A new mom helps Etsy take on maternity leave and motherhood

Maybrooks + Motherly caught up with Cheyne Little, a product education manager at Etsy about how the company supports its mothers as employees, sellers and customers. Here’s what Cheyne had to say about how her work and personal lives coexist at the makers marketplace.

A Pilot Program for New Moms at Etsy


Cheyne Little, Product Education Manager, Etsy


Brooklyn, NY


Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm ET


Carys (daughter) 7 months


Cranberry + white chocolate oatmeal lactation cookies (made by my mother-in-law)


Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager, by Michael Lopp


Parks & Recreation or The Good Wife


I live by my iPhone and keep my team organized with Basecamp


Since I’m still nursing, I get ready in the morning and wear a robe until right before I’m walking out the door to head to work.


Carys is still young so we mainly like to walk in the park and meet our neighbors’ dogs.

Tell us about your working mom journey. What are you doing now and how did you get here?

Back in

2007 I started my own Etsy shop selling accessories and handbags I made

in my studio in Texas. I loved running my business but was looking for a

big change and an opportunity to work with a team. Four and a half

years ago, I landed a job working working on Etsy’s Community team. I

moved to Brooklyn and started my job the very next day. Since then, I’ve

had great opportunities for growth within the company. Now, I’m happy

to be managing a team of four, focused on helping our sellers use our

site tools to help run their businesses.

You’re part of a pilot program at

Etsy where as a new primary care giver you receive executive coaching to

help you transition back into work with a baby. How is this going and

what are you learning?


coaching sessions have been my lifeline after returning four months ago!

On the professional side, my coach helps me work through prioritizing

my team needs. Time has never been more valuable and I’ve needed to

adapt from my previous go-to methods.

What I

personally find most refreshing about the program is how real we can be

with each other. A few weeks after I returned to work, I realized this

was the first time in many years that I couldn’t give all of myself to

my work — my time, my energy, my heart (all of which I gave willingly

and passionately). It felt so confusing to realize I had something else I

wanted to pour myself into.

Having my

daughter has been a much more transformative experience than I ever

imagined. I often feel like I’m a different person and it’s great to

have someone help me organize my thoughts and to know that I’m not doing

it alone.

How has becoming a parent changed the way you manage your team?

Becoming a

parent has generally made me more patient and mindful of others, which

has certainly affected how I approach my relationships at work. I feel

much more empathetic and I want my team to succeed now more than ever.

You also co-wrote with other mothers at Etsy a guide to using the parent’s lounge (aka pump room). What does the guide cover?

New mothers

have enough on their plate. It’s so important that returning moms

aren’t stressed or embarrassed about how everything is going to work

with pumping at the office. Once we published the guide, we shared it

with the entire company with the hopes that it would increase awareness

and support for returning moms (and make everyone feel supported and

comfortable upon their return from maternity leave).

The guide covers:

  • How to book a room & what to expect in each
  • How to buy a breast pump using our health insurance
  • A step-by-step with reminders of things to bring and how to stay comfy if it’s your first time using the room
  • Extra

    resources for moms who are struggling with getting the results they want

    or run into other complications with nursing and pumping

It sounds like many of the

executives at Etsy are leading by example when it comes to work and

family. Can you give us some examples of what this looks like/means



significant number of people on our executive team have a family of

their own. The executives who started their families while working at

Etsy took full advantage of our parental leave policies, including our

CEO Chad Dickerson.

I’m lucky

to have my daughter pretty close to the office and our culture is super

family-friendly, so she’s come and visited for lunch a few times. The

last time my daughter visited the office, our CEO Chad stopped by to see

her and chatted with me about being a parent. It feels right that I’ve

never felt as though I should hide that part of my life from my colleagues and teammates.

At Etsy, I

feel I’m encouraged to be a whole, 3-dimensional person, not just an

employee. From our annual talent show to our Etsy School program (where

employees teach and learn new skills from each other, from jewelry

making to 3D printing) we share and celebrate the things we’re

passionate about that extend far beyond our day-to-day work.


basically loves babies. New members of the Etsy family are often

welcomed through an emphatic, company-wide email. We get Etsy baby

gifts. We have an annual Halloween party just for kids and dogs. Our

kitchens have high chairs to encourage lunch visits with family. These

are just a few, seemingly small choices that make me feel that my child

is just as celebrated at Etsy as I am.

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Mama bear image via Le Chic Monogram.

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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