A Day In The Life Of Gemma Broekhuis of Milestone™
Sometimes I am lucky enough to come across someone so passionate and so creative that they leave me feeling inspired and ready to tackle anything--Gemma is one of those people. As the woman behind the original Milestone™ baby cards (which are now sold in 30+ countries and printed in over 15 languages!), her love of documenting the special little moments with her three boys have helped moms across the world do the same. I am thrilled to share a peek into a day in her life as she balances motherhood and a rapidly growing business from her headquarters in Amsterdam.
By The Numbers
The Daily Grind
7:00 am: Bedtime is over, the boys awaken. Now that our youngest has past the 1 year mark, we are slowly getting our nights back. We still have the occasional cry, fever, need for water or attention night time disturbances, but overall, things are getting quieter. And miraculously, they all have the same biological alarm. 7 am is when the day starts in our house. Like clockwork!
7:15 am: All boys are now on our bed for morning cuddles and milk for the youngest. I put out an outfit for Mikkel, our oldest, and hit the shower. I am a quick dresser and have a short morning routine. So I am quickly downstairs to make breakfast while my husband showers and dresses the youngest two.
7:45 am: Everyone is downstairs. The kids have some fruit and bread with peanut butter and apple stroop (a Dutch thing) and water. My husband and I have oatmeal with fruit. I drink my special ‘tea’ (hot water, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper, tumeric and ginger root). I don’t have coffee until I am at the office.
8:30 am: Our nanny arrives and I am off to school with our oldest son. We ride there on my bike and I drop him off in his classroom. Always fun to keep waving until we are out of each others sight.
8:45 am: I arrive at my office in the centre of Amsterdam. We are in a communal building called Spaces. A great concept buzzing with energy. Our office is on the first floor and you can see the canals from our office window. Janske, one of my colleagues, is already there. She always starts early.
9:38 am: Everyone has arrived by now and we have our ‘Daily Huddle’. The whole team stands in a circle and one by one we list our priorities for today. We are a fast growing company, and this is one of the tricks to check in with each other and stay up to date. PS having an 'odd' time for it - in our case 9:38 - is part of the trick.
10:00 am: I have checked in with everyone at the office to see if they need anything from me before I have back to back meetings. Right now, the first interview of the day. We are currently recruiting for two new positions. We made it a priority for this quarter to focus on the proces of recruiting the right people for our company, and you can see the results immediately. We have some great candidates! As we say in Dutch, we have a ‘luxury problem’.
11:30 am: I sit down with Jessy and Magali from our team to discuss two upcoming Trade Shows: NY NOW and The National Stationery Show. After our meeting I finally get to make the first small steps in going through my ever growing inbox. I will be behind all day and will end up going through them after the kids are in bed.
12:30 pm: We have lunch with the whole team. We get our food from ‘de Buurtboer’ (the neighbourhood farmer). They deliver biological, local food straight to your office. Good stuff!
1:15 pm: Today we are preparing for a new 2 day photo shoot so I have a 3 hour meeting with our regular photographer Charlotte Marres and stylist Cynthia Schrijver. Every image that we are shooting is discussed. It’s a lot of fun but also stressful. It is such a big part of our brand so it needs to be exactly right.
4:20 pm: I go over the candidates that we have interviewed with one of my partners Helene. We need to go over who we want to talk to again. Also, we plan a call with Laura, my other partner. She had twins - Jack and Rosa - 6 weeks ago, so she is still on maternity leave but is already pitching in on some topics.
5:00 pm: Some more emails and preparations for tomorrow and around 5:30pm I head home. It is only a 10 minute bike ride so I come home to a house buzzing with little boys who come running and jumping as I enter the front door. Best welcome ever and always! We wave goodbye to Kimberley, put on some music and goof around until my husband, Friggo, gets home.
6:30 pm: We move the whole group upstairs and after a bath we start the bedtime routine: we change diapers, put on the pajama’s, brush teeth, read books, make jokes, sing songs, hug and tickle, and finally have all three of them in bed by 7:15 pm.
7:30 pm: We order in, Vietnamese broth and spring rolls and wine. We have dinner together, watch a short part of Homeland and then… my husband and I both open our laptops, I catch up on emails as he prepares a meeting.
10:00 pm: We head upstairs. Read something in bed (I am reading a collection of poems at the moment). Lights out about a half an hour later which is when the magic happens: sweet sweet … sleep! :-)
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