Episode 6: The GG Sisters | Baby's Best Sleep

Today Amanda is chatting to the incredible GG sisters! Sisters, Moms and the entrepreneurs behind the Glama Gal Kids Spa, they’re getting real about sleep, finding your groove, and balancing business and momming!
Check out more about the GG sisters here:

www.theggsisters.com

https://www.glamagalparty.com/

Amanda: (00:05)
Let’s do it. Okay. Welcome everyone to another edition of Slumber Party with Amanda Jewson. I thought it was so clever coming up with this podcast named ‘Slumber Party’, but every time I say it, I giggle. So I don’t know if it’s the best title, but I’ve personally love it, ’cause I love a party. I love sleeping. And if you’re partying with me these days in my thirties, we’re probably going to bed at nine. So I’m super excited because I, again, in my “just ask, it doesn’t hurt to ask” quest, reached out to the GG sisters to be on our podcast today because I’m new, I’m new to this whole world of like Instagram and influencers. And as someone who runs her own business, I was told to follow the GG sisters and I’m so glad I did it. I want them to tell their story and I’m going to let them talk just a second. But today we’re gonna be talking about entrepreneurship, sleep. And I guess being a Badass Mom who sleeps and does both, ideally, welcome, welcome. I’m so happy that you guys said yes. Thank you!

Laura: (01:28)
Thanks for having us.

Josie: (01:30)
Thanks. This is so fun.

Amanda: (01:33)
You guys are, you just told me you live in different locations. So Josie is Vaughan. Laura, you’re in Etobicoke, so you’re together now. Do you guys get together a lot?

Laura: (01:42)
So we get together about two to three times a week during the week and then on the weekends if we go to our family cottage, yeah, we’re together.

Josie: (01:48)
We’re always together and it’s a 20 minute drive in between our homes.

Laura: (01:52)
You don’t sound very thrilled!

Josie: (01:55)
No, it’s good. The best thing is we’re sisters, we’re always with our family or mom’s always with us too. You’ll catch us online with her a lot too. Yeah. So yeah, it’s the family fun.

Amanda: (02:08)
Yeah. I wonder about this all the time because, um, I do have, I have a sibling, I have a younger brother who’s about seven years younger than me and we’re not super close, but I, I’m, I’m always thinking like, you guys are sisters and you run a business together and it looks like you guys are always having fun. Like, part of the appeal of your Instagram is like, you know, you keep it real. But you’re always laughing and having a good time. Like how are you doing that for real?

Josie: (02:39)
So, you know, we try to make the best fit of everything. There are those days where we’re, you know, it’s hard to like smile and laugh cause you may be going through something with business or work or personally. But we just, you know, over in the past and the things that we’ve gone through, um, we’ve just learned that, you know what, it’s either you laugh or cry. And for us, dad used to say that, you know, our dad did pass away at a young age. He was 52 and I think we’ve learned and gained a lot of inspiration from our father and um, you know, just making memories is the number one thing and that’s, that’s what you’ll find is doing with our kids all the time. We always say we’re always working but um, we’re also spending that time with our kids and it’s the quality of time. I may not quantity all the time, but it’s the quality.

Amanda: (03:25)
I really love that actually. And it does come through, like you guys are pretty family oriented, your kids are always with you. I’m, I’m always sort of trying to figure that out myself, that balance between, you know, work and play. And I think as you guys know, when you run your own business where it can play kind of is always, you know, together sometimes like you’re answering a text while you’re doing this thing and you’re like, “am I the worst mom or am I the best mom?”

Laura: (03:52)
Yeah, we feel you on that. But then we have to take away then just stick with what Josie said. It’s about the quality. It doesn’t matter about the quanity, you could be all day with them and do nothing, but then we could spend that one or two hours with them and be really hands on. It’s about that. So, yeah.

Amanda: (04:07)
Yeah. Well, I mean we haven’t talked about this yet, but for the five people who may not know who you are, um, I really would love for you to talk about, um, well, I, I really want you guys to talk about your business because it’s funny, I didn’t quite put it together. Like again, when I found out who you guys are, I’m like, yeah, the GG sisters, it must be something in their name. And then I’m like, oh, Glamma Gal, my kid has been to two of your spas for birthday parties. And then I know, so crazy. And then I put it together and here we are. So please tell us your Glama Gal story.

