Here’s To Mom: Motivating Mamas
Now that I'm a mom of two (Indi, 3 and Lucie, 15 months), I respect and admire all mamas at a whole new level. It's challenging to balance life as a mom, a wife or partner, and as a woman who still wants to maintain her own personal identity outside of motherhood. I respect stay at home moms (not an easy job at all!), moms who work the 9-5, and moms who have their own businesses. No matter what you do, it's all about balance, which can get hard!. I try to manage my time really closely and because I have my own business, I’m lucky to have a lot of flexibility. I do a lot of my office work during naps and late into the night, but don’t mind it at all because I love what I do so much.
I know my girls won't be small for long so I try to cherish my time with them and hustle while I have my nanny four days a week. They are too young to understand now, but as my girls get older, they will see that their mama works hard and loves what she does. I can’t wait for the days when they’re able to help me at the shop, join me on buying trips, and be a part of what I do. Indi already loves going to “mama’s store,” hanging with my employees and “helping” them in the back room. My girls will grow up being part of what I do, and that makes me so happy. My girls inspire me to work harder, smarter and grow my business. I hope one day they will be proud of what their mama does.
Now that you know a little more about me, I want to introduce you all to four friends of mine who are mamas, and have their own businesses, too. They inspire me in what they do and how sweet and loving they are with their children. I truly believe that we can all learn a little from them! Be sure to shop our Mother’s Day picks here.
Owner, Beijos Events
How did you get into the world of event planning and how did Beijos come about?
Well, like most brides, I loved planning my own wedding. So much so that it inspired me to pursue it as a career! My friends Abby and Leah were up for something new as well and we decided to start it together. At the time we each had full time jobs of our own but did Beijos on the side, never thinking it would become what it is today! Ultimately we each wanted an outlet to use our creativity and are so happy we decided to go for it!
How do you balance being a mom and owning your own business?
Honestly it's tough! I spend many nights staying up until 1am after the kids are asleep answering emails, writing blog posts, creating mood boards for clients, and then I'm back up at 6am with them. During the day I try and give them as much of me as possible. It won't be forever that my sons ask me to play with them, so I really try and focus on them. But while they nap I can usually get a lot done. I have to say, I'm a pretty good multitasker and one of my saving graces are lists! Each day I have a list for myself of things I want to accomplish and the type A side of me takes over. I love checking things off of my list throughout the day and if it doesn't get done, I move it to the next day! I'm also lucky to have a lot of support from my husband and family when it comes to my business. I have a lot of people rooting for me which is really incredible.
You own Beijos with two other moms, Abby and Leah. How is it co-owning a business and working alongside friends?
In some ways it's difficult, but in other ways it's amazing. I have known both of them for so long that our friendships are really strong. I don't think many friendships can withstand owning a business together because honestly, it's almost like a marriage. You really have to trust the other one and be able to be open to talk about anything. We've had a lot of learning curves thrown our way but have definitely come out of them stronger. On the plus side, we always have someone to bounce ideas off of and someone to understand the struggle of having a business and being a mom. The three of us know how difficult it is so we can be each other's shoulder to lean on or cheerleader, whichever is needed most.
How would you describe your “mom style?” How do you like to get dressed up?
I'd say my mom style is pretty casual. I have two boys, and they like to get dirty and play rough. We spend our days at the park or the beach, scootering around or tickle fighting. It's always go, go, go in our house. So I tend to wear lots of tees with denim or shorts. However, I love to dress up! Give me a good reason like a date night and I'm all over it. I'd say my style sans mommy hood is a mixture of boho, feminine and sexy, haha! I love shopping for dresses and own way too many. Some of my favorite brands for dresses are Spell and Auguste - their prints are always amazing and I love the boho feel to them. I'll usually do a maxi with a lightweight leather jacket over if it's chilly out, some fun accessories like bangles and earrings, and a clutch. That's a good go-to date night outfit for me!
Blogger and Reiki healer, Vigor and Sage
Tell us about your path into becoming a reiki healer. How has it affected your journey as a mother?
