Empowering women both in Dallas and Uganda, Akola project builds infrastructures and provides a way for women to make reliable income through premium jewelry line. I visited their facility not too long ago and learned a lot from them.Read More
Filtering by Tag: dallas mom blogger
Happy World Refugee Day! My heroine this month is a mother and an entrepreneur who helps refugee women in Dallas to make an honest living by sewing little girls' clothes. No matter who you are and where you are, you can make a difference!Read More
She's a military wife who started making jewelries at home in England, where her hubby was stationed a few years ago. Read how the Loren Hope brand is slaying the industry now, what she's learned, and tips to start your own business.Read More
She is a new mom who decided to quit a corporate job and run her own business, Savoy Sorbet. Check out how she balances it all.Read More
Although I enjoy writing about my life and the fun things I do with my family, I miss writing about other people. After a thoughtful consideration and a little survey that I did with my readers, I have decided to revamp this section on my blog that has inspired many people since I first started it : Monthly Heroines! I don't know about you but I think our generation craves for the right people to look up to. So when I thought of who to feature on my 'comeback' edition, I thought of this girlboss that I've admired for a while, Kari Crowe, the owner of Melt Ice Creams and Motor Sisters Ice Cream.
Read it, be inspired, share it, and happy national ice cream month!
You are not a chef, you didn't have any experience in running your own ice cream parlors before, so what got you into opening Melt?
I had a passion for the food industry! I had been freelancing and photographing chefs, restaurants and food for a few years and when I started looking for a career change I really wanted an opportunity to add value to our community. Ice cream seemed the perfect fit for my community, it met my desire to stay creative and my excitement to build a business. The hot weather season that is so significantly long in Texas definitely creates opportunities for adding value with frozen treats.
Why ice cream (a seasonal business), and not a coffeeshop (people drink coffee year-round, at anytime of the day now) or anything of that nature? Watch the video to find out (and don't forget to subscribe! :)
After opening Melt, have you ever thought, "This was not a good idea"? What kept you going?
Opening a food business is no small feat, in my opinion it gets romanticized a little too often. It’s hard grueling hours, and there’s no magic formula to make it successful. I think as a business owner you always work through trying times and difficult seasons but how you respond, adapt and improve is what really matters. We make mistakes, our employees make mistakes but the value for us is taking those mistakes and turning them into opportunities to learn to be better, smarter and stronger for our customers and the future of our business.
I think what keeps me going is learning to let go of things out of my control and improving the things that are in my control. Building a culture and a team that understands our vision and the future of the company keeps everyone moving forward!
I read on your blog, that your husband quit his job last year. As a wife,were you panicked at all? What encouraged you guys to stick with Melt and go all in for this business together?
It was a very calculated decision that we planned for and he kept great relationships with his industry peers. Mark coming on board brought a wave of leadership and dedication to push the organization to new strategic growth. We have such different strengths that we can play off of and I’m so grateful for that.
What is the biggest lesson you've learned about opening/running your own business so far?
I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one. There are so many small things we learn every day and every week about business. I would probably say...
the most impactful thing I’ve learned is to always keep learning, never settle.
Any advice for my readers who might want to open their own business in the near future?
Dive into researching and understanding your market, your customer, and your product. The more knowledge you have up front, the less surprise you’ll have when you launch!
Anything exciting coming up for Melt and Motor Sisters that you'd like to share?
Moving MELT was a big feat and our grand re-opening last weekend was amazing, our team and our customers rallied support. It was beautiful to be a part of! The new shop (1201 W Magnolia Ave #115, Fort Worth, TX, opens Tue-Thurs & Sun 12 pm – 10 pm and Fri-Sun 12 pm – 11 pm) allows us more production space, a larger patio and a larger parking lot as well as extended summer hours! We now have additional permanent flavors, seasonal cone pairings and seasonal sundaes! Coming up, we have Christmas in July, one our most beloved days of the year. We will celebrate this mid-year holiday with all things Christmas-related on July 23, you don’t want to miss it!
I’m proud of Motor Sisters in Dallas because the brand embodies women empowerment and the ice cream offerings are fun and funky! Have you had the Amelia Earhart? It’s a combo of salty and sweet, crushed pretzels, crunchy peanuts and lots of nutella sauce! The Truck Yard is such a fun and eclectic place to be a part of!
What are your all-time favorite ice cream flavors?
