I am so grateful to not only be the mother of my pretty fabulous children, but to also have the privilege of being able to follow my dream of self employment. It’s not easy to juggle several hats but to take one off is to deny me of myself. Motherhood is a deep-rooted passion. It is for all of us, I’ll bet. But helping other Moms feel more confident and secure in their parenting, to show them how completely they are loved– that is just as deeply rooted. To step away from that is to step away from my core.
And so, I struggle. I am spending too much time on the business, and my kids are growing so fast. I am spending all my time on my sweet children and my business is suffering. Back and forth. It’s a challenging dance.
And I am willing to bet that I am not the only one who struggles with this balance. We keep it all to ourselves, trying to be supermom.
Well, you know what? Supermom isn’t real. But I am, and you are. And I’d like to break down these walls of fake perfection and celebrate the beautiful mess of motherhood and entrepreneur. Over the next few months, I’m going to be pulling back the curtain on local Moms who are out there pursing their passions. I’d like you to meet them, and in doing so, normalize the Entrepreneur Mom and help us all release some of the unnecessary guilt for wanting to be “more than just a mom.”
Last week, I introduced you to Sarah Bacon, the mom behind The Custom Jewelry Find.
All of my favorite necklaces are from TCJF. And yes, that is plural because I can’t bear to pick just one. There is something about wearing a one-of-a-kind piece that perfectly coordinates with an outfit. It makes me feel so stylish! It seemed natural to begin this Passionate Mom project with Sarah, who is very passionate not only about motherhood, but about her business.
Why did you start The Custom Jewelry Find?
It’s honestly been a blur the past year and few months since starting TCJF. I’d been making jewelry for a few years on the side of my very full time job and loved the freedom, stress release and overall joy it brought. I gave it away as gifts, donated it to different events and all of a sudden had lots of jewelry to wear! :) After enough people said, you should really start your own business selling this and actually getting paid, I figured – why not give it a try?!
What are you passionate about?
Let’s see… Family tops the list. I’m lucky to come from a very tight-knit family and totally blessed to have 2 pretty neat kids and a supportive husband. Being military, we’ve moved a lot and the lack of consistent routine is our routine – but it works shockingly well for us and I’ve no clue how/what we’ll do when Matt gets out of the Army when we’re actually settled somewhere. Cooking/FOOD is next… my background is in restaurants so anything food-related and I get excited. I’ve been cooking with Grace and Henry since they were in diapers (which leads to another dream of starting cooking classes for kids and parents). Since starting TCJF, I’m more passionate about supporting local businesses and pinch myself regularly that I’ve met and get to partner with some amazing local small business owners.
What would you say is the greatest struggle in juggling motherhood with your desire to run your own business?
Finding the/a/any balance. I feel like I’m always either way behind on house stuff or jewelry orders or paperwork, or all of the above, sprinkled with emails and social media. It’s hard for me to focus on the business when Grace (7) and Henry (6) are around, because I’m easily distracted in general, and I know they’ll be teenagers (EEK) too soon and won’t seek out playtime and snuggles with mommy, etc. I’m a freakishly early morning person, so when I’m swamped I wake up 4 or 5a to get a lot done before my little pumpkin pies are even awake.
What is the greatest joy in this juggle?
I cherish the little moments and quiet surprises when you least expect it…. catching a beautiful sunset, Grace giving me a kiss on the cheek and a BIG hug, Henry telling me all about each piece of paper he brought home from school, listening in to a silly conversation between my husband Matt and the kids, sipping coffee by myself while the house sleeps, watching everyone play on the Wii while I’m at my workstation tinkering with something new, making everyone turn off said technology so we can play cards or a board game (even if I’m pulling out my hair because no one, including me.. ha! is paying attention part way through). These are the joys that reaffirm through any doubts and struggles that right now, this moment – this is exactly where I’m supposed to be and I feel very lucky.
How do you balance your time? do you have routines, systems, etc?
See above… what is balance? ;) I take notes and have tons of to do lists everywhere, and in different colors. (I thank my mom for this.) I work off a paper calendar and my phone calendar. My paperwork is a perfectly unorganized mess, but I know where everything is – typically. This year, I’ve said out loud (so there is no going back) that I will stay on top of paperwork, keep in touch with new and repeat customers via email/phone, and figure out the best way to manage/market TCJF with the constant stream of email and social media that’s run rampant on my devices. So far, 2014 is off to a good start.
Is anything or anyone crucial to your success so far?
From the get go, couldn’t have started TCJF or still be doing it today if it weren’t for Matt. Working hard to create a name for TCJF, get my business out there, buildup my inventory and then make sales is all consuming and with 2 small kids needing well, fed and put to bed – Matt’s been there to take care of them when I had meetings, networking events, jewelry parties, craft shows, holiday orders to fill, etc. etc. I’m driven and a determined, stubborn person so for me to have left a good, full-time job to follow my jewelry passion meant I have to make this work, period.
What is your favorite aspect of motherhood?
Gosh, this is a tough one. I guess just seeing how Grace and Henry’s little personalities are always changing (they’re so funny and thoughtful right now), watching their brains work as they figure out things, enjoying them just being kids, and having 2 buddies to share life with. They make me so happy, remind me to slow down, enjoy the moments, and they give THE best hugs.
What advice would you give to a mother of young children who is tempted to follow her dream, but is afraid to begin?
Jot, your ideas, vision, dream on paper. Brainstorm with your biggest supporters, get ideas, timelines, streamline and put everything on paper. Somehow seeing it written made it less scary, helped me visualize and hone in on top priorities for my business. I still didn’t have a clue what I was getting into! ;) but it’s working out so far. Start small and manageable, whatever your dream, and be true to yourself as you follow it. I was lucky with jewelry, there isn’t a huge start-up cost and was still working full-time when I launched TCJF. Get involved in your community, find a business networking group of like-minded, good people, work your dream and hopefully have no regrets.
Do you know a local Passionate Mom who is following her heart while equally devoted to motherhood? Nominate her today with this simple form!