Since Mother’s Day is about a week away, I decided to shift this weeks posting focus to Boss Moms, Mama’s that hold down the fort through self employment or stay at home work. Raising kids is tough, so I could never imagine running a business at the same time! Today’s article is going to focus in on Kaylee Saulnier, a stay at home mom of three who is a distributor for young living essential oils, as well as runs a successful craft business titled Mother of All Things Handmade. For this series the posts are an interview revolving around what it’s like to run a small business while raising a family.
Introduce yourself, if you don’t mind feel free to talk about your experience as a mom! Now for the fun part, give me a quick run down of what you do!
My name is Kaylee, I am 24 and a stay at home mom of three! My kids are 6, 3 and 18 months! I started having kids early aka I was a teen mom, I had my oldest exactly two months before I turned 18. When I found out I was pregnant I had a lot of backlash from family, friends and just pretty much anyone I wasn’t super close with. If typical high school drama wasn’t enough being pregnant added a whole new level. So if you’re a teen mom I’ve been there and I truly understand how challenging it can be. I moved in with my now husband shortly after and we’ve been together ever since. We’ve also added two more little ones as well! In between our middle and youngest we had been pregnant and had a miscarriage at the 10 week mark. It was a dark and challenging time because no one really knew what was going on. I never went back to normal cycle wise and we were concerned I would have to start hormone therapy to regulate again. Little did we know we were actually pregnant again, we’d find out at about 15 weeks but as far as we knew we were only 8-10 weeks along. Towards the end of that pregnancy I was diagnosed with PPD. Turns out the depression had always been there but I spent so many years just covering it up, ignoring it, that it after being pregnant 4 times I broke and would just cry all day and couldn’t voice what was wrong because I truly didn’t know. Being a mom of three everyone seems to think I’m an expert but the truth is 90% of the time I’m just winging it. I make mistakes and I’m hard on myself but are you even really a parent if you’re not hard on yourself and make mistakes?! Being a stay at home mom can be super isolating and being a parent in general it can be so easy to loose who you were pre-children. I was starting to loose touch with who I was before I became a mom and that was really affecting my depression, I also knew that I wanted to have more of an impact in this world than just being a mom.
Why did you decide to get into the small business game?
I first started out being an entrepreneur by opening an Etsy shop where I sold signs, I loved being creative and I still do it here and there but it wasn’t satisfying and I still felt as though I wasn’t making the impact I wanted. I actually stumbled upon Young Living and being an oil slinging, wellness loving boss while I was set up at a craft fair selling my signs! I had used essential oils for years but just the cheap ones and I never really tried to use them therapeutically because I thought they were dangerous.
What drew you to the line of business you’re in?
I had met a lady who represented a different oil company at that fair and she told me that the cheap oils I had been using were actually only 5-10% of the actual oil and the rest were fillers. I went home and started doing my research and I was blown away by the amount of false information that I had previously come across. I knew I wanted to start using oils for myself and family to support our wellness and for a plant based, harsh chemical free home but I didn’t know there was actually a business opportunity to be had. I looked into all the major oil companies and other multi-level marketing companies because I had been asked by a few people to join their companies. With almost all of the companies I didn’t have a passion for them and I knew I’d never be motivated to pursue them. However once I started to learn about Young Living and the products, the starter kit and the compensation plan I knew that I could have a massive impact by sharing these products with the world. So I jumped in with both feet, grabbed my premium starter kit, fell in love with the products and started sharing! I’ve always been a little as my husband calls it “hippie dippie” even as a kid, hello awkward 7th grade year of wearing all organic cotton clothes and trying to convince my mom to let me be a vegetarian until I learned I wouldn’t be able to have bacon! As an adult and a mom I had already started getting into “all natural” products in terms of cleaning products, and personal care products but I never really looked deeper into what was actually in those products until I got started with Young Living. There’s an awesome app called ThinkDirty that you can scan all of your products and it’ll tell you what they rate as. You can also go to the Environmental Working Group website and look up products there as well. It’s truly scary what we use every single day on or around us in our homes. I thought I was doing well until all of my “all natural” products rated at an 8 or higher which is bad in terms of what they have for ingredients.
What are some of your favorite aspects of being a self employed mama? What has been a struggle as a working mom in a self run business?
My favorite part of being a self employed mama is the freedom to work when I can. If my family needs me I can put aside work and be with my family. Same thing goes for work if I have to dig in deep and do the hard work I can do it all from my phone basically or while my kids have a play date. I make my own schedule and the best part of Young Living is the residual income, which means that even when I’m sleeping I still make money. The other thing I love about the company I started my business with is that you’re a part of a team which has given me that community I desperately craved being isolated at home. I’ve made a ton of friends and they are literally one of my biggest support groups in my business and just being a mom in general, also with marriage a ton! A struggle to being a working mom in a self run business is definitely time management. I love to sleep and being a mom of little ones sleep is not always possible, there’s only so much oils can support when it comes to feeling rested when sleeps been a struggle for 6 years. Business books are constantly suggesting waking up early to get things done but I am just not up for that, I am working on supporting my wellness with my work not running myself ragged. However with that being said it also makes it a challenge to get work things done when my kids are up because they are still little and are into EVERYTHING. So balancing work, chores and being a mom is HARD. The one thing I’ve really had to swallow and learn is okay to do is ask for help; help with house work, help with the kids, even help with work if it means having my family help me set up for an event, share about an event or make up packages to send out! I think asking for help in general as a mom makes us feel shameful because for years we’ve been pressured to do it all and that by being home all day there shouldn’t be a reason why we can’t and that is the biggest lie. I’ve also noticed that doing most of my work through social media it is hard to stay focused, I am definitely ADD or scatter brained so I constantly find myself scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and convince myself I’m working and that is something I’m still working on.