Being a mom is a lot like running a business. You have to motivate yourself and others (mostly to get out of bed), manage people who have their own ideas and opinions (your children meet this criteria, do they not?), set clear goals (put on clean pants), and have strong follow-through skills (is the fridge closed?). Not to mention keeping a never-ending supply of coffee. When you successfully do both at once, like children’s rug designer Lorena Canals, you get twice the résumé- and mom-building skills.
For Lorena, it was her daughters who inspired her rug line. “One day, while watching my two children playing on a rug, I thought: Why can’t we wash our rugs at home? I set off to make it real, and now I’m designing machine-washable rugs made from 100% cotton, which are both stylish and practical, meeting the needs of modern lifestyles.”
We chatted with Lorena for tips on how to motivate yourself career-wise while also inspiring your kids.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
“Involve the kids from the very first moment; they are always a source of inspiration and creativity! My girls have been involved in the business since they were young. They’ve always come with me to India to do the designs and help me in the business. This helped them become more responsible and give them confidence that they can do anything they [set their minds] to. That’s why it’s been three years now since Olimpia  and Carolina  have built up their own company of natural rubber toys for kids: Oli&Carol.”
GETTING CREATIVE WITH KIDS
“A toolkit should include the basics: glue, scissors, tape, stickers, pipe cleaners, craft paper, crayons, and markers. I also include dyed pasta, recycled plastic lids (perfect for making sun catchers), shaving cream, food coloring, craft sticks, sidewalk chalk, black washable cloth, painter’s tape, a large bag of sequins, buttons, paper scraps, pompoms, feathers, yarn, craft foam, stamps, and a stamp pad. We even get creative setting the table, cooking, decorating the house, and getting ready for holidays. There’s always an excuse to get inspired!”
INSPIRED TO GIVE BACK
“Taking care of my daughters so much made me open my heart and eyes to a world that needed help. That’s why I built, together with my daughters, our nursery in India.”[In 2008, Lorena and her girls built a nursery in Haryana, India, to feed, educate, and protect homeless children. The nursery is currently helping 120 kids. Purchasing a rug puts money toward a child attending school via the Lorena Canals Sakûla Project. What’s more, Lorena’s initiatives have also been helping to finance students at Baba Jodh Sachiyar Public School. And the new Mix Collection honors the names of six children who have benefited: Ritika, RamLal, Daksh, Aarty, Nancy, and Arian.]
“Be persistent, the more hours you dedicate to what you want to pursue, the better outcome you will obtain. Believe in your project. Execute all of the ideas you have.”
MUST-HAVES FOR THE BEGINNING
“A few items I couldn’t live without when my babies were little: a swing, a high-quality swaddle, and a good stroller for navigating the streets of Barcelona. Also, a high-quality leather bag that doubled as a stylish yet functional diaper bag. So I could blend into business meetings, but still get the job done so I only had to carry one bag.”
“I am an early riser. I like to start my day by 5:30 am. Most often I start with a hot tea while I check my computer for messages that need my attention. I call the teams in India to find out if everything is going well, where are the products, and so on. The rest of the time, I’m in my studio where I create new designs, and then I finish the day by spending time with family, preferably at our beach house in Costa Brava.”
OH, AND ABOUT “ME” TIME
“Raising kids and running a business doesn’t leave much ‘me’ time. To unwind, I really look forward to going out for tapas and dining locally with my friends or husband. I also enjoy just walking around the streets, museums, and taking in all the beautiful buildings to unwind and draw inspiration for new designs.”