We had the good fortune of connecting with Catie & Bobbi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Catie & Bobbi, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?

Well, when we first started the business, it was ALL we could think about. What’s our next product? Who’s our next client? How can we achieve higher productivity rates? We texted ideas to each other all hours of the day. And when orders came in, we worked into the evenings and weekends, digging into our family time. Over the years we have learned the importance of creating dedicated hours for our company, our families, and ourselves. We live in a society that values STATUS and ACCOMPLISHMENTS and to take a step back and see the big picture of what we are losing by focusing only on those two things is a profound reality check. Ultimately, we all get to choose how we spend our time. By creating boundaries we can ensure things of value like relationships and physical & mental health don’t get forgotten. For us, being moms is our #1 role right now with work filling in the gap, but as our kids need us less we’ll be able to put more time into the business. Setting aside time to be healthy (physical/mental/spiritual) is also a key to success. If you don’t, it will affect all facets of your life. Here’s some practical tips that could help you with your Work/Life balance:
  • As mentioned, set a dedicated work schedule and stick to it!
  • Turn off your email notifications after your work day ends so you aren’t distracted.
  • Schedule into your calendar physical/mental/spiritual time.
  • Allow for some flexibility in your work day so when an impromptu orthodontist appointment pops up it doesn’t throw you off track.
  • Set achievable goals and the steps to get there so as not to consume yourself when you are off the clock.
Maintaining a balance is hard. We find it important to ask these questions: “Does this get me to where I want to be 10 years from now? Are we taking the right steps now to maintain satisfaction and balance for our future as well as today?” We have learned to accept that there is no “perfect” work/life balance, but rather we “practice” each day. There is always something that needs to be done at work and there is always something that needs to be done at home.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Traditional graphic artists work for clients creating logos, websites, brochures, etc. and so did I. But two years ago I made the decision to make my own designs for my company Grounded Goods Design. My business partner and I design and create wood jewelry and home decor. It felt risky & freeing all at the same time. However, after seeing lots of women I didn’t know wearing our earrings I knew I made the right choice. Another proud moment came when a client was brought to tears when we delivered her custom metal art installation. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some challenges along the way to designing for Grounded Goods. Fresh out of college I was able to land my dream job at one of the best design firms in my area. But my husband’s job pulled us away to another state where I worked as a designer at a print shop and then as an in-house designer for another company. Motherhood was calling and I answered. I discovered working from home as a freelance designer was my “best yes.” Three kids later, I continued my craft (although limited) knowing some day I would have more time for design. Some lessons learned were patience for your next chapter and embracing your current chapter. Also, when the time came for Grounded Goods to emerge, I learned to be a risk taker…I didn’t know anything about manufacturing or much about running a business, but when your heart is in it you become a great learner! My business partner, Bobbi, has a background in business, accounting, management, etc. So with both sides of the coin, we make a great team!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

Well friend, you’re in for an awesome time in NOCO! Here’s a list of our MUST DO’s and MUST EATS:
  • Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park > Take the short trip up to Estes and hit up the popular hiking trails in RMNP: Bear Lake/Dream Lake/Emerald Lake (GO EARLY!). Then peruse the souvenir shops and boutiques–don’t miss The Grey House, I hear they have super cute wood earrings! Enjoy dinner at Bird & Jim’s, you won’t be disappointed. Hit up Colorado Cherry Co. on your way back down the gorgeous Thompson Canyon.
  • Fort Collins > Totally a romantic downtown area with its canopy of lighted trees and horse drawn carriages. But what about the food? If you’re into contemporary southwestern, Blue Agave is perfect for you…Or steak you say? Then we’d have to recommend Sonny Lubrick’s or The Whiskey Still. Want something a little more casual with a fun vibe? Try Avogadro’s Number or Otto Pint. We love a good speakeasy and these two are amazing: The Social and Ace Gillett’s.
  •  Steamboat-yes please! > There’s so much to love about Steamboat…the skiing, the Yampa River tubing, Strawberry Hot Springs, any lots of yummy restaurants–Taco Cabo, Winona’s, Ore House at the Pine Grove are some of our faves.
  • Explore the Poudre > The Poudre River is a popular spot for tubing, rafting, and fly fishing OR just grab some camp chairs and pull off the canyon drive to soak your feet in the refreshing waters, it’s tranquility is sure to revive your soul. Hit up Mishawaka for some great food and live music (request the deck seating, it’s situated right over the river!).
  • Brewery/Distillery > We have a surplus in our area, try them all! New Belgium, Odells, Grimm Brothers, Loveland Aleworks, Big Beaver, Verboten, Spring44, High Hops, Mash Lab
  • Date Night in Windsor > Hit up The Hearth for dinner, then take a short walk down the street to The Windsor Mill for drinks (their strawberry mule is epic).

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We wanted to dedicate our Shoutout to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization. Last July, Catie and her family celebrated their stillbirth daughter’s 9th heavenly birthday. Their precious baby pictures of her are next to all their other family photos decorating their walls. She is forever in their hearts and they long to be reunited with her in heaven. Every year since her death, Catie and her husband have donated to NILMDTS because of their appreciation of what they had done for them and so many others. But inside, she knew some day she wanted to do more. When Grounded Goods was envisioned, we wanted to create products that were both unique and gave back. Specifically, we wanted to give back to women…women helping women. Today, a portion of wood earring net profits is donated to NILMDTS to help fund the invaluable work they do. Being able to give back to this amazing organization gives us purpose and even more passion. We love how this has come full circle…people showing love to those hurting and love reciprocating. Click the link to learn more about NILMDTS>  https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/

Website: www.groundedgoodsdesign.com

Instagram: @groundedgoodsdesign

Facebook: @groundedgoodsdesign

Image Credits
Emily Davis Family Photography @EmilyDavisPhotoFirestone www.DavisFamilyPhoto.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.