This is a tough question! I have loved a lot of our non-dairy options like Coconut Curry and the Velvet Vegan! But currently the summer sundae is my favorite!!!
It's been almost a year since the last time I did an article on inspiring mothers. With the sickness (back in June) and everything that happened in between, I just haven't been able to do interviews and photoshoots in the past few months. But I've realized that "Heroines & Badasses" is one of my favourite article to write because I am not writing about me, I am writng about other people! Now with the rise of "#momsoninstagram", it's not easy to find someone who is real let alone relatable. Some are too staged with their photos on instagram, some are too 'up there and unapproachable', and many just don't even try (I'm sorry, I know we all have struggles, but I needed someone who has the right balance between being stylish and being real for this article, although not all mothers whom I've interviewed for this section is a blogger). So I was excited when I found a fellow Dallas mom-blogger, Camille Elena.
You know, when you see someone and you go, "I think I can get along with her." Yeah, that's how I felt looking at her photos on instagram. Not because we are so alike, in fact we're not. But because she seemed stylish without trying too hard, very casual, and relatable as a mother. She's not like one of those fashion bloggers who are just 'up there' you know. So yeah, I decided to reach out a few weeks ago and we ended up having coffee together last week. And, she brought little Zara with her!
Motherhood in 3 words for you : Learning, stretching, and moving.
Have you always wanted to be a mother? Why? Not necessarily. The thought of having kids horrified me, especially since I was trying to finish up my degree at the time. My plan was to have kids at 30, or none at all. That is, until I met Robert.
Why did you decide to become a stay-at-home mom? I worked part-time at ISP Studios as a production assistant and book-keeper while I was in college. Soon after having Zara, I graduated and tried working while being a new mom, but it was hard taking a newborn along. So I stopped for a while and decided that being a stay-at-home mom was best for the time being. She won’t be this little forever.
The best part about being Zara's mom? Having a stand-in cuddle buddy when Robert is at work.
How would you describe your style? Clean, classic, chic but with hints of however I’m feeling that day thrown into my outfits. I like to add elements of bohemia, the 70’s, and edge. I also love neutral colors, but I’m not opposed to color either.
How do you make the time to dress up nicely and do your make up with a kiddo running around? (I honestly need some tips on this haha) One thing motherhood has taught me is the art of distraction. Most of the time Zara just simply wants to be with me, so whether I’m taking a shower or putting on makeup, I’ll usually let her hop in with me (clothes and all) or let her play in my makeup bag so she can feel as if she’s participating. It takes twice as long, but it makes her happy!
As Zara continues to grow, how would you teach her about balancing between loving fashion, and having an inner-beauty? How do you do it with yourself so far? Well, the first thing I want to instill in her is to be confident in who she is and that inner-beauty is what matters the most. I also want to teach her that being herself in her love for fashion is also important and not to get too wrapped up in trying to be/dress like everyone else. Being different is what’s beautiful!
Who inspires you to be a fashion/mom-blogger? My mom of course! I sincerely believe if it weren’t for her, my sense of fashion wouldn’t be as keen as it is today. She is such a fashionable woman who has always dressed smart and appropriate for her age. And to be honest, she has always been more fashion-forward than me. She has always told me to wear what I want, because when I’m old I won’t be able. I am also inspired by other moms who are going through similar situations as me. In a sense, it’s as if we’re going through it together when we share stories and when we connect.
I've seen a lot of blogger post about the struggle to stay sane in this social media-crazed world, because as you know, we often find ourselves comparing ourselves with the other bloggers. Honestly, I feel that way too every now and then. What do you do when you feel that way? Any words of encouragement or tips? I try not to compare myself to others simply because I wasn’t taught to compare myself with anyone growing up. Instead of comparing, I like to see what I can learn from other bloggers on how they style their outfits or engage with their followers. I also keep in mind that they’re people just like me who are not perfect and who are just trying to put their best foot forward. So my word of encouragement to anyone reading is this: No one will ever be as good at being you than YOU.
How is your Mr. doing so far in terms of supporting your passion for fashion and blogging, what does he think of it? I think at first he was a bit skeptical and annoyed when I would ask him to take pictures, but he’s coming around to it. He’s not into social media at all, so he doesn’t quite understand why I have to take so many pictures, but he does understand that I enjoy doing it. I balance it out by blogging at night before I go to bed or while Zara naps, so it doesn’t interfere with family time. Now, I don’t think he minds it so much.
