For those of you who've never read this page on the blog, Hopscotch Heroes is all about featuring all-conquering women who seem unstoppable in their quests for ... balance. Yes, they might have families, businesses and a flight schedule that would fund Emirates for a year, but they still manage to keep it together.
How? Well, this is where we get to find out. This month's Hopscotch Hero is Bettina Burbach, German resident, global citizen and founder of the beautiful fashion label sousi.de. Check out what hopscotching means to her:
"Hello, I'm Bettina Burbach. I decided to start my own fashion company after I had given up my position as CEO with the luxury cashmere brand Iris von Arnim in order to join my husband in Munich four weeks before the birth of our first child. I had always longed to have more say in the design process but I also found it difficult to find a position with the same level of authority and the flat stucture of my previous company in a new town with a newborn baby. So I used my experience, knowledge an a number of contacts, combined it with my idea of modern shopping – online, pop-up-stores and exclusive trunk shows – and founded my cashmere label www.sousi.de.
I do the design, productions supervision, event planning and - depending on time and place - even the actual selling. Everything else is outsourced and, not surprisingly, some of my service providers are 'hopscotchers' like myself. I work from a home office and quite often on the road during my selling season. It gives me an enormous flexibility but demands a high level of discipline at the same time.
One big challenge is the discipline in my work schedule. As I am not responsible to anyone for what I do at any day, it can be tempting to waste time. But it is actually the fact that I like to spend valuable time with my children in the evening and weekends which makes my use my time from 8am (kids off to school) to 6.30pm (kids back from school and sports) most efficiently, including taking time for my own sports and friends in that time bracket.
The other big challenge is to set limits to my husband, children, family and friends when it comes to taking over all those little tasks such as organising birthdays, presents, dinners, holidays. I make sure that tasks that can be covered by my children or my husband I will let them do and accept that they are not done exactly how I would have done it. And as far as social networking goes, most of our friends are in the same situation and they totally accept and understand a „no“, especially during my selling season. They know I will make up for it when the opportunity comes.
As for what keeps me going? It is love. Love for my family, love for my work as a designer and manager. and love for independence. I also loved hopscotching as a child on the roads of the small village I grew up in; it needed flexibility, focus and power and it made me laugh while holding my breath. Just as my everyday hopscotching does now."