We had the good fortune of connecting with Maya Shalev and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maya, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I started my business I had little kids. They were my priority. They still are but at a certain point I felt that if I wanted the business to really grow I must to put more time and concentration into it. I also believed that its important that my kids see mommy working hard. I learned that the quality of the time I spend with them is more important than the quantity. I started by going to a wework open space for a few hours a day… that turned into a full time job very quickly. Pre covid19 I would get home around 5 and have the afternoon to spend with my kids. Putting my phone and work aside was challenging. One afternoon my little boy looked at me and said- “if you are going to be on your phone, you can just go back to your office…” That really hit me in the head… Since then I try my best to put the phone aside for a few hours. Work will never end, but my kids are growing and time goes by too fast. Then came covid19 and changed the dynamics again. Kids are home all day, at first they were doing on line learning and needed our help adjusting. It was madness… I was used to being distracted so much and we all had to make adjustments.
What should our readers know about your business?
When I started grabease I wanted it to be more then just a consumer product brand. I wanted it to have an impact. When we first launched with a small testing amount of inventory we collaborated with the harvest home to pack the utensils sets. Giving homeless pregnant women an opportunity to make money. As time went bye and the company grew we add more and more giving back programs. From product donations to feed the children all the way to donations to The Smile project and the children’s hunger fund. What I am most proud of is the fact that my invention (the ergonomic shaped utensils) support children with difficulties in self feeding. When we get this emotional emails from parents it’s when I feel like I actually made a difference for someone. One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the knockoffs. Unfortunately small and big brands do not respect ones creativity and hard work and outright steel ideas.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love abbot Kinney! From the small shops to lunch at dgelina. Walking around the canals in Venus, coffee from blue bottle! I also love walking around my neighborhood- melrose and 3rd Street- best restaurants and- Jon and vinny, toast for breakfast – get the pyramid breakfast for 2!!! Petit Trois or osteria motza for lunch. AOC for dinner, crossroads if your visitor is a vegan. And drinks at isabel or restoration hardware. We also love taking our guests to Malibu for a hike and lunch at Malibu cafe or the tavern at the mart.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father (RIP) that always thought I can do anything and never stopped believing in me.
Linkedin: Maya shalev
Facebook: Grabease baby