Biz Mama: Elise Jaffe of Big Teeth Productions & Fooditude Media

Elise Jaffe of Big Teeth Productions & Fooditude Biz Mama columnElise Jaffe is the “spokesteeth” and Executive Producer of Big Teeth Productions.  She’s also known as “Little Miss Bossy Pants”.  She has over 14 years of experience in Advertising, TV and New Media Production. Her career began in Children’s Television at Reading Rainbow and Blue’s Clues. She’s been a Producer at JWT, Grey New York and DraftFCB, Edelman as well as VSA Partners, Vitamin Pictures and Foundation Content, for clients big and small. She’s never met a schedule she couldn’t organize, a budget she couldn’t manage, or a song she wouldn’t rock out karaoke-style. She is also a Voice Over talent and member of SAGAFTRA. Big Teeth Productions is a Creative Production Studio delivering the goods in live action and animation (sometimes all in one). What they bring to the table is a love of visual storytelling and an ability to get the work done in a fun atmosphere. If their clients are happy and they’re happy, then the product will always be better. They aim to be a partner who understands their client’s vision, is willing to take it a step further, and builds lasting and trusting relationships. Fooditude is a reality based, multi-media program for kids that teaches about life through food. They do this through webisodes, recipes, blogs and more! Elise and I met a few years ago when Big Teeth filmed me for Local First Chicago’s Why Do You Shop Local campaign. It was my first time being on camera and I immediately felt comfortable working with them—it truly was a fun atmosphere. Elise and I recently reconnected through the Founding Moms Chicago and realized we have toddlers around the same age.

Elise Jaffe of Big Teeth Productions & Fooditude Media

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

For both companies I run the business side of things. I do the overall bookkeeping, manage client relationships, create estimates, devise and enforce schedules. On many of our jobs I also do the overall coordination from start to finish. For Fooditude I also coordinate and manage all production and work with partners to coordinate live events. Being an owner of both also means doing constant sales- looking for new clients, whether it be leads or networking events!

What are the ages/genders of your children?

My daughter is 1.5 years old.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I started Big Teeth MANY years before my daughter was born. BUT, I was crazy and started it with my then boyfriend (now husband) after only dating for 9 months. I guess in retrospect its nice I that we started the company together so that we were able to create a work/life balance together.

How did your business life change after having children?

My priorities have changed a lot. I was a bit of a workaholic. I loved work.  While I liked weekends I wasn’t afraid of Monday mornings. I realize now that there are more important things in life and I want to always have time for my child. Owning your own business affords you the luxury of dictating your schedule which frees me to spend more time with my child, but then again, there’s the fear that if you don’t work hard enough you won’t be able to provide for your child. I’ve noticed the biggest change for me has been not taking my computer home at night and not being on it much over the weekend… granted I have a smart phone but I try and keep the tough work at the office!

Describe a typical workday.

I wake up at 5:30 am to hit the gym.  It keeps me sane and its some time for me.  I am home at 7:15 am and I get ready for work. I’m lucky cause my daughter sleeps until 7:30/7:45 am and can play in her crib for a while without fussing. I take her to daycare at 8:00 am and then either run some errands or go right to my office. Every day at work is different but I’m always there to pick her up around 6:15 pm. After that is home, dinner, playtime, bath and bed. It’s not a long chunk of time but its quality!

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

Be realistic and don’t let fear of not having any business eat into the time you plan to have with your family! Don’t miss your child’s first swim class cause a client decides to call you on a Saturday afternoon… set boundaries!
Big Teeth Productions, Inc. | Fooditude Media, LLC
Chicago, IL Twitter @elisejaffe Facebook: elisejaffe