Fall is coming soon, any must-have fashion item for fall? Because I am a lover of shoes, the item that I am lusting over is the cut-out leather bootie! I recently purchased some Dolce Vita brand booties and I just can’t get enough and I certainly can’t wait to incorporate them into all my summer outfits, because let’s face it, the summer heat isn’t going anywhere for a while in Texas. And I am a firm believer that getting a new pair of shoes is like getting a whole new wardrobe, so the possibilities are endless!
She also encourages us mothers to know what we can and cannot pull off in terms of wearing fashion items and trends. "Lady Gaga can pull off just about anything because she's Lady Gaga, but what she got on might not look good on us! So make sure you know what works best for you, find your own style," she said.
Since we brought our kids that day, the chit-chat and photoshoot surely didn't go as smoothly as they might seem in the photos. I had to bring an iPad, a spare car key, and some blackberries to calm J down. Camille had to nurse Zara in between shoots, Zara bumped her head in my car when I hit the brake (because I thought the traffic light went green when it actually went red), I mean it was crazy! But it was real. And that's what I love about meeting up with real mothers.
When asked about the message she wants to convey through social media and blogging, Camille simply answered, "Be relatable."
Well said, mama.
I found this mother's blog when I was looking for some inspiration. And to my surprise, she can manage to look so effortlessly good with 4, not 1, but 4 kids running around!!!! Whaaatt....??
With so many activities done during the day, I write in the wee hours of the night, which makes for hard mornings. I keep all random ideas noted in a folder on my phone so no matter where I am, I can document inspiration. Because we all know the best ideas are when we least expect, like when your hands are wet while doing laundry.
Speaking of laundry, while taking care of my 4 kids, I have learned to spend a little time on myself. To forget the laundry, because it'll always be there. I mean, I haven't seen the bottom of my laundry basket in months! Spend a little time on yourself, mothers. On your hair, get a new lip stick, get fitted for a new bra and jeans that actually fit! I've found that the number one problem mom's have is not getting properly fitted and wearing the wrong sizes. No one feels good when frump is going on.
I have always been into fashion. I used to prep all my outfits the night before and devoured fashion mags and pinned looks on boards. The old fashioned way, ha! Now to 'keep up' with it without spending too much money on it, I think it's best to invest in your closet. Namely a good bag and a good pair of shoes. If you follow me on Instagram or my blog you'll notice I use the same pieces over and again. This is because I've learned through trial and error how to shop smart. And what pieces will carry you through the seasons. I blog about this at www.shalicenoel.blogspot.com/costperwear. Feel free to check it our and get inspired!
I'm working with some great companies, a giveaway planned and had a blast modeling Anthropologie's FW line last week. I definitely succumb to baby fever and I'd love to have a 5th kid, but who knows. Because life will never slow down from here or get any crazier?
Just like gaziollions of other 21st century human being in the world, I spend probably upto 30 percents of my day (or more) instagramming. What? Oh come on, admit it, you guys do too. It's so fun to just look at pictures of people we don't really know and find out what they're having for lunch. Haha. I usually look for inspiration to write on instagram by clicking the 'explore' button and just by checking out what's popular. I like the idea of getting inspired by others through looking at their pictures, without having to 'add' them as 'friends' because that would be awkward (no offense, facebook, I still love you). I follow tons of other mom-bloggers, successful momma-preneurs, and mom-instragrammers who posts cool pics of their babies and their lives in general. It just charms me to see others enduring motherhood with their own style. Just like this momma right here.
Young, stylish without trying too hard (cause I am not really fond of those who dress up too 'voguish'-ly - if that's even a word- to look good on instagram), Krissa looks like an everyday mom who manages to grace motherhood without forgetting to take care of herself. Here's her beautiful little story that I hope will put a little smile on your face.
On Being a Momma
I went to collage and majored in Studio Art. I met my future husband there and eventually dropped out. "Art is just my hobby," I told my dad, and "What I really want to do is be a mom!". The first time around, motherhood came as no surprise to us. Jeremy and I were freshly married and doing what married people do. He was on his xbox and I was figuring out the pregnancy test like a kid with a new toy. I yelled the test results from the bathroom and we screamed and laughed and danced. So nervous but loving it.
Although, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage shortly after, I like to remember those first feelings we had. We had a few more miscarriages and a long, scary 9 months but 3 years later I gave birth (emergency C-section) to the chubbiest and healthiest baby boy I have ever seen, Archer Atlas DuBois.