Laura: (04:43)
So back in 2006 a, which is a long time ago, 13 years ago, we started a Spa party for kids, where we would go to people’s homes and do birthday parties. We would literally leave our house, go to homes across the city, Mississauga, Vaughan, Oakville, you name it, we would go there. Um, and then a few.. and it was as a way to make extra money on the weekends because Josie was in teacher’s college. I just bought my first house. I got married. So money was kind of hard.

Josie: (05:11)
It was like our side hustle.

Laura: (05:15)
Yeah, it was our side hustle, so after a year we blew up that we had to hire our friends and hired our friends on the weekend. Our parents’ basement was like, we used to call it, like my dad used to call it grand central station because everybody was going in and picking up their bin, picking up their robes. Okay, you’re going to this house every bin would have like the robes and slippers, the nail polishes and then it would have a piece of paper on top that would have what’s included in the party plus directions with mapquest because back then there was no smart phones where you could get directions, so we had to like mapquest, everything. So someone was going to ___ , someone was going to Hamilton.. So for like two years of that madness, we were doing it out of our house and then finally like we realize we need a place because this is just, this is just crazy. We need people to come to us. We need to make a place just for kids, that’s a spa. And it was scary. We got, I got like a $10,000 credit. We bought furniture off of Kijiji, we painted it pink and black and white and all of our colors. We had upcycled so much stuff. And we painted our first unit and the rest is like Glam history. In 2008 we opened up our first store, 2011 our second location in Ajax and in 2013 our first franchise in Oakville and now we have seven locations.

Amanda: (06:32)
Wow. Yeah. Oh my God. I, so I, I sort of explain it for me that I knew creating my own business for me it made me feel really buzzy. Like your idea is really good and how did you know it was special and worth investing in?

Josie: (06:52)
I think when you noticed that people were coming from all over and the demand was there and it was something we were enjoying too, kids were coming and we were making memories for them. They were having fun. It was just, at that point where like, okay, we have something here and like, and we were both in our, our other jobs and positions. So we were like, when do we go full force? Like we want to make it full time at some point, right? Cause when we first started we were doing it on weekends, but then we opened up our first location, we were like we need someone here during the week. Like the demand was there.

Laura: (07:22)
We didn’t, we didn’t go full time until 2010 even though we had a store.

Josie: (07:24)
It took us a couple of years, we had a store, but it took us a couple of years to realise that, you know, the more you do put in also the more that would come out from it.

Laura: (07:32)
Yeah, absolutely.

Amanda: (07:33)
Did you go insane working two jobs?

Laura: (07:36)
It was so hard because during the day I was at one job and I would see like, I would check my email, the business email quickly on my lunch and I would be like, oh my god, there’s like 20 emails of people wanting a party. But I was like, I was dying inside. We used to have to say that we’d get back to emails within 24 hours, so it gives us the time to call back. At night we would just be steady like till like 10/11 o’clock at night returning calls, answering parent’s questions and booking parties. Yeah, it was a lot of work. It feels like, but I think it started us off on that foot of like, working nonstop.

Amanda: (08:14)
I had a similar thing where I was, I sort of started my business just because I love sleep and I was like, ‘Oh I’ll do this on this side’. Like this’ll be something that I can do, you know? And we can go on a really nice vacation. Cause I was very happy in my job. I was teaching, it was all good. And then it sort of sounds like you. Literally my business blew up and I was working all day and then all night and like taking these clients and at some point I said to my husband, I was like, I think I can’t do this anymore. I think I’d have to go full time. And he’s like, “uh, you have benefits.” It’s like, Hey, I got to pick one. And I feel like this thing is my own. Like I can’t give it away now. And it’s just like, I feel like you had, you know, you’re like, okay there’s something here. I gotta I gotta go to this.

