Who: Katie Richardson
With: My Husband Ben and I have 4 kids...3 boys ages 15, 13, and 11 and our daughter is 5.
What: I am a Product Designer who learned powerful marketing skills to create a world class brand. I coaches high performing entrepreneurs that are changing the world.
Tell us a little more about what you do!
It's funny, I never set-out to do any of those things. But from a young age I have honed the skill of listening to my inner voice and giving myself permission to take action on what I am hearing. I LOVE creating with my hands so this ultimately lead me to Product Design. I was also passionate about motherhood and being there for my kids. One day I was in a boutique with my 3 and 1 year old and the owner attacked me saying, "Where did you get all this stuff? I go to all the trade shows and this stuff is HOT!" She was referring to the hats, shoes, blanket, and baby carrier I made. It's interesting because I wasn't trying to get her attention. I just didn't love most of the baby stuff on the market (it was so...baby...) so I made stuff that resonated with me. It was simple, thoughtful, classic, and usually had a twist of fun thrown in. It was "Katie" As I look back over the 12 years of building this multi-million dollar global business, I can see that so much of our success came from knowing my own values and being able to translate that into Innovative Products, a Powerful Brand, and a Bold Message. Along this journey I very quickly was confronted with the real fear that having a successful business meant I was letting-down or even abandoning my family. I began looking around for examples of women who were present with their family AND had a successful company. This was in 2007, social media was pretty much non-existant, and the only examples I could see was of people making sacrifices in ways I was unwilling to make. But rather than give up and say it's not possible, I actually put my Design Thinking hat on and started asking powerful questions, "If it was possible for a Woman to build an amazing business AND be home to cook dinner with her kids (and teach them how to do things like patch a pair of jeans, grind wheat to make bread, and learn to write in cursive)...What would that look like? How does this woman live her life? What are her priorities? How does she take care of herself? What is she saying "no" to in order to say "Yes" to what she wants." As I became more aware of the way I am talking to myself and asking Powerful Questions, I shifted from feeling like a "bad mom" all the time to Creating The Woman I Wanted To Be. This is how I freed myself from the guilt and shame that so often as mother's we've been conditioned to feel. And you want to know the most exciting part! I'm still on this journey. Yes I built an AMAZING company and have received tons of recognition and awards, but I have not "arrived" I'm still learning. I'm still growing. And my pursuit of purpose continues TODAY as I Coach some AMAZING WOMEN who are navigating Entrepreneurship and Motherhood. 12 years ago I could have never guessed this is what I'd be doing today. 26 year old Katie was too shy, unsure of herself, and limited by her small thinking. The key to my "success" in life has been my ability to nurture my Curiosity and continually giving myself permission to JUST BE KATIE.
— On Self
How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
Minimal, Timeless,( Black. White. Grey. Hints of Red) Thoughtful Design, Function, Simple.
What's your routine for getting ready in the morning?
1. Slip out of bed after my 5 am alarm, onto my knees for Morning Prayer, followed by a moment of stillness and listening. 2. Head to the Gym with my Giant Water bottle 3. Sweat and lift weights 4. Hit the Sauna 5. Read/listen to scripture and meditate while sitting in my car in the driveway (this is SUCH a great place to get more quiet in my day) 6. hydrate some more 7. shower, get ready wearing an outfit I LOVE, and have breakfast with the kids.(we love smoothy bowls with all the toppings...chia seeds, cacao nibs, shredded coconut, strawberries, blueberries, and a drizzle of honey 8. get to work by 9:30 am taking client calls. My Mornings didn't always look like this. It took me YEARS to develop this routine. It started with me noticing that my kids waking me up every morning asking for a bottle of milk was NOT a good way to start my day. So I started asking myself what an IDEAL morning looked like and it included lots of quiet, stillness, movement, and hydration. I knew the ONLY way my business could succeed was if I was CREATING the energy I needed to DO it all. Through trial and error over the years I've found this is what works for me.
What would you say is your go-to uniform?
Medium Wash Jeans, a Black Top, Patent Leather Red Converse, Imperfect ponytail with Blonde Curls Spilling Out, a subtle cat-eye, with minimalist gold earrings + necklace.
— On Motherhood
How do you create mom/life balance for yourself?
I love to laugh and have fun. For too long I told myself those things were frivolous and not important. But once I began seeing that watching an old Seinfeld episode gives me energy I started giving myself permission to add FUN to my day.
What is your biggest accomplishment as a mother?
