In the latest Disruptors feature, Milk spoke with Latosha Frink Harrison, founder of Mama Hustle.
What’s the inspiration behind your website, mamahustle.com?
The inspiration behind Mama Hustle & Co. started with my daughter, Jewel.
On a family trip to Great Wolf Lodge, my daughter had played at the arcade and accumulated tons of tickets that needed to be cashed in. Just like the other parents sucked into the arcade and who now had to stand in line to cash in these tickets like we were playing the lottery.
Well my daughter Jewel who was 3 years old at the time, struck up a conversation asking me if I DREAM and what do I DREAM about.
Initially, I was taken aback by the question because I didn’t have an answer.
To be truthful that simple question punched me in my soul.
Since I didn’t have an answer and tried to change the topic, my daughter spewed off all the things she dreamt of and what she wanted to be.
To say the least I felt empty and lost as though I had no purpose or passion.
Let me be clear, my daughter’s question and response wasn’t disrespectful or rude but more soul-stirring and thought-provoking.
This 3-year-old girl asked a very grown-up question. A question I was surprised she had that level of maturity to inquire about and even attempt
All the while we were down to her last 70 tickets to redeem and I asked her what did she want. She paced the counter until she found a ring labeled “DREAM”.
She got the ring and told me to never forget to DREAM.
I knew from that moment I wanted to be MORE.
I thought I had to place my DREAMS, GOALS, and ambitions on hold to be “that” mother and wife that would solely focus on her family and nothing else.
That moment provided the role model my daughter would model after at home and at business. I knew I was not alone in navigating the balance of home and hustle. I knew I was more than Jewel’s mom, his wife, etc.
Why did you want to create a platform for mothers in particular?
I created this platform because I knew I was not alone. As I networked and met other moms they also struggled with the pursuit of purpose deferred while being a mom.
What do you think are the unique challenges faced by modern mothers?
The unique challenges modern mothers are faced with is wearing multiple hats. Being the CEO, CFO, CMO, nanny, chef and the many other titles that are associated with home and running a business.
Modern mothers are expected to be the lead caretaker and work, and do both perfectly.
Since moms balance so much, do you think they might actually be especially suited for entrepreneurship?
Yes, I believe moms are suited for entrepreneurship. Show me a mom and I’ll show you hustle. Moms have balanced their families and pursuit of their dreams since the beginning of time.
We have amazing examples that remind us it is possible like Beyonce, Pink, Stacey Ferguson, Cassandra Cummings, Jaunice Rufai, Jessica Beale.
Phenomenal everyday moms building their legacies and business.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about balancing home and hustle?
The most important thing I’ve learned is home comes first. Home starts with you.
As cliché as it sounds, I had to learn to take time for me – mentally, physically, spiritually. I had to pour into myself before I could pour into anyone else.
Furthermore, the first company we are CEOs of is home.
If the foundation is not right then the home that it is built upon will fall.
Latosha Frink Harrison is the founder of Mama Hustle, created with the sole purpose of moving motherhood forward, one mamapreneur at a time.