Karolina Kurkova on Quarantining with Kids, Growing a Small Business During Covid-19 and More! - Newport Mesa Moms

Like many of us, Karolina Kurkova is spending more time than ever with her two kids, while practicing social distancing at her Miami home. At the same time, the supermodel is working hard on her various projects, including her Gryph + IvyRose line, which include natural, immune-boosting products, from chocolate probiotics to herbal elixirs to chemical-free bath and body products (for the whole family).

We spoke to Karolina about her quarantine life with kids, building a small business during these strange times and the power of staying positive (which helps with both!).

How have you talked to your two boys (ages 10 and 4) about the virus/why they’re at home?
My 10-year-old can comprehend it, and we’ve watched videos that explain it. With the little one, he kind of has an idea why we’re not doing playdates or going to his favorite places. He knows we have to keep our distance and when the virus goes away we can do all these fun things again.

How are you keeping them busy?
We are doing online homeschooling so my 10-year-old is doing online school Monday to Friday with his teachers, and with the little one, I’m sort of doing home schooling with him. He has videos but I also try to do other activities that I know he likes.

How are you making it work with two kids and with work?
It’s really about going with the flow right now. There’s so much to do with the household, cooking, making snacks and trying to do activities and a little bit of work—nothing is set in stone and some days we do better than others. I do sometimes have to put the TV on or let them play on their own so I can get something done I need to get done.

Going with the flow is great advice. What are some of the activities you’re doing?
My 10-year-old is pretty self-sufficient. But once he’s done with his day, we go for a walk (once it cools off–it is very hot and humid where we are in Florida). I want to keep him away from bluelight, computers and TV because his school is online. We’ve even played laser tech around the house which isn’t my favorite thing, but I have two boys and they love it! And with the other one, puzzles or drawing. It’s also a great time and opportunity to teach them how to be more independent and teach them how to do things, like baking or making a smoothie. The other day we even made our own ginger ale!

How are you getting anything done? I think we’re all trying to figure that out…
I need to work on my different projects and can’t just ignore that, but am trying to spend that quality time with them. My husband is also busy, so making sure I can have that hour or two hours to do a little workout or make work phone calls has been essential. My mom and dad are still here from Europe and visiting and can help. They’ve been with us two months and we are waiting for a window where it is safe for them to go home. My mom is helping with home chores like cooking and vacuuming and my dad is really good at dishes. It’s very humbling to come back to the basics. This is how I grew up and it’s important to show the boys how everyone pitches in.

Are you practicing any self-care/dealing with stress in specific ways, like Zoom calls with friends?
There is not really time to call friends—it’s a full house and the kids are home. And dealing with your partner…There is no time to even be together and have a date or leave and grab a meal. It’s stressful and a test of your vows..through the good and bad! But we find time to go out and bike ride or go for a walk. I try if I can to do a little bit of workout or go for a walk and listen to music. That’s important for me – then I can go harder and longer with everything I need to do during the day. Every other minute I’m working on my projects like Gryph + IvyRose which is a small startup brand. We’re working on creating content and trying to be there for our community and customers and also pay the bills. It’s not an easy time for small businesses.

Speaking of Gryph + IvyRose, what products are you using most during quarantine?
I’ve been using a lot of Forceshield, our immune support elixir. I put it in the kids’ water. I also give them the chocolate probiotic hearts  (vanilla for the kids and the chocolate for me). They think it’s a little treat.

And you’re creating a mask line with a friend…
We have the kids wear little face masks if they want to come with me to the market in our community for takeout. With the little ones they’re putting their fingers in their mouths and touching their faces so often.  But the mask reminds them not to.  [My friend who is a tailor] and I are making ones with fun fabrics and patterns. We will share details when they are ready. We’re donating 2500 non-medical masks to support local seamstresses and manufacturing. Profits will go to either Feeding America or a local organization helping those on the front lines.

Why is Feeding America a favorite cause?
There are a lot of amazing organizations but I’ve worked on many occasions with them in New York and in kitchens and food pantries, and also in Miami. Sometimes I’ve taken my children. I’m a mom and I can’t imagine if I wasn’t able to give a meal to my kids. Food is crucial to function, to learn, to retain information if you’re in school, or do sports. Feeding America is feeding families and supplementing them with healthy foods.

Can’t wait to share once you’re up and running! How important is staying positive during this time, as the owner of a small business?
I think staying positive as a small business owner is really important—but also even if you don’t own a small business. It’s a very powerful thing and not hard to do – to smile. There is so much healing in a smile. We [Gryph +IvyRose] do of course need people’s support. It is a very sensitive time and we’re taking it day by day. We’re adapting quickly and because we’re a small business we’re able to do that. If we were larger there might be more layers to go through or slower communication. This experience forces you to be more creative and reach out to your community for help and support. We’re all in this together and we will get through this together. When you do good it always comes back to you.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Our products are created with a pediatrician, Chinese Herbalist, Acupuncturist and other experts. We offer help with everything from immunity to sleep. We are offering discounts now and trying to give back to the community.  

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