Moms wear a lot of hats — and working moms often feel like they’re being pulled in a million different directions, each and every day. Sam Schacher — host of Daily Blast Live (DBL), owner (along with her husband) of the candle company Biren & Co., and mom of toddler daughter, Sophie, with one on the way (congrats, Sam!) — gets this and talks openly about it. All of it. Which we love.
We’re sharing our conversation with her today — because we can all learn from each other and feel more sane and connected by sharing our struggles and celebrating our successes together.
How long have you been on Daily Blast Live and how has it changed you?
I was brought in to help develop Daily Blast Live back in early 2017, months before the show premiered in September of 2017. It was crazy, because I was pregnant and had heard buzz about the show from my good friend, Karamo Brown (who was then attached to DBL, and later couldn’t do it because of Queer Eye on Netflix). Coincidentally, Lisa Kridos (a woman in Hollywood I greatly look up to, who has developed and worked on so many successful shows like Good Day LA, E! News, Ricki Lake, American Idol, etc.) was spearheading it, and I just knew in my bones I had to be a part of something so groundbreaking; no television show was properly combining both digital and broadcast, and no other show in television had ever been LIVE in every time zone. It felt relevant and exciting, and so I reached out to her.
Fast forward to her introducing me to another exceptional person, Bob Sullivan, who created the show. We met at a Cheesecake Factory, I was six months pregnant, and after a long lunch, they hired me right then and there. It was the most unconventional, but most natural meeting/audition I have ever had. Funny how those things just work out, when you least expect it. It was the most exciting and rewarding feeling. Not only to be a part of something that has never been done before, but also to work with two people who had such faith in me, and weren’t hesitant to hire a pregnant woman (laughs). I wish more people in positions of power would follow suit.
As for how this show has changed me: well, greatly. For one, we left everything behind in LA, and started a new life here in Denver, Colo. … which we love! DBL has completely changed me as a host and as a person: We are LIVE in every time zone and we shoot six shows a day, so we need to be off-the-cuff, transparent, and ready to pivot at a moment’s notice if something breaks. This show has taught me to see both sides, and to not be so strident in my opinion, which I have been guilty of in the past. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to listen to my co-hosts opinions, as well as our viewers’ opinions, and to understand both sides … it has given me duality of thought, and I so appreciate that, because now more than ever our media and our country needs less divisiveness.
Do you have an on-air persona at all? How do you decide how much to share about your personal life?
What separates DBL from the other TV talk shows is that we are as real as it gets. We share it ALL with our viewers, and it has been cathartic — like when I opened up about suffering from postpartum depression (PPD). We cry, we fight, we process LIVE breaking news authentically right along with our viewers — so my on-air persona is my off-air persona, and the same goes for my co-hosts. The only thing different is probably the fact that I can’t wear my off-air wardrobe, which are old band-tees and jeans (laughs).
You mention opening up about postpartum depression on the show. Why was that important to you?
It wasn’t planned, it just came out. We were covering a story about PPD, and I looked into the camera, and I just couldn’t hide it anymore; I have a connection with our viewers and felt safe opening up to them. I burst into tears and shared my experience. My co-hosts were aware, and so incredibly supportive, and the response I got from our viewers was beyond what I needed at that moment; so many women opened up to me and shared their experiences, and it became the light during a very dark time.
I hope people are starting to better understand PPD, and mental illnesses in general … it’s not something you can just get over … therefore we need to continue to destigmatize it so more people feel comfortable getting treatment. As my good friend, Dr. Drew, always says, “We must treat above the neck like we would below the neck.”
You have also been open about breastfeeding, even pumping live on air. Can you talk about that?
Again, it wasn’t planned (laughs). It’s just my life, and when you are on air live as much as we are, you can’t hide … you have to be yourself. So I had to pump, therefore, I pumped while delivering the news; it was more of a necessity than trying to prove a point.
I want our society to embrace breastfeeding, and stop shaming women for the most natural thing our bodies are designed to do. We are more okay with sexualizing breasts than seeing them for their God-given gift; they are feeding tools for our children. That is badass, and a beautiful thing — women are superheroes. And to women who choose not to breastfeed, or had difficulty, or can’t … we need to support them too; all moms need empowerment and upliftment, not more blame and shame.
What’s your favorite thing about doing the show?
I absolutely love that we get to be ourselves, and that I get to work with my best friends every day. My co-hosts and crew are my family here. If we aren’t working together, we are hanging out together. And, my former Executive Producer from when I worked on the Dr. Drew show, Burt Dubrow, is now my Senior Executive Producer on this show. It’s wild how it all worked out, that I get to work with a man I deeply admire and adore all over again; it really feels like fate. We all feel very lucky, and I believe the days of contrived TV is over. The viewers want sincerity, and that’s DBL.
