Every few months, I will be featuring an inspiring mother as the Rooted Wellness ‘Mama of the Moment.’ Our very first mama of the month is Lisa Binderow, CEO and founder of NicePipes, an apparel company offering a line of leg and arm warmers made from the same sweat-wicking fabric as yoga pants.
Besides running a successful business, Lisa is also a new mom to a four-month old daughter, Siena. We sat down with Lisa to talk about all things wellness and how she stays sane as a CEO and new mom.
What inspired you to start your business?
I am a Yoga teacher, and I have been a student of yoga for almost 15 years now. I am also a SoCal girl, and when I moved to NYC, I found myself running around the city, teaching classes and freezing cold in all my yoga apparel because they were all cropped leggings and light tops. I didn’t want to buy new workout clothes but there was no way that what I had was going to get me through the winter. I went on a search for leg warmers but could only find those acrylic knit legwarmers that are really itchy and don’t stay up well. So, I created my own pairs of updated legwarmers and arm-warmers from yoga pant material that was stretchy, soft, and sweat wicking! I wore them to teach class and my students and teachers all wanted their own pair of pipes. So, I started small and it grew from there.
As a CEO and new mom, how do you define balance?
I think life is full of ebbs and flows – sometimes you spend more time at your job than being a mom, or you are working hard at being a mom more than in the office. I find balance by checking in with myself regularly. If I feel out of whack then I know I am either pushing or pulling in one direction too much, and I know I need to recalibrate.
How do you carve out self-care time during the week?
My daughter, Siena, is four months old so I am still trying to figure it out! A lot of routines that I used to have before don’t work with my schedule anymore. I used to meditate or stretch at the end and beginning of every day but now that time is dedicated to nursing, diaper changes, and bedtime routine. Now, I have to find still moments within the day, whether it’s going to a lunchtime yoga class or walking home from a meeting and listening to a great song rather than hopping in a cab.
How did you stay healthy and feeling good during your pregnancy?
I’m grateful that I love to eat healthy nutrient rich foods. Avocado, coconut oil, sunflower seed butter are eaten daily. I also did a lot of prenatal yoga. Overall, I was conscious to really increase my self-care. I made it a major priority while pregnant. I made sure to get lots of naps, massages, and baths and kept myself in a state of R&R through diet, exercise and meditation as much as possible.
As a yoga instructor, do you supplement your yoga practice with other forms of exercise?
I trade off between running, going to Tracy Anderson Method, and going to yoga. To me, that helps me to find a well-rounded active lifestyle, so I’m never going too far in one direction. The more I work out, the more I can appreciate yoga for what it is meant to be for – a meditative, relaxing and introspective practice, rather than a workout. It is great that yoga can be athletic and active, but I use it more for restoration, knowing that following day I’ll get my butt kicked at Tracy Anderson.
What does your ideal food day look like?
In the morning, I also always have a cup of soaked chia seeds first thing and a coffee with coconut milk. Then, I have a huge bowl of gluten-free oatmeal with coconut oil, maple syrup, collagen proteins, cinnamon and salt. I’m nursing, so I’m really hungry and look forward to a huge bowl every morning. For lunch, I found these gluten-free wraps that I love and use those to hold together organic, antibiotic-free, hormone-free chicken or turkey with spinach and avocado. My snack is usually an apple and sunflower seed butter. Dinner is ever changing right now because I am still getting used to putting a baby to bed. Sometimes, it’s as simple as sunflower seed butter and jam on gluten-free bread, but if I have time I love ordering from Mulberry & Vine, a healthy restaurant in my neighborhood. I’m still figuring dinner out!
You appeared on Shark Tank and walked away from a large deal. What inspired you to make this decision?
There were a couple of reasons I walked away. One, Barbara Corcoran (one of the investors/hosts) wouldn’t come down from wanting to acquire 40% of my business. After two and a half years of hard work, I didn’t want to give away 40%. Two, I realized in that moment, during taping back in June, not only would I be giving away almost half of my business, I would also be giving away the balance in my life. What I would be taking on would rock my world and take away the chance for balance and wellness, which is more important to me than having a multi-million-dollar business. I am very happy with the success of my business and where I am now. Maybe it’s not the biggest it could possibly be, but it fits me really well.
What’s your favorite part about being a new mom?
Being a new mom has opened up my capacity for loving someone because I am fully responsible for their wellbeing. I have this newfound massive appreciation of moms. My sister and friends are moms and now I fully understand the intensity of it. I see other moms on the street and I want to stop them and say “good for you! You are doing it!!”
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness has definitely come up a lot for me as someone who started their own business because as every entrepreneur knows, the tipping scale starts to go way more in favor of taking care of your business over taking care of yourself. I do think it is very hard to be as successful as you could be without sacrificing your wellness. So, for me, it comes back to the idea of balance – when I feel imbalanced, exhausted or anxious – feelings that are not cohesive with a well-balanced life – that’s when I know I have to pull back on a lot of different things like over doing or over worrying about everything. I examine where I need to allow space for softness and then adjust. For me, I find wellness when I allow things to just be and stop giving so much meaning or stop judging everything that I am doing.
What’s your favorite wellness trend? Least favorite?
My favorite wellness trend is bone broth. I’ve been doing it for so long. I love it and think it is so healing. I guess I would say my least favorite is that there are a lot of products out there that say they are good for you but actually are not at all. I hate that there are people out there thinking they are being healthy, but are actually being tricked by false advertising!
What are you looking forward to most about fall?
I love the weather, it’s my favorite season! The temperature, the warm drinks, wearing light jackets and the changing leaves. If only winter wasn’t around the corner...
Can you summarize your approach to health in a word or phrase?
Creating balance through a non-judgmental view of yourself, your work or your role as a mother, wife, friend and daughter.