Women in Business Q&A: Galit Laibow, CEO & Co-founder, Foodstirs Modern Baking

Galit Laibow is a seasoned entrepreneur who has devoted her career to building trusted consumer brands. In 2014, Galit co-founded Foodstirs - a modern baking brand whose mission is to help create memorable experiences through baking. As co-founder and CEO of Foodstirs, Galit is leading the charge in disrupting the multibillion-dollar stagnant baking industry by offering consumers organic, non-GMO products that are not only delicious but enhance human connection. Prior to starting Foodstirs, Galit co-founded Ink Public Relations - an agency focused on consumer lifestyle product companies. For over 10 years, Galit lead the Ink PR team in delivering innovative brand awareness campaigns and driving significant results for her clients.

Galit graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. in Public Relations.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

I’ve always been a driven, entrepreneurial person by nature, but I would say the experience of motherhood really changed the type of leader I am and the way I think about business. When I had my two beautiful girls, I started experiencing the same struggles many working moms do – to balance quality time with my kids while still having a successful career. Baking was one thing we discovered we loved to do together and that helped us put down our phones and reconnect in the kitchen. Myself and my co-founders, Greg Fleishman and Sarah Michelle Gellar, had this in common, and it was what inspired us to create Foodstirs Modern Baking; to help all families create those memorable experiences. It’s important to me that my girls have strong and powerful female role models, and through Foodstirs I want to show them that they too can achieve amazing things through hard work and passion – but still having fun doing it! 

How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at Foodstirs?

Before we started Foodstirs, I worked in consumer marketing and PR for more than a decade and founded a boutique lifestyle agency. Working in public relations definitely gave me a unique perspective, not just into the mind of the consumer, but how to market to them. And having already started a business from scratch I knew how to run, manage and grow a successful company.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Foodstirs?

Honestly, there have been so many highlights, and at a rapidly growing start-up we try to make sure that we don’t forget to celebrate those milestones. Our sole purpose is to help families create meaningful experiences through the modernization of home baking. The highlight of nearly every day is knowing that we’re bringing that experience to families across the country; helping them bond and reconnect while creating clean and delicious treats together. A recent highlight is seeing our product roll out on shelves across the country. There is something so incredible about walking into your local grocery store and seeing a shopper choose your product. Not only is this validation that our product is needed, but we are able to touch the lives of families all across the country.

As for challenges, we are trying to reinvent and bring life to what is essentially a sleepy category. People have become complacent when it comes to baking, and we need to educate them that they can have organic, quick-scratch mixes that taste great and are affordable. We are bringing people back to the baking aisle.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?

Stay true to your vision, don’t take no for an answer, and have stamina! There’s always a way to make something happen without compromising your values. I also think one of most important things women – and all entrepreneurs – can do is to surround yourself with passionate, smart people who share your vision. Greg, Sarah Michelle and myself all bring something uniquely different to the table, but as working parents who want nothing more than to create meaningful experiences with our kids, we’re united by a common commitment to use the cleanest, most delicious ingredients that we feel good feeding our children. Surround yourself with great experts and advisors. It’s OK not to have all the answers. The minute you accept help and let go of some of that control, is the minute that your business will benefit. Never be afraid to ask if there is something you don’t know.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

I’ve learned to become more patient and flexible in every aspect of my life. I realize I cannot control everything – particularly in a startup environment where nothing goes to plan and challenges materialize on a regular basis. It is important to always be planning, learning, and adapting to situations quickly.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s definition of work/life balance is different. I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and have never fit into the typical 9-to-5 workday. This stems from wanting it all – an equally thriving personal and professional life. For me, achieving balance is all about planning ahead and having a supportive group of family and friends. It really does take a village. I always make sure that wherever I am at any given moment I give 100 percent of myself. When I am at work I focus on work, and when I am at home, I put my phone down and give my attention to my family (until they are asleep of course!). It’s not easy and sometimes it’s rather messy. It doesn’t look like photos on Instagram! It’s a constant trade off, however, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?

I would say that raising capital is probably one of the harder challenges for women in the workplace. While I do think the landscape is changing, there are still strides to be made. It’s nice to see more female investors enter the marketplace. 

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

Mentorship is one of the most important things in shaping my career. My mentors have not only shared their knowledge generously, they are the ones I can turn to for advice and even major business decisions. In my personal life, my mentors are my mom friends. They are the ones that are there to support me without judgment.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

I admire all females trying to make it work. There is so much to be inspired and encouraged by, that I could never single out just one individual person. I have always believed that when women support each other, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

What do you want Foodstirs to accomplish in the next year?

We are on a crusade to upgrade everyone’s pantries with Foodstirs. This year our focus is growing our retail footprint and our offerings. We hope that one day, the word Foodstirs is synonymous with organic clean baking. We want all families to know they have a better baking mix option and don’t have to compromise taste for values, so it’s pretty exciting to be a part of a brand that’s shaking up the baking aisle and making a difference for families everywhere!  

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