Monday, September 17, 2007

Interview with Elena Lipson

We skipped last week due to September 11, but this week I bring you Elena Lipson. I hope ya'll enjoy and if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below.


What's your name and can ya tell me a bit about yourself? (not your job, but you)

My name is Elena Lipson and I’m a WAHM of an almost 2 year old sweet little boy. I always knew that I wanted to raise my own children (vs. daycare or a nanny); I just never knew how much of myself I would put into this role. It has taken more than all of me (emotionally, intellectually and spiritually) to raise our beautiful boy and to redefine myself along the way. I am so lucky to have an amazing hubby who loves to spend time with our son and with me.

Our home situation has been a bit unique in that we moved from California to Washington State when our son was 4 months old. So, from about when our son was 2 months old, until he was around 15 months old, both my hubby and I were home raising our child together and starting my business. This made being a new mom so amazing, because I got to share every detail with the other person in this world who really wanted to listen and watch! Oh, and he was also there so I could actually brush my teeth and take a shower in between nursing our son and building a web-site.

Now, my hubby is back to work and I am home raising (read: playing with) our son as well as running our on-line store.

That's a really neat experience, not many get that. I know how important it is to do those things in private without having a baby attached to you as you try to brush your teeth. Or them screaming for the quick two minutes you take a shower.

Tell me a bit about your business? is an online organic boutique featuring natural and organic items for babies and their mamas. These items include, amazing wool bedding, organic cotton diapers, organic cotton bedding and clothing, non-toxic natural wooden rattles and puzzles, and much much more!

Did you work outside the home before this?

Yes, I have always worked outside the home. Before I had our son, I was a corporate trainer and management coach. I LOVED my job and still plan to incorporate it into my future. But for now, it would entail way too much travel for our comfort.

How long have ya been a WAHP?

I have been a WAHP since our son was around 6 months old. I don’t think that I would have started this early if my hubby was not home during this time as well. I would never have found the time or energy to build the business without his help.

What is the hardest thing about being a WAHP?

For me, and I believe many other WAHP, the most difficult aspect of working from home is learning how to turn the working mom OFF and the stay at home mom ON. It is so easy to work all the time or anytime. To make this easier, I make it a rule to NOT work while my son is up or with me. If I need to make a call during the day, I try to do it while hubby is home. Luckily, his hours are not the typical 9-5 so I can do this pretty easily. On the days when I cannot make that call, I just make due with very detailed e-mail communication after my son is asleep for the evening.

That is what I love about being a WAHM, you can send those emails as many understand the lives us WAHMs tend to live.

Which do you prefer?

I prefer to look at life in phases. I LOVED the phase of being a young single then married professional. I was able to dedicate myself to developing a skill in a career that really suited my strengths. I was able to help people and have a great challenging time doing it. Now, I LOVE this phase as well. I get to be at home and play with my son. I love Washington State, our new home, and with my business, I LOVE being able to exercise the part of me that needs to think about things other than building blocks, doing laundry and wiping a (very cute) tooshie. It is really challenging for me to work on figuring out the best marketing strategies, product selection, order fulfillment, problem solving etc. I feel as though I get the best of both worlds by being a WAHM.

I don’t actually see myself ever going back to full-time corporate work. It is just too wonderful to not have to ask for time off to be with my son or husband. If I need time off, I take it.

Ya know I never thought of the whole time off thing...ya got a point there. My hubby just took two weeks off, he goes back today and I think our 6 month old got a bit too use to it.

Are there moments where you wish you could work outside the home again?
There have definitely been moments when I fantasize about the greener grass on the other side of life outside the home. But, that is truly short-lived. Every step we have taken has been a choice. We chose to get married, start a family and start a business. We thought about all of our paths and options and made a choice that we were proud of and stand behind. We truly work to create our lives. So, I do have those moments of fantasizing about putting those heels back on (ouch) and the power suit, I just look into my sweet little boy's face and know that this passes by so quickly, and then I remember to just get down on the floor and play play play!!!

What made you decide to be a WAHP?
My husband and I were (and are) passionate about being the ones to raise our son without having to take him to daycare. So, we thought about what we were passionate about and landed on organic clothing, bedding and toys. We really did not know much about the organic world until we had our son.

When our baby was just a few weeks old, he developed a bad diaper rash from the disposable diapers (a natural brand) that we were using. That is when we decided to look into cloth diapering. My sister-in-law suggested we try organic, pesticide free cotton diapers. It just made sense that we would use something natural, without chemicals on this new little baby. Once we began to do research, we really learned a lot about the world of organics and seemed to find a niche for an on-line store that sold everything you needed to get started. So, we created our business plan, and was born.

I remember when my son constantly got diaper rashes, course we just thought he was allergic from one brand to the next. Never did think of cloth, everyone kept pointing me towards a different diaper brand. I really wish now that something like your site would've been around and cheap enough that a newly wed couple could've afforded it.

How do you advertise it?

Our three main advertising channels are ads we place on Google, green directories and surprisingly, blogs created by moms who find us and offer to review our products or just put links up leading to I have been really amazed and impressed by the amount of traffic and positive feedback we receive via blogs.

Thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions, there were a ton but you answered them all.