Celebrating National Grandparent's Day with our Founder, Adrienne
This past weekend we celebrated National Grandparents' Day, a day dedicated to honoring those extra special pillars of wisdom, love, and support in our families. In the spirit of this heartwarming occasion, we, at Sophie la Girafe Babycare, wanted to sit down with someone whose mission aligns perfectly with the essence of this day – our Founder, Adrienne! Check out our interview below as she shares her insights into the world of grandparenting, the unique bond between grandparents and grandchildren, and a few tips and lessons she’s learned along the way.
Can you share some memorable moments of being a grandma and what it means to you?
I absolutely value every moment – especially the tiny ones (puns intended)! It is so much fun to sit on the floor and read or play with my “littles” as we call them. Each child is completely different which means I get to see the world with (3) different perspectives...and so simply with no filters!
Unfortunately, I don’t live in either city where my grandchildren reside. So, when I visit, there is no greater feeling than hearing your grandchild call out to you the minute you walk in the door. Before you know it, your hand is pulled in the direction of a toy or game on the floor, and I am immediately playing – before I am even able to remove my coat. It’s such an amazing feeling and I get just as excited as they do!
What have been some of the biggest rewards and some of the learnings you’ve experienced along the way?
I always think back to something my dad used to say that ended up teaching me a valuable lesson throughout life, even before I was lucky enough to become a parent and grandparent. “You can’t expect other people to do things the same way you would.” This is probably even truer with my own children and how they raise their kids. So, we should just accept the joy the grandchildren bring and leave the parenting to others!
What are your top 3 tips for keeping your grandchildren happy, healthy, and feeling the love?
- Spend quality time with them – even if it’s just sitting behind the glass watching swimming lessons or enjoying “tea” at the tea party. The kids know you are engaged in their lives and that’s what really counts.
- Lead by example – as a grandparent, you can make a positive impact and instill habits that set them up for success in the future. This can be traditions, having an active lifestyle, and yes, even manners!
- Show them open communication and unconditional love – Being a good listener and talking about their thoughts, dreams, and every little nuance creates a safe space that lets them know you’re there for them always and will love them no matter what.
How do you incorporate your family's values into your business philosophy?
You know, nowadays, social media has become a major part of how families portray themselves to the public. It's fascinating because one of my children is perfectly okay with featuring their child in brand campaigns, whereas the other is quite adamant about not doing so. I've come to admire and support both of their choices, and it's really cool how they've both taught me valuable lessons about the importance of privacy.
What motivated you to start Sophie la Girafe Babycare, and how has your experience as a grandma influenced the type of products you developed?
Sophie is absolutely one of the most iconic children’s toys and teethers out there. Just knowing the universal love and happiness it brings to so many families makes it an easy brand to have as part of any business and I feel so lucky to help be a part of continuing the love. Sophie’s values are all about being clean and safe - exactly what I would want for my children and their children. So, when I say I was REALLY excited to have the opportunity to expand the Sophie la Girafe brand into babycare products and make them available around the world – that might just be the biggest understatement of the year!
How do you balance your role as a grandma with the demands of running a business? Any tips for other grandmas and moms out there for maintaining work-life balance?
Let’s be honest… is there ever really enough time? I feel like time always seems to slip away, especially when I'm not living in the same city as my grandchildren. Visiting them involves hopping on an airplane, which can be quite an adventure in and of itself (especially when trying to run a business at the same time!) but there are so many great ways to find balance and maximize the time we DO have, even if just virtually.
So, to keep our bonds strong and spirits high, we make good use of Facetime. It's like our secret tool for staying connected, and it brings us together whenever we need that dose of family magic - laughing, sharing stories, and keeping the connection present. While it's not quite the same as face-to-face hugs, Facetime adds a sprinkle of joy to our lives and reminds us that love knows no distance even when in work-mode!
If you had to pick one Sophie la Girafe Babycare product or innovation you're particularly proud of, what would it be and how does it benefit fellow grandparents and parents?
It seems trivial, but I love that we problem-solved for keeping wipes in a diaper bag with our travel pouch. You all know that either the pull tab won’t re-seal so the wipes dry out; or it closes so quickly you can’t get the wipes out of the pack with one hand.
So, it was my mission to create a travel pouch that keeps wipes moist for up to 2 months and allows for multiple wipes to be removed from the pack with one hand so you can always keep the other hand on the baby. Small victories! It's these little triumphs of practicality that make life easier and parenting more fun. Who knew that a simple travel pouch could become our secret weapon for hassle-free diaper changes on the go?
How do you feel Sophie la Girafe Babycare has contributed to the well-being of families, and what impact do you hope to make in the future?
I am really proud of the products that we have developed and even more excited about some of the new items we have coming out in the next few months! It was extremely important to me to take a look at what’s missing in the market, what problems parents/grandparents are facing with current babycare offerings, and how I can lend a helping hand. Fortunately, I think we’re accomplishing that with all the amazing feedback we’ve gotten on how clean and effective the products are and how thoughtful the packaging design has been for making day-to-day life at home a bit easier. Sometimes, something as simple as an extra large pump on a lotion bottle becomes the game-changer you never knew you needed!
Finally, on this National Grandparent's Day, could you share a heartwarming (or funny!) story about your journey as a grandma?
Ah, the unforgettable adventures of becoming a granny during the COVID era!
My older grandchildren made their debut in the midst of it all, leaving us (like many!) in the dark about what to expect. I was determined to be there for their arrivals, so I drove about 15-hours in one day to be able to see them. (Just one of the many 15+ hour days us parents become accustomed to, right?) Picture this: a granny-to-be, accompanied by her trusty 10 lb. dog in a large SUV, making pit stops at truck stations along Route 80. I was a sight to behold, long gloves that reached past my sleeves, socks pulled up over my pants, and a hat with an oversized visor, all to shield every inch of my skin - in the middle of August, no less! The lengths we go to for love and connection know no bounds. And let me tell you, every single minute of those drives was worth the memory of being there for those precious arrivals.
How did you celebrate National Grandparents Day and are there any tips or lessons that you’ve found most valuable? Let us know on Instagram @sophielagirafebabycare – we love hearing from you!