The Her Story Rocks campaign is aligned with our mission of empowering girl bosses, goal-getters and rising womanpreneurs to build strong mindsets and the life and biz of their dreams.
As we share the “real life” side of entrepreneurship it is my prayer that you are provided the tools and confidence to move past roadblocks, overcome obstacles and boldly go after what sets your soul on fire.
Join us here every other week as amazing womanpreneurs and creatives uncover some of what it’s really like to pursue a biz or passion.
Jewelry Designer, Melanie Marie shares what’s it’s like balancing mommyhood and entrepreneurship.
Melanie, better known as Melanie Marie, is a fellow Hamptonian – for those that didn’t know I am a proud Hampton U alum – and jewelry/accessory designer. I originally learned of Melanie and her biz/brand MELANIE MARIE via a mutual friend and have been following Melanie online for a few years now. I am so inspired by Melanie’s hustle and have loved baring witness to her biz growth.
Being the fabulous business woman that she is and new mother to beautiful AnnDrew, Melanie slays the title “mompreneur”. As AnnDrew is now 9 months old, Melanie is definitely into her rhythm with balancing mommyhood and biz. And because she’s does it so effortlessly, I reached out to her to grab some of her best advice and most valuable tips on doing so.
I’m super excited to share Melanie’s story via Her Story Rocks Campaign as I know it is one you all will enjoy. This interview just so happens to fall right in line with Melanie’s “Mamas in Business” event that she is hosting in New York on March 26th. Check out the flyer below for more details and in the meantime —-> Melanie Marie on Balancing Mommyhood and Entrepreneurship…
PRECIOUS: Finish this sentence: Mommyhood and entrepreneurship is like___.
Melanie: A roller coaster with no brakes! There are ups and downs but it never stops. You have to keep going!
PRECIOUS: I can Imagine! Can you Share one memorable high moment (laughable moment) and low moment (moment that brought you to tears) since having AnnDrew?
Melanie: I don’t really have just one high moment because we usually have a good time. BUT I love when she grabs my cheek, kisses and hugs me…that’s really sweet! I really enjoy those moments. In regard to a low moment, there was one time when Drew (my boyfriend) and I had conflicting schedules. AnnDrew was in a fussy mood and I was trying to get some things done. I was a little overwhelmed that day. I really needed a moment to myself and was feeling like – ahhh lol.
PRECIOUS: What would you say is the greatest challenge, to date, that you’ve experienced while balancing motherhood and running your biz?
Melanie: The Christmas season is my busiest season and I get hundreds of orders. This past Christmas was my first with AnnDrew. Man oh man!…Trying to make sure all packages were out, all emails were answered and everyone got items on time was extremely difficult and a bit overwhelming. Customers can get a bit frantic during the Christmas season if they feel their packages won’t arrive on time. For some reason during that time, AnnDrew wasn’t really napping. I was like just goooooo to sleep so mommy can have just one solid hour to do some work. My boyfriend helped out tremendously and we got through it!
PRECIOUS: I see. I can imagine that the christmas season is crazy lol. Did you take any time off from business when you had little AnnDrew?
Melanie: I did not take any time off. I just took longer breaks (if you will lol). I continued to do some work every day, just not as much. I didn’t want to take a complete break because I knew it would be harder to get back into the swing of things. If I wasn’t sleeping when the baby would sleep, I was doing some type of work.
PRECIOUs: I see. when you say Longer breaks Do you mean not working for days, weeks, or…?
Melanie: No I mean just longer breaks throughout the day. I would take a break for hours, but I would still do something every day.
PRECIOUS: Ah, Got it. Are there any systems (formal or informal) or tools that you implemented to help better manage your business?
Melanie: I have always kept a notepad with me at all times. That’s where I write my to do lists. When something comes up, I write it down. I also make sure I put everything down in my calendar on my phone (all important dates and events). I have so much going on all the time, that if I don’t mark it down there is a high possibility I will forget.
