Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.
Up next: Carolina Gunnarsson, the founder of Fit Pregnancy Club, a prenatal fitness studio in New York City.
Where are you from? What was it like growing up?
I grew up in a small village in Sweden 2 hours west of Stockholm. My childhood was really idyllic and free-range. I am eternally grateful for the independence and confidence it gave me.
How did you get the idea to start Fit Pregnancy Club, and how did you make it happen?
I got the idea to start FPC from my own experience. In my first two pregnancies, there was nowhere for me to go for a safe, challenging, fun workout. I felt like there were extremes of either going to my regular workouts but modifying so much that I didn't get any value for my money, or I could go to prenatal yoga which I thought was great for mindfulness and community but wasn't challenging enough. I put together a business plan for FPC right after giving birth to my second baby in the summer of 2015, but knew I needed a partner—so I put the word out and found my partner, Joanie Johnson, through a mutual friend in January 2017. We hit it off right at our first meeting and just said, let's go for it!
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?
Perfection is an illusion: if you wait for all the pieces to fall into place, you will never get anything done.
What does the most intense part of your day look like?
With three young kids and a start-up, I don't think there is a part of my day that is not intense. BUT, perhaps trying to get ready in the morning: making breakfast for the two older kids, nursing the baby, brushing teeth, yelling at everyone to put clothes on, packing lunch, answering urgent emails, oh and getting myself together, too.
When do you feel most empowered?
When I breastfeed and when I am able to get all three kids to bed at night without incident.
What advice would you give on finding healthy work-life balance?
Definitely find time to shut off your devices. For me it's an hour in the morning and 1-2 hours at night where I focus only on the family. Equally important is to sometimes put work ahead of things that need to get done for the home (like ordering groceries or filling out school-related documents).
What’s the biggest myth of starting your own business?
"You will be your own boss." Sure, but at the end of the day, you always have people to answer to—whether that be customers, investors, or partners.
When was a time you failed and how did you overcome it?
I feel like I'm failing a little at life everyday, but I just get up and try again. If I wasn't comfortable of the idea of failing, it would be challenging to get anything done.
What is your advice to women that want to start their own business, but have no idea how?
Ask questions and reach out to other women who are business owners. Learn as much as you can from other people's experiences. However, don't expect to know everything before your launch; you will learn along the way and if you wait too long, you might miss your window of opportunity.
Describe your personal aesthetic.
I aspire to be bohemian chic, simple and understated. I never have time to spend more than ten minutes getting ready, so you will basically never find me with both mascara AND brushed hair (it's either one or the other).
How would you describe a life well lived?
Drink that glass of wine, eat the slice of cake, but always take care of your pelvic floor #pumpandkegel. Take the time to stay up too late and gaze at the stars with your kids—bedtimes can be observed another time!