Laura: (09:05)
Yeah. It’s so funny. And this stability cause that’s exactly what are like that’s always the worry. Right? But it’s like you know what, we can, if we’re doing well we should be able to pay for that dentist appointment ourselves.

Amanda: (09:16)
yes, that’s what I said. That’s exactly, well I mean my, my husband runs his own business as well so I feel like it’s both of us sort of like, oh white knuckling it. But I mean now we’re in a comfortable zone. We know that we can make the money, we have savings, we’re smart. I think that’s a big thing, right? Like as soon as you’re making your own money, we went to a financial planner right away and we’re like, okay, if everything goes to shit, tell us what we need to do with our money. Do you, do you do that as well? Do you see someone?

Laura: (09:45)
No, but I think I should!! Each day, like we are like we just take the days as they come.

Josie: (09:59)
Everyone’s just like ‘what’s your five-year plan?’ And I’m just trying to get through to Friday like, but…

Amanda: (10:05)
Well I mean, I’m making us sound way more organsed than we are. Like that is the one thing that we have done. But I, I do like, you know, part of the reason why I follow your account and I do want to talk about your social media in a second, is it is really helpful as an entrepreneur, following some of your advice and you know, you guys have done it in some of your lessons. Um, but I, uh, when you’re following these accounts or, or these inspirational things for entrepreneurs, people who are like, write down your plan, what are, what is your five year plan? I’m like, ah, it’s just not, I don’t know. I’m not that type of person. I feel like I should be because all of these things are telling me I should be. But then that actually makes me feel a lot better to hear that from you. Cause I’m like, I don’t know, sipping a Margarita somewhere hot?

Laura: (10:54)
I want to get somewhere hot. That’s the plan too. Actually know what my retirement planning. I do have a plan about that. I do want to, when I retire, I want to work in Disneyworld. Oh yes. I want to greet people. I want to serve them ice cream. I want that like low chill job, I want to happiness all day every day.

Amanda: (11:23)
You would be amazing. Yeah. That would be so, so good. That would be like I, well, one time my husband and I went and we just met this retired couple who did the same thing. They were like, we just wanted to retire here and she worked at a gift shop. She’s like, it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. Okay. So I do want to talk a little bit about, um, you know, I follow you on social media. What are you, you know, you guys are pretty big on social media. You’re, you’re always sort of sharing your experiences. What are you hoping your followers are learning from you? Like what do you want your message to be?

Josie: (12:02)
So definitely letting them know, a lot of them are, um, mom’s business owners, dads, whatever they are, but also just to let them know that, you know, we do show the fun and the happy, but also the hard and the struggles, right. As being a business or being a mom, I’m juggling work and at home life. So I guess the number one thing we want them to take: is it’s okay. Not everything like Laura said in the beginning is peaches and flowers and that, you know, there are gonna be those hard days, but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel somehow. And if you find that light and um, you know, we do share the business tips as well and we hope they learned from those two cause there’s so many mistakes we’ve learned over the years that we wish someone told us. Right. Yeah.

Laura: (12:40)
Back then there was no person for us to share our hardships, to ask for help, to ask, “Oh, who should I use for this? I need a graphic.” So I really feel like it’s our community is all about sharing our experiences and then if you don’t own a business, people like seeing how it is to own a business and our family life, in love with our family. So we hope that they leave our feet feeling inspired, feeling good about themselves and understanding like this, this is real. We’re not sugar coating anything. So, yeah,

Amanda: (13:10)
Totally. I don’t remember. I really like what you’re talking about. The real, the good and the bad. You know, part of, you know, being a working mom and a mom who runs her own business is like finding all those, those times to do things like cook, clean, you know, all of those things. And you had posted, Oh god, it was a bit of a month or two ago you’d posted something about like, oh, I, I use this. Oh god, I can’t remember the food anyway, this, this woman like food shamed you and you’re like, Oh hell no. And it was a good day. It was like, oh, I would never feed my child that. And it was like, oh my god, just you wait, we’re all feeding our children that to survive and we’re a good bombs is just such a good, reassuring moment.

