What Baby Means for Business
Megan Proctor Connelley
Sea+Stone Founder, Jeweler, Designer, & Soon-to-be-Mama
Almost five years ago, I walked into my corporate design job and handed in my two week's notice. I walked away from my Brooklyn office eager to embark on a new adventure and dive into the world of entrepreneurship.
I completed the paperwork to launch my LLC, and immediately got to work on a business plan, jewelry designs, a branding kit. It was in June of 2014 that my baby, Sea+Stone was born. Small businesses, much like actual babies, take a lot of care, nurturing, and sleep deprived nights in order to grow & thrive. It's hard to believe that my little start-up jewelry company is turning five this year! I'm a certified work-a-holic and truly love what I do... which makes it very easy to get lost in work. Like most entrepreneurs, I often find myself prioritizing running and growing my business ahead of other things, sometimes at my own expense (cough, I'm looking at you, gym membership).
This June, not only does my baby business turn five, but I also will be welcoming an actual baby into our lives. We're getting so excited for his arrival- his little kicks have turned into full fledged jabs and rolls. My walk is definitely more of a waddle these days. And I feel like my work weeks are punctuated more and more by doctors appointments.
While I'm counting down the days until our son gets here, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also nervous about the juggling act that awaits me!
For years, Sea+Stone has been the baby I've nurtured and been devoted to. And I can't help but feel like my greatest challenge as an entrepreneur now awaits me!
Enthusiasm might as well be my hubby's middle name. He's my cheerleader in all things- especially with my small business. He has accompanied me to my events, helped weigh gemstones on wholesale buying trips, tallied up inventory, assembled bracelets, surprised me with new studio tools & toys, and picked me up when the entrepreneurial grind felt insurmountable. I knew if we ever had kids, he would bring the same loving enthusiasm to the table. He was practically jumping for joy before I could finish peeing on the first positive pregnancy test. I, on the other hand, took the test with a bit of nervous trepidation. I'm a big planner, so my mind when straight to the logistics: How am I going to run my business AND care for a baby? How does one even learn how to "mom"? I am surely not qualified... Is there a book, podcast, or webinar that will teach me?! I barely have enough time to take care of myself and my business right now... hopefully this baby will fare better than my houseplants...
As soon as I got our first ultrasound picture and heard our little nugget's heartbeat, most of my nagging worries were replaced (or at least outweighed) by love and excitement. It's really been incredible how quickly a pregnancy shifts your priorities. I'm much better about leaving the office early enough for an evening walk and am much more mindful about my diet and health. I take time off or rest when I need to now. The little nugget has given me an unexpected accountability partner and makes self care seem like a basic responsibility instead of a lavish or selfish indulgence.
This isn't to say that I haven't also spent a fair amount of time overanalyzing and prepping for the months to come. Planners have to plan... it gives me the illusion of control over my life (which I like)! lol
I have a general calendar prepared for the months ahead that should allow me to enjoy time with my baby and also keep Sea+Stone running in a capacity as close to "normal" as possible. (I use the word should because I have zero experience with babies, so all my planning is really just one big experiment in "winging it".) Of course, we'll be slowing down and scaling back on some things this Spring & Summer, but I'm very lucky to have good help. My husband will have 6 weeks of paternity leave and my awesome assistant Bridget will be helping me keep Sea+Stone running smoothly and to our normal standards.
Maternity Timeline & Changes in Biz
- I will be out of the office considerably during June & July, working part-time and often remotely while preparing for the arrival of baby, bonding, and learning how to Mom. Summary- don't expect much from me during that time! My awesome assistant, Bridget, will be handling Sea+Stone emails, orders, etc. So if you need me during that time... shoot her an email instead. lol firstname.lastname@example.org
- We have stopped accepting any new custom orders. We are working hard to complete all existing custom orders and get them shipped before baby arrives. New custom orders will be accepted starting in late August or September.
- We will not be participating in any markets, trunk shows, or pop-up events again until September! If you want to shop our jewelry in-person before my maternity leave, then come see me at one of my upcoming events happening over the next two weeks! I'll link to the calendar below!
- Our website will continue to operate as usual over my maternity leave, but we will not be accepting made-to-order jewelry orders or alterations to existing jewelry designs during my maternity leave.
- Wholesale orders will be accepted during maternity leave as long as the items ordered are in-stock and on our website.
- Standard repairs will still be completed during my maternity leave, but will need to be coordinated with Bridget instead of me!
Wish me luck & Stay tuned!
I can't wait to introduce Baby Connelley, and appreciate everyone's support & understanding as we slow down during this special time.
Come see us at one of our last shows of the season! Link below