The Zeitgeist Blog

Mom, Entrepreneur, and Everything Else!

Zeitgeist Gifts, mompreneur, entrepreneur, small business owner, unique gifts, love what i do, Julia Drechsler, mother's day, mom, my business

Hi guys, Julia here.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms who each and every day are taking care of things, bringing up the kids, and maybe even building a business. I thought for Mother’s Day I write something about my entrepreneurial journey, what keeps me going every day, what I have learned, and some tips I like to share.

Having a business is like an evolution… start somewhere, you learn along the way, you make mistakes, you step back, you correct, and you keep going. An ever changing process where one day you feel you are finally getting there, while other days you think: damn, I have no idea what in the world I’m doing.

I feel that those same emotions occur when you choose to start a family and are expecting your first child. You don’t really know what happens until you finally get there, and even then each day is a new journey. Luckily as a “mompreneur,” I have crossed that bridge, and have found that time spent bringing up my children have shaped my entrepreneurial journey. I’ve learned patience, perseverance, I’ve become more resilient, I am better organized, and I can multi-task while still (somehow) remaining relaxed. You mature, as a “mompreneur.” You see yourself become more confident and learn to handle things better with a longer fuse. Additionally, as I’ve grown as a mother and as an entrepreneur, I’ve realized that my tendency to overthink has lessened as I simply do not have the time to dwell anymore.

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At the end of the day, I am still me, though. I have always been a very active person who can never sit still, I am always filled with lots of ideas, plans, and a love for creativity. I’ve always been passionate for beautiful things, and have an active imagination, all characteristics I bring to my work.

When I lived in Europe, being an entrepreneur never crossed my mind. I always worked in corporate and felt content with that. However when we came to the U.S. five years ago and I wasn’t legally allowed to work, my setup drastically changed. I had to help my kids transition into making new friends and feeling settled in an English speaking environment, something they weren’t completely comfortable with yet. I had to concentrate on settling in as a family to our new home and supporting them through the process.

My goal was to create a better life for my children, spend more time with them, and make them comfortable. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to go back to work. It was part of my happiness, identity, and I couldn’t imagine never going back. While patiently waiting for my work permission I started to educate beyond my previous degrees. Modern marketing, especially digital marketing’s current impact on American culture fascinated me, and I began to work on a business plan and prepare for my own venture.

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I have learned that discipline and proper organization are key. Stick with a routine, and don’t back down from it. Personally, I get up really early and work out. Even on days where I’m feeling especially exhausted, getting up early and exercising helps me to regroup and be energized for the day.  As soon as the kids have left for school, I really focus on my work and try not to get distracted to keep productivity flowing! Every night I compile my to-do list with my priorities, tasks that need to get done, and things I have to work on. Sometimes the list doesn’t pan out according to plan, and there are days where I get mad at myself because I feel especially unproductive, but I remind myself “that’s life!”

We are all only human beings and I believe that accepting weakness shows true strength. Have fun while working and appreciate your achievements. Understand what you are good at and try to outsource stuff that is better done by others. You can’t do it alone. Finally, always remember to carve out a bit of time for yourself, something you really enjoy unrelated to the business. Don’t forget to socialize and to spend time with your spouse or partner. As much as I love my kids, it’s so nice to still have some romantic time to celebrate your togetherness.

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What a journey! Although there have been so many ups and down, crying, swearing, celebrating - I would never go back. Running your own business is no piece of cake, especially while raising a family at the same time, however it has brought me so much joy. I really want to encourage all the moms out there to follow your dreams and make the plunge. You won’t regret it. And if you fail – well at least you tried ;)

Have a happy Mother’s Day and keep hustling!

xo Julia

The Bobby: The Only Backpack You’ll Ever Need

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If there is one item that can make travel, commuting or any life lived on the go easier, it’s having a really great backpack. Whether you find yourself in busy airports, packed train stations, sprawling campuses or crowded city sidewalks, carrying a safe, comfortable backpack is a lifesaver. The problem? Safe and comfortable is usually synonymous for boring. Not anymore! We’d like you to meet Bobby: a fashionable backpack loaded with awesome features that will keep your valuable safe and sound.

As you know, at Zeitgeist Gifts we love modern and cool stuff that makes your life easier, more fun … or both! XD Design, creator of the Bobby, is a Dutch design brand with the motto of creating functional products with Affordable Uniqueness. That’s something we at Zeitgeist Gifts happily support.

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The inspiration for the Bobby came to designer Thomas Droze while walking in Shanghai. He noticed people wearing their backpacks in the front - not for comfort, but out of concern for theft and safety. He knew there had to be a better way for the modern commuter, traveler or student to carry their valuables safely, and he believed he could design a unique backpack that would be functional and stylish. The Bobby was born - a backpack that functions as if were protected by its own personal police officer and cheekily named after the nickname for London’s police force.

Available in black and grey, the Bobby is for the savvy commuter, traveler, or student who wants a minimalistic, well-designed backpack that doesn’t skimp on looks or safety features. When you carry the Bobby, be prepared for people to stop and ask you where you found your amazing backpack!

The Bobby features a cool, streamlined design in fun, fashion-forward colors. It’s theft-proof features include cut-proof material, hidden zipper closures, and secret pockets. The hidden pockets allow you to keep your valuables safe from thieves yet easily accessible to you. Quick access pockets keep things like public transportation cards easily at hand for commuters in busy stations.