Laura: (14:00)
It was important because a lot of people that we had like asked, like our inner circle of friends too, right? We were like, should we respond to this? And a lot of people said, no, don’t give into that negativity. And I myself, and Josie the only ones who were like, no, we need to, we need to let people know that may have the same situation to stand up for themselves because we should. I know everyone, it’s all about positivity and it totally is about positivity, but we need to show people to stand up for yourself. This isn’t right.

Josie: (14:29)
Yeah. The shaming, the judging. That’s not something we want on our platform either. Right? So that’s something that people know. It’s not nice to take that. What example are we teaching our children? You don’t want to share like continue that. Right? So yeah,

Amanda: (14:42)
Totally! Well, and that’s what I was getting at. Like I feel like, yes, keep it positive. And then also I feel like you guys aren’t really judgmental, right? Like it’s like all sorts of motherhood and all sorts of parenting are good. There are many different ways and choices to do this and sometimes that means feeding your kids chicken fingers because you need to feed them something. And that’s fine.

Josie: (15:07)
Chicken and cucumber sliced was my go to meal, all the time.

Amanda: (15:11)
Oh God, I can’t, I can’t tell you the number of pizza lunches my daughter has had this year. It’s a lot. Um, okay. I also wanted to talk, obviously this is a podcast about sleep and you guys are kind of on the other end of the baby phase. Um, and it seems like you guys are, you know, killing it as parents. I would love for you to share some of your words of wisdom because the majority of my listeners will be, um, newer moms or newish moms with small babies. Um, what are some of the things that you wish, wish you knew at that stage?

Laura: (15:54)
So let Josie go first,

Josie: (15:55)
Okay. So yeah, so amongst both of us, we have three kids. I have two boys, one is six and one is almost going to be two in July and Lauren has, Ella was going to be 9. So, okay. So it’s interesting because sleep is something, you know, starting as young entrepreneurs, you know, we always thought, yeah, keeps on important. Like always working, coming home at 10, sitting on the computer till two. And then having my first son. You know, as a mom, you’re always perfect. They always say, okay, sleep when they sleep and do that. So with John, my oldest, I was like I’ll sleep when he sleeps, I’m in a work at the same time it’s going to be good like I have it. But unfortunately it was hard. It was, it was the hardest thing for me. I’m struggling because we owned our own business, so it’s not like there was a mat leave at that time. Like I was working, from home or even leaving and taking them to work with me. So there would be nights he would be waking up every three hours when he was first born. So it took a while to juggle it. And um, yeah, I think it was just learning how to maneuver around it and take advantage of the weekends when my husband was home to sleep and I think my body’s just used to the no sleep at that point. But with my youngest son coming around, I’m like, I’m going to approach this differently and with my oldest I never had those one hour, two hour naps. It was like 45 minute nap if I was lucky. Whereas this child needed more structure and I realised that when he would have temper tantrums, at like seven o’clock and I’m like, okay, he needs to be in bed, and I learned from that.

Amanda: (17:32)
Well, and I think you kind of hit the nail on the head that, um, I, I’ve always really enjoyed sleep, but I thought I could probably deal like go without, or less, right? Like, oh, I can just sleep a little less and do a little bit more. But I feel like one of the biggest thing or pieces for me would be that I actually couldn’t function as well as I thought I could on less sleep like, Oh, you can’t do everything all the time.

Laura: (18:01)
Yeah. I know with myself, with, with Ella, it was, there was no education. Let’s go back nine years ago, at least for me, there wasn’t about sleeping and sleep habits for kids or sleep trainers. Like I didn’t have that. Like I didn’t have that accessible to me. Right. So I went with the flow and uh, you know, I put her to bed, uh, eight o’clock, nine o’clock, I’d wait until she fell asleep and then I’d leave her like leave her room type of thing. Like until now it’s created a habit though because she’s nine years old now and we still do that. We wait until she falls asleep and she wont let us leave.

Amanda: (18:39)
Is it working for you though? Does it work for your family?

Laura: (18:45)
Well that’s the thing. It works for us. So I’m like, I don’t really don’t feel the need to change anything if it works!

