We’ve got an inspiring treat on our business blog today with the leading lady behind nekter Juice Bar! Rockstar mom and founder of the brand, Alexis Schulze, is the creative force behind this amazing restaurant that’s constantly revamping their menu of juices, smoothies, bowls, and healthy snacks to stay on top of the latest health and food news! AKA, she’s making being healthy easily accessible and delicious! Nekter began from this working mom’s desire for more health conscious food choices for her family and has grown astoundingly in the four years since its creation. Read on for her encouraging insight on balancing work and kids, and why juicing is here to stay!
Name: Alexis Schulze
Company: nekter Juice Bar
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer
Location: Founded in Costa Mesa 4 years ago, almost 50 locations in California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Nevada
Kids: Bobby (13) and Donovan (10)
We love nekter Juice Bar (and can feel good about eating it!)! Tell us a little bit about how it all began!
I had actually gotten my Masters degree in Education and began working as a teacher. After taking a hard look at my students’ school lunches, I realized there had to be a better way to feed kids and of course, my own family. I began my juicing journey at a local health food store, where I would experiment with customizing my juice order each day. I took the process into my own hands – and kitchen – creating healthy all-natural fruit and veggie blends and smoothies, using my husband (Nekter Juice Bar Co-Founder, President and CEO, Steve Schulze) and our sons as taste testers. We wanted to find a way to bring the benefits of juicing to the people in an approachable, accessible, and affordable way. We opened our flagship Costa Mesa location four years ago, and now we have almost 50 locations in Northern and Southern California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Nevada.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Haha! Nothing is typical when you are a working mom! But I try to get in a yoga or spin class everyday – that’s my only sanity some days. And then I quickly shower, grab my juice (usually it’s a Greenie with extra lemon) and head to the office. I have meetings on most days, but I try to spend a large portion of my free time researching food trends, health and wellness and creating new foods and drinks. I love the creative part the most so I know I have to set strict boundaries to make sure that happens.
How do you balance being a working mom?
Balance is always in flux. But I have realized that I have to be firm about my boundaries or nobody else will be. My workout happens first, and I schedule most of my meetings around that with little exceptions. To save time, I eat lunch while I work and try to make it home in time for when the kids get home from school. The biggest lesson I think comes from being a yogi- I let perfection go. I can’t, nor will be, the best at any of my jobs, but I do the best I can at juggling and balancing knowing some days it could all be a giant mess and other days I feel like a rockstar. Everything ends up working out, and I learn something new everyday!
Has there ever been a breaking point when you didn’t think you could do both? What got you through?
Yes! I was tired of juggling both by the end of the school year (2014 was the year of our big expansion). This summer I was thinking I would work less and have some fun days with my boys. That was crazy. It was more stressful not to be in the office, even if I was gone just for a little while. I ended up having a sitter come in two full days to help – I couldn’t be in two places at once. I prefer to be to 100% present in the place I am instead of trying to check email while I’m at the beach with my family, etc. Sometimes we have to get some help. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
What do you love most about your job?
It is a tie. I love knowing that I am making people healthier. I also love the creative freedom to be able to come up with fun new drinks and foods. Cooking was always just a hobby until now!
What do you love most about being a mom?
I just love kids in general. My kids and I have a lot of laughs; total boy humor and they’re pretty funny. But my most favorite part is cuddling in bed reading and talking about their day. There is nothing better.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: I always wanted to be a teacher. Never thought about a juice bar 🙂
Beauty secret: Juice of course! Makes your skin fabulous!
Celebrity style crush: Jessica Alba or Jennifer Aniston- age appropriate and always classy!
Secret talent: I can talk in all types of voices. Came in handy as a teacher!
I can’t live without: my ”Greenie” extra lemon! And maybe French fries (shhhh!)