For women, chocolate is more than a food choice, it’s a relationship. Recognizing this unique relationship women have with chocolate and curious about why there wasn’t a women-centered chocolate that she could identify with, set Jean Thompson in action to develop a line of fun, fine, female inspired chocolates. She spent months looking into quantitative and qualitative research regarding women’s attitudes and consumption of their favorite sweet indulgence. Soon after, Chick Chocolates was born.
Jean Thompson is Chief Chick and CEO of Seattle Chocolates, maker of Chick Chocolates. She is also the mother of Danny (16) and Ellie (9). How cool to have a mom that is a real life, totally modern Willy Wonka!
Do you work exclusively in an office, exclusively from home or some combination? What are the pros and cons of your schedule?
I put about 40 hours a week in the office and another 10 or so hours in at home each week. I have a lot of flexibility to work around kids’ schedules or sick days, which takes a lot of the stress of being a working mom off me. I need time in the office to be available for meetings and questions and to have a pulse on what’s going on, but the real work often gets done at home, when I have time to think.
What are the best and worst parts of your job as a chocolate company CEO?
The best part is the creative element – what new can we do to make our products more appealing and stand out? The worst part is any personnel problem, especially if it results in someone needing to be let go.
Would you work if you could afford to stay home?
I can afford to stay home and did for 11 years, but chose to work because it is so intellectually stimulating and good for my self-esteem.
Describe your childcare situation.
I have a local University student who picks up my kids after schools, takes them to activities and gets them started on homework and sometimes, dinner.
How does the question of who earns more in your house effect the domestic workload division, if at all?