In our Luie journal you get to meet parents from the everyday life. Parents that inspire us!
Have you ever thought about how much you wash your clothes? And with that, the negative environmental footprint it generates? Corinna Williams is a mother and, together with her sister, the business owner of Celsious. A modern laundry based in Brooklyn, New York. We got the opportunity to ask her a few questions about combining mom life and business life.
Tell us about yourself! Who is Corinna Williams?
– I am one of the owners of Celsious, a modern laundry, which I founded with my sister after moving from our native Germany to New York. My husband Nico and I welcomed our first baby, Lila, end of last year.
What does your everyday life look like?
– Lila wakes up around 7 am. We diaper, she has milk, I have coffee and I’ll usually pump a few ounces of breastmilk while I’m feeding her. Papa joins us around 8 am, which is my time to work out. I go to the laundromat six days a week – with baby Lila. She either hangs out with me while I’m working in the Studio space above our laundromat or she stays with her grandparents. I am exclusively breastfeeding still, so every three to four hours I’ll take a break to feed and bond with my baby. And then it’s back to either office work or working front desk at the laundromat. I wrap up my workday at 5 pm and go back home, where I spend playing and reading time with Lila. We have dinner together, after which Lila goes to bed. If I don’t fall asleep next to her, my husband and I will watch a show or I’ll read before bedtime.
“Modern-day laundry”? Tell us more!
– It’s funny: While we question the origin of our food, research the ingredients of our cosmetics and investigate the labour practices behind the clothing we wear, a lot of us do laundry on autopilot. My sister and I were raised in an eco-conscious household. Our mom was our first example of someone who lived mindfully–she was “eco” in so many aspects of her life, long before that was a thing. From a young age, we were taught how to pre-treat stains with household pantry items and take good care of our clothing. When I moved to New York, I could not believe that so many New Yorkers put up with dingy and unpleasant laundromats and were not attuned to planet- and people-friendly laundry practices. After a handful of bad laundromat experiences, I decided that New Yorkers deserved better! I convinced Theresa to move here from London, and together we brought our vision of the ideal laundromat to life. We strongly believe that people shouldn’t be subjected to harmful ingredients, especially when it comes to the products they use on a regular basis. This is why we launched a line of unscented, non-toxic and biodegradable laundry care essentials last year that allows people who cannot bring their laundry to Celsious to bring a bit of the Celsious washing experience home.
What is it like to run your business while being a mother?
– As a business owner and mama, I’m “on the clock” pretty much around the clock. I went “back to work” one month after Lila was born, which wasn’t easy. Some days feel better than others. I’m constantly trying to adjust to the new reality of not being able to breeze through multipage to-do lists. There are times when I feel productive, yet not present enough for Lila. Then there are times when Lila needs 100% of my attention, and I get frustrated that I’m unable to get work done. Finding the right “work/baby balance” and learning to be more forgiving of myself continues is definitely a challenge.
What is it like to “give birth” to a business?
– It’s intense and wild. My three year-business “pregnancy”, the time it took to launch Celsious, was definitely longer than with baby Lila. And birth, unlike Lila’s which was incredibly smooth, was riddled with complications. That said, many aspects about running a business, especially one with a physical location, prepared me for motherhood. Having to be present and responsible for something/somebody around the clock is a feeling many of us don’t experience until they become parents. It is something that comes with owning a business though, so while I still sometimes struggle with now having even less “me time”, it did not come as quite as much of a shock to me.
Your best Life hack as a parent?
– Ha, ask me again in six months…?! It’s been almost five months now, but I still feel like I am figuring things out.
If you have tried babywearing before, what would you say is the best thing about babywearing?
– It’s so incredibly helpful for me because it allows me to do my job while bonding with Lila at the same time.