On The Biggest Challenge That Comes with Motherhood So Far
No time for the hubs was the worst. Archer turned into my "new best friend" and we did everything together. Jeremy would start kissing me and I would hear a faint baby coo and be up in the nursery before he even opened his eyes! (I feel ya, Kriss, kisses v.s. baby coo's are never easy to choose from - moz)
As much as I felt bad for Jeremy I'm glad that I was so infatuated with my little babe. I mean yeah, sleeping in Archer's crib might have been overboard but at least I embraced that precious newborn stage. Jeremy says he hardly noticed. So I guess we're good there...
On Lessons Learned & Her On-going Projects
I've learned to take care of myself (I eat my veggies now). I've learned to be more patient; and I've also learned that family trumps all. My dudes are inspiration and I want to be the best that I can be for them!
Right now I'm working on a couple of projects. I have the BITSYbb denim, which is a distressed jeans and shorts line for babies. I'm also trying to open a local baby store full of unique baby products (this is a long-term project). All the while, I redo furniture with my big brother for his shop. And to top it all off, Jeremy and I are currently trying for another boy ;)
When I decided to write more about my motherhood journey and others' on this blog, I didn't really have the confidence. Why? Because I had only been a mom for 2 months at the time, I am young and still clueless about all this -- so who am I to talk about motherhood online? Plus! there are thousands of other mothers around the world who already got their blogs out there, why should I make one and be just a face in a crowd? But then Mr. Man convinced me that everyone has his/her own message. He actually just mentioned it a few days ago. What you write about, what you experience can never be identical to those of others, because we are all different! Made of different sets of habits, past experiences, cultures, beliefs, etc. So why not learn from other mothers instead and get inspired? Besides, if you say"why start something, it's nothing new anyway" every time you have an idea, you will end up inventing nothing, right?
So I started to learn from others and stumbled upon this extraordinary mom-blog called mama-maya, a beautiful and an intimate blog about the journey of a mother of three lovely kids, Marcia Josephine the M1 (6), Micah Joshua the M2 (4), Maxton James the M3 (1). A diary-keeper herself, Maya has always found writing to be therapeutic. And to read the words she's written is like "going on a time machine," she described.
More than just to share her journey, Maya intends her blog to be a record-keeper for her children to later know her story, the joys they bring her, and to understand why she does the things she does...
"I want them to know me. Because I know that my brain would never be able to contain all these stories. I write, so I can remember, so that I can tell my children about my journey. These early years, these so-called golden years, they will not remember. When time has passed and we’re old, our memories would have failed us and we have nothing to tell them, our children would have only seen the end result of our parenting. They wouldn’t have known of the journey. I write, so they may know"
What a thoughtful motivation.
I've never really thought about blogging and writing that way. And I've never been so speechless about answers given by my interviewee, because they are just beautiful enough that I do not really need to do that much editing on them.
An inspiring mother, a word enchantress who is into Sara Bareilles' Brave & Katy Perry's Roar at the moment, here is Mama Maya :)
First of all, what's it like to have 3 kids? Did you actually plan to have 3?
Having three kids is, well... let’s just say that there is never a dull day in this house. My husband and I always wanted more than one child, but we’ve left the planning entirely to God. We just did our part :) Our M3 caught us a little by surprise. We were quite comfortable being a family of four and while the subject of a fifth member did come up once, we agreed to take it off the table and revisit again only after the World Cup in 2014. But God intervened, and now that fifth member of our family sometimes sit up with my husband at night, getting excited over the play. He supports the Netherlands. Or so I’d like to think.
You're called "mama maya", have you always wanted to be a mom?
Honestly, I used to dream about being a woman of power, sitting in the corner office of an international corporation. But never in my wildest dream have I ever imagined being a mother to these three little beings. But I’m here today, I am a full time mom and I want to own it. I have tried the whole working-mom thing, the part-time working mom thing, you know, always attributing myself to some kind of job or a title on a business card. And it wasn’t until I really submit myself to this role that I really found satisfaction. More than that, I actually found myself.
And if I look back, I don’t think that any dreams would be substantial enough to even describe the thrill that is motherhood.