My background and degree are in Dance. I grew up dancing and performing from an early age and decided to take it a step further in college. I studied pain management, healing and injury prevention for dancers. When my partner and I decided to start a family, I was still dancing professionally. I knew I couldn’t maintain the advanced level I was used to and needed to find another outlet. While pregnant with my son, I found yoga as means to stay active and healthy without pushing myself to the extreme. I have always been interested in holistic health and knew there was more to healing than just physical therapies; the mind is a powerful tool for both injury prevention and recovery. Life’s natural progression led me add Therapeutic Yoga to my repertoire as another means of healing. Soon after my daughter was born, I was struggling to transition, and to find a sense of balance within myself, physically and emotionally. I knew my healing needed to happen on a deeper level. I was introduced to local Reiki practitioner, Brook Albrigo, through social media and was hooked after the first session. I could feel this practice calling to me so when Brook opened up a Reiki certification class, I had to make it happen. Not too long after, I trained with Brook to be able to offer distance healing as well.
Maybe Motherhood has affected my journey as a healer, or maybe vice versa, probably both. Having one child was a huge transition for me, having two takes it to a whole new level. It feels like there’s so much more needed from me. Being able to breathe deeply when I want to shout, talk myself down off the ledge during witching hour, and respond with compassion when I am sleep deprived and feeling fragile has been an incredible tool for me as a Mother. Since I began practicing Reiki, both on myself and others, I find myself to be much calmer, more patient and more flexible with life’s rollercoaster. Not only has it gifted me healing tools, it has unlocked a passion in me that had been hidden for years. This has allowed me to pursue my independent dreams and personal goals, which I feel like makes me a better Mother.
What advice do you have for moms curious about reiki healing?
Try it, the intuitive work speaks for itself! Reiki is a gentle, deeply relaxing, light touch technique that helps calm the nervous system, restore energy and bring you back to a place of balance. Isn’t that what all Mamas need? Yes, yes it is. We all need to spend more time taking care of ourselves so that we can continue to look after everyone else. Reiki healing fills your cup, simple as that.
Your husband travels often for his career. What activities do you like to do when you’re all together?
Yes, Geoff is gone a lot and now that Rex is in Elementary school it has really changed our easy going schedule. I’m really picking up on just how fast time flies now that I have children. Hint: it’s too fast. So we take every opportunity to spend time as a family when everyone’s around. We love being outside. We take hikes and walks whenever we can, even if it’s just around the neighborhood. We are lucky to live by a lovely park, so we go there often with the kids and let them burn off some of that limitless energy. We also love to travel and make our way to the mountains as much as possible. We aren’t always out and about though, because honestly, being at home all together is such a luxury sometimes. We always try to eat dinner as a family and settle down before bedtime together. I’ve been enjoying watching Rex read to Vera at night before she falls asleep. It’s heart melting to watch my children genuinely enjoy their time together.
Tell us about your personal style. What’s your go-to outfit for every day and how do you like to get dressed up?
I’m a jeans and t-shirt lady all the way. I’m all about comfort, functionality, and minimal fuss. I feel most confident when I don’t have to try. A flattering pair of jeans, simple white tee, and clogs is my go-to. Like most Mothers, I find myself doing a number of different activities in a single day, from seeing early morning clients to teaching classes, making lunches, park dates, washing dishes, school pickup.. the list goes on. So, I keep it simple. I express myself most through my jewelry — simple crystal necklaces that can be layered with other meaningful pieces, statement rings and earrings. I like supporting other creatives and small businesses so the majority of my pieces are handmade. I feel very thoughtful and inspired when I wear them. Dressing up feels rare these days but I love the opportunity to shift out of Mama-mode for a little bit. When I throw on a comfortable pair of heels, a bold lip, and some gold hoops, I’m practically a different woman.
Owner, the Family Store
What made you decide to open the Family Store? Any advice for other moms wanting to start their own biz?