Laura: (18:50)
Exactly, exactly. I get a lot of people who will, I sometimes feel like I’m like the boogeyman. Like I’ll be out in public and people like be like, “what do you do?” And if I say like, “Oh Im a Sleep consultant,” people think I will judge their sleep and I, I really, really don’t. And so everyone confesses their sleep sins to me and I’m like, look, I, I love you and I don’t want this to be like, I don’t care, but I don’t care in the nicest way. If it is working for you and you are sleeping and your whole family is happy, then who cares? You don’t need me and you shouldn’t change anything.

Laura: (19:27)
Exactly. 100%. I agree.

Amanda: (19:30)
It kind of goes with like, you know that moms shaming thing, like I just don’t have, if you want this, you know, co-sleep or not co sleep or do whatever you want to do then badass, keep on being your bet ourselves. Really it’s working. Um, and now I would say like in, in your, I guess going on that, that, um, line of thinking, you know, thinking about being a mom and being a working mom and an entrepreneur, have you come up against any sort of criticism or, or things along that line in your time doing this as a mom? both of you?

Josie: (20:11)
Um, like not really. I guess just, um, More people saying like, how do you do it? Like, oh my gosh, you do that? Yeah. Like I do it the same way anyone else does, like my husband or someone else could do it. Right. Like my husband would be up with my son too. So it’s just like that, or like, Oh wow, like you’ve accomplished that. But it’s not really a criticism. Just more like “how?!” It’s like we can all do it!

Laura: (20:37)
And when we’ve gone on business trips and we’ve left the kids, we’ve have like little comments like, “oh my God, you’re always leaving them.” And it’s like, what? We’re in 2019 are you going to say that to my husband, that he’s always leaving his kid. It’s kind of, but it’s not their fault either because they came from a different reality. Like they’re in their sixties maybe like our mom’s age and they’re not this is this a new territory for that? Right. So it’s not their fault that they made that comment because they’re not aware of this new, this new world. I don’t know how to explain it. Right. So it’s okay. We love them no matter what.

Amanda: (21:06)
Yeah, exactly. And I feel like I get that a lot like, oh, how do you do it? Or you know, I just went to a conference, people would ask me who watched my children when I was away and I was like, who do you think watched the children? And nobody.. You know my husband travels every two weeks. Um, like he’s home for two weeks and he’s gone for two weeks. He’s a mining. It’s, it’s pretty standard in the industry. But when he goes away, nobody asked him who’s with his children. They don’t really go, ‘Ohh”

Speaker 3: (21:39)
We just literally had that, its so interesting. And you know, what’s interesting is that when people ask about my children, its like I left them outside, what do you think? But you know its that same question, where did you leave the baby? Like when Josie first had the baby, and she went to a conference and “where did you leave the baby, how, how’s he going to sleep? Is he going to be okay?

Josie: (21:56)
Like stuff like that you worry yea. But I think that to it or maybe it’s just a conversation, the conversation. And I think also, you know, a lot of us don’t have that, like the job that’s just stable everyday nine to five or nine to four. Like being an entrepreneur, I always say this, we’re always working. I don’t have days off. I have hours off, you know, I’m not going to have a day off cause I’m checking emails, but maybe I’ll have an hour to like go pick up my son from school. So that’s time. Time, right?

Amanda: (22:24)
Yeah, totally. And I think, but it all the time. I mean I asked him about the criticism question cause I, that’s exactly the sort of questions that I get as well. And I feel like, um, uh, like these moments that I’m with my children that are, you know, good and solid and I’m present. Um, I don’t know a lot of people who have these opportunities to go to every concert. Right? Like there are pluses and minuses and when you have a flexible schedule, I feel like there are little advantages that aren’t necessarily super obvious to others. Yep.

