It is often said that being a mom is a full-time job. In Audrey Dimarucot’s case, being a mom is a full-time business as well. Googoo & gaga is her brainchild with hubby AJ and is largely inspired by their journey as parents to three kids. Quitting their day jobs and fully immersing themselves into developing a brand and business while growing their family has brought Audrey a true sense of purpose and rhythm to her life.
Being a mompreneur is no easy ordeal. Audrey glady imparts her own truths of the integral aspects of being present for both her family and business and how work-life balance is a myth.
How would you like to be introduced? Tell us something about yourself.
I am Audrey Dimarucot. I am a wife, mom, and entrepreneur. At 42, I am happily and heartwarmingly discovering my soul’s core and how its purpose has driven me all my life. It is deep for some people and may be a thing to discuss separately altogether!
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
That God chose me, in very unique circumstances, three times over. I see them every day and how they evolve in their thinking, their feelings, how they see and deal with the world. I love how they are different and that pushes me to love each of them differently, too. When they grow, I grow. It is a PRIVILEGE to share in the responsibility of loving their souls.
In early 2008, newly-married and finding ourselves constructively restructuring our lives to include each other and a charming 8-year old little man, we resolved to take small but quick steps towards creating a fun, healthy, family-oriented environment. Having another baby was a priority, hence, independence from employment and going the entrepreneur route were very easy decisions to make. Can you tell us a little something about Googoo&gaga and how it started?
Fast forward to late 2008, out of our day jobs and realizing we were going to be in each other’s faces 24/7, googoo&gaga was born. It came as both a motivation to propagate AJ’skind of art and an inspiration while we eagerly anticipate having our own baby. It is also representative of who we are individually – AJ is the spunky, audacious, creative maverick, while I am the organized, uncomplicated traditionalist. With imagination, structure, quirkiness, and sensibility at full capacity between the two of us on brainstorming sessions (proof that we should celebrate differences more than resist them), it wasn’t difficult to bring this grand idea to life.
Could you tell us what it’s like being a mom of three while running a business like Googoo&gaga?
As you have witnessed when we were scheduling the shoot and, me, trying to get this questionnaire back to you, it is quite a challenge. AJ and I run this brand as a 2-man team. We are not joking when we say we have no staff. He takes care of design, I take care of everything else, from production to quality control to accounting to marketing to selling. I take care of the house and manage the lives of 3 adults (Gabe, being 18 years old) and 2 kids. It can get overwhelming. I choose what I get to be more of every day. There are days when I am more a mom than an entrepreneur, and there are days when I am more an entrepreneur than a mom. The delicate balance is found in the acceptance and respect that I cannot be everything to everyone and to googoo&gaga all at once.
...Our kids, who they are, what they see in the world, what we want other to learn and get inspired by
What inspires you in your creative process for Googoo&gaga?
Our kids, who they are, what they see in the world, what we want others to learn and get inspired by. Design is AJ’s sacred space and he is also always inspired by nature, music, the street scene, and how he sees our kids interact with it.
What role do your kids play for Googoo&gaga?
As in our Launch Story, they are at the very core of googoo&gaga. We put up this brand in 2008 as an inspiration to get pregnant. We think of them when we design. What does Gia do these days, or what does Georgia like tinkering with — these are questions we ask. We are happy they have been and are still part of our campaigns since we launched. They are the most excited models!
Can share with us your fondest memory with your kids?
Each of their birth stories and the journey to get there are very uniquely memorable. Gabe was born when I was very young — it threw me right into responsibility. Gia came after years of waiting, trying, and praying. Georgia came immediately after Gia, which was a very funny surprise. There is also something about daily conversations that either hits you in a loving way or pushes you to a different perspective. What you learn from kids is unbelievable — they can be innocent but wise at the same time. And these are tiny events that you want to keep locked inside a safe place so you can tell the stories over and over again.
As a mom, what is one main lesson you always remind your kids of?
If there was one thing that I want our kids to always remember, it is to know deep inside their hearts that it is okay to be different. Society puts so much pressure into molds such as certain college degrees, professions, gender that it zaps the creativity and self-identity we so carefully instill in children when they are young. Knowing that it is okay for them and everyone else to be different pushes them to look at people with acceptance, and in a deeper way, allows for more respect, more kindness.
What advice can you give to moms and budding mompreneurs?
Work-life balance is a myth. There is only constant revamping and fine tuning of priorities at many different points in life. The chase to having it all is what exhausts us. “All” changes every so often, depending on how life happens to you every day. We have to be willing to redefine what is “all” as life shifts.
Any future plans?
While studying our market and their buying behavior, we found that a big chunk are loyal followers, those who have been with us since Day One. Their kids have grown, hence, the demand for bigger sizes and the decrease in baby/infant item purchases. We have added bigger sizes (our biggest is now at size 14 versus our previous size 10). We are also now seeing a shift in the aesthetic/design preferences of this market, and we are more than happy to grow with them in this aspect. Having said that, we have been talking about putting up a new line for the tween/teen market, with a slightly different design story. We also want to keep “listening” to our own children and see what we learn in terms of concepts and campaigns. Design is ever evolving, as does the child, who is the main focus of googoo&gaga.
In pursuing success and balance in one’s career and personal life, Audrey proves that you don’t have to compromise one for the other. As a mompreneur, she wholeheartedly believes that being honest and realistic with how you split yourself amongst the two roles is vital to the growth of both one’s business and children.
As an entrepreneur, Audrey exhibits the kind of wisdom and nurturing nature only a mom can give. She is present, hands-on, and provides the kind of fuel to get the brand to crawl, walk, run and eventually, leap towards conquering the online retail market.