Working Mamas Rock Interview Series #1: Christina Seid of Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Here at Phil and Mama, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Seid, an author, entrepreneur, and the owner of The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (CICF) located in the lower east side of NYC. For their birthdays, my grandparents who live in Chinatown would always order CICF cakes. Their favorite flavors were lychee, ginger, mango, and red bean. I always looked out for the largest slices! A few years ago, I crashed a birthday party with one of my besties. There, I met the birthday girl: Christina! Imagine how impressed I was to be introduced to someone around my age who ran the iconic ice cream shop that my family frequented! Christina was so warm and friendly to her friends and me (a stranger who crashed her party!), and she gave out yummy cupcakes!

Without further ado, I present to you the first interview of our Working Mamas Rock! Series, starting with Christina, the hardworking and inspiring mama of Persephone!

Interview with Christina Seid

 Christina and persephone

Christina and persephone

to begin...

Q: What have you learned about leadership and entrepreneurship that has helped you as a new parent?
A: Being an entrepreneur has taught me to always be flexible. That has helped so much as a parent.  Live by your own rules and raise your child the best way you find fit.  Don't try to fit a mold or go by the book.  

having fun

Q: What’s your favorite children’s book? Favorite Play-Doh color?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  Purple

Q: Which ice cream flavor did you crave the most during pregnancy?
A: CICF Almond Cookie and Pumpkin Pie.

Q: Where's your favorite vacation spot? Do you recommend it for new parents and their babies?
A: My favorite vacation spot would be the Maldives. Where I would vacation by myself is very different now that I have my own family. The first real vacation we took our daughter Persephone on was when she was eight months old; we went on a cruise from NYC to the Bahamas.  We didn't even leave the boat, and it was the perfect!

It was great because we didn't have to worry about flying or delays.  We just boarded the ship and our vacation started then.  I highly recommend the Norwegian Freestyle Cruising because they have a variety of eating options that are open at anytime. Other bonuses are that they have Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer aboard the ship, which children love. They also have a water area designed for small children.

Q: Do you know what Shopkins are? (LOL)
A: Yes I do!  I've seen the commercials!

your inspiration

Q: Where do you find your inspiration? Any different from before you became a mommy?
 A: I find inspiration from my loved ones.  Now that I'm a Mom, I think of a lot of other projects that are more along the line of kids.  We now carry onesies and bibs at the store at CICF.  I'm also currently working on my second children's book.  

share a recipe

Q: What's your favorite ten-minute recipe?
A: I cheat a little by making a big batch of homemade chicken and vegetable wontons and keep them in the freezer.  Then as I need them, I just cook them with some chicken broth and noodles and throw in some veggies and a soft boiled egg.

what if...

Q: ...you had five extra waking hours each day, what would you do?
A: I'd spend two hours more sleeping, one hour more focusing on the stock market and my trading, and the last two hours enjoying baking and cooking more.

parenting and working just fit...

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?
A: Having a child has made me weed out things I didn't need in my life.  My time is more precious because there is less of it.  I try to concentrate on mainly just working and my family.  There are days where I leave before Persephone wakes up, and I may come home when she is sleeping. There are also other days I have more time for her. I focus more on the quality of the time versus the quantity of the time.  I make sure to be fully present when we are together rather than just letting her play with the iPad.

Q: What was one piece of advice shared with you that really helped and stuck with you as a new parent?
A: Don't get too attached to the time-frames for milestones.  Some kids do things earlier and some later than others. Persephone was a super early walker at eight months while her speaking was a little delayed.  Some parents pushed me to get her tested, but I was confident she would be fine and she just needed a little more time.  Now she talks all the time.  

Q: What advice would you give to new parents who have to go back to work like tomorrow?
A: Work is something to look forward to. Yes, you will miss your little one, but you'll appreciate them that much more when you come home to them. 

Q: Many new parents feel guilty about leaving their children to go back to work. What advice do you have for them?
A: I actually didn't experience feeling guilty when I went back to work!  I had a c-section and was home for a month and I thought that going back was a great way to balance out being home too much.  Also children eventually understand that you have to go to work.  They will also have their own things to do too like go to school.  Now that Persephone is three years old and can articulate, she says things like, "I go to school and Mommy goes to work to make ice cream.  Okay.  See you later!".   

Kids are more okay than you think they are.

finally, terrible or terrific?

Q: Terrible twos or terrific twos?
A: Terrible twos are not as bad as the Terrible threes!  Just kidding... I'm convinced every age will have their challenges so I am just rolling with the punches. Toddlers can test your patience but there are some wonderful moments as well.  When my daughter kisses me and tells me she loves me, it melts my heart! It is all worth it.

Visit Christina's blog, Christina of Chinatown at: http://www.christinaofchinatown.com and follow her on twitter!

If you know an amazing working mama (or are one yourself) who would like to be interviewed for this series, please contact us today! While all mamas are super, the focus of this series is on working mamas.