What would you do if you had a near death experience? Would it change the way you live your life? Or are you living the life you want right now? Kristin Ahmer, founder of Sili Squeeze is now a healthy mother of 2, but after giving birth to her first she almost died. Kristen had a huge brain bleed caused by a Brain AVM she was born with, but unaware of, and had brain surgery 12 days after he was born.
She was isolated in the ICU and away from her son for his first 17 days of life. She says that experience forever changed her-affecting her outlook on life, love and living in the moment. Which is the inspiration behind her company-Sili Squeeze’s philosophy of “squeezing the goodness out of what we are given.”
What inspired you to start your company?
“After my son was born, I knew I was done with the apparel industry, too many late hours, too many trips abroad to China. I wanted to be a full time mommy, but also was still driven to make my own money and handle business. So I bought a Stroller Strides franchisee and taught five days a week and built that up. Then when my son was 10 months old, we were on our way somewhere in the car, I handed him a Plum organics squeeze pack- and ‘squish’, it all came out all over his cute little outfit and the car seat. Of course, I was having one of those late days and had no back up outfit for him and probably had to be somewhere “presentable”….I think I literally screamed “there has to be a mess-free reusable thingy out there!”. A few days of google searching later, and a horrible scribble of my idea on a post-it…The Sili Squeeze development began!”
What is it like starting your own business?
“Some days your world feels like it is spinning all around you when there is so much to get done between business and household; you find yourself convincing the family that breakfast sounds like a great idea for dinner and putting on something other than yoga pants isn’t so important that day. On other days, your inbox has been managed, you have a full face of makeup and you got your morning workout in. Starting a business is empowering and has given me confidence as a mother. I want my children to see that I can be an available mother, and wife to their father, while growing and operating a successful business. I want my children to see that a wonderful life does not always come smooth and easy. Life can be hectic, sometimes stressful, but you work hard to accomplish what you want out of life, keeping your eye on the goal…and you can do it with grace and poise.”
“I think I always keep the mentality of keeping my kids and hubby #1- always, as that is what I believe life’s focus should be. Thankfully my husband is my best friend and biggest cheerleader. I couldn’t multi-task the way I do without his support and constant reminders that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and that our babies being happy and good little souls is all that matter.”
What is your advice to other momprenuers?
“Take it day by day. Surround yourself with positive people that build you up and cheer you on. You are the visionary for your product—no one can take that from you! Dream on!”
Kristin lives in Orange County, her son is 2 and she now also has a 9 week old baby girl.
Sili Squeeze launched in August and sells through her online store, but hopes to go wholesale and international in early 2012. It’s one of those products that makes me say,” I wish I invented that!” My kids love those portable fruit/veggie pouches like Plum Organics, even though they’re toddlers now. Now I can give them my own purees on the go! It’s a great way to get my son to eat veggies. Right now the spout is designed to be leak-proof for infants, but they will be releasing a toddler spout with no resistance early next year.
The Zen Mom will continue to feature Zenspirational Women. Do you know someone that has a story to share? Check back on Friday to find out how you can nominate a Zenspirational Women in your life to be featured on The Zen Mom!