Speaker 2: (23:04)
Okay. So we’re getting, my whole goal with this podcast and I think I mentioned in the email is that I like to get it to crap nap time. So if your baby is having a crap nap and it’s usually around 27 minutes, this is a podcast that you can listen to during that entire crap nap while you’re doing it for something else. Um, so I like, I like to ask everyone that I interview, um, what’s something that you’re really proud of? So something that you know, not if, if we didn’t follow you on Instagram, we wouldn’t know right away. So like in your business it’s about parent or otherwise

Laura: (23:45)
I, Josie just looked at me like “you go first” I’ll start with the cliche answer of obviously the most proud of is our children, but it really had to say like, you know, something that I’m really proud of is that we created, we brought something to life, right? That brought our work Glama Gal to life that just rolls off people’s tongues. Like it’s in the vocab that makes us so proud that we’ve created something and we brought it to life.

Josie: (24:14)
Created something that creates memories for so many children. Yeah. And I think that’s what makes me proud. Even when I walk into the locations or even online with our Instagram, with mom’s commenting, how is, how did you, like, how was your lunch break? Would you do just knowing that we’re, we’re somehow like making a difference, a difference in a little, our little way in our little way. I like that. Yeah. But in our little way or helping someone, you know, even when I was pregnant and people saying, like you were working nine hours, it’s like, you know, just helping someone know. It could be hard, or could be easy, like just helping.

Amanda: (24:45)
Totally. And your spas are great. Honestly, I’ve now been to two and my daughter is totally into this stuff, but like every time she leaves she’s like, “I’m a princess. And when I went to this birthday, I was a princess.” She’s five. She’s five.

Laura: (25:03)
Aww I’m gonna send her some treats? Yeah.

Amanda: (25:06)
Oh my gosh. She will die. She’s so…So, you guys know the Fancy Nancy show?

Laura: (25:12)
Oh yeah. My daughter Ella loved it when she was her age

Speaker 2: (25:14)
Yeah. It’s just insane. It’s just everything is fancy and makeup and, Ooh, la la and her and her friends this weekend, we, um, we’re like, man, they’re being really quiet. They’re upstairs coloring, all live their nails, their toenails. Like do it. So yes, they’re into it.

Amanda: (25:35)
I just want to thank you so much for joining us and sharing all your stuff and please follow the GG sisters on Instagram. Send your kid to a Glama Gal spa for a day. Do you do anything for adults?

Speaker 3: (25:48)
Yes. So basically we have a VIP spa package where you can bring an adult. So it’s for like, you know, all, you’re a mom and me, a dad and me, we have a Father’s Day event. I don’t know when the podcast is coming out, but very, like our spas are so inclusive like yeah, everbody is welcome. Um, can use to kind of the word to call it, like the GG kids spa from another topic, another podcast maybe. But we’ve really made it to that. There’s packages. Everyone I could spot or anything like that.

Amanda: (26:20)
I didn’t think I could love you more, but that just happens. So that’s amazing. I love it. I love it. Well, everyone, I really love inclusivity!

Laura: (26:35)
So many boys wanted to come to our spa, but because they saw the name Glama gal, they they thought that it was just for girls and we’re like, no welcome. No matter what. So we started changing over the past two years. We changed our color schemes around because we started listening to what people were telling us.

Josie: (26:52)
And also it was just a name we started off with from your bridal shower. Like that activity, right? Yeah. My son loves it. He’s always visiting. He’s going to the upcoming event we’re hosting

Amanda: (27:05)
That is, that is why your business will succeed. You, you know, you’re not rigid. You are listening to your clientele. You’re staying current. That’s amazing. That’s so good. I love that!

Josie: (27:18)
Well, your clients are everything, without clients, there is no, no brand and you need, you I need to listen to that.

Speaker 2: (27:28)
Oh, I asked for feedback at the end of every, um, uh, consultation for the most part. It’s, it’s really good. And then like someone will say something and I’m like, ugh. And then I sit with it for three days. I’m like, fine. It’ll change it, their right!

Josie: (27:45)
I think that’s hard as a business owner to take the criticism, but sometimes you learn and grow with your brand from that the most.

Amanda: (27:52)
Totally. Some of my best ideas have come from clients. So you gotta listen,

Laura: (27:57)
You nailed it.

Amanda: (27:59)
All right ladies, thank you so, so, so much for joining us for another edition of Slumber Party. We hope everybody is sleeping and that your child is still sleeping and that you get to listen to yet another podcast. Have a great day, everyone. Bye.