Living through a pandemic is stressful. But, what about delivering a baby right when the shutdown happens as a result of a pandemic?
This is something that my guest Sarah Akram shares in this episode. If you have a baby or getting ready to have a baby during the pandemic there is so much that you can relate to in this episode. Plus, Sarah shares a little of her journey of going from working and thinking her career would be one way, to being introduced to skincare and establishing a business that services clients that include celebrities.
Juggling career and mom life can be a challenge, but it can be done. Check out this episode and hear the conversations about:
- Challenges Sarah faced as a new mom
- Having a baby during a pandemic
- Transitioning into a working mom
- Her journey and how she got started in skincare
- The importance of having a mentor
- Encouragement for moms having a baby during this time
About Sarah Akram
Sarah Akram provides the best in customized skincare treatments, modern technology with all-natural products, bringing anti-aging skincare to a whole other level. Without breaking down the skin with laser treatments, Sarah has discovered a way to provide effective skincare treatments to clients that leave them looking and feeling younger at the end of a session.
As a board licensed Master Esthetician, Sarah is one of the most sought after skincare specialists on the East Coast. With a roster of loyal A-list clients, Sarah was able to build a successful business in both New York City and Washington, D.C., where she was born and raised. After years of splitting her time between two cities, Sarah decided to lay down roots in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia to open up her own skincare boutique in 2015. Celebrity clients include Sienna Miller, Billy Porter, Zoe Saldana, Chelsea Handler, Zooey Deschanel, Angela Bassett, Nina Dobrev, Jennifer Morrison, Kate Walsh, Catherine O’Hara, Whitney Port, and more.
Connect with Sarah
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Transcript of this episode
Real Happy Mom 0:00
Hey there, Mom, are you juggling all the things in motherhood for managing your time getting healthy meals on the table, to being a present wife, all while making yourself a priority without feeling guilty? I get it. It’s overwhelming. And guess what? The fact that you need support doesn’t make you a bad mom. And that’s why I created the Real Happy Mom podcast. I’m Tony and a wife and a mom of two little boys as well as a general dentist and reservists in the Navy. And I get it when it comes to being a busy working mom. On the Real Happy Mom podcast. I’ll interview real moms to chat about real life experiences. These guests and experts will help you to navigate the motherhood journey by providing answers to your questions and concerns surrounding raising children, self care time management, and so much more. So if you’re ready to get rid of the overwhelm, and start being a Real Happy Mom, join me inside the rat Happy Mom podcast. Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast. This is episode number 104. And today I am talking to Sarah Graham from Sarah Akin skincare. And she’s going to be talking to us about several things. First, she’s going to be sharing with us some of her challenges that she’s faced as a new mom because she had her baby right when the pandemic started, she talks about some of the things she didn’t expect and how she was able to navigate during the times of the shutdown and becoming a mother. She also talks about her transitioning back to being a working mom and her journey on how she got started in skincare. Now one of the biggest things that I love that she talked about is the importance of having a mentor and being connected to someone that successful and achieving their goals that you can walk alongside and learn from. She also shares how she is going to pivot in her business, and some encouragement for moms that are having babies during this time. Now, before we jump into this episode, I wanted to make sure that I told you about the Happy Mom challenge. This is starting on November 16. And it is a really fun event that I am super excited to host this year inside of the Real Happy Mom challenge. There will be prizes, as well as the doors opening to the Real Happy Mom tribe. Now I want to make sure that you know about it and you can get inside. Now if you haven’t already, make sure that you join the Real Happy Mom community. This is our Facebook community that we take the conversations that we’re having here to an online platform on Facebook, and have a little bit more conversations as well as get some more of that inspiration encouragement that we need as moms. If you want to go ahead and join me inside of there, go to Happy Mom comm slash community or you can go to the show notes and you’ll find the links there. Now, we’ve got all of that out of the way. Let’s go ahead and jump into this week’s episode with Sarah Graham. Alright, so we have a very exciting episode today. And I am so excited to jump into it. So welcome to the podcast.
Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. Yes, Sara,
Real Happy Mom 3:05
I have been looking forward to this Oh, week. So are we jumped into a topic, I just want you to tell us a little bit about you and your business.
Well, I work in the skincare industry, I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve been working in skincare for 20 years, and I’ve had my own business for five years. And my business is pretty successful. I mean, we specialize in non invasive, all natural skincare treatments. And, um, you know, I have a lot of celebrity clients and you know, I get a lot of the nominees and presenters ready before you know big award shows like the Emmys or the SAG Awards. And you know, I work the Met Gala. So, um, yeah, that’s, that’s basically what I do non invasive skincare treatments. All natural. All natural.
