For me, being a “Good Parent” is someone who makes the conscious choice to be there for their child, from the very beginning, and through every day; knowing that there will be fun days and there will be hard, challenging days. For me, this means spending meaningful, quality time with my son and being his “special person” no matter what. It’s being connected with his needs and plugged in with him. It means not going through the motions of just being physically present and providing the basics to survive, but, always showing-up emotionally and showing that I’m there for him in whatever way he needs me; something I know will change in different ways as he grows up.
As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Tirzah Shirai. Tirzah’s entrepreneurial spirit and well-trained aesthetic eye have fueled her passion to create beauty and find inspiration in every aspect of life. Known as an innovative, creative, risk taker that delivers results; Tirzah has disrupted the beauty market with Blinkbar, the go-to chain of lash salons in Los Angeles. With the first location opening in 2015; within in four years’time, Tirzah has grown Blinkbar’s footprint to 5 salons; each showing significant growth in clients and revenue month-over-month; and a brand expression that mirrors the salon experience — a stylish, welcoming, and empowering environment for staff and customers, alike. Blinkbar knows that beauty is not a look, it’s a feeling. It is Tirzah’s spirit of conscious capitalism that has built Blinkbar’s strong platform of success; positioning this brand for expansion in a market that is hungry for this type of connection through self-care. Blinkbar exhibits a rare bold, fearless brand message that is positive, empowering, and uplifting, one that celebrates the diversity of body, skin, and hair types — dispelling the widespread belief that women need cosmetic services and products because they are not good enough.
Tirzah lives in Los Angeles with her son Arrow, and their dog Newton, and cat Opal. In the brief moments that she’s not focused on Blinkbar, Tirzah enjoys reading, volunteer work, and cooking for friends.
Thank you so much for joining us Tirzah! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?
Growing-up on a farm in Alberta Canada, I had a simple and humble upbringing. In those early days, nature provided most of the tools my family needed to sustain and thrive. As such, I was raised with a deep appreciation for nature. My parents were very young when they had my siblings and I, and my mom stayed home to raise us. I loved growing up in a big family full of siblings and having children is something I always wanted for myself as well.
Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?
Before eyelash extensions became this widely desired trend, I was part of this small group of women who were in search of a lash artist that provided consistent, natural-looking results. It was a need that wasn’t being met for women. Realizing this, I became an eyelash technician myself and launched Blinkbar in 2015 with a single pop-up shop on the weekends in Santa Monica. I genuinely wanted to enhance their natural beauty so all women could be their own kind of beautiful. Blinkbar became a destination that women trusted for consistent results and I’m super passionate about its growth and expansion.
Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?
Since being blessed with my son Arrow six months ago, my days look very different; always with his care and well-being at the center, and everything else worked around that. Luckily, I’ve always been a ‘morning person’ and my days usually begin by 6:00am. Over the years, I’ve realized that I’m the most creative during the morning hours, so I block my schedule until 11am to eliminate any interruptions while I’m doing my most important creative work. I’ve been meditating for over a decade, so this helps me get that second wind later in the day. In the afternoon hours, I address my emails and tasks that require less creativity. At the end of my day, I schedule a walk to help gather my thoughts and prioritize for the next day. I try to get to sleep by 10pm every night because the sleep you get before midnight is worth double what you get after.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?
Children thrive on care and connection, and no one is closer to making them feel seen and heard than their own parents. Spending time with our children is the single greatest investment you’ll ever make in their life. The emotional cues they will take forward — how they feel about themselves and others — are all developed in those early years. In addition to enjoying quality time and attention, they will also have a firmly rooted sense of “home” that brings the peace of feeling secure and loved.
On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?
Time is not something we can get back. I remember this every day when I’m with my son. We live in such an amazing time where people don’t have to choose between a career or being a parent. Being an active participant in his social and emotional development is the single most important job I could ever have. Both he and I benefit from this special life-long relationship; and these day-to-day memories become treasures.
According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?
My son, Arrow, is only 6 months old but I can already see that he is so captivated by nature like I was as a child. I love to take him on long walks outside so he can feel and see the world that surrounds him. Mealtime is also a really important time for us to connect. Our nighttime routine is a quiet and relaxing time for us to connect. I enjoy telling him stories and reading him books. I limit technology and turn off my phone during these times so I’m mentally and emotional present. Making quality time with Arrow is my top priority every day. These ‘connecting’ times are the most important hours in my day.
We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.
– Commit to ‘Connecting’ Times — For me, it’s our daily walks, family mealtimes and bedtime routine. In those times I am fully present for and with my son.
– Meditation Breaks — Spend 10–15 minutes reconnecting with yourself after your busy day. It helps me be more present and tuned in when I’m with my son. It helps to “change the channel” from workday to baby time.
– Limit Technology — We tend to always be tempted to check our phones at all hours. When I’m with my son and when others come to my home, I encourage them to place their phones in my “Technology Basket” so we can be present together and not distracted.
– Be obsessive about time — Relentlessly scrutinize how you are spending your time and trust in your team to take things over and handle issues without you where they can.
– Declutter your life — After I adopted Arrow, I found it hugely helpful to take that as an opportunity create space and open energy in my home which really provided me with a renewed sense of control and clarity.
How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?
I think we all define “good parent” in our own way. For me, being a “Good Parent” is someone who makes the conscious choice to be there for their child, from the very beginning, and through every day; knowing that there will be fun days and there will be hard, challenging days. For me, this means spending meaningful, quality time with my son and being his “special person” no matter what. It’s being connected with his needs and plugged in with him. It means not going through the motions of just being physically present and providing the basics to survive, but, always showing-up emotionally and showing that I’m there for him in whatever way he needs me; something I know will change in different ways as he grows up.
How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?
I will always remind him that he can truly accomplish anything he puts his mind and heart into. Even at 6 months old, I’ve already started to encourage Arrow to find whatever that means to him. I want to raise my son seeing firsthand that we can accomplish whatever is meaningful and special to us. For me, that means having a thriving career with parallel importance to being a good parent. I’m excited to see what the future holds for my sweet boy.
How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?
Like all other working parents, I constantly feel like I’m juggling so many priorities and I’m dropping the ball. To me, success is living a well-balanced life. All the spokes on the wheel — family, friends, health, career, etc.- all have to be running well for my life to work.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?
Two of my favorite books that have inspired me to be a better parent are No Drama Discipline and Simplicity Parenting. Sometimes I believe parents confuse buying products as being a good parent. I really believe in simplicity and minimalism when it comes to material objects for my son. My peers in YPO have been such a huge support system. My management team also inspires me a great deal — everyone on my executive team has children so it’s a blessing to share the experiences together.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Done is better than perfect” — We often paralyze ourselves with perfection and believe done means over. Perfection is an unattainable ideal while done allows us to accomplish and continue to develop.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be cultivating social change where meaningful dialogue is encouraged between people who share a varying point of view. We need to create a world of constructive dialogue, listening and being open to other perspectives.
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!