Pregnancy is an interesting thing. There is this unspoken expectation that a Woman's pregnancy will look like everyone else's. I had what most people would call "normal" pregnancies. But with a history of preeclampsia, 10 lbs. babies, 3rd degree tearing, excessive bleeding, inductions, high blood pressure, long recovery, trying to loose the 60 lbs, etc...I wasn't happy with these things. And while Doctors told me it was my genetics, this is "normal" and there was nothing I could do about it, I didn't believe them. So with my 4th pregnancy I took a RADICALLY different approach and had a LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE. Like a Design Project, I began seeking out ways to create the RESULT I wanted. What I realized on this journey was the biggest shift was internal. For my first 3 pregnancies I let pregnancy happen TO me. Without realizing it, I had a victim mentality and couldn't wait to "get it all over with". With my 4th Pregnancy I put myself in the driver seat. This was an AMAZING journey me and my baby were on. Looking back, I was very PRESENT with Pregnancy. I saw it as training for a race, and we were doing it together. My intense exercise continued all 9 months, I got super clear on what foods I would eat and what I wouldn't, I even got particular about the kinds of media I would let into my life. I listened to my intuition and took action on what I was hearing. It was an incredibly BONDING experience that ultimately created one of the most EMPOWERING experiences of my life, which was her Home Birth. It is a POWERFUL thing when we are acting out of Love, Choice and Presence, as opposed to Resistance, Fear and Anxiety.
What is your most vivid memory from your journey to motherhood?
I have three vivid memories and all are the first moments that I saw my babies after they were born. These first glimpses are etched in my memory forever.
What does a typical day-in-the-life with your family look like?
My 4 kids are in 4 schools starting at different times. So getting everyone "off to school" is a 3 hour process. Last school year I was making breakfast about 3 times each morning. Yes, It was nice to have one-on-one time with each kid...But I'm thinking this year everyone does breakfast at the SAME time. After the kids are all off to school and I hit my studio and get my work done for the day. My steam for work is gone by about 1:30 or 2 pm (don't have a lot of endurance in this area) Being home to meet the kids when they get off the bus is super important. But as I'm writing this I seeing that I have not been great at this in the past and I want to do better. I always make sure my kids get playing time in their day. Dinner with the whole family at the table is something I'm committed to each day. We eat a fresh but simple meal that the kids help me prepare (as I'm separating them from pestering and poking each other), they are in charge of setting the table and clearing it afterwards as well. Don't worry, I'm always having to remind them of this. Dinner is a time to connect as a family (all screens and devices are put away) and have a conversation. It's so funny how much effort it is to get my boys to talk. They love giving us a "yes" or "no" and we are constantly reminding them this is a CONVERSATION (lol) Bedtime routines are super important as well. WE do family prayer, stories, and tuck each of the kids into bed. Even my 15 year old gets a good night kiss.
How did your upbringing differ from how you raise your own kids?
My Mother did not work outside the home. She was always there cooking, crafting, and cleaning with us. So making the decision to be an entrepreneur in a lot of ways, felt like I was betraying my upbringing. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that our world has CHANGED significantly and having impact in the Home AND in the World is absolutely possible.
One nugget of wisdom for other mamas?
As Women we are blessed with this unique ability to grow a life within us and beyond. This requires a lot of energy and resources. Because of that, it's absolutely critical that we as Mothers are COMMITTED to taking care of ourselves. Something I do for myself daily is create QUIET and STILLNESS in my day. Motherhood can often look chaotic and the amount of questions we get asked before 10 am is kind of ridiculous. Creating quiet and stillness in my life has created SPACE for me to think, listen, and get clarity. And the things it does form my patience...well, it saves lives (lol)
— On the Future
What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
To have an eternal sense for who they are, how to genuinely LOVE people that are different from them, and the Powerful role they play in this AMAZING world. TODAY, if I could just get them to stay out of each other's "bubble" and stop poking their brother that would be a HUGE first step ;)
When your kids are grown and out of the house, what will your Saturday mornings look like?
NOT CLEANING AND NOT ORGANIZING. I would LOVE to be going on regular bike rides with my husband.
I plan on building a life I don't have to retire from. I love learning, I love exploring, I love creating and plan on doing that till I'm 156.
— Quickfire Round
To Give Away Millions Of Dollars
Can't live without:
Laughter, Dark chocolate, and a REALLY great pair of shoes.
Cycling the countryside of France with my husband.
The Power of NOW
Alarm clock set to:
Rule you always break:
Eating before the kids...I do this one all the time.
I grew up having FLYING dreams on a regular basis. I would LOVE to FLY!
Jesus Christ and Joan of Arc