Nikki Reed Sets Her Alarm for 4 a.m. to Work Before Her Daughter Wakes: 'I'm Doing the Best I Can'

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Melody Chiu
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BaYou with Love and Earth and Element

Like many other parents, Nikki Reed has been navigating the challenges of juggling multiple jobs while raising her 3-year-old daughter Bodhi during an unprecedented time.

The BaYou with Love founder — who is also on the board of baby food company Raised Real — is the first to admit she's still figuring out how to balance it all nearly a year into the pandemic.

"I just have to be honest. I don't know that I've mastered [balance]. I really love my job and I really love my company, but I have my little one all the time. There's no school right now and we're just hanging," the former Twilight actress, 32, tells PEOPLE in its latest issue.

"Sometimes I set my alarm at 4 a.m. so I can work for four solid hours before she gets up, and yeah, I feel really out of balance that day but that's just part of it. I'm just taking it day by day and doing the best I can."

Nikki Reed/Instagram Nikki Reed

While her daughter comes first, Reed — who's married to former Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder — says it's just as important for her to fuel her passions.

"I feel more creatively fulfilled now in this chapter of my life than I ever did before, and I think it's because I'm the type of person that needs creativity from all angles," says Reed of growing her sustainable lifestyle company.

In the coming year, the star says much of her company's focus will be spent on creating "heirloom pieces" and making it easier for customers to live more minimally.

"I really want to focus on this idea that we can produce things that actually don't just last a season," says Reed. "We're creating pieces that are classic enough in their design that they can transcend styles and seasons."

BaYou with Love now offers charms that "can be worn on your huggie, which makes it an earring, or you can take it off and put it on your necklace or your bracelet," she says. "Instead of pushing customers to purchase more and more and more — which is the business model of almost every brand in the world right now — my motto is, 'How do we teach you to purchase less and purchase things that you'll treasure?'"

An avid photographer, Reed says 90 percent of the content on her company's website was self-shot — and her daughter is the one who inspired her to take on the new hobby.

"When my daughter was born, I really did not want to have an iPhone in her face all the time. Instead of photographing her with my iPhone, I want to hold a camera so I bought my very first camera for that reason," says Reed. "I was photographing her and printing, and then it turned into, 'Wait, I love this so much. I actually want to shoot everything for the company.' "

In the coming year, Reed hopes to completely give up her smartphone. "I'm going to move back into the flip phone!" she says. "Texting for me is going bye bye. I just don't want my daughter to see me staring down texting. I love living off the grid."

Now, Reed — who has rescued countless animals with Somerhalder through the years — says she's already seeing her daughter take after Mom and Dad.

"She doesn't care about a single doll or plastic toy. She just wants animals. I'm not surprised because that's the environment that we've created," she says. "It's just plants and animals and we're very outdoorsy."

"When I was pregnant with her, I had a foster litter of pugs, and then right after she was born, I had a foster terrier. It's been nonstop since she was born with all the puppy love and animal love and farm love," adds Reed. "Her chickens are her best friends! Especially in this pandemic where there's been a lot of isolation for little ones, I'm really, really happy that at the very least there's been a lot of animal love around."

For more on Nikki Reed's life at home and her happy new chapter, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.