Okay, get ready.
You’re about to meet the coolest mom boss ever. Jenna Zielbauer is the mom of two and founder of ROCKEASE, a company that offers an innovative solution for on-the-go parenting: a portable, budget-friendly, and space-conscious device that can turn any four-legged chair into a rocking chair. Need to nurse, soothe, or bond with your kids in an airport, restaurant, or hotel? Jenna’s got you covered. (Seriously, how cool is that?!)
Let’s meet Jenna!
How did you come up with the idea for ROCKEASE?
While I was experiencing life with my first daughter I struggled with traveling and overnight visits where a rocking chair was not readily available. Rocking had become an integral part of our bedtime, soothing, and bonding routines and very quickly became a “need” – not a “want.” After extensive research and no great solutions, I decided to fill the ‘traveling rocking chair’ void with ROCKEASE™ , but soon realized the applications for such a device ranged farther and much wider than I could have ever imagined. As a travel rocker, this affordable, lightweight, and portable device will allow parents to rock their child where they otherwise could not have – hotel rooms, airports, dining out, and grandma’s house, just to name a few. However, ROCKEASE™ also can replace expensive and space-hogging baby gliders in the baby nursery. It’s perfect for families on a budget, or for those who live where space is at a premium. If you are a parent who rocks, you get it. 100%.
You seem to balance motherhood and your business so seamlessly. What are your strategies for fulfilling your many roles?
While I definitely have had my fair share of fails, I have learned that time management is crucial. I am a stay at home working mother and have been for the past 3.5 years. Being able to turn on the dime from one role to another is vital. I keep a running task list of priority items (in both roles) so when I get a free moment I can hit the ground running and stay on track.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurial-minded mom bosses?
Many moms assume that if they start something of their own it will allow them more time with their children. This may be true, at some point in their career, but starting something of your own will also take a lot of time away from your family. Knowing that ahead of time and being truly passionate about what you are doing may make it sting just a little bit less.
What is the worst advice you’ve ever received? The best?
The worst: “it’s going to be hard, you shouldn’t do it.” My favorite quote is “I already know what giving up feels like, I want to see what happens if I don’t” and that couldn’t be more true with ROCKEASE™ The best advice I have received came from a trusted advisor just recently. If deep down you know you have something great, don’t be intimidated competitors in your space just because they might have more money, or a bigger team. Play into your strengths and just hustle the hardest. The marketplace is huge and there is plenty of room for you.
What lessons have your kids taught you?
It’s okay to cry. My daughter is an emotional 3.5 year old. I have found myself time and time again bribing her with chocolates when she is irrationally upset about something. I, over the weekend, was having a moment and she handed me her toy and said “if you stop crying you can have my toy.” At the time I didn’t want to stop crying, I was upset, and realized how upsetting it must be for her for us to tell her to stop crying when she needs to let her emotions out. She schooled me in the mom game and I am thankful she did.
What learning curves did you have to overcome while starting your business?
I think the biggest takeaway I had in my early days was that you can’t rely on anyone and if you want to start something of your own, make sure you can do it truly on your own. We had several people in the very beginning offer their assistance and then when I called in for that help they were nowhere to be found. I had to be scrappy and figure it out from there. It’s a very cynical way of looking at it, but it is a sad reality that entrepreneurs need to face.
The Fun Qs:
What is your guilty pleasure?
I’m not going to pull any punches, I love a good stiff margarita with extra salt.
Where is your favorite place (or favorite places) to go for a night out in Austin?
We moved here a year and a half ago. It was a goal of ours to visit new places every week with no duplicates. The only two places we have been to multiple times are Arlo Grey and ATX Cocina. Coming from city living in Chicago, we love the bustling vibe at both of these restaurants.
What is your favorite form of self-care?
I couldn’t live without massages and the gym. And the massages don’t have to be fancy spa massages, I’ll let just about anyone work the stress out of my shoulders. ; )
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would play you?
I identify strongly with Jennifer Lawrence’s character in Joy and from what I have seen from afar, in real life she knows when to buckle down and work her tail off and when to just let it all hang out.
Most recent Netflix binge?
It was Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale, and I think I’m still shaken from it. After ever episode I didn’t know if I needed a Xanax, therapist or to start co-sleeping with my children. But the best acting I’ve ever seen in a television show, hands down.
The single meal you could eat for the rest of your life?
Tacos – one that is sweetened with pineapple or mango and complemented with spice is ideal, but I’d really take any kind of taco.
For more information on ROCKEASE, visit the site here.