Welcome to Week 48 of Motherhood by Design – the series where mothers who also run creative businesses share their inspirations and their experiences juggling the demands of raising children while growing a creative career.
"Get up at 5am and start the day with your creativity before the rest of the house awakes. It also “shows” the universe that it’s really important for you and you will see, you will get more of it… it really works."
Katrin Rippel Galati is a culture explorer, a professional translator, and a global web designer who lives in California. She specializes in translation and web design for the food and hospitality industry, helping them stand out from the crowd and grow, both locally and internationally.
Welcome to Motherhood by Design, Katrin – can you please describe your family?
My family is my son Shawn, 5.5 years old, and Giovanni, my husband (since May this year). Our families live in Europe but we all visit regularly.
What is your business?
I am translating from English into German language, adapt websites for the German market, writing German copy, and articles and my blog in English. My company is called Menu International; I created it to help food and hospitality business owners to grow their businesses locally and internationally.
When you were a child yourself, how did you spend your free time?
Writing letters to my grandparents and pen pals, drawing and playing school inside, or playing with friends outside.
Did crafting or handwork play a significant role in your childhood? If yes, in what way?
Yes. I especially remember drawing my world in notebooks, cutting out figures and playing with them through those pages. I love knitting and crocheting, my grandmother had taught me how. My mother’s family line goes back to weavers, playing a significant role in my birth town region.
When you were a child, did you have ideas about your own future as a mother? Was motherhood something you’d always imagined for yourself, or is it an idea you grew into later in life?
I always knew I would have children, yet I hadn’t thought further about or imagined any details when I was a child. At about age 14, I drew a bust of a woman with a radiating face and called it “Pregnant,” though. My mother has it hanging in her office (at her town’s women hospital) since then.
In your early years of motherhood, did you have/make time for your creative pursuits, or was your creative work put aside for a while? If the latter, when did you pick it back up?
I had pretty much melted my creativity – mostly writing at that time – with my business activities. Besides that, I used my creativity to manage a busy life as a single mother by choice.
Did you start your creative business prior to becoming a mother, or after?
I had started prior to becoming a mother. I even felt that my business gave me the freedom to become a mother as I could have a home office and flexible schedule.
What prompted you to start your creative business? Is it something you saw yourself doing when you were a child?
I always knew I would have my own business. However, I started my second career path with getting thrown into it. Having started my own business right after I had finished the academic study of language translation and website & software localization in an evening college/university program, it allowed me to stay in the US at that time instead of having to go back to my native Germany.
How do you balance your creative work with your role as a mother and how has that changed over time?
In order for me to feel balanced, it’s an essential need for me to have me-time. As I love the early morning hours, I most often get up at 5am to use the time before my son wakes up to do my most creative work. Over time, yes, I reduced my needs or the need got less as I am very happy with how I created the life I live.
In what ways does motherhood affect your work processes?
I created more structure in business to be most efficient. I separate work-time and not work-time more strictly. It also allows me to be more totally present at the time of work or the time with my child, my family, etc.
In what ways does motherhood affect your creative products?
I can’t “disappear” in tunnel-vision anymore. Before motherhood, I loved to shut out the world and just get immersed and deep-tunneled into a creative project. I am more results-oriented and rational too often now. But motherhood grounded me so much, there is much more clarity in all I do.
What is the biggest impact that your children have had on your business?
I am more efficient with work and grounded in life in general. I am pushed to perform and reinvent my life regularly. I like it because it makes me pause and pivot/adjust as needed.
How do you think your creative pursuits, including your business, affect your children? Is there something you hope your children learn from you by having a creative business?
In my case, I am very language conscious and my son loves language. He is also completely bilingual (English/German). I have so many ideas and creative approaches to everyday life situations – my son seems to copy that from me.
Is there something you hope your children learn from you by having a creative business?
It’s extremely important for me to shape my life and business to how I envision it to be, and I hope that my son finds his passion and is able to turn it into his work/everyday life.
What advice would you offer the mom who feels drained by the demands of motherhood and wants more hands-on creativity in her life?
Depending on the individual situation or idea of creativity:
Get up at 5am and start the day with your creativity before the rest of the house awakes. It also “shows” the universe that it’s really important for you and you will see, you will get more of it… it really works.
Thank you so much, Katrin, for sharing your thoughts with us today! You can find Katrin in the following places: