Andrea K. Krell: The life story of a mom CEO
Andrea and Kevin have been married for over 9 years. They decided to start a family at the same time they made the decision to start their own company: YVY. Today, from the heart of Uruguay, Andrea Kruchik Krell, tells us more about how to find the perfect work-life balance, and how motherhood has shaped her CEO style.
With two wonderful kids, Leo and Noa, Andrea and Kevin are fulfilling their dreams while they accomplish every single one of their goals. Their kids are building a strong bond with nature, and together, the couple is creating an impactful company that is improving the lives of many, all over the world.
We invite you to read this great interview given by our CEO. We invite you to see that things can be done in a different way. We invite you to be inspired. We invite you to have a life, better lived.
"Our kids' health is not an outcome of the products they take, but rather of the lifestyle they have."
In the next few paragraphs you’ll see the vision of a CEO who has a human-centered approach. As you read her words, you’ll see that a better world is possible, and that there are people who are doing things today to improve the world of tomorrow.
You’ll also see that when someone's life vision is perfectly aligned with their company’s goals and identity, only good things could happen.
Are you ready to be inspired by Andy, YVY’s CEO? Let’s begin!
1. For YVY, work-life balance is one of its most important values. How do you manage to meet that balance? Are there any practical tips you can give our readers?
For both Kev and myself, finding that work life balance was always going to be a challenge, but it was something we were committed to.
We also knew we wanted to have a shared parenthood. Since it is such an important value for us, and although it is still a work in progress, we also made it an integral part of our culture at YVY, with all our employees.
We are a very young team. Two other teammates also have their own little ones. We make sure to give our employees the flexibility they need to be able to be with their families, and therefore, reach that balance.
Sometimes, as entrepreneurs and founders it is really hard to “disconnect”. Whether we're at home or at the office, we're always working, it’s hard not to talk about work. That being said, we're making an effort to be present at home, especially when we spend time with our kids.
Talking about our industry, cannabis does help a lot. I smoke one puff and suddenly I don't just stare at Leo, our 3 years old, while thinking about work; instead, I actually see him, and pay attention to his emotions. Suddenly I'm more aware of myself and how I'm behaving with him. I slow down, play with him, and it makes it easier to be fully present.
With Noa, our 4 month old baby, I think the pandemic has helped me a lot to find the balance between work and spending time with my baby. Suddenly, remote work became the ‘new normal’ so I don't have that conflict of being able or not to participate in meetings, or having to find someone to take care of the baby while I'm at the office. I actually spend the whole day at home, having meetings while breastfeeding, or walking around with the baby.
2. What tools does being a mom give you, that you can apply in your CEO role, and vice versa?
Starting a family and a company at the same time has so many parallels. You're thrown into this brave, unknown new world in which you don't have a clue of the hows, and in which you're doing everything for the first time.
As parents and leaders of the company, we learn a lot both from our kids and from our employees.
Being a mom made me a lot more grounded and calm. With so little time to do things, it forced me to be more efficient with my time, which is beneficial for all aspects of life and work.
3. How can YVY's mission positively impact your kids' lives in the future?
We want our children to have a different, inclusive, and innovative outlook and understanding of their health and the society’s health in general.
We want the next generations to have access to a whole set of other products that are way more natural, and that are produced with high quality. We want them to have the access their parents did not have.
At the same time, it is truly important for them to comprehend that their health is not an outcome of the products they take, but rather of the lifestyle they have. Of having a life better lived.
We want our kids to be surrounded by nature and to appreciate it. That is why we want to teach them the richness of the soil and all the goodness and abundance that comes from it.
One thing we’d like to do is for them to grow their own food, so they can also help others and themselves to create their own abundance.
4. How has motherhood shaped your style as a CEO?
Besides what I mentioned before about time efficiency, it has also helped me to understand the power of delegation. Today, I rely way more on my team. When it comes to the possibility of working remotely, motherhood has also assisted me to improve my communication skills and to have a better thought process for decision making.
Beforehand, some decisions were made in the office corridor or during an informal chat or meeting. Today, we have group meetings, an established methodology, email chains, and follow-up reports.
Because of motherhood and the pandemic, both happening at the same time, WhatsApp has taken a leading role in our everyday communication; sometimes it even replaces those fun and spontaneous meetings and conversations that would happen at the office.
5. YVY offers the possibility to have a life better lived, how do you transmit this value to your own kids?
We would like them to understand that a life better lived is about challenging the status quo around our health, our work-life balance, and even our relationship with nature.
For our children to actually implement this knowledge, we must be a living example. We, as parents and leaders, need to focus on our mental and physical health. We must also eat well, play, rest, and reflect. One of our main values in life, and one of the most important things we want our children to have is to be kind to all people, and to develop meaningful relationships.
We also transmit this value to our kids by being there for them, spending together more quality and present time; everything, in that constant search of a healthy work-life balance.
Something that truly helps us is involving them in our work and not keeping things separate. Leo, for example, loves going to the cannabis farms, seeing the animals and plants, and getting his hands dirty with soil.
As it is aligned with our brand and work, we are making nature a big part of our children's upbringing. I definitely want them to understand that nature is the essence of our being. I want them to find out that we need to be more in nature, and that we must live harmoniously with it.
Our ultimate dream is to live in a ‘campo’, growing our own food and seeing the kids running around, playing with animals, and learning -through every step they take- to appreciate the wonders of nature.
6. What is YVY doing today to accomplish those goals?
It is our core. It is our people. It is the way in which we see both the world and our company. We are helping small family farms participate in this industry. Everything, while improving biodiversity and crafting more regenerative agricultural practices.
Have a life better lived, we can help out!
We are here to improve the world. If you are struggling to find the perfect work-life balance, or if you are searching for ways in which your kids can be more connected to nature, or if you’re even looking for a nice place to have a wellness retreat in Uruguay, get in touch with us.
We are always happy to help others live better. Besides our consulting services for both Uruguay and Argentina, there are several health and cannabis-related services and products that we can offer you. Let’s speak!