How Lauren Conrad and Bestie Hannah Skvarla Thrive As Moms *and* Business Partners

Photo: The Little Market

Given that I can barely keep my head on straight as a working gal with zero children, it amazes me that so many women are able to manage their careers and their families (and their friends, and their health, etc.) without breaking a sweat. (Unless they're in LEKfit, of course.)

Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla, her partner in the online fair trade shop The Little Market, are two such women juggling what seems to me to be a Herculean amount of responsibility. In addition to The Little Market, which is also a nonprofit that empowers women to make their own income by creating the artisan goods sold by the company, both have multiple projects going on at any given time in addition. They also both have children: Conrad gave birth to son Liam in 2017 and Skvarla is currently expecting her second baby.

So, how do they make it all work? Below, the momtrepreneurs share their tips for creating some semblance of balance in a too-busy life.

Scroll down for 5 tips on work-life balance from these motivated mamas.

Set boundaries

"Lauren has taught me the importance of saying no," Skvarla tells me. "She's really good at setting boundaries and has taught me to do the same without feeling guilty about it."

This is a necessary skill set, says Conrad, if there's any hope of achieving balance. "I set boundaries and do my best to focus on whatever task I'm committed to," she explains. "If I'm with Liam, then he gets all of my attention. And if I am working, then work gets all of my attention." In other words, the siren song of incoming emails is answered only when she's on the clock.

These lines in the sand extend to the gals' working relationship, too. "We give each other the space and time we need for our kids and devote our full selves when we show up to work," Skvarla adds. 

@rachelpally, this dress is perfect. Thank you! ? ?:@laurenconrad

A post shared by Hannah Skvarla (@hannahskvarla) on

Find inspo in your fellow mamas

Skvarla took the plunge into motherhood first, and Conrad tells me she learned a lot from watching her partner manage the transition. "She really set the stage and led by example—she was completely devoted to our company and mission while still being an incredible mom," Conrad says.

Skvarla returns the compliment. "Lauren is an amazing mom and her dedication to Liam in admirable," she says. "She's reworked her schedule and her commitments so she can spend as much time with him as possible."

My dinner date ?

A post shared by Lauren Conrad (@laurenconrad) on

Re-prioritize (or, de-prioritize)

On that note, one of the main things Conrad says has changed about her working life since the birth of her son is that she's been forced to become more selective in what she signs on to do, especially if the ask involves travel. "Before Liam, it was easier to justify certain projects or time away from home," she says. "Now, it’s not something I just throw on the calendar."

Hello Thailand!!! Let the @thelittlemarket adventure begin! ?: @valoriedarling

A post shared by Lauren Conrad (@laurenconrad) on

Reimagine your schedule

In order to maintain her pre-child level of engagement in the business, Skvarla tells me she had to get creative with her calendar. "I spend the afternoons with [my daughter], so that means that after I put her to bed at 7 p.m., I typically work for another three hours to catch up," she says. The real struggle, she adds, has been in trying to figure out how to fit in all the other things she did before the baby was born (e.g. spending time with friends and, you know, sleeping)Luckily, Conrad and Skvarla are best friends as well as business partners, which means they get to kill two birds with one stone in the workplace (yet another productivity hack!).

Pay it forward

Finally, Conrad and Skvarla tell me that motherhood has supercharged their hustle in unforeseen ways. "We now have a much better appreciation for the importance of mothers being able to spend time with their children, and a better understanding of how far a woman would go to care for her children," Skvarla says. This knowledge adds fuel to their fire, as many of the artisans they work with are mothers who now, through partnership with The Little Market, get to support their families while working from home.

In other words, they're now paying forward the support and inspiration they've received from one another to other working mothers, and to the benefit of their business to boot. In your own business dealings, this is something to consider; how can you, too, help other women in the workplace find the balance that will enable them to be better employees, co-workers, and boss babes? Says Conrad of her shift in mindset, "Once we had our kids, we realized how significant it is to help a fellow mother."

For more expert and real-mom-approved parenting intel, dive into Mom Crush May. 

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