I decided to leave the corporate world (she was the General Manager of Marketing of Kenny Rogers Roasters Indonesia! - moz) and become a full time mom at the end of 2011. It wasn’t an easy shift for me. I knew in my heart that this was where I was supposed to be, but it took a lot to brush off the insecurities I had as a result to the decision. But things went uphill the moment I owned up to motherhood. Being a mom was what I do, and it’s tiring sometimes as all jobs are, but I get to see my children grow with my fingerprints on them and that’s the joy, right there. I love it. That’s what being a “woman of power” is to me now.
“Mama Maya” is something my friends used to sing out to me from the monkey bars back in Grade 4. The song went: “Mama, Mama Maya, we wish you joy... we wish you joy!” I guess that kind of stuck with me... and that could have very well been a prophecy, I don’t know. Haha.
3 things that motherhood has taught you so far :
- Firstly, is to completely depend on God. There is no way I could ever do this on my own. My children are His children too, and He has every best interest in their lives. I believe that He is taking care of them just as much as He is taking care of me. Then I can focus on being a warrior instead of a worrier :)
- Secondly. I used to joke to my husband, that “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” is the bedrock of our marriage. But who knew that there could be so much truth to find behind what seems like a really selfish statement? A mother’s heart is home for her children. We must guard our hearts to ensure that they have a nice place to live in and to come home to. (Ouch! A slap on the face right here! I guess happiness is a choice, not a result -moz)
- Thirdly, I need to be the person I want my children to be. Because no matter how much convenient it would be for me, “do what I say, not what I do” is textbook and isn’t that applicable in life. (Well, not in mine anyway.) Being a mom has forced me more times that I would have liked to expand and rapidly grow into a better person.
Why did you choose to 'put yourself out there' and blog about your family for public to read?
While I wrote of my experiences, I realized that there were others who were going through the same things as I was, at that exact same time. There were others who were waltzing through the same season as I was. I found that I had a thing or two to share.
If I’m not posting a diary entry for my children about their updates, I particularly love to focus my messages on inviting readers to relax and take care of themselves. So many moms get sucked into mothering and so wrapped up with the day-to-day that they forget that they are also people who need to be taken care of just the same, that they were wives before they were mothers, and that to admit not knowing everything is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Mothers fight hard battles everyday, and sometimes, all we need is just a friendly encouragement.
So I share and I blog mainly to encourage. But while I thought that I was telling stuff, I was actually learning, because these people also had volumes to share.
Any positive impact you've gained from blogging?
The positive impact of my blogging, other than to find a community, is to get writing gigs. I now ghost-blog for a couple of sites, write copy for websites, translate books, and basically get to do what I love from the comfort of my own home, while still having the time to drive my children to and from school. What started off as a hobby has evolved into a financial support for my family on more than one occasion and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.
How do you make the time to blog with three kids running around?
Words seems to flow in silence. So, I usually write after my children are asleep. Or when my husband extends his kindness to me by letting me have some quiet writing time while he watches the kids. Having Grandma around is also a great blessing. At Grandma’s house, chocolate is the norm and Mama’s rules don’t apply. They love it there and Mama loves to score some time for herself. It’s a win-win.
Any other blogs you religiously check?
There are many I randomly check, but I really love visiting Melissa Jordan on www.braveinlove.com, Jen Lula on www.jenloveskev.com, Ashley on www.thehandmadehome.net, random stories and updates on www.mommiesdaily.com or www.theurbanmama.com and Naomi on www.lovetaza.com because really, who doesn’t love a New Yorker Mama? :) But mostly I’ve learned to keep up through their IG feeds.
What's next for you and family? Any upcoming project / holiday plans?
Next for our family is probably the ongoing work in progress towards entrepreneurial/financial freedom. We’re still trying to find the rhythm between raising our children and growing our business while learning to dance to the music. Other than that, holidays... yes! That’s always in the books for us... we love to travel. The kids are praying for a winter holiday this year, so we’re working very hard to make that happen.
A piece of advice for new moms like me :) ?
Parenting is a continuous process. Never stop learning. Never stop educating yourself. Never be too “mature” to learn from your children, because they can teach you a lot of things.
Always make the time to remind yourself that you are doing a good job, to give yourself a pat on the back and to tell yourself that you are a good mom. Cut yourself some slack. So what if beds aren’t made once in a while? We’ve never heard of people dying of an unmade bed, am I right? (I am sighing in relieve, thank you for this, mama maya, I can't help but to call you 'mama' too -moz)
Forgive yourself, a lot! Nobody is perfect anyway :)
Also, when you’re busy taking care of everybody else, don’t forget to take care of you.