PRECIOUs: What’s your favorite calendar? do you color code your tasks?
I use iCal, the calendar on my phone. I love it because it syncs to all of my devices – my computer, iPad and phone. I also love that when someone sends an email with a date/time it automatically adds that date to my calendar. I don’t color code tasks but I do set reminders for when things are due. If the date is far out I will usually set two reminders – one when it’s close to date and one right before the task is due.
PRECIOUS: Were there any major biz sacrifices that you had to make once you became a mother?
PRECIOUS: What would you say expecting mompreneurs should keep in mind (or be thinking about), as it relates to running their biz before the little one arrives?
Melanie: I would recommend to have a plan mapped out. I find it’s easier with a set system in place. For instance, if your child will be in daycare, I suggest planning to get the bulk of your tasks done while they are away. If your child will be at home, like mine is, make your schedule and the baby’s schedule work in a way that you’re getting work done while they are sleeping. I even recommend waking up a bit earlier to take time for yourself to prepare for the day. One hour by yourself to shower, pray, meditate or just relax does wonders! Trust me!
PRECIOUS: I am all for planning! It’s almost impossible for me to get things done without planning them out and writing them down first. What’s your BEST tip for keeping it all together (which we watch you do so effortlessly) as a mompreneur?
Melanie: I’ll say this again – you have to be extremely organized and have good time management. I am a big time person. I make to do lists everyday and I plan and what times I’m going to complete each tasks. AnnDrew doesn’t go to daycare, so sometimes she may throw me off my schedule a bit. I get the most done when her dad is playing her and when she is sleeping. He is great with helping me when I need to finish certain tasks by a certain time. Most days, I am in the house in pajamas and with my bonnet in my head lol. It isn’t really glamorous 🙂 If I don’t have to go anywhere, all I’m doing is showering and brushing my teeth then it’s work/baby mode.
PRECIOUS: Okay, so I see you have created a mommy and me line – AnnDrew Marie accessories. Let me first say I just LOVE it!!! Can you share more about how this addition came about?
Melanie: Thank you! Well since I create custom pieces, I always made some children’s items but it wasn’t as known because everyone mostly knew my adult pieces. When I had AnnDrew, I decided to launch the mommy and me line. I figured it would be great for two reasons – it can be a business I pass down to AnnDrew (if she chooses to be in business :-)) and it would be a more defined line where people know they can come for custom baby items.
PRECIOUS: What should other moms keep in mind when thinking of adding a ‘mommy and me’ line to their biz?
Melanie: I’m not an expert on mommy and me lines, since I just recently launched mine. I can say to keep it extremely cute. Get some cute kids to model your items. Everyone loves cute kids! AnnDrew is one of my baby models. If you choose to have models make sure you diversify your models so the line can appeal to everyone.
PRECIOUS: Now, you know I can’t leave without learning more about little AnnDrew Marie :). So let’s hear it…
Precious: How old is she now?
Melanie: She’s 9 months old
Precious: What are her favorite foods?
Melanie: Breast milk lol, avocado, green beans, apples and peas.
Precious: What activities does she most enjoy?
Melanie: She enjoys practicing to walk and when we dance with her.
Precious: Is it hard getting her to pose for pictures (or is she just a natural like her mother?) 🙂
Melanie: She is a natural dahlinggg lol When she sees a phone come out, she thinks someone is taking her picture and she stares at the lens. It’s so hilarious.
Precious: LOL, I love it! What is her latest developmental milestone?
Melanie: She stands unassisted for a good while before she falls down.
LOVE IT! Thanks so much for sharing your story with our community, we wish you much success as you continue blossoming as a mompreneur.
Want more? check out Melanie’s dope jewelry line here and don’t forget to check out the Mompreneurs: Mamas in business Event – March 26th at Studio Arte in NEw York. Grab a spot in the room and your ticket here.
Photo cred: Ricky Codio