Real Happy Mom 4:10
Awesome. Now you are a new mom, Sara. And I just want to check in with you and see how have you been doing?
Well, it’s been a it’s had its challenges, but it’s been amazing at the same time. It’s been exhausting and amazing at the same time. Yes. And
Real Happy Mom 4:29
right now at the time of this recording, how old is your baby now?
She is almost four months, like she and five days will be four months.
Real Happy Mom 4:39
Nice. Nice. Now, I know you probably have heard some of the stories and you’ve probably seen other people, you know, raising kids and things like that. But I just want to know what were some of the challenges that you face that you weren’t necessarily prepared for as a new mom?
Well, I definitely didn’t expect to have a baby during a pandemic. I mean, I I did not think that any of this like, of all the things that could happen, I never in my wildest dreams, I mean, I made it up to like eight months of pregnancy, or excuse me, nine months of pregnancy pretty much, um, and everything was fine. And then just all of a sudden, one day, my baby was born March 27. And like the shutdown happened around the 17th, or the 18th, I believe in where I have my business, which is literally right outside of Washington, DC. And so all I was not prepared for any of that. And those came with its own set of challenges.
Real Happy Mom 5:40
Yes, I can only imagine, because I know, I heard a lot of the stories when I was at work, because I would talk to some of the moms and I’m like, yeah, you know, you’re telling me about, you know, your sister, or your niece that was having a baby, like, What is going on? You haven’t been able to go to the hospital, like, how have you been dealing with, you know, the whole shut down and not being able to go to the hospital. So I was just curious, you know, if you had any visitors while you’re in the hospital or
experience, like, oh, my goodness, well, first of all, like, towards the end there, when COVID was just becoming more of like, it was just becoming more of a serious thing, because we were learning more about it, we were learning how fast it was like spreading. All of a sudden, like my appointments, it was like, if you don’t need to come in, then don’t come in, like only come in. And they actually kept my appointments because I was just so close to my due day. And so I was like one of the patients that they were not canceling my appointments. However, there was other people that were also going to the same practice that they were like, if it’s like the beginning of your pregnancy, or if it’s like the first six months, and it’s not really that important for you to come in. Like they may skip one or two appointments here or there, just because they were really trying to space out how many people were coming in through the office and making sure that there wasn’t like crowding issues and things like that. For me, my husband wasn’t even allowed to be in the delivery room with me, he had to watch a virtually, which was something that I didn’t expect. I mean, when they told me that that I had to do, I was in labor for about 20 hours, and then they decided to give me a C section. And actually, I decided they gave me the option, they said, We can either give you a pitocin and see if like you will dilate more, or we’re just going to go ahead and you can you can select to have a C section at this juncture. And I’ll be honest with you, I wanted a C section from the beginning, I was like, Yeah, I’d love to just schedule this, have my hair done and go in and, and just just have it have this baby. So, um, you know it, I end up having to get it. See such and I did not expect that I thought I was gonna, you know, with epidural, you know, be able to give birth vaginally obviously. And then, um, I didn’t I did not expect that they will not let me let my husband’s fuse me in, in the operating room. That was like, very upsetting for me. But at that moment, the safety obviously of the baby was of utmost importance. And so it’s just something that you just have to get over very fast. So he just watched virtually from the room next door.
Real Happy Mom 8:20
No, man, I can only imagine how that all felt. But I was just curious if there are any other challenges that you face that you’re able to overcome. As a new mom, I know the pandemic was a big one. But were there any other challenges as a new mom that you had that you were able to overcome?
That I was able to overcome or not? You were that I was able to? Um, I I think that like, in the beginning, everything is just so new. And it is, I think it’s just very hard. It’s just probably been the most challenging thing for me the first couple of months of having the new baby. I mean, you start to get the hang of it. Once they get to about like three, four months, like now I’m getting into more of a comfortable, comfortable zone. But those first couple of months were just very tough. Like just the exhaustion, the exhaustion I just did not expect. Um, you know, I heard people talk about it, but I was like, oh, give me a break. You know, I work 8090 hours a week. I’m an entrepreneur, I have all these people working for me, I have so many responsibilities, like taking care of a baby, it shouldn’t be that much more challenging than all the other things that I’m already doing. But I was I was so wrong. And the silver lining in all of this was the fact that like, because of the shutdown, it gave me an opportunity to learn how to be a mom, because everything was shut down and I was stuck in the house, you know, and it just really, you know, gave me the time it allowed me the time to really learn how to become a mom. So I’m grateful For that,
Real Happy Mom 10:01
nice, nice. Now, I know that you are starting to get back to work. So I was just curious more about how you’re able to transition into being this new working mom, because I know this is something new, it’s totally different because now you have this little human that’s dependent on you that you didn’t have before. So how was that transition?
