Moms tend to ask their kids a lot of questions: How was school today? Did you get enough to eat? Did you remember to brush your teeth?
It's much less often that we remember to take a moment to ask moms about themselves. So this Mother's Day, we're turning the script around and asking one of our very favorite moms - Val Fishbain, co-founder of Spread The Love® - some of our most pressing questions. Read on for her answers to our deep-diving questions!
Q: Your professional background is focused on social work – how did you get into the nut butter business?
VF: Yes, that's true I worked for LA County as a children's social worker for 8 years before diving into Spread The Love®. Then, Zach and I got married 6 years ago (a day before Mother's Day) and gave away 150 jars of homemade peanut butter as wedding favors to our beloved guests. It was very well received that some of our guests started ordering PB from us a couple of days after the wedding.
Q: What was the initial conversation that led you and Zach to create Spread The Love®?
VF: I remember the exact convo:
Zach: "Well, my t-shirts are not selling. Want to invest in a better machine (than a Vitamix) and start selling peanut butter instead?"
Val: "You're crazy! Okay let's do it."
Q: How do you balance being a full-time founder and a full-time mother?
VF: This is a loaded question, but I'll try my best to answer in a visual way. When I am working, I take off the mom hat and focus on work tasks I have to do. When I am mom-ing, I take off the boss babe hat and focus on playing (so good for the soul) and giving care to my kiddos. I also have other hats - wifey hat, friend hat, daughter hat and "Val as an individual" hat. The key is not to wear all these hats at the same time otherwise it'll get too heavy it might break my neck. You get the picture? Good.
Q: What does your typical Wednesday schedule look like?
VF: Ok, let's start bright and early at:
5:30am, I wake up and start my day at the gym. When I get home at
7:30am, I help Zach get the girls ready for school and pack all of our lunches (PB&J sandwiches for the girls and a salad for Zach and myself). By
8:45am, Zach drives the girls to school. I walk to the office.
10:00am, I'm in the middle of emails, calls, maybe drink my coffee or matcha
12:00pm, lunch for 30 mins then go back to my marketing tasks, write a couple of love notes for customers' orders
2:00pm, scroll o'clock (not ashamed, I'm only human)
2:45pm, pick up the girls from school, take them home. My mom watches them until
5:00pm, back home and ready to play with the girls (usually at the park nearby)
6:30pm, cook dinner and eat by 7ish.
7:30pm, bath time with the girls with lots of running around and playing of course before bed time at 8ish.
9:00pm, Netflix and chill with Zach
10:00pm, zonked out
Q: I'm tired from your schedule. How do you stay energized throughout the day?
VF: Green smoothies made with Spread The Love® NAKED Organic Peanut Butter on the daily. Also, lots of gratitude can get you through the day. I'm very grateful that I get to fulfill my mission and purpose - to spread the love. This keeps me very energized.
Q: You started the company without much experience or knowledge in the category. What was an early challenge in getting the company started?
VF: I would say it was more of a physical and emotional challenge for me when 2 years into the business, I was very pregnant with our 2nd daughter, still working full-time and had to roast & grind peanuts to make peanut butter on the weekends to keep up with the demand.
Q: Who are your customers?
VF: Our customers are the serious foodies out there who prioritize their health and wellness. I say our customers are usually able to taste and feel the difference between our products and other similar products in the market. People who buy from Amazon, making our products "Amazon's Choice". And, of course, moms like me who are very picky with the kind of foods they give to their families.
Q: What’s your most effective marketing channel?
VF: Instagram and email.
Q: What’s your 5-year vision for Spread The Love?
VF: We'll be the #1 choice in clean-label nut butters, jams and other kind of spreads. Spread The Love Forward will continue to give back to the community in a big way. Our products will be sold internationally. And we'll continue to be scrappy, creative and break the rules by being self-sustained, family and employee-owned.
Q: One last question: CREAMY or CRUNCHY?!
VF: Creamy (today)
We loved having the opportunity to hear Val's amazing answers to our questions - her story is so inspiring! We hope you'll take the opportunity this Mother's Day to turn the mic around and ask your mom (or a favorite mom in your life) some questions too - you never know what wonderful things you might learn about her!
Happy Mother's Day!