How I Thrive takes an inside look at founders, entrepreneurs and leaders and the behind-the-scenes self-care work they do to in order to live balanced, happy lives. Today's edition is with Yunizon Eyewear founder Kimberly Van Schoyck, who believes in the mental timeout of painting her nails or applying a face mask and can't get enough of therapeutic scents.
City: New York, NY
Company: Yunizon Eyewear, and independent eyewear brand focused on fit
Beyond the role: Mother and accessory collector
My mornings begin with a gentle tap from my precocious four-year-old daughter, usually with her pants down from her recent trip to the potty, and a plea to watch something on Disney+. We quietly file out of the bedroom so we don't wake Daddy, with my mixed terrier trailing behind. Unfortunately, I've got about two minutes to perk up before the chatter of daily plans start, the countdown to the weekend's fun activities happens, and intense playtime begins.
We (including the dog) play for about 10 minutes before there's a mention of "snacks". Traditional breakfasts of fruit and eggs are never as appealing to kids, so the negotiations begin. Lollipop and cheddar bunnies? No. How about popcorn and ice cream? Try again. Eventually we reach a decision, and I cook. While doing so, I try to sneak in a few business emails and WhatsApp chats with my business partner in Australia and factory in China. Gotta catch those urgent messages before I hear "Mooooommmmm!!!!!" which throws my focus off.
When the meal finally arrives, my daughter is set for the next 20 minutes and I can finally sit down with my earl grey tea with milk, breathe, and soak in the new day. Braiding and dressing are next on the agenda before my daughter is gently coaxed out the door smiling to begin a new day. I decompress with a hot shower or a soak in the tub to begin my day of quietly working from home.
The first thing I do after work:
There really isn't such a thing as "after work" for me. My work day happens in two parts so that I can free up my time to be with my daughter. From 9-3 p.m., when she's at school, I try to use the quiet time to focus on projects that require more brain power. From 3-8pm, it's back on with family time. Playing, dinner, bath time, and bedtime.
I'll often work again from 8-10 p.m. while my husband focuses on my daughter's nighttime routine of book reading, checking on Daddy's stocks, storytelling and laying with her until she finally closes her eyes. Her quality time with Daddy gives me a little extra time that's ideal to help me communicate with my overseas counterparts. After that, it's the escape of Netflix for the remainder of the evening.
My dinner ritual varies depending on my energy level. Cooking can be quite cathartic, but only on my terms. When time allows and the preplanned grocery orders happen, I love it. Otherwise, it's a chore. My husband is all about efficiency, so he encourages ordering out whenever possible. In New York, the takeout is just so good! We do our fair share of restaurant hopping so my daughter can get her favorite dish — grilled octopus.
A good TV show or movie with my husband in the evening is the perfect escape to turn the brain off. I need my mind to go on autopilot for at least an hour or two to prepare myself for sleep. I'm naturally a "doer," so my mind and body engage in a test of will each night. Cool sheets, lightweight pajamas, a glass of cold water and a few deep breaths will usually do the trick to begin the process.
Self-care guilty pleasure:
Masks, bath products, and nails. I love pampering to help me relax and feel good about myself. It's not necessarily the beautifying end result I'm after, but the repetitive motion involved in the the process. Whether it's the calming brush strokes of applying nail polish or the circular motions of a luxurious face scrub, it's all a mental time out.
Workday self-care hack:
How do you define self-care?
Self-initiated practices that help one to achieve their best state both mentally and physically.
Favorite childhood toy or hobby:
My favorite hobby when I was a kid (as well as an adult) was jewelry making. My grandparents owned an NYC-based accessory company, Roger Van S, and I had full access to their in-home workshop. At family events, I'd sneak down there and dig deep into their box of brass findings and glass stones to discover the ultimate treasures. I'd play around with pliers, cutters, glue and ribbon to create the most grandiose and expressive costume like accessories that you could imagine. Pulling apart pieces and repurposing them really sparked my love of construction and materials that I use in my work today.
State of your (email) inbox:
Controlled chaos. I have lots of email folders but still have a lot of emails in my inbox. Doesn't make sense to many, but I'm pretty sure there is a method to my madness. At least that's what I tell myself. I'll clean house and ultra organize every so often. I find the task to be a little like laundry, though—the second you think you're finished, another pile shows up.
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Illustration by Megan Behrendt