Shoe Designer Sheena Garg Edwards on Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Sheena Garg Edwards seems to do it all. Lately, her daily routine includes designing shoes for the next season, planning for the holidays, and running three kids to and from after-school activities. Since 2008, the San Antonio-based entrepreneur has run Lizzie Lou Shoes, an international business that specializes in high-quality women’s footwear (made in India) that features hand-embroidered designs and genuine crystals.
The Intuit Small Business Blog recently talked with Edwards about launching Lizzie Lou Shoes, handling her hectic schedule, and finding work-life balance (especially around the holidays).
ISBB: You started your business after being a stay-at-home mom for nearly a decade. Did you design your business around your family?
Edwards: I had a nice career before I had kids, but I was out of the workforce for eight years and didn’t want to go back to where I had been. So, I looked for something that I could grow and build upon without having to go back full-time. Just as I was ready to do something different, my cousin in India contacted me, and we decided to start a business together. We spent a year on research and development and came up with shoes — and that’s how Lizzie Lou Shoes got its start.
How do you keep a balance between your work and family?
It’s definitely a juggling act, but I continually remind myself of my priorities. I also view it as a discipline: If I’m not done with work by 3 p.m. when my kids get off the bus, that’s too bad. From dinner to bedtime, I don’t work. I have to be scheduled, but for the most part it works out. I also think it’s important to recognize that we can’t do everything. One thing that falls by the wayside when I’m busy is cooking dinner, so I buy a lot of healthy ready-made meals or get takeout.
What do you do to stay on top of work and prepare for the holidays?
I make lists for everything: When the holidays draw near, I have lists for all that I’ll need, from gifts to supplies, like wrapping paper and batteries to go with the new toys. We also generally don’t travel during the holidays. We take vacations at a different time of year, which helps to avoid the added stress of travel over the holidays.
How does your life change over the holidays?
My kids are usually off school for two weeks during the Christmas break. So, I do some work in there, especially if there’s a lull (e.g., the kids are watching a movie). The more disciplined I am, the better! You can get a lot done if you really focus.