How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have three boys, almost 6, almost 4 and recent 2.
What do you love about living in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor?
I love the community feeling. People care about each other and community events like Blues & BBQ and The Jazz Fest are anticipated and well attended. Facebook pages like Buy Nothing and Momma pages, as well as sites like Nextdoor are a way in which we can still connect with and help our neighbors, despite Covid restrictions. There are heaps of diverse restaurants, trails to walk, malls, mom and pop stores, and dozens of parks for kids to play at.
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in the area?
Favorite breakfast place is Bluebird Cafe. Favorite dinner is from Sushiya. Most frequented coffee shop is Dunkin’ Donuts (I definitely have a coffee problem).
Tell us about your professional background.
I graduated from Carlson College of Massage Therapy in 2004. I absolutely loved doing massage therapy, helping people heal and have a better quality of life. I had my own business in Kalona for many years. After many years in Kalona and then a short break from massage, I began working again as a massage therapist at a local chiropractic office. I came home full-time soon after my second son was born.
Why did you decide to open this business?
I have loved entrepreneurship since I began my first massage business in 2004. But when I started making dry shampoo about a year ago, I didn’t even think about selling it to others. I didn’t like the aerosol brands I was using and I fell in love with my new product. I told my hairdresser about it and she liked it. She encouraged me to make it so she could sell it at her shop. While I hadn’t thought to sell it before that, since I’ve started selling it I have been so delighted by the fabulous response that I have received about it. I love knowing that others love my powder dry shampoo as much as I do.
What’s the best thing about starting your own business?
The best thing about starting my own small business is that it hardly interferes with my time with my boys. I can make it and package it while they’re in bed at night and can drop off orders at the post office on the way to a play date or other outing with the boys. I’m also really proud of the fact that this is a product that I make. I’m not selling for someone else, I’m selling a product that I fully believe in and adore.
How do you juggle work with mommyhood?
As I stated above, it is still relatively easy to work around my time with my boys. But I definitely still spend too much time shushing my boys while I try to get stuff done. I am trying to be more intentional about playing with them and putting my phone and computer away, limiting my time on technology. I also try to let my boys be a part of my other daily activities as much as possible, whether helping to cook, fold laundry or workout together. Though these chores may take longer with them, we have lots of fun, they’re learning, and they tend to be less needy when I have to do work that they can’t help me with.
How has your job changed during COVID-19?
Compared to so many, my life has changed very little during Covid. Although it was quite difficult at first, once we could get outside we just started spending more time at parks and having play dates with close friends. Because I am a stay at home mom and I homeschool my oldest, I haven’t had to worry about changes to work schedules or online classes for my son. I feel very fortunate for the phase of life we are in right now in regards to Covid. A big change during Covid was that I learned how to make the dry shampoo and began my business.
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?
For me, the best way to stay positive in the midst of Covid was to learn to appreciate what we still had and the benefits of everything shutting down, instead of only complaining about the hardships. Yes, it was hard when the children’s museum closed down or we had to stay home more, but we started doing more crafts together and working out together- I’ve discovered that, with a bit of extra work, I can get a very good workout by doing fun workout videos for kids on YouTube with my boys and we all have a blast. As moms with young children, it can be really easy to get frustrated with our kids while we’re angry with what is going on in our world. However, while they can feel all the tension, kids don’t understand it and they can’t help that they’re kids, doing kid things with kid emotions. I have a quote in the bathroom where I can see it often: “Let them be little”. I have to repeat this to myself often. I need to be in control of my emotions so that I don’t overreact to them. I screw up a lot as a mom, but this has really helped me to stay calmer and breathe more before reacting, especially while dealing with Covid.