Start-Up Life Surprises

I had a great job at a Fortune 500 company in an industry that I loved with people who I admired. Due to personal circumstances, I left the company and took a few months to reflect on my next career move while full time mom’ing it.

As I looked at my options of finding another corporate job locally (this was pre-remote working) or finally pursuing one of my own ideas (even going so far to poll my friends on Instagram about a new work/fitness/nursing hybrid bag) I did a lot of self-reflection. I began putting my objectives out into the universe and suddenly a good friend and former colleague introduced me to her friend, Addie Gundry who founded Pluie.

Addie at Chicago White Sox Baseball Stadium
Addie Gundry and her
daughter at Guaranteed
Rate Field in Chicago, IL

I began putting my objectives out into the universe and suddenly a good friend and former colleague introduced me to her friend, Addie Gundry who founded Pluie.

Within a few weeks of meeting Addie in person, I decided to join as her cofounder to launch Pluie. I wanted to gain greater flexibility to raise my son and bring to life a much needed solution to a decades old problem. As a mom myself with a product development background, I knew this was a chance to also disrupt a relatively stagnant industry.

Plue on Shark Tank Set
Addie Gundry and Brittany Hizer on Shark Tank Season 14

At that time, over three years ago, I had no idea just how much life would change so wanted to share some of my start-up life surprises:

  • No matter how many hours I work in a day, in a week, in a month it never seems enough.
  • At times it feels like the business is the most important thing in life, and that’s ok though it’s hard to admit out loud, especially when juggling momhood.
  • I would never have a normal shower again – Addie and I constantly share our “shower thoughts”.
  • How critical patience and persistence is when founding a business and a brand – this has become a team motto. We send that fourth or fifth email and always rejoice with happiness when a response comes through our inbox. We also celebrate when a customer who said “not right now” a year ago after initial contact is ready to make a purchase because we established and built a relationship over time.
Pluie Pret Diaper Changing Mat
Addie & Pret changing met
  • I feel a different level of stress, more so than ever in my former career. There are no teams of experts in respected fields adding input or driving decisions. I constantly feel that every decision is critical to our livelihoods. 
  • Even if far along with a career, I was essentially signing up to do everything – no delegation and that means shipping marketing materials at FedEx, creating an IG post, drafting a pitch deck, meeting with an enterprise account etc. 
  • Time to myself when not working or not being in mom mode has become increasingly important. 
  • I have an extremely hard time turning off thoughts of work, even finding myself dreaming of work and waking up with ideas. 
  • It’s not a few years’ effort, more like a decade+ effort.
  • Hiring is difficult as we need people who are intrinsically motivated and have a fast pace of working with unparalleled output. 
  • Corporate experience has been extremely beneficial especially as it relates to operationalizing a business and ensuring the right boxes are checked. 
  • All those books and articles about the importance of a network are right and then some.
Addie & Brittany
Addie Gundry and Brittany Hizer at North High Brewery in Columbus, OH

Written by Pluie Cofounder and COO Brittany Hizer.