multiples.
One of the biggest challenges Julixa faced was being a woman. The business side of her life was difficult at times because she wasn’t always taken seriously. But she kept going and never gave up. Another challenge is that there are only 24 hours in a day! Being a mom of 4, an entrepreneur and a wife all require time. She discovered that owning her own business requires a lot of travel. She misses her kids and their activities, and acknowledges that she can’t be there for everything. She realized that overcoming these challenges requires balance.
While this wasn’t easy at first, finding balance started by not being so hard on herself. The kitchen is a mess? So what. The laundry is piled up? Who cares. Didn’t have time to cook dinner? Order pizza. Get paper plates. Away on business? Face time the kids to talk about their day or to read them a story at night. Being a working mom is hard, and making adjustments is necessary.
Being a Role Model
Despite some of the sacrifices, there are some amazing advantages to being an entrepreneur. Julixa’s kids see her as a role model. She works hard and is instilling that value in her kids because she is modeling it. Her kids look up to her because they see her designing products, running her own company and being an amazing mom all at the same time.
Check out www.stuff4multiples.com to see all the products that are available and for Julixa’s blog.