Updated: Mar 31
Jocelyn Newman is the founder of First Peak, a line of sustainable adventure-wear for babies and toddlers. She launched her business shortly after her son was born, inspired by the adventures she was taking, and hoped to take, with her family. All First Peak products are designed and manufactured in California using eco-friendly fabrics, and are built to fight off odor, moisture, and bacteria.
Some say that having a business is like having a baby. Now that you’ve experienced both, can you confirm for us whether that rings true?
This rings true for me. Both having a business and having a baby require love, creativity, and hard work to thrive, and both share the unique ability to make you feel both pure elation and utter defeat (often in quick succession!). Obviously, there are many differences between the two, but the similarities have allowed me to transfer learnings across business and family. For example, both are teaching me, in different ways, the importance of asking for help and trusting my instincts. Both are pushing me to reflect on my own passions, priorities, and identity as I carve my path forward as a mom and entrepreneur.
How did your daily routine change after having kids?
When I first launched my business, I had a 1-year-old at home, and I needed to build routines and systems that worked for me. For example, I chose to manufacture and design all my products in my local community (Bay Area) so that I could physically drop in during a nap or between feeds to engage with my partners face-to-face. I learned that early mornings were a time when I felt energized and focused, so I worked with my husband to ensure I could devote those hours to my business. I grew more comfortable taking meetings while walking so that I could be wearing, strolling, or feeding my son while also managing important conversations.
What does balance mean to you?
To me, balance is the ability to feel present. If I’m spending time with my son, balance enables me to really enjoy that time without my mind racing. If I’m working, balance allows me to not feel guilty that I’m away from family. I don’t think I’ve fully achieved perfect balance yet, but I treasure this definition as something to strive for.
What tips do you have for balancing home life with your responsibilities as an entrepreneur?
Set boundaries and say “no.” I use software like Calendly to ensure calls are only booked at times that work for me. It’s critical and empowering to decline a request if you need to.
Invest in building a community. Both entrepreneurship and motherhood can be lonely feats. Coffee dates count as “work” if you’re building a connection that feels fulfilling, even if not immediately or measurably “productive.”
Talk about what’s hard. For whatever reason, society and social media love the “superwoman” story and can create pressure to seamlessly juggle it all. It’s so cathartic to talk about the challenges in whatever space feels comfortable to you (e.g. with your partner, to close friends, in writing).
Keep a journal of the high moments. I’m my hardest critic, and it’s easier for me to focus on the challenges I’m facing as a mom and entrepreneur than on the wins. I started writing down highlights in a journal, and I go back and read through it when I’m feeling low.
Identify and protect your creature comforts. I know that I’m happiest if I run 4-5 days a week, have a good cup of dark roast in the morning, and eat a healthy lunch. Nothing (or at least very little) gets in the way of those things. [Note: this wasn’t the case in the newborn phase, but is much more realistic with a toddler!]
What do you wish you'd known before embracing your new life as a mompreneur?
I wish I’d known that even as a solo founder, there is still a team around me. It took me a long time to realize that my husband, my manufacturers, and even my customers are part of my team, and all can energize and support me in different ways if I give them opportunities to do so.
How can we do a better job of supporting new moms?
See them and recognize them for all they’re doing right now. Especially as a brand new mom, I was often told “that it will go by so fast” or that “it’ll get easier.” Rather than the predictions of what’s to come, I felt most supported by those who acknowledged the present. The people who told me “I see that it’s hard today; how can I help?” were the ones who really lifted me up and gave me the space to honestly talk about what I needed.
Even at a distance, I’ve had people reach out and say, “I’ve read about your entrepreneurship journey, and it makes me feel [inspired / excited / intrigued / optimistic].” Even those little notes are jolts of fuel, especially on the hard days.
Any final words of wisdom?
You’ve got this, mama. So many other people said, “someone else can go create that or run that” but you went and did it. You’re modeling boldness, gumption, and creativity for your little one. And that’s pretty darn awesome.