The cleverly named company egg2cake offers an array of funny, apt and tongue-in-cheek paper goods from growth charts to journals to party coasters and cards for new and expecting mamas. Their messages hit home for the mom crowd, poking gentle fun at the circus that pregnancy and motherhood can often be by focusing on the light-heartedness and absurdity of it all.Jamie Diersing, Founder and Creative Director, is a mom of one who is the mind behind the mirth—she shares a little of her story with us.
Tell us about your family.
Life at home includes my husband and daughter as well as a couple of cats and frogs. (If my daughter had her way, we’d live on Noah’s Ark and have two of EVERYTHING!)
You love organization and are a graphic designer by trade, an orderly (at least visually) profession. How did becoming a mom affect those sensibilities?
Motherhood brings with it a certain amount of chaos, messiness and lack of control. At some point, you have to accept all this as part of the “ride,” and find peace with it. I like to think I’m creating tools for others which help them get organized but even more importantly, inspire them to capture and preserve memories. You can’t keep your kids from growing up, but you can relive it all, depending on how compulsive you are!
Your cards are so clever! What checklist or card do you wish you had received as a new mom?
I would have appreciated anything that would have given me a laugh! The lack of sleep, breastfeeding, post delivery complications and colicky infant really challenged me the first few months. Not to mention the transition from selfish to selfless. I was 34 and quite comfortable in my ways. To be frank, I wasn’t in love with any of the new world order (or lack of!) and I wish someone would have told me that that was ok. And that things would change, and eventually change so quickly, I’d wish it would all slow down.
In terms of specific products, I would have really liked the Mamentos journals, since I was never a big fan of traditional baby books and I enjoy more writing and less scrapbooking. I also would have replaced the hospital’s photocopy of feedings and diapers with the In and Out Newborn Feeding and Diaper Log and I SURE could have used a door hanger to keep people from ringing the door bell and from walking in on me when breastfeeding at family gatherings! And the diaper pack list notepad… I was quite nervous in the beginning about walking out the door with all the things you need to have with you.
Who are the other brains behind the words or are you the lone genius?
For better or for worse, I admit to it all!
Have you always preserved memories, recorded things, made lists?
Yes, I have always been obsessive and compulsive about memory keeping and I live and die by my lists. Lots of scrapbooks as a kid and journals as I got older. Vacations, my wedding, my daughter’s life, monthly highlights from the past 24 years of knowing my husband, you name it, I’ve got it. And don’t get me started on the lists. I can tell you how many 5ks I’ve run and what types of birds I’ve seen over the course of my life. The kinds of trees we have on our 3 acre property, the national parks I’ve been to, my daughter’s first 500 words and every funny thing she’s ever said.
In terms of writing, I started writing poetry when I was a kid, and really started to incorporate it into my design work about 12 years ago. I developed a book manuscript and proposal about my experiences in getting married and having a baby and I blog for Egg2Cake and cincinnatiparent.com. I also love photography.
What has been most challenging and most rewarding about having a family and running a business?
The challenging part is what I hear others speak about most — trying to balance it all. Even if you appear to be juggling it all, there are many moments when you’re with your child and thinking about your to-do list. To me, separation isn’t a reality, so I try to stay present in whatever I’m doing in the moment. Starting and running a business take a lot of energy, and there’s never a day when you’re all done. There is always more you could be doing, 24/7. During a push period, it’s easy to throw yourself into that wholeheartedly and even excessively, but on the other hand, you don’t want to miss too much at home. Because whether your business thrives or dies, you can’t get time back with your family, especially when kids are always changing and growing out of various phases.
On the flip side, if you’re disciplined and focused, the freedom and flexibility in building your days are awesome and empowering! In addition to Egg2Cake, I also freelance for various design agencies and clients, which means every day is different and not usually planned out far in advance. That can be a little unnerving since I’m a born planner but I try to see it as a blessing and opportunity. I recently signed up to be room rep for my daughter’s classroom and if I’m feeling on top of things, I go for a run or to a yoga class. (Mind you, that doesn’t mean shorter work days, it just means squeezing in a few hours after my daughter goes to bed.)
I also think parent entrepreneurs can have a profound impact on children, perhaps because they end up witnessing more aspects of the business first hand. They grow up not just knowing their parents work, but they see them wearing different “hats” and completing a multitude of tasks and sensing the passion behind it all. My greatest moment related to this was finding out my daughter had created an installation in our foyer that was an art store. She had made many drawings and had each one hanging from string and priced to sell!
What organization/celebration/hold-on-to-these-sweet-days tips can you share with our readers?
You never know when or where inspiration will strike so I keep documenting devices (paper, pen, journals, iPhone) all over the house and in my car. To me, the first step is the most important — just getting it out of your head. I believe there are a lot of people out there who have creative ideas, but if they don’t capture them to build upon them later, they’re gone forever. Once I set my intention and made it a priority, it quickly became habit, and as we all know, habits (good and bad) have a power all their own!)
It takes a village to raise a child and to document childhood! There are many different ways to capture memories… writing, photographs, video and voice recordings. It’s hard to do it all and in the moment I gravitate to photography and afterwards wish I had more video. But often my husband covers that. Lately, I’ve been interested in capturing recordings of things… my daughter’s voice, the start of a marathon or our backyard tree frogs in the spring. Sound can be a powerful, memory invoking device.
Consider taking the raw documentation to the next level: How often are you going to look at a million photos? Consider taking the best from the year and making a photo book for each year; something that you might leave out and be inclined to look at now and then. Same goes for video; try your hand at making a movie from the raw footage that will really tell the story.
Try to fold memory keeping into your everyday routine so that you’re keeping up with it along the way. Perhaps at the end of the month when you’re writing bills you review the calendar and jot down a few things you want to remember (just like a to-do list, only you’re looking back, not ahead!) Link adding marks to the growth chart to changing your clocks twice a year. Or use an unexpected quiet day like a snow day to sit down and “interview” your child about current likes and activities.
What’s next for Egg2Cake?
Celebrating motherhood is only the beginning of the adventure! I’d like to create additional product lines that celebrate the full journey of parenting, as well as other events in life.