Superfriend of the Month: Back to School with Itzy Ritzy!

September 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

 

It’s that time again…Back to school!  We know our kids are happiest when they are healthy and active, and that means packing a super nutritious lunch!  In yesterday’s blog, Lara Field, MS, RD, CSP, LDN, Pediatric Dietitian and Owner of FEED – Forming Early Eating Decisions gave us some lunchbox lessons. Be sure to check it out here.  Lara says to get the kids involved!  If kids are part of the process, they are more likely to succeed in eating lunch.  Have kids help with grocery shopping and food preparation to promote healthy habits.  Find some fun gear to pack the lunches, like Itzy Ritzy snack bags.

We agree!  Itzy Rizy snack bags are the perfect pouch for any kid’s lunch box.  Snack Happened™ bags are FDA approved, CPSIA compliant, PVC- free, lead –free, and BPA- free.   The 7 x 7 bags are big enough to fit all kinds of fun & nutritious snacks, including a banana.  The lead free zipper top closure and water-resistant interiors keep crumbs, drips & contents securely inside  the snack bag, rather than all over the inside of that brand new backpack.  The exterior, made up of designer fabric (which comes in a variety of prints), is 100% cotton with thick and lush PVC-Free waterproof lining interior – that mean’s you can throw them in the wash for an easy clean up!

We were so thrilled to sit down with Itzy Ritzy CEO, Kelly Meyer Douglas for an exclusive SQ1 interview!  Check it out below:

Q:  Kelly, tell us a little bit about how and why did you come to be CEO of Itzy Ritzy?  
A:  I’m Kelly Meyer Douglas and I’m the mother to three darling children ages 6 months to 6 years, the wife to a great man, Brian, lucky friend to an amazing group of women, and the Co-CEO of Itzy Ritzy.  In terms of my background, I grew up in Naperville (a suburb of Chicago) and then went to college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.  After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Economics, I moved to New York City, because if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere baby (and oh yeah maybe a bit of following an old boyfriend).  In New York I worked for Anderson Consulting/Accenture as an IT consultant.  New York City is an amazing adventure and I recommend it to anyone looking for a life altering experience.  It’s in New York that I really figured out who I was as a woman and where I met my husband, Brian.  I loved the corporate world, but wanted more leadership opportunities, so at the age of 25 I left Accenture and New York to serve as the Executive Director of Sunrise Senior Living in Chicago. After a few years at Sunrise, and 6 months into my first pregnancy my husband and I packed up our bags and headed back to New York City.   Why move back to New York? Knowing that we had the burning desire to become entrepreneurs Brian and I decided it was best to get some intense financial background first, so after receiving his MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago he took a job as an Investment Banker in Manhattan.   I stayed home with our daughter and absolutely loved it.   After about 18 months I got the itch to dip my toes back into the work world, so I decided to take classes at NYU in movie production.   Following my classes, I started working on a studio film starring Nicole Kidman.  It was an amazing experience to go on location, daughter in tow, for six weeks to the Hamptons.   Six months later we were pregnant with our second daughter.   It was at this time that Brian and I decided we should really start to focus on taking the leap at fulfilling our entrepreneurial dreams, so that we wouldn’t become trapped by the “golden handcuffs” of investment banking.  And to most everyone’s shock, Brian quit his job one month before our second daughter was born so we could focus on her birth and then on starting Itzy Ritzy! Having two little girls and an eye for style and quality, we believed we could apply our business acumen in the baby industry by providing parents functional and modern baby products and thus Itzy Ritzy was born.

 

Q:  How has working with Itzy Ritzy impacted your life and what about your job brings you the most joy?
A:  I am a better mom because of having my own business!  When I am with my children I am engaged and enjoying them to the fullest (for me when I was home full time without a work outlet, I lost a bit of myself and also got a bit bored with the redundancy of the daily routine – many women are afraid to admit this).    Tip (that I often have to remind myself to follow): Stop making yourself feel guilty.  A happy mom is a good mom.   This means different things for different women:  Working full time, working part time, or being a full time stay at home mom.  Don’t compare yourself to your friends and neighbors; instead, do what is best for you and your family.

In terms of which part of working at Itzy Ritzy brings the most joy, I’d say that I love that I’m able to see everything through all phases from the original idea, through development, prototyping, testing, creating the finished product, fabric forecasting, photo shoots, packaging and then finally having the finished product hit store shelves.

Q:  What gets you through juggling your family life and work with Itzy Ritzy?
A: A glass of wine at the end of the day! I am constantly struggling with trying to be the best at all I do, best mom (most importantly), best wife, best friend, and best business woman.  Compared to a lot of moms out there, I am lucky in that I am my own boss – I set the schedule and am able to be flexible and prioritize – for instance, I have the freedom to leave work in the middle of the day to serve as a room mom for my first grader, coach my preschooler’s soccer team, and take a music class with my newborn.   On the flip side, this can add to the complexity of juggling too, as I tend to take on too much to prove to myself that I can do it all.

Q:  What was your life like pre-parenthood?
A: Hard work, international travel, and spontaneity.  Trying out all of the hottest NYC restaurants and living a bit of the Sex in the City lifestyle with Brian.

Q:  If there was a movie about your life what would it be called?
A: Doing My Best…One Broken Stiletto at a Time

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Entry filed under: Superfriends, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Lunchbox Lessons from Lara Kids Need Healthy Food, Not Hyped Junk

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