When you meet Julie Cole, it’s clear you’re in the presence of a great force. The super-mom-of-six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels is full of energy, insight and a fab sense of humour. Julie Cole and the Mabel’s co-founders grew the business – labels and name stickers for all of the stuff kids tend to lose – from a basement start-up into an award-winning, celebrity-endorsed, international success, all while raising six kiddos – BRAVO!! She’s a truly awesome mom and inspiring entrepreneur. I connected with Julie for our Mama Says series where she shares snippets about her biz success, her challenges in motherhood and her top parenting hack. Check it out!
Mama Says is a monthly series where we catch up with cool women to talk work, play, life and (you guessed it) motherhood.
Tell us about you:
I’m Julie Cole, Co-founder and Senior Director of Public Relations for Mabel’s Labels. I’m a busy mom with six kids ranging in age from 18-9 years old.
How did Mabel’s Labels come to be?
Mabel’s Labels was the result of two things. One – we had a great product idea! The second thing was that when my eldest child was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, I wanted to leave the traditional workforce so I could have some flexibility to manage his therapy programs. I pitched the launch to my co-founders and away we went!
If you could travel back in time, what three pieces of advice would you give yourself in those first days/weeks after becoming a mom for the first time?
I’m actually a pretty chill new mom. I think if I was high stress, I would never have gone on to have six kids! One thing I would remind myself of would be to rest a bit more. I had six c-sections (I know, ridiculous). So I would come home with a new baby and often have a toddler and a couple of pre-schoolers all over me. I’m not going to lie – I did split stitches.
What have been your biggest challenges in motherhood so far? And how did you overcome (or come to live with) them?
I think my son being diagnosed with autism was the most difficult challenge I faced. But, I did my research, surrounded myself with supportive friends and family and went to work. I’m happy to report that both my son and my business have flourished! My son is heading off to university in September. I couldn’t be more proud.
“Sometimes doing the hard thing in the short term is going to make life much easier for your long-term.”
What are your favourite parent hacks/tips for making life easier with kids?
Train them to be independent. I know it’s sometimes easier to do things for them, but don’t. If you teach them to do things for themselves, it pays off in the long run. With parenting, sometimes doing the hard thing in the short term is going to make life much easier for your long-term.
How do you decompress? Do you have any favourite self-care activities or hobbies?
What are these hobbies you speak of? I don’t do a lot of “me time” activities. I would suggest that if “me time” is something that is a priority, probably not a great idea to have six kids and start a business.
If you could have a conversation about motherhood with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My great-grandmother: She gave birth to 21 children. I think she’d have a thing or two to share with me!
There’s a lot talk about losing ourselves, or parts of ourselves, in motherhood. What do you think about that?
I think it comes down to perspective. I just look at all I’ve gained. I think that if you go into it understanding that parenthood is full of sacrifice and absolute delight, you’ve got the right perspective.
What is your greatest hope for your children?
That they remain close friends and support each other. I’ve given them the most amazing gift in all those siblings. I hope they continue to appreciate each other.
What’s your favourite knock-knock joke?
I can’t even. SO many bad ones.
What’s the best part of being a mom?
I love all the ages and stages of childhood. I loved all my babies, toddlers, school age kids… I’m even getting a really big kick out of my teenagers. Enjoy every stage because they only last about FIVE MINUTES!
Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. As a digital influencer and sought after speaker and emcee, she has informed and entertained audiences at countless conferences. Julie has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Canada AM, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, among many others. Julie is a syndicated blogger for The Huffington Post, modernmom.com, PTPA Media, Yummy Mummy Club, and her company’s Mabelhood blog. Mabel’s Labels has been featured everywhere from The View to Forbes.com. While writing and speaking across North America, Julie is raising her crew of six in her hometown of Burlington, Ontario.
Connect with Julie on Social!
Twitter: @juliecole @mabelhood
Instagram: @cole.julie @mabelslabels
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