You might think all that safety comes at a cost to storage and practicality, but that’s not the case! The Bobby conveniently opens in 3 different ways, depending on your needs, while securely accommodating laptops, tablets, cameras and water bottles. Designed for comfort, the Bobby balances weight in an innovative way, providing relief from the usual backpack burden on your shoulders. It’s made of water-resistant material, which comes in handy on rainy days.

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Frequent travelers will appreciate the elastic strap on the back, which easily attaches to suitcase handles for smooth traveling through busy airports. As anyone with long commutes knows, the struggle to keep devices charged is real. The Bobby’s unique integrated USB charger port allows you to connect to a powerbank inside the backpack and easily charge your device externally. Add our Lucina Wearable Light to your backpack to keep you visible during your early morning or evening commute.

Need all these wonderful features in a smaller size? Try the Bobby Compact. Available in navy and pastel blue, it can hold up to a 14” laptop or tablet. It also comes with an integrated rain cover that’s easily stored on the bottom of the backpack, as well as a matching mini Bobby that contains a shopping tote and can function as a small wallet.

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The Bobby and the Bobby Compact are perfectly suited to so many everyday needs: travel, commuting to and from work or school, or as a stylish and practical alternative to a diaper bag. We really can’t think of a situation where you won’t find this backpack useful. And with graduations, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day right around the corner, you won’t find a better gift for the grad, mom or dad in your life!

6 Spring Break Staycation Ideas!

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The days are longer, the birds are chirping, the windows are open - the beginning of spring is like a breath of fresh air…literally!  But with all the joys of spring comes a familiar time: vacation season. Just because it’s getting to be that time of year again doesn’t mean it’s also time to break the bank! If the thought of planning a lengthy and expensive family vacation has you reeling, but being cooped up all winter has also taken its toll, it’s time to consider a “Staycation!”

Staycations are budget friendly, kid friendly, and most importantly - fun! With Easter break right around the corner, the thought of what to do with the kids while they’re home from school can definitely be daunting. Cover all your bases with our “Spring Staycation” suggestions!

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1. Spa Day

Plan an at-home spa day for the whole family! Head to the dollar store and grab some inexpensive pampering items like nail polish, make up, candles, and “relaxation stones” for decoration. Have the kids come up with a name for the spa and create posters and signs to hang up around the house. Next, close the blinds, light the candles, put on soothing music, and take turns doing each other’s hair, painting nails, and relaxing - maybe even lead a yoga class or meditation session! Take it easy with screen-free activities for the kids that help everyone to relax. Try out a new coloring project like these giant coloring posters from Nurie, or read a book! Get creative by making your own face masks out of ingredients in your kitchen. For a quick moisturizing mask, mix together an egg yolk, 1 tsp of honey, 1 tsp of olive oil and an optional 1 tsp of baking soda for an extra exfoliant. Your family will feel refreshed and renewed after a day at the family spa!

2. Dinner Time!

Is there a new restaurant in town you and your family have been dying to try? Staycation is the time to do it! Rather than driving, try and navigate public transportation, or take a taxi or an Uber like you would on vacation in a different city. Taking public transportation or ride sharing in your city can help you see your neighborhood in a completely different way!

3. Easter Egg / Scavenger Hunt

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Plan a scavenger hunt around your house that doubles as an Easter egg hunt! Hide candy, toys, books, and other small items with clues leading to different ones. If your family is cutting back on candy, replace the sweets with “tickets” that have prizes written on them like “a trip to the movies” or, “good for one day at the amusement park” for more family fun. For a unique twist on your classic Easter egg, cover plastic eggs with chocolate, or hard boiled decorated ones with our adorable Egg Warmers. Whoever finds the egg with the Egg Warmer, wins!

4. Stay Overnight in a Hotel

Just because you’re in your own city, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy staying in a hotel. Book a hotel in an area of your city or town that everyone in the family enjoys. Swim in the pool, relax in the spa, stay up late watching TV, jump on the bed, whatever you want! Staying in a hotel as a family is a great chance to reconnect, chat, explore a new neighborhood, and feel like you got away, even if your house is right around the corner!

5. Take a Day Trip!

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Is there a nearby town with historical significance you’ve been curious about? Or a national park with great hikes less than an hour away? Whatever it may be, plan a day trip on your Staycation and explore the areas surrounding your town or city. Check out a unique museum, visit a beach you’ve never been to, or explore what a new-to-you town has to offer. Long drive? Cozy up with our comfy travel hoodie, lay back, and relax on your way there.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering isn’t always the first activity that comes to mind when someone says “vacation,” but on a Staycation, volunteering is a great opportunity to learn about your community, bond with your family, and help out a cause you believe in. Visit the local animal shelter and adopt a rescue pet, or volunteer at a food bank as a family helping to distribute and organize canned goods for people in need. Volunteering may not always be glamorous, but it always feels good to give back.

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Staycations allow you to reconnect with where you live and your family without the added stress of everyday life. Put errands on hold, plan out activities in advance, and pretend like you and your family really are “away” during your Staycation. Just like a vacation, Staycations should leave you feeling refreshed and ready to get back to a normal schedule. 

Happy “Staycationing!”

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