Taryn Kutches is a co-founder of a startup company called Parker Design. Their first product is a backpack for professional women which she designed herself. She is planning on launching a Kickstarter campaign this fall to raise funds to start producing their bag. At the same time doing everything to get her mission in front of people.
Let’s get to know her more as she reveals how she manages her time as a momtrepreneur while doing an act of kindness to others.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am from a small beach town on the west side of Michigan. I live there with my husband, Pete, our daughter Parker, and our four legged son Tahoe. We take full advantage of Lake Michigan during the summer months and spend most of our time hiking the dunes, hanging at the beach, or boating. I am currently working full time, and I am co-founding Parker Design: a fashion brand on the mission to positively impact the world. Our first product, The Rosa Pak, is a backpack for professional women.
2. What inspired you to be in the business where you are now? Was that the first option that you have in mind?
I was inspired by so many things, but my biggest inspiration has come from my daughter, Parker. She was the one who really pushed me to pursue my dreams. For as long as I can remember, I have been coming up with ideas to do something that I am passionate about. For some, that “something” is easy to identify, like painting, or acting. However, I didn’t have such an obvious skill or passion to pursue.
I have come to realize my passion lies in entrepreneurship and philanthropy. I’m love that I have the opportunity to develop products and create a meaningful culture, but I also wanted to do something great with a company. I wouldn’t have guessed that my business would be a fashion brand designing and develop backpacks, but I saw a need in the market and went for it!
3. Was there a time that you had to push yourself to your limits?
Honestly, my limits are pushed almost daily. My husband works 2nd shift. I go to work from 8:00-5:00, pick up Parker, make us both dinner, clean up and go through her bedtime routine solo during the week. Once Parker shuts her eyes around 8:00, or 8:30 PM each night, my Parker Design work starts. I spend my nights catching up on emails, coordinating sourcing decisions and product samples, developing business plans and marketing materials, and constantly working on the future.
4.How do you balance work and family obligations?
Plan ahead. If I know I have a lot of work on my plate; I try to make sure I do it during hours I wouldn’t normally be with my family. My best work is done in the mornings, and I can get a lot done in the early morning when there’s a fresh pot of coffee, and the rest of my family is still sleeping. I also try and incorporate my family into my work as much as possible. We had a photoshoot for Parker Design the other weekend, and instead of going to it alone, I had all of them (including Tahoe) tag along.
5. What is the hardest part about being a working mother?
Trying to manage household chores and spending time with my little one. When I get home from work, all I want to do is hang out with my daughter, but the reality is there is still dinner to be cooked, dishes to be done, clothes to be put away, etc. I’m not super mom, and my house doesn’t look like a picture from Pottery Barn’s catalog, but I am OK with that if it means reading an extra bedtime story.
6. Do you still find time to pamper yourself?
Yes, I just do it in moderation now. The one thing I knew I couldn’t give up when becoming a mom and launching a company was getting my nails done. It is my hour just to relax, and it also makes me feel put together when I have a messy bun on top of my head and spilled coffee on my shirt.
7. What advice do you have for your fellow Millennial women?
Don’t feel entitled to anything. You must realize that you are going to start at the bottom, and the only way to move yourself to the top is to work for what you want, and you must work hard. You are going to make mistakes. The worst thing you can do is let those mistakes hold you back. Mistakes are what have taught me the most.
Thank you, Taryn!