This week we sat down with cofounder Jackie Konczol to gain some insight on what makes her tick.
What inspires you? Professionally and personally?
The little things and the big people in my life.
- My family – my husband is one of the hardest working people I know and is such a fun Dad. I am so lucky to have snagged him up. He inspires me to do better everyday.
- My parents’ unparalleled worth ethic – I’m beyond grateful to them for instilling that in me. My Dad passed away 9 years ago and my Mom was incredibly brave through it all – she’s one of the strongest people I know.
- My girls - my whole world. All the little accomplishments and milestones I see them meet let me know I’m doing a pretty good job at this parenting thing. My oldest daughter chose to be a ‘Doll Kind’ for her career day at school. She’s insisted for a while now that that’s what she wants to be when she grows up. I cannot think of a better reward for all the hard work I’ve done with Kind Culture Co. That feeling when your child says they want to be just like you when they grow up is invaluable. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be a strong female role model for my girls.
- My mother-in-law – who is one of the most giving and loving humans I have ever met. My girls are so blessed to have a grandmother like her.
- My friends, my sister, Victoria (my business partner in crime) – who are all working moms. They all have had different life trials and seeing how they handle it all with grace is infinitely inspiring to me.
I also seek inspo from some of my favorite entrepreneurs, motivational speakers and authors. I admire Sara Blakely’s outlook on failure, plus her Instagram will make you cry and laugh at the same time. Susan Peterson’s story of how she started Freshly Picked is one of the best, Raegan Moya-Jones’s (founder of Aiden + Anais) most recent book has inspired me to take action, and the wisdom of Jim Rohn always stays with me. Whenever I’m feeling defeated I think of some of his famous quotes:
- “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
- “Work harder on yourself than you do at your job.”
- “Set a goal big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.”
- “You have two choices: You can make a living, or you can design a life.”
It’s amazing to me how so much can be said with so little words.
Why is now the time for Kind Culture Co. to exist?
There’s never a wrong time to put more kindness in the world.
When Victoria and I created our company, we identified a very large gap in the toy
market. We saw there was a need for more empathy toys. Toys that didn’t just
promote love and kindness, but one that would be an empowering tool for children
to experience kindness, show gratitude, give love, make a new friend, do good deeds. All in a simple and fun way that even a 3 year old could understand. We wanted to create something that got them away from iPads and the t.v.. and out there interacting with others. And we knew it had to be beautifully made.
We created our mission before a final product was ever developed. Our mission is to empower and inspire children to create a kinder world. I can’t think of a mission I’m more proud of or grateful to be a part of. There’s too much hate and online bashing going on that our children are exposed to in today’s modern world. We wanted to get down to the core of it. We aimed to start with little ones who are still very moldable. Instead of shielding them from it 24/7, our thought is that we can nurture and encourage the kindness that is already within them – to help stop the bullying and exclusion that kids experience far too young these days. We also believe in being a part of the positive ripple effect we wish to create. That’s why we decided to give back in the ways we do – donating a doll for each sold with TDK and giving to anti-bullying organizations with GDF.
What’s your idea of downtime?
I have a list. I like lists ;).
- A good glass of cabernet and a home décor magazine.
- Listening to an audio book while driving – I’m usually listening to books that educate and help me improve in some way. I recently finished Raegan Moya-Jone’s book What it Takes - 5 stars! I Just started listening to Originals by Adam Grant. It’s been on my reading list for a couple years now.
- Snuggles with my girls. Snuggles are everything. I get them a lot. I know one day when they are older I won’t get them as much, so they are my most cherished.
- Date nights (or just a movie night at home) with my husband. Or any moment with him that we get to talk life goals.
- Girl’s night. Because I need my soul sisters to laugh with me at all the things only we find funny.
- Late summer afternoons on the porch swing at my in-laws.
- Decorating for Christmas.
If you were not working on Kind Culture Co., what would you be doing?
Since my childhood dream of being rock star was put to rest very early in my life –
because I can’t carry a tune at all ;)... I think I’d still be a business owner or be in a
creative field freelancing something.
I‘m also open-minded when it comes to trying new things. My answer is almost
automatically ‘YES!’ – even though I hadn’t thought it all the way through – Victoria
can vouch for me on that. I undoubtedly know it’ll work out and the consequences
aren’t really going be that bad. I’ve read that that can be a great mind set for an
entrepreneur :) – so I’m just gonna go with it. Failures lead to two things – great
success or great education. So if I didn’t own my own product-based business, I’d
likely be freelancing or selling my art in some form or starting a magazine/online
publication – the later is something I actually want to do one day. But having a
product-based business fulfills my creative bones on so many levels – how lucky am I that I to get to do it everyday?! And one with a mission that has turned me into a better person.
What is your idea of work/life balance?
I don’t believe that a perfect work-life balance really exists – at least not
simultaneously. And even if it did, that balance would look different for everyone. I
do believe that we have seasons of life where we focus more on one or the other.
There are times when my family needs more of my attention and during those times
I can see my work falling behind, our sales dipping, emails go unanswered for days,
etc. Then there are times when our company stats are amazing, we get a new deal,
numbers are up, traction is unreal, it’s just going amazingly well, but that usually
goes hand-in-hand with spending less time with my family and friends, less social
events I make it to. I may not respond to a friend’s text till the next day, my kid’s
lunchbox may or may not contain some form of fast food. I’m learning to be o.k. with all of that, and I’ve learned how important a built-in support system is. It’s cliché, but it truly takes a village. I also believe in making time to step back from it all to re-evaluate goals, self educate, prioritize, and improve. Every human on earth has the same 24 hours in a day – it’s what we do with those 24 hours that determines our success.
Do you have any questions for Jackie? Let us know!