Jill Brack is the founder and owner of Glow Gluten Free, a brand of gluten-free cookies. Jill is often seen at food industry trade shows and celiac awareness events.
Like most women, I do it all: I’m a mom, a wife, a gluten-free baker, a crazed entrepreneur and the owner/founder of Glow Gluten Free, a gluten-free food brand.
When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004, I didn’t care if I ever ate another cupcake, bowl of pasta or slice of pizza. But when my daughter Stella was diagnosed, everything changed. She wanted to feel normal and eat the same fun foods as her friends. Since I had been baking my entire life, switching gears to baking gluten-free turned out to be my serendipitous next chapter.
Some of my best memories are baking with my Grandma Sophie. She never used a recipe or a measuring cup – it was always a little of this and a pinch of that and everything always turned out delicious. Me, I’m a perfectionist. Everything measured, weighed and double-checked. So, you can imagine how I totally lost my marbles when I started baking gluten-free and nothing ever came out right. Gluten-free baking can be tricky, but once you figure out which gluten-free flour works best for your recipes, you’ll be a pro in no time.
I’ve been married to my best friend and business partner for 15 years and our very cool teenage daughter, Stella, is the inspiration behind our business. Glow Gluten Free is a real family business, and on weekends you can often find Stella working a demo with us and recommending her favorite gluten-free products to new customers. Connecting with our customers is huge – whether it’s in person, on Facebook or Twitter – every one of them has a story on how celiac disease has changed their lives and it’s an inspiration to be a part of this community. I am grateful to get to do what I love.
If it all sounds wonderful, it is, but it’s a lot to juggle. Every woman struggles with the idea of having it all. How can you be the caring mother, the sexy wife, the supportive best friend and successful entrepreneur all the while looking fabulous 24/7? The answer is… you just can’t. Once I accepted that I felt whole lot better. These days I take it one day at a time and do my very best. Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way:
1. Take care of yourself. In addition to eating right and exercising, I try to do one fun thing just for me everyday. Sometimes a walk in the park, a manicure, a yoga class or meeting a friend for an afternoon tea is the perfect attitude adjustment.
2. I’ve learned the cliche is true: everything in moderation. Eat what and when you want, but not too much.
3. Stay in balance. For me, it’s all about prioritizing. What’s more important: helping my daughter with her homework or taking a call from a retailer? Working out or working on my marketing plan? Baking for my family or baking for my brand? If you’re mindful, it all works out.
4. Challenge yourself. Running a business with your husband has its challenges and rewards. Make sure your partner (in business or life) challenges you everyday to be a better person.
5. Give in to an indulgence every once in a while – whether it’s a cookie or a pair of shoes!