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Dad entrepreneurs share how they keep family a priority

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Owning a business and being a dad

These dad-preneurs show how their families play a vital role in their businesses, and how they keep their kids a priority.

Ryan Lafrenz of AXL Brand

Owning a business and being a dad

Ryan Lafrenz of AXL Brand infant apparel was inspired by his little boy, Anderson — whose initials just happen to be AXL. As a dad of two, he has faced the challenges of being a working dad and also successful entrepreneur by being able to combine work and family. Inspiration began shortly after Anderson's birth. "We weren’t finding the simple, clean and modern basics that we’d prefer, so we decided to make our own," he tells us. "This also provided us with an opportunity to incorporate how we felt about materials [like] incredibly soft organic cottons and fit."

Lafrenz's two children continually inspire and help shape the direction of the company. "Overall, our kids drive my desire to build AXL Brand into a sustainable and long-term brand," he shares. "We’re proud of what we’re bringing to the marketplace and how we go about it. This is something that I started because of them and would love for them to be a part of it in some capacity as they get older. "

Finding a balance between work and family time is a challenge for Lafrenz, just like it is for any other working parent. "We’re extremely lucky to be a family-based business with the flexibility to work around the schedules of two active toddlers," he shares. "Fortunately for us, much of what we do can be accomplished at any hour of the day or night."

That flexibility has allowed Lafrenz to be there for the moments that he finds the most important — making breakfast, giving the kids a bath and tucking them into bed. He understands that it's not always possible for dads to be as flexible as he's allowed to be based on the nature of work. But being there for celebrations, games and mealtime is essential to building priceless memories.

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