What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
My parents always told me when I “failed,” to dust my shoulders off and get back up; to embrace failure and use it as motivation and as a life lesson. That has stuck with me. As a competitive swimmer growing up, I continuously faced this advice, sometimes with resistance … but it sparked my tenacity and determination that has influenced my career and business today.
Every “failure” or setback (and there have been a ton) has forced me to reexamine my strategy, my mindset, and my will … as well as pushed me to learn and love “failure.” I say “failure” in quotes, because we need to remind ourselves (myself included), to see these setbacks as springboards rather than anchors; each failure has either made me a better person or has opened up another door I never saw in front of me.
What’s your favorite kind of self-care after a long day?
Ooooh, I need to continue to explore this one, and perhaps ask some of your readers for their advice. Since becoming a mom, my self-care has gone out the window, and I have suffered because of it. I know I need to take care of “me,” in order to take care of others, but we forget. And to those parents who have multiples … how do you do it? Share with me (laughs).
But, in all seriousness, I recently felt my depression return, and so I have begun yoga and meditation again. I shoot for twice a week, but sometimes I can only make once a week … but that is progress, and when I first returned to yoga, I cried during the first “Om” because I realized how much I needed self-care and that I have been neglecting it. It’s an ongoing battle for me, and one I hope to be better at fighting.
What’s the one thing you wish you knew about parenting before you became one?
HOW TIRED YOU WILL BE (laughs)!
People would tell me, “Get your sleep now …” or, “Have your fun now….” but I never really understood just how exhausted you are as a parent. Even if your kids are sleeping through the night, the days are high-energy and non-stop when you are keeping up with your littles. So, yes, IT IS WORTH IT, and I LOVE being a mom more than anything else … but I would love to just sleep for a week straight, (laughs) … in fact, I would prefer sleep pretty much over anything else right now …
How did you come up with the idea for your company, Biren & Co.?
My husband and I originally created our candles for our wedding day, back in 2010. We wanted a very specific drippy looking candle, but no venue would allow a drip candle (surprise, surprise). My husband is super creative and artsy, so he convinced me that we could make them ourselves, and create an all-wax pillar that has a drippy exterior, but doesn’t actually drip and create a mess. Through lots of trial and error, we finally created the most beautiful candle for our nuptials, right there in our kitchen; the Pre-Dripped candle was born, and so was Biren & Co.
Running a business is tough, but my husband is the most driven and tenacious person I know — not to mention a creative genius, so even though there have been SO MANY ups and downs, and trials and tribulations … like any company … we have persevered … and because of that commitment you can now find our Pre-Dripped candles as well as our other Collections in stores like anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Sephora.com, Home Goods, and boutiques worldwide.
How do you manage your time when it comes to being a mom, household stuff, work, workouts, fun?
Now that is the million-dollar question, with a billion-dollar answer (laughs), and when you learn that answer, please come tell me.
I NEVER have enough time; what works for me, is writing down everything that needs to get done that day. If I don’t do this, I feel overwhelmed, like I am swimming upstream, and my anxiety will be through the roof. I try and clean in the early morning before Sophie is up, or right after I put her down.
As for work … I have been trying to compartmentalize Daily Blast LIVE and Biren & Co, and that has helped me immensely. By allotting designated times to Biren & Co, I can be present with both Sophie and while I am at work at DBL. Before, I was trying to tackle everything as it came in, and I realized I was scattered and not present. Since doing this, my anxiety has been so much better, so it works … at least for me.
As for working out, my New Year’s resolution was to start yoga again (after an almost two-year hiatus since having Sophie). I aim for two days a week, and if I can’t make it to the yoga studio (which let’s be honest, that happens all the time), I do Sun Salutations and flows in my bedroom before bed.
It’s crazy how little we mommas prioritize self-care, something I am trying to work on. As for fun, my husband and I try to schedule a couple date nights a month. But, even just hanging out with him on the couch watching our favorite shows at night after Sophie is asleep, is simply Heaven (we are really into Sneaky Pete and Killing Eve right now). It’s funny how we took for granted simple things like watching television together before Sophie was born. Now we relish in that time together.
What advice would you give other working moms?
What has helped me the most is to be totally present when at work (although I am still guilty of looking at photos of my Sophie throughout the day), and to be totally present when at home with my daughter (that means putting the phone down, or for me, stuffing it away in a drawer until she’s in bed). Once I started practicing this, I have been less anxious and even more appreciative of my babies: Daily Blast Live, Biren & Co, and Sophie (smiles).
A big thanks to Sam for talking to us openly and honestly about all things career, motherhood, personal fulfillment, self-care, and, well, LIFE! —Jenn