For the last four weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, I’ve featured 4 inspiring mompreneurs. I’ve loved reading about each of these fellow moms who are pursuing their own creative endeavors. We heard from Leighan of Leighan Rose Designs who is pregnant with her second little boy, and how she plans to make the transition from one to two kids while building her business. Then we learned about Elle from Opal Design Shop and how she was inspired to start her business once her daughter was born. Next, Sy from Koko’s nest who talked about the struggle to find what she was “supposed to do in life” that resulted in her starting her own business. Lastly, we heard from Gerry and Rebecca about their business Petal’s Edge and how one of their proudest accomplishments in their business was being able to take 13ish weeks paid maternity leave for each of them, twice!
Originally, I thought that would conclude this series, but after giving it some thought I decided that perhaps I should answer some of my own questions and give you all a chance to know me and my little business a little better. So read on to learn more about me and how I balance being a new mom with my business!
What inspired you to start your own business?
As most of you probably already know, my business was originally started in my home state of TN before we moved to VA. Several years ago I took an intro to photography class to learn how to use my camera better and to shoot in manual. My goal in taking the class was to be able to take better photos when I traveled. But then my nephew came into the picture and I helped my sister document her pregnancy as well as her labor and delivery. From there I obsessively took photos of him and their new little family. I slowly started to love portraiture and as my skills grew, others started asking me to take photos of them. Shortly after with encouragement from my family and now husband I got my business license!
What's are some of the challenges that you've faced in your business?
Moving to another state was definitely challenging. As previously mentioned my business started in TN with referrals and word of mouth, so to move to a new city and state where I knew no one was very intimidating. Slowly though I rebuilt my clientle and in the process learned a lot about things like marketing and website SEO and that I might not have learned had it not been for our move. Also, from a legal standpoint moving my business license to a new state was definitely a bit of a headache and full of confusion at first!
What does getting to be a mompreneur mean to you?
It means that I get to have something that is creative and all my own as well. I think as a mom it’s easy sometimes to get lost in the mundane day to day to do lists of laundry, dishes, and other chores. And while I’ve always wanted the stay at home mom life, having a creative outlet and something that my children and husband can be proud of me for is important to me as well. Staying home with my kids has always been a top priority for me. It’s something that my husband and I talked about long before our little guy was born. And while my business was started years before he was born, I think I always kinda had in the back of my head that it was something I could do with kids as well.
What are some of the struggles you deal with in juggling being a mom and pursuing your own business?
Balance. But I think any mom would say that’s a struggle whether they stay at home, work from home, or work out of the house. As a photographer, the session is a very small amount of my work. The majority of my work is done at home on my computer. Editing sessions, responding to emails, updating portfolios and blogging, not to mention all the record keeping and tax paying. THAT is what takes up all the time. So the struggle is finding the time to do all of THAT and also keep up with all the (never ending) housework, errands, and chores. And most importantly to ensure that Cantor’s days are filled with lots of one on one undistracted time. As much as I love my business, I never want him to feel like work is more important than he is. But if anyone of you could tell me how to squeeze a couple of more hours out of my day, it would be greatly appreciated ;)
What’s the best part of working from home? The worst part?
Getting to be with my son and being able to make my own hours and schedule. I can choose when I take sessions and how many per week or month to better balance my work and personal life. I also don’t have to worry about getting off work for things like vacations. I just build it into my availability. On the flip side, working from home means the work is never done. I never “leave work” it’s always there whether physically or just the never ending to do list for it in the back of my head.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family and friends that answer the call?
My husband, Josh. He has been my encourager and supporter right from the beginning with my business. Now that we have Cantor, he’s also the one who stays with him when I’m at sessions.
All photos taken by me or my husband.