We had the good fortune of connecting with Brenna Olsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brenna, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
This is an interesting question. Ever since I became a mom and had to juggle raising children with owing and operating two small businesses, I became obsessed with productivity and time management. I would nurse my child while responding to emails. I would put them down for naps in the stroller while going for a run, I would set them up with a craft to work on while I furiously tried to get any work done. Multitasking became the norm, the days of doing one task at a time were a luxury I no longer had. That being said, I became very productive in short amounts of time. I was no longer working for a little while, checking social media, getting lunch out with friends, etc. That kind of lifestyle would no longer work with all the tasks I needed to accomplish in a day. I started working early mornings before the kids got up and late at night after they went to bed all while managing my team remotely. I think the fact that I had worked from home and my team had been remote even before covid lent me to being able to do more with less time. I no longer had to worry about a commute or parking or traffic. I no longer had to worry about getting office ready every morning. I could easily work in my loungewear and that saved an incredible amount of time. As for the life balance, I think that when you run your own businesses, you are always going to struggle with that. I rarely go on vacation in which I don’t bring my laptop and have to work at least a little. It seems that shit always hits the fan the moment I set up my out of office email and when you are the boss, you are never fully out of office. That being said, I do try to find life balance through being home with my kids, and always turning the computer off for dinner and holidays. I also try to squeeze in a staycation as often as possible. My husband’s job allows for a lot of time off and that really helps me as well. As things move forward, I hope to create more of a balance and not always be multitasking. I would love to focus on being in the moment more and learn more about how to really balance out all the things, but for now, it is survival mode!

What should our readers know about your business?
I have owned my own graphic design business since 2009. In the last few years we niched down to focus solely on the bar/restaurant/hospitality industries. Cheap Restaurant Graphics (CRG) creates impactful branding and design for some of San Diego’s favorite bars, restaurants and event centers as well as for clients nationwide. Additionally I launched my passion project Chilly Child at the very end of 2019. Chilly Child is a wearable blanket for babies and toddlers thats main goal is to make the daily struggles involved with clothing and covering a baby, less of a struggle. Chilly Child can be used over a car seat, in the stroller, over a shopping cart to protect baby from germs, over a baby carrier to keep them warm on walks and much more. It is a one and done solution that is also an adorable and plush clothing item. Neither of these businesses were easy. Nothing worth doing ever is! CRG was sailing pretty smoothly and growing year after year until the pandemic hit. A lot of our clients had to shut doors temporarily, but were were really happy to offer them a really cost effective marketing and graphics solution when they were able to come back. We also took that time to do some rebranding of our own and added some additional services like web design at highly affordable rates in order to provide services to clients that were struggling. Chilly Child was admittedly launched during the worst possible time, three months before a pandemic…but who saw that one coming? Amiright??? We were not able to get into any of the tradeshows and markets that we originally prepared for due to covid. I am really looking forward to a shift in the tides for 2021. Chilly Child is an amazing product that I really believe in, Now we are just faced with the challenge of getting it out to the masses.

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 would take them to the beach all day for a day of fun in the sun followed by hitting up some of our favorite north county spots. Cardiff State Beach is our favorite local spot and it is always fun to grab drinks at Tower 13 or Las Olas. I would go to PCG for amazing seafood and then cruise to downtown encinitas for the nightlife.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My amazing husband who supports all my crazy ideas.

Website: https://chillychild.com

Instagram: @chilly.child

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brenna-olsen-a797488/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chillychild2

Image Credits
Pam Birmingham

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