Susana McMillian photographed by Alex Taman
What prompted you to start native wilds?
I started Native Wilds after the birth of my kids 13 months apart. Motherhood was such a transformative experience for me, and I wanted to create a platform to connect with new moms. I also needed so much gear to get out of the house, and knew there had to be a way to design smarter items that could multi-task like a mom! I created and patented our signature Nest®, a nursing scarf, car seat cover, and cart cover all in one, with a handy, built-in pocket to keep track of essentials on the go. It eliminated about 5 bulky items out of my diaper back into one stylish item that I could wear in order to be more hands free.
How do you maintain a balance between being a mother of two, a business owner, and sister of 3 ( who all live in LA)?
I’ve learned to say no! I used to think I was endless and said yes to everything and everyone, then I would feel drained and overwhelmed at the end of everyday. It was liberating for me to realize that I am limited in what I can offer to my work, children, partner, and ultimately myself every day, so I really have to prioritize what is important each day and it’s varies. Some days I’ll need to take time for myself, others I can dive into work, and I always try to maximize time spent unplugged enjoying my kids.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from being a mother?
Caring for my children actually taught me how to care for myself for the first time in my life. Nurturing them taught me to slow down and create rituals, to become present and attuned to the beauty of the moment.
What was the most challenging aspect of starting your own business and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging aspect about starting my own business was feeling like I had to have a solid plan of action or everything together before I took the first few steps! I remember reading a quote from Arthur Ashe that really impacted me, he said “Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can." It’s really become my mantra. There’s never a perfect time to start a new business and there will never be a guidebook for how to navigate the challenges along the way, especially as a new mom and learning an entirely new and emerging industry. I quickly learned the value of relying on my own intuition, aligning with mentors, and to not underestimate the momentum that comes with doing one thing each day to work towards your dream.
What do you like most about being a woman?
I love how multi-dimensional women are. We can shape shift into infinite versions of ourselves and show up to our life in new ways moment to moment. We are leaders, creators, teachers, story tellers, healers, and life-givers.
What is an Ideal Woman to you?
An ideal women to me is one in alignment with her true nature, speaking her truth and accepting of herself in mind, body, and spirit.
Who are you crushing on and why?
Emma Gonzalez! I think she is fearless and inspiring.