LM: Tell us about your three kiddos. What are their ages, and are they girls… boys?
Sarah: Yes, 3 kiddos. Boys and a girl. Davis is 6.5, Maeve is 5 and Remy is almost 3! Time flies!
LM: You are a recent transplant to Austin from Chicago. What made you move here?
Sarah: We knew we didn’t always want to stay in downtown Chicago. We wanted a slower paced life, great schools and a YARD!! When we first moved here our kids were thrilled we had a park in our yard. (It was literally just grass, city kids!)
LM: Have you lived through an Austin summer yet? If so, what did you think?
Sarah: We moved here last August. We bought a VERY small baby pool to put our feet in and ended up piling in it everyday together. We need to rethink the pool idea very soon! We are building a house, so someday we will get a pool! I think I’d rather have the heat than a LONG midwest winter.
LM: You lived in the heart of Chicago but have chosen suburban life over city life in Austin. What are some of the adjustments that your family has had to make?
Sarah: I just want to be clear that our address is STILL Austin. I keep telling myself that it’s still the city, which it is definitely not; we live in the Lake Travis area. I’m still getting used to the change. I love the open space here. The people here are insanely friendly, which has been awesome, although it freaked me out a little at first! I miss using my stroller. We used to walk everywhere in Chicago that I rarely used my car. Living here we have to drive everywhere. Oh yeah, I LOVE the drive through Starbucks!!! They really need these in cities!
LM: Prior to starting Olive. You. Nanny, you were a nanny for ten years. Based on your personal experience as a nanny, what is one question that you would recommend parents ask of their potential nanny?
Sarah: I think the most important thing is to have great communication and to have the nanny be a part of your family. The long term relationships happen when both the family and nanny are respectful of each other, compromise and communicate.
LM: As a nanny agency, I imagine you ask all of those important questions in the screening process. What are some of the qualities you look for in a nanny?
Sarah: Yes, I can’t tell you how important it is to ask many questions. I try to get a little more personal than just a resume. I ask about their family, where they are from, what they do day to day. I, of course, ask all about their past positions, get a ton of details. There is just a feeling you get when you meet someone amazing, especially when a nanny pulls out pictures of the kids they used to nanny for or get teary eyed when talking about past families. This is most important to me.
LM: Have you ever had to turn down a family looking for a nanny? If so, why?
Sarah: Ha, yes! You’d be surprised some of the crazies I’ve met!
LM: Quite surprising to me is the cost of a nanny. It’s not so far off from what one would pay for a good daycare. Can you give us an estimate of the cost for a full-time nanny?
Sarah: Here is what I tell parents; it’s great to have a daycare situation when you have a predictable schedule, when your child can interact with other children, or your job has a childcare facility. In the beginning, when you have a newborn, having a nanny is great because your child will be on a schedule, sleep in their own bed, and get lots of love all day long. This way your child is getting one-on-one attention. A nanny can be SUPER flexible. You build a relationship with this person and they become a family member. Nannies in Austin are around $15-$18 per hour.
LM: Olive. You. Nanny is in seven cities:Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Orange County and now Austin. How on earth do you manage it all as a mom to three kiddos as well?
Sarah: Well, I started the company in Chicago before kiddos. I had the kids one by one, so I just adapted! I worked a ton in Chicago- that’s one of reason’s we moved here. Just starting the company here has been a big break for me. It’s getting busy though and I’m thrilled. Oh and my house is never clean, my laundry is in piles and I don’t cook anything. Hard worker with my business and kids, not so much at home.
LM: Do you work from home? If so, what are some challenges and benefits?
Sarah: I do. I’ve always worked from home. My two older kids are in school for a full day and my little guy is in part time so I have time during the day to set up meetings. We had a nanny for the past 6 years. Now that the kids are in school, we no longer need one..
LM: You also head up Crave Austin. Tell us about Crave and how that connection here in Austin came to be.
Sarah: I LOVE networking with other women in business. It’s so interesting to hear everyone’s stories and support one another. I’ve always had a passion for woman entrepreneurs and it’s been a blast! I was involved in Crave in Chicago, so I became the Austin partner when I moved here.
LM: What are some activities that you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Sarah: Hmmm, spare time… what’s that?
LM: When you and your family are out and about Austin, where would we find you and what would you be doing?
Sarah: We went to a little market this morning. We are trying to find artsy, fun things to do. I want my kids to love the arts and to appreciate the creativity. My kids love music, so seeing live music is also super fun for us.
LM: If you could give out unsolicited advice, what would it be and who would you give it to?
Sarah: Try to spend quality time with your kids. Ask questions, listen and always recap your day in “highs” and “lows”.