- Hope Dworaczyk Smith is the founder of skincare brand Mutha and mother of four children.
- Her brand is on track to net $3 million in sales this year, Smith tells Insider.
- In an interview, Smith breaks down her typical day, which includes precious time for herself.
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No matter how chaotic the upcoming day looks for Hope Dworaczyk Smith, the business owner and mother of four makes herself an iced oat milk latte.
“I’m non-stop 14 hours a day so I’ve made a commitment to myself to sit for my coffee every day,” Smith, 36, told Insider. “It’s a small ritual that helps me to prioritize myself before the day begins.”
Smith is the founder of skincare line Mutha, which is on track to net $3 million in sales this year, she told Insider. She balances motherhood and entrepreneurship by adhering to a schedule that includes time for herself, whether that’s an early-morning caffeine fix or nightly skincare routine.
She broke down a typical day, which includes helping homeschool her children and planning photoshoots via Zoom.
From modeling to making better skincare products
Smith’s interest in skincare started at an early age. Hailing from Victoria, Texas, she started her career as a model signed to Wilhelmina, where she became Playmate of the Year and walked the runway for high-end designers like Balenciaga.
Smith saved up her modeling money, obtained her esthetician license, and, in 2005, opened a medical spa called Oasis Med Spa in Houston, Texas. There, she led a team that performed procedures such as laser hair removal and non-surgical face-lifts before selling for an undisclosed amount two years later.
After Texas, Smith moved to New York City where she continued modeling and appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011. Four years later, she married billionaire Robert Smith. The CEO and founder of investment firm Vista Equity made headlines two years ago after paying off the student loan debt for Morehouse College’s 2019 graduating class.
While pregnant with her first child, Smith sought a product with safe ingredients that would lighten her stretch marks. However, nothing on the market met her criteria.
Instead, Smith bought components, mixed them in her kitchen, and created her own solution. She formulated them to European Union standards, which bans over 1,000 harmful chemicals from beauty products, while the US only bans 11.
Smith shipped her body butter and oil to friends, celebrities, and makeup artists, building a cult following through word of mouth. The positive feedback encouraged her to launch Mutha.
Today, Mutha products are sold in retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Goop, and Violet Grey and range between $60 and $150.
Her day begins before 8 a.m.
Smith begins her day by caring for her children, who are all under the age of six – they’re fed, dressed, and ready for homeschool by 8:15. Then, she heads to her home office, where she works on Mutha.
Before heading into a day full of meetings, Smith showers, practices yoga, and tries to maintain a routine, she said. That includes eating the same breakfast every day – two eggs, one avocado, and a gluten-free blueberry pancake.
On the day Smith spoke with Insider, when she signs into work, she’s expanding her product line. She hopes to launch 10 more items by the end of the year, including a natural deodorant.
Her favorite part of running a business is being imaginative. “I love seeing a vision come to life from the initial creative concept to watching the models and photographers in action,” she said. “Then, seeing the final results and sharing it with the world.”
Her first meeting is around 8:30 am
On this day, she had meetings with her chief operating officer, a chemist, and members of the marketing team to discuss product developments, analyze new product formulas, and give feedback on a fresh brand campaign in New York.
There are currently seven people working full-time for Mutha, which depends heavily on social media to help expand its client base.
Mutha’s growth has been organic and it does not pay influencers to promote its products online, Smith said. The business’s main strategy is to generate content to keep followers and customers engaged and informed about the happenings of the brand.
On Instagram, for example, Mutha polls customers about which products they feel are missing from the brand. “Social media is a way to get direct feedback from our followers and customers,” Smith said.
Last year, the company launched a campaign called Bad Mutha to combat the trend of shaming mothers who don’t adhere to traditional parenting norms. It partnered with high-profile figures and mothers such as “Bling Empire” star Christina Chiu and actress Emma Roberts for a campaign centered on female empowerment.
“It was uniting in solidarity to end the clicks and whispers of trying to one-up each other,” Smith said. “It’s about supporting each other, whether it’s in the workplace or when raising a child.”
At 12:15, she takes a quick lunch break
Smith typically eats lunch with her children, opting for a protein-rich meal and pairing it with a vegetable.
Throughout the day, she makes sure to check on her kids and help with assignments and homework.
“If I have time between meetings and the kids are in school, you can find me reading non-fiction books about leadership, business, and self-improvement,” she said, listing off some of her favorite books as being “The Code Breaker” by Walter Isaacson, “The Whiteness of Wealth” by Dorthy Brown and and “Metahuman” by Deepak Chopra.
She ends the workday around 4 p.m.
After her last phone call, which typically takes place at 4 p.m., Smith spends time with her husband and children. Occasionally she indulges in a dirty martini.
By 10 p.m., she is ready for bed. Smith performs her nightly routine to unwind, including lathering herself in her own body butter. “It’s time I give to myself when I’ve given much of myself to everyone else throughout the long day,” she said.
Then she goes to bed and wakes up to do it all over again tomorrow.