Meet Katya, a New York-based businesswoman and badass mama, whose passion lies deeply in connecting and learning about people and in supporting mothers with a mission. As Co-Founder & CEO of HeyMama, Katya has helped to build the community from the ground up, focusing on vetting and developing meaningful partnerships with brands and members to find each other in a very cluttered space…
HeyMama has built a global community for mothers in business and has made it their goal to do one thing and one thing only: make mamas more successful. The membership-based community offers founders, creatives and entrepreneurial mamas alike to connect both personally and professionally on Heymama’s online platform, as well as at hosted events throughout the year. The sprinkle on top of it all? Heymama offers carefully curated perks that are exclusive to their community.
We sat down with Katya, Co-Founder & CEO of HeyMama, to talk about what it’s like to run a business and be a mama at the same time and, of course, get some of her top tips when traveling with kids. No matter what age your little ones are, we all know that traveling with kids can sometimes be anything but easy! So who better to ask than someone who has been there – and done that?!
In an intimate conversation, Katya Libin shares her most memorable travel experience with her daughter (cue the nighttime jungle tours!), tells us what she looks for most when choosing a hotel, and dishes on her favorite restaurants she went to on a recent trip to Barcelona – sans kids!
What is Heymama and how did it all begin?
HeyMama is a membership community for unstoppable mamas in business. Our mission is to make mamas more successful by providing them with the tribe, resources and inspiration to fuel their soul and their hustle. It began with two mamas who felt pretty isolated as being working moms, and a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of starting new businesses. We leaned on other women for help and it was incredible the amount of knowledge and support out there. We knew there were so many more moms we could impact and wanted to create a scalable way for local communities to build, while connecting a global audience of trailblazing women.
What has inspired you most by the community you’ve built?
The women. These mamas are just so incredibly giving and supportive of each other. They’ve taken this community we had an idea for and catapulted it to a whole new level. They are 1000% the reason for its success.
What has been the most challenging thing about being a working mom? And what has been the most rewarding part of being a working mom?
I’d say it’s the amount of time away from your kids. Sometimes you want to just pick them up and have that empty free unscheduled time, and you can’t. You see time going so quickly and are always thinking when it will slow down? On the flipside, you make the moments you have really count. The most rewarding part is getting to play a huge role in cultivating a blossoming human and their view of life. Parenting is hard work but if you love your kids and lead by example, seeing things click and resonate is so rewarding. And of course, the snuggles. My daily coffee.
Any advice for new moms?
This too shall pass. Every stage is so brief. You think it will last forever, and then poof they are rolling their eyes at you being sassy in their rooms saying that they need alone time (said the same kid who would not leave your side for years!).
The most rewarding part is getting to play a huge role in cultivating a blossoming human and their view of life.
What was your most memorable travel experience?
My most memorable travel experience was with my daughter and co-founder to Costa Rica. We went to Tulemar, which is an incredible property on this insane part of the island that’s basically a jungle. The kids and us did nighttime jungle tours, water tours, and horseback riding! It was great for their age and we felt that everyday was just so incredibly special and rewarding.
When traveling with your daughter, what do you look for most in a hotel?
Having a kids club is awesome, but for me I look for activities I can do with my kid. I love when the hotel helps create memorable experiences and has activities for their ages that you can do on site and off. A great family-friendly restaurant with menu items everyone loves is also a huge de-stressor on a trip.
The best advice for new moms traveling with kids?
Take flights at good times. A bad timed trip can really ruin the day!
I love when the hotel helps create memorable experiences and has activities for their ages that you can do on site and off.
Where was the last place you went away with no kids?
I am going to Portugal soon without my daughter, but I most recently went to Barcelona and I stayed at The Barcelona EDITION, which was absolutely incredible!!! I went with a whole list of restaurants I could not wait to try… For tapas, don’t miss Tapas 24 and Bar Brutal. Cabaret at The EDITION was also amazing!
I also recently went to Ojai which was beyond and although I stayed with a friend, every restaurant was farm-to-table and so delicious.
What is your favorite style of a hotel?
I love modern hotels with global character. Anything spanish colonial is also really special!!
Travel with kids or sans? Both! Haha with kids.
Must-have travel essentials? Wander beauty under eye pads, Lunya eye mask, good headphones!!
Over-pack or under-pack? Under pack and shop, duh! :)
Warm-weather or cold-weather? Warm all the way (although, I do love a good après!)
All-time favorite destination? Israel
P.S. Want to know what destinations will be popping up on your IG feed next year?