Well, because of the shutdown, and everything I had to kind of that was the other challenging thing. I had to like, pivot my business because my business had to close. And so like, you know, dealing with that and making sure my employees were going to be okay, and dealing with that stress on top of having my newborn it was it was a lot, um, and so now on I’m just now getting back to work. I haven’t started yet. I’m going back next Wednesday, and I’m already so sad to you, I’m already having anxiety about leaving the baby for you know, that length of time, I haven’t done it. I’ve been with her pretty much every day since she was born. And so like going back now, I’m just starting off three days a week. But they’re long days are about nine hour days, 910 hour days. So I’m just starting off for three days a week, and slowly going to ease and back to like my five day a week schedule. Um, and so I’m just in the process of transitioning next week will be my my first day on Wednesday. Nice.
Real Happy Mom 11:29
Yeah, I remember that day that I went back to work, I cried. Don’t feel that it gets better. It gets better. It does get better. Yes, it
does. You just don’t want to miss out on on anything. You know what I mean? So, um, so yeah, but you know, I think it’ll be healthy for me. And I think it’ll be healthy for her too.
Real Happy Mom 11:53
Yes, definitely. Now, I wanted to kind of change gears and just switch things up a little bit and talk a little bit about your journey with skincare. And I was just curious about your story on how you even got started in skincare.
It was all kind of by accident, to be honest with you, I you know, I went to university, I was studying economics. And I was I just had like a reception job working at a plastic surgeon’s office. And his wife was an aesthetician and his wife was basically like, you know, you’d really be good at this. You should, you know, think about maybe, you know, coming and working for us, you know, going to school and becoming an aesthetician with us, then I just really looked up to these people so much. And whatever like advice they gave me I just kind of like, you know that I really kind of took it seriously. I was like, you know, maybe that isn’t a bad idea. Maybe I should look into it. I mean, I definitely was interested. I’ve never even had a facial before she gave me my first facial and I was like blown away. I was like, Oh my god, this is like so amazing. I didn’t know like this, this type of thing even existed, I was pretty young and obviously didn’t have the budget to go get these like luxurious take treatments. And so I think the more I learned about it, the more I fell in love with it. And the more I was like, This is what I want to do. This is what I want to be doing. And so that was that was a blessing. And I felt very fortunate to have had early on in my life, that experience of working with this very successful couple who kind of you know, um, gave me some good advice.
Real Happy Mom 13:35
Yes, yes. And I know that you’ve had other people in your life and on your journey that have either been mentors or helping you along the way. So I just wanted you to talk to me about how you either one found these mentors and then to how important it is to have a mentor.
Um, I mean, for me, from my personal experience and journey, having a mentor was everything. I mean, they were, for me, just such good teachers and just such it’s just such a good demonstration or example to see you know, someone be successful and achieving their goals and how they’re doing it to witness that and to be able to work alongside someone like that is it’s like priceless, you know what I mean? That play for me, it was like I learned more from that than I did four years of college, you know, and how I found these people I was just blessed and fortunate that I always work that pretty successful establishment and businesses and so like I just made sure to really, you know, try to absorb as much as I could. And fortunately my my boss was very into the person that I worked for was very into, you know, educating and mentoring and it was just something that they were also passionate about, and I think they saw something means that I was, you know, very interested in wanting to be an entrepreneur one day, and so they were always giving me very good advice. And I’m just just helping to really lead the way. For me on on, you know what steps I’m supposed to take to get to, to get to this place.
Real Happy Mom 15:21
Nice. Now I know you talked a little bit about your business and how you’d have put in, you know, some pretty long hours. So I was just wondering, you know, how you are able to either, you know, work with that schedule with either systems or routines, just to kind of help keep you a little bit more organized. And especially since you’re going to be transitioning back to work after being home. I was just curious about, you know, what are some of the things that you’re probably going to be doing a little bit differently now that you’re a mommy, you probably, I don’t know, if you want to continue working the longer hours, but how can you tighten things up so that you can have that time to spend with your baby,
I’m definitely not going to be working the crazy hours that I was working before, and I’m going to be honest, up until I had her I thought that I would be and now that I have her and I’m realizing what it all like, is clear to me that I cannot work the way that I was working and be involved in her life. Like, that’s ridiculous, I would be at work from all day long, and then I’d come home and she’s sleeping, and so I’ll never see her right, until the weekends and so I can’t, I definitely cannot work those same hours. And so I have, I am going to be adjusting my schedule moving forward. Um, and so I’m planning on just having more of a normal, like nine to five, schedule five days a week. Um, and yeah, and I’m gonna have the weekends. And my plan is the way that I’ve been able to do that is because I’m slowly starting to train some other people and getting help from from from other areas, I’m getting, you know, employees to kind of step in and take on more hours. And so, um, so that’s, that’s how I’m pivoting.
Real Happy Mom 17:17
Nice. And I was wondering, I was like, is she gonna say she’s gonna get more help. Because I know, a lot of times as entrepreneurs, we tried to do everything ourselves or feel like, you know, we can do it the bad, but you have to kind of step back and let other people do it. And so I was just wondering, you know, are you getting more help at home at work? Or both? You know, how you’re able to, to do that. And now that you’re a new mom,
yeah, I do, I am going to have somebody helping me with the baby. My mom is going to be helping me a great deal during the day while I’m at work. And then I’m at work, yes, I have hired, I have actually hired a couple more people who are going to be taking on those hours, and I’m not going to be able to work and so in Yeah, as an entrepreneur, you really do want to do everything yourself. But there comes a point of time, where and I waited for a long time to have a baby so so that I can, you know, get my business to a certain place. And so, you know, I think it’s gonna be okay to let go a little bit. You know, um, and when you have a baby it, you know, it’s not as hard to let go.
Real Happy Mom 18:30
Yeah, I like that. I like that. Yeah. Now, you’ve given us some really good things to think about as far as you know, mentors and, you know, getting help and things like that. But I was just wondering if there was any motivational quote, or words of encouragement that you had, for us Real Happy Mom.
I just think anybody who’s having a baby Around this time, this craziness and everything, you know, don’t be discouraged from it, just look at it as like a blessing in disguise, because it does kind of forced to this time to slow down, right. And so that will give you the ability to spend time with your baby and spend time with your family and your loved ones. And I think that’s kind of the silver lining in all of this, right? And so, and you know, what, this is temporary, this is going to be behind us, you know, we’re just going to like, look back on it one day. And so, you know, I just think that the these types of things, it’s really to, to build us right to, to become our better selves. And so I think that you know, it’s temporary and you just, we all have to stay positive. Um, and just enjoy that time with your family and your loved ones. Definitely.
Real Happy Mom 19:50
Now, Sarah, if we are listening and we want to connect with you online, or we want to come and see you in your business, tell us a little bit more about how we can connect with you.
Well you can visit me on Sara Akram calm, it’s Sa ra h A k ra m.com. And you can book services online, give us a call. Or you can also follow us on our Instagram page. We are really good about updating everything that is involved with the business on our Instagram page. And that’s Sarah from skincare on Instagram. And, and yeah, we offer virtual consultations complimentary. So anybody who has any questions about their skincare, what types of treatments they should be doing or what kinds of products they should be using. We have we offer 30 minute virtual consultations for free and so that way you don’t have to like get confused about all the different products and things that are out there, you can have an expert actually let you know what you should be doing for your skin.
Real Happy Mom 21:01
Awesome. And I will be sure to include all of those links in the show notes and I am really looking forward to that Virtual Console.
Yeah, oh yeah. Beautiful.
Real Happy Mom 21:15
Thank you. I appreciate it. And I appreciate you coming on in giving us all of this goodness here. So thank you so much, Sarah.
Thank you so much for having me.
Real Happy Mom 21:26
Now that does it for this episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast. To find the links in the show notes make sure you head over to Real Happy Mom comm slash 104 and there you’ll find all the links as well as a blog post of this episode and a complete transcript. Now if you found this podcast helpful and you’ve enjoyed this episode, do me a favor and let me know by either leaving me a rating and review on Apple podcasts or by taking a screenshot and sharing it on your Insta stories. I would love if you did that and I would appreciate it so so much. Now make sure you tune into next week where I will be bringing you another full episode and next week I’ll be talking to Melissa wrapkin about some meal planning and some things that we can do to help prepare some meals in 30 minutes or less. Now this is something that you need help with make sure you tune into next week. Take care and I’ll see you then with lots of oh hey mom, I get it you are stressed out overwhelmed have a million things to do and that to do list is like a mile long. And guess what I’ve been there done that and I have something that is going to help you to get out of that. And that is my free five days to Real Happy Mom challenge. This five day challenge is going to help you to identify your values and priorities. prioritize your to do list, identify what is actually urgent and important. And then also figure out those time wasters that are sucking you the time to do the things that you actually enjoy. Now if you are ready to get started and you want to join me go over to Real Happy Mom comm slash challenge to sign up and join me there. I am super pumped and cannot wait for you to join me inside so go ahead and sign up Real Happy Mom comm slash challenge again that’s Real Happy Mom comm slash challenge