Wonder Mom: Bethany Koby
This Wonder ‘Mum’ comes to us from across the pond! An entrepreneur and mother of five-year-old, Ash, Bethany Koby is the CEO of “Technology Will Save Us,” a company that’s on a mission to spark the creative imagination of young people by using hands-on technology. Teaching kids how to build the technology they use allows them to be creative, build confidence and learn more about how tech works in the process. This DIY tech mompreneur is bringing 21st century learning to the classroom and the kitchen table! Read on to hear her story of how the beautifully designed Children’s DIY Gadget Kits are for everyday life, and how she juggles her own child while maintaining style and grace.
What do you do?
I am a mum, CEO, designer, art director and artist (and sometimes all five at once.) I co-founded Technology Will Save Us with my husband, Daniel, in 2013. I create products and experiences for a more positive and collaborative future.
How did your business come into being and how did you know it was the one to run with?
After finding a laptop in a trash bin one day and thinking it was crazy that someone would throw a working piece of technology away like that, it got me thinking about how today’s tech is very homogeneous. This inspired us to make tech more accessible and more personal, especially for younger generations.
How did you fund your business?
In the beginning we bootstrapped, I started building the first Tech Will Save Us kits in my kitchen in every second of my free time. I left my job in mid-2013 and began to raise funding with the intention of building a global business.
How has having Ash transformed your lifestyle?
Having Ash has really helped me to prioritize and understand what’s truly important- my family. You realize that even after a hectic day, everything is irrelevant in comparison. My husband and I work together and strive to create an amazing, happy and safe environment in our home for Ash to grow up in.
5 words to describe your personal sense of style?
- Eclectic – I switch between casual, fancy and everything in between.
- Versatile – I always try to wear clothes that I can dress up and down so I can do everything from meeting investors to picking up Ash from school.
- Bold – I love colors, patterns and shapes.
- Fabulous – because that’s how I try to make myself feel!
- Accessorized – I’m a huge fan of accessories, I wouldn’t feel dressed if I left the house without them.
How do you find time to get ready and maintain your style?
I try to make getting ready in the morning as time efficient as possible by only buying clothes that I know I love. There are two designers; Margaret Howell and Maria Canejo, that create clothes with a great sense of shape and aesthetic.
Where do you get your energy?
I love books and read all the time! I’m constantly trying to learn and improve. As a huge fan of yoga and exercise, keeping your health and well being in check is one of the best ways to stay happy. Ash also brings me excitement and energy, and he keeps me going!
What is your spirit animal or dream super power?
My spirit animal would have to be a chameleon. You need to be able to adapt to different environments and situations but stay true to your core values. So when I’m at circus school with Ash, I’m a different person to who I am in the boardroom.
What inspires you? (Other than Ash)
Something that really inspires me to make a difference is that stat that around 65% of children in school today will have a job that doesn’t currently exist. I am dedicated to empowering kids with tech and unlocking their creative potential. Creative outlets such as dance and art also has a big impact on my life.
Who are your role models and why?
My parents are definitely my role models. My dad was a photographer and he still travels all over the world taking shots that he loves. My mum was a Montessori teacher and is currently writing a book. I also really admire women who have started businesses and have families – regardless of size.
Any words that you live by?
Always remember this is a journey not a destination. Make sure you surround yourself with examples, mentors, advisors that inspire you to be the kind of entrepreneur and person you want to be. Always keep learning.
What is your favorite thing to do with Ash?
I love Sunday morning breakfast. We have no interruptions and nowhere that we need to be – it’s just unsolicited time to talk and spend time together. Anything that’s new and exciting for him is exciting for me too, whether it’s seeing a new country or visiting a park he hasn’t been to in London.
What would you do with more time?
Many things! I’d read more, exercise more, go see more art, spend more time with my family! My parents are both based in the US so it would be incredible to be able to visit them more often.
How do you balance family and work?
I have a theory that if you have kids and a business you need a triangle – your house, office and school and they all need to be a cycle or walking distance from each other. Special moments always help us to celebrate each other and help me maintain a good work life balance.
What do you do to relax?
When I can, I try to go to the beach. The sea and fresh air really clears your mind – it’s incredibly relaxing.
What time do you get up and go to bed on a typical day?
I wake up at 6.30am and go to bed at 11.30pm.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Daniel and I take turns to prepare breakfast and get Ash ready for school so the other can do yoga or exercise. I’ve started having a spoonful of coconut oil before breakfast because I hear that it’s good for your skin, nails and digestion.
Coffee, tea, wine, tequila, or other?
Definitely coffee when I’m at work. I love an Aperol spritz on warm summer evenings.
What is something that you struggle with fitting into your lifestyle and how do you deal with it?
I have to reschedule my medical appointments all the time, however, I do try to prioritize it.
Any advice for new moms, or moms who are struggling to make it all work?
It’s easier to say than do, but try not to compare yourself to other parents. Find your own parenting rhythm and style and do what suits you and your values. My advice, create and stick to rituals around the things that are most important to you. I make an effort to read Ash a story before bed every night and spend quality time with him after dinner.
About Wonder Moms:
From Sheryl Sandberg to Marissa Mayer, women are not sacrificing themselves for their kids like they used to. Why? If you ask me, a confident and happy woman makes a better mother and role model. And whatever it takes to get her feeling that way should be done. But as a mother myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a sense of style, run a successful business and to feel like an okay parent all at the same time.
Women who are flawlessly manifesting this enchanting trifecta are the new wonder women of our times and they are my idols. So I got to wondering how they actually do it all and have it all. Is it really possible? Are they hiding something? Do they secretly never floss? I hope to answer these questions and to give the rest of us moms motivation to stay true to ourselves, live fulfilling lives and love our families as much as ever through interviews with moms who are already doing it. These are the Wonder Moms.
If you know a woman who fits this mold, please share her info with me on Twitter @metromomclub