After 15+ great years in the fashion industry, I really wanted to embrace working with designers on a new level. The market was changing and I felt corporations were so LY. So I decided to create Family Store. I wanted to create a setting where new & upcoming designers could find support & share my knowledge of the industry to help them grow.
Having your own business as a mom is hard. You really have to understand the dedication that is required. Your kids can be part of all that, but you have to make sacrifices to grow your business that may take away time from your Family while you're establishing yourself. That said, having your own business gives you great flexibility! Most of my busy work is done after my son is in bed and I am relaxing on the couch with Netflix in the background. That was definitely NOT the case in corporate! You can also plan for your growth...some moms may just need a little something and may not want to go full on. Being self employed gives you the control to decide what’s best for your family.
You host a ton of workshops, pop-ups, sing-and-reads, and even mom & baby yoga at your store. Tell us about the importance of having a community space.
Alongside the desire to create a platform for new brands and curated goods, I also wanted to gather and share. Community is super important to me. My husband and I moved here from Ohio 15 years ago without knowing anyone. We did not have any family less than 2000 miles away. Our community became our family. We have a wonderful group of family that we met during our daughter’s kindergarten experience and we have remained friends with all of those people for over 15 years. Without those individuals, we would be lost. They are our family. So creating a place where folks can gather, meet new friends, and learn and share was a huge part of the concept and has given me such reward. I love our city and its people and I am constantly inspired by our creativity as a small town in a big city. We are special and I want to help people meet and create a really unified vibe. Plus I just like to hang out and have parties!
You’re have a background in fashion and design your own clothes for the boutique. Tell us about your creative process and what keeps you inspired.
As an industry designer, the day to day creative is usually on the computer. When I started Family Store, I was inspired to begin working with pattern makers and sewers in our community and I started to design exclusive pieces for the store. I realized how important this was to stay connected to my creative process. When I design new pieces for the store, it is usually because I have been inspired by a Textile I have found on my journey. I work together with my pattern maker to create the garment or I drape a first prototype on my mannequin and then my amazing seamstress creates the garment using the textiles I collect. My pieces are all one of a kind as the textiles are never yardage but instead a wonderful vintage skirt from Guatemala, or my favorite...Mud Cloths from Africa.
How would you describe your personal style?
Vintage Modern. I love mixing old and new elements together whether it is in my home, my outfit, or the store.
Owner, The Bicycle Stand
You opened The Bicycle Stand in Long Beach back in 2011 with your partner Evan. How did the idea to open a shop come about? What is it like having a partner in both life, work and raising a child?
Evan and I both love cycling as individuals and together our passion grew. We took a trip to Vancouver and it blew our minds! We knew that Long Beach could be like that - fun, and easy to cycle in. We also felt that a city bike shop would do well....so the concepts started forming. We are both vintage bike lovers which plays a big part in the shop.
Overall it’s great, and we feel really blessed to do what we do. It is pretty cool to share the shop with Axel, letting him get dirty and touch stuff, while seeing his interest grow. Evan and I have a theory - to try to be the best version of ourself and to always try our hardest.
The shop has had great success and is always super busy. How do you split your time between the shop and home?
We have a great staff that keeps the wheels turning at The Bicycle Stand. That work life balance is always a battle. Evan and I say that The Bicycle Stand was our first baby! So it is easy to feel as if you’re always neglecting someone. I try to be fully present in what i am doing at that time.
You are a long-time cyclist and are rarely seen without your little one on your bike. What advice do you have for moms who are hesitant to ride with their littles?
It can seem overwhelming but to just take the process in steps, start with a bike that you feel comfortable riding and then choose the type of seat or trailer that suit your needs the best. Locals should just pop into the shop and we can chat it out! We have lots of great products in shop.
Tell us about your personal style. What’s an outfit that can take you from home to the shop and everywhere in between?
I love clothes and the ability to express yourself through your outfits. My go-to looks are definitely a pair of vintage Levis with a blouse, and lots of vintage turquoise. You can always find me in booties rocking a backpack! And I love hats. Brixton is my favorite brand because they make hats small enough for my head.