What type of Parentpreneur lifestyle did you create?
Opening the Giving Tree meant a lot of work at the beginning (and still now, at times!) but it also has meant flexibility with my schedule. At this point I am able to take vacations with my family including visiting my home country, Israel, for a month in the summer. I am living my Parentpreneur dream lifestyle!
Describe Your Family:
I am married to Keith, an ER physician who is originally from Dallas, and I can easily say my number one supporter – I couldn’t have done this without him. I am also a mother to two amazing boys – Shai who is six and Ben who is two. We also have two adorable dogs.
What lead you to find or create this business?
We’ve always strongly believed in the medicinal benefits of cannabis. In 2010, we found out Arizona would soon be passing a medical cannabis measure so we knew we had to jump on the opportunity. I always had the entrepreneurial spirit and always looked for opportunities to start my own business.
Once we decided to enter the industry, there was a lot of work to be done – we had to put together a business plan, find a location, work on zoning approvals, protocols. There was a lot of unknown, but we both shared the same vision of creating a safe and inviting place for patients and removing the stigma people have about cannabis users.
What do you love about being a Parentpreneur?
I love creating my own dream. I love the work we do at the Giving Tree and I love leading an amazing group of people to create their own dream. I am proud to have 54 employees and to offer them full benefits (health insurance, PTO, 401k matching and profit sharing.) I also love being able to discuss the Giving Tree’s successes and setbacks with my kids. I am hoping to teach them that it is not about perfection, it is about progress and making it happen for yourself, even when that means taking a risk.
Why was becoming a Parentpreneur important to you?
First of all, the industry itself is important to me; removing the stigma and seeing our patients’ lives improve has been the driving force behind all we do. Secondly, my team is extremely important to me. I feel responsible for their future and I want to see them living their dream. You can only influence that when you are in the driver’s seat. Leading the company, the industry and the people is what makes this hard work important work. I am hoping to raise children that are risk takers and care about their team and their community.
How has your life changed?
Wow… In so many ways. I live and breathe the business, I work around the clock, but don’t feel like I’m working. We are making history in our industry and I love being part of it. Being involved in the change also means exposing ourselves to the public, but my mom once said that it is not easy to change history, and I follow her advice. It also comes with a lot of pressure – knowing that we employ as many people as we do means it is our responsibility to do things right for them, and not just what’s right for us. I lose sleep over our failed attempts, but I think (and hope) that it’ll all be worth it. My kids see how hard I work and I hope they will grow to be hard-working, independent and creative adults.
What challenges have you faced?
The number one challenge I have faced and still face, is the work-life balance. For the first two years we worked around the clock and my husband had to pick up everything in the house, as well as support us financially. Today, it’s about making a schedule that works for my family, and my business and knowing when to disconnect and be 100% with the family.
There are also challenges that come with our industry – we are breaking ground in the cannabis industry and we have to be patient, which I am not great at. I guess it’s just my path for growth.
What advice do you have for others who want to become Parentpreneurs?
Go for it! Do your homework, plan your financial and support systems well, but take a risk and do it! It isn’t easy but it is worth it. Make sure you chose something you love doing, not just something to do for the pay. When you are passionate about what you do it makes it all worth it.
Generally, what is income flow like for you now? Are you able to support your family?Gina and I had to work hard with no income for the first two years, and thankfully my husband was able to carry my family through it. These days we are able to be on the payroll and support the family. I feel lucky.
Tell us more about the work-life balance you are creating?
On a personal parentpreneur goal – I want to keep working on my work-life balance and get to the point that I can take the summers off to enjoy with my kids. I would love to spend each summer in a different place of the world. Travel and exposure to cultures is a personal goal of mine for myself and my family.