This post is part of our monthly series where Family Editor Lindsay Meyer-Harley introduces us to an inspiring mother. All participants are asked the same 20 questions, with one prerequisite: to provide honest answers on life with children. We are sure each will have her own unique response, and look forward to sharing their anecdotes, advice, travel dreams, and even their favorite cocktail with you!
For today's interviewee, Elle Rowley, entrepreneurship began at home. In a burst of thrifty creativity, Elle sewed a handmade wrap to carry her newborn son (plus a few as gifts for her fellow mama friends), and before long, she had built a thriving (albeit unexpected) business called Solly Baby around her sweet and functional fabric creations. She believes that becoming a mom shouldn't minimize a woman's individuality, but rather add to it, and her work supports every parent's unique identity while also providing infants with comfort and care – a philosophy that we can certainly get behind.
What's your favorite time of day and why?
I love the early morning when everyone else is still sleeping and the morning light seeps in our windows. I'm able to work and study without interruption, which makes me feel so much more relaxed for the rest of the day.
It's crazy how much regular work hours have been changed by social media. If I start emailing people at night, then I'll have responses before I even close my computer. It seems like early in the morning is the only time I can really get "ahead"...at least for an hour or two.
If you could hop a plane (with or without children) and go anywhere in the world, where would it be, and for how long would you go?
A European city I haven't been to. I get bored by going to the same places, so I'm always looking for a new, unexplored place with a lot of history and good food. Right now, I can't hack more than four nights away from my kids without feeling anxious, so I'd rather take them with me so we could stay for a few weeks.
I am so excited to one day travel with Jared, my husband, sans children. We were so poor when we dated and before children that we didn't travel together much. One day we'll make up for lost time.
What's your tip for looking awake in the morning after a bad night's sleep? (Okay, let's be honest, a few years of limited sleep.)
Lots of under-eye concealer? Ha! I don't know, but if you figure it out, let me know.
Last books you read for both kids and adults?
I just finished The Wizard of Oz with the kids and I'm reading Simplicity Parenting for the second time.
How do you take your coffee?
I don't. Ha! I'm Mormon, so I don’t drink coffee or tea, which never used to be a big deal until having children and working crazy hours. Now I want all the caffeine/superfood/legal stimulants the world has to offer. (Kidding, but not.)
Have you had a parenting misstep you learned from? What was it?
I manage to mess it up in one way or another every day. I've stopped obsessing over every time I lose my cool or feel frustrated. Instead of trying to achieve perfection each day as a parent, I try to focus on just being a happier and more understanding mom each day. And I always say "I'm sorry."
Favorite online shops?
Darling Clementine is definitely one of my tops! I love small, curated online shops. With a sea of options out there, I appreciate when someone with good taste wades through it all and finds the best. I'm also partial to our children's line, ShopArq.com.
What is one piece of advice you'd give a new mother?
Trust your gut.
What app can't you live without?
I know it's not new or "cool," but I depend on Yelp. I travel quite a bit, so it's so amazing to use Yelp to find the best food wherever I am.
Are you doing what you thought youd be doing when you were a kid?
Yes and no. I loved playing house, writing and pretending to carry a briefcase with "important documents" inside like a real businessperson. I kind of do all of those things, but I don’t have a briefcase. Just a laptop. :)
What is a white lie you tell your kids?
I tell them that fast food has poison in it. Ha! That sounds so much worse when you write it down.
Do you have a style icon?
I am infatuated by so many different eras and women that I don't know if I could choose just one. But I do find myself falling back on Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O more than anyone else.
What is your favorite type of flower?
Peony. I know, it's everybody's favorite, but I can't help it. They're so stunning, they bloom on my birthday, and the blooms on the plant get better with time. What could be more beautiful?
What's your favorite cocktail?
Oh my, now I'm really going to look like a religious superfreak. I don't drink alcohol either! Pretty sure I just got kicked off a few invite lists.
What's your favorite TV show?
Right now it's Parks and Recreation. I'm also obsessed with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
What's the best compliment you've ever received?
There's nothing better you could say to me than that I'm a good mom or wife. I work hard to be a good business owner and good at a lot of other things, but, really, we all know at the end of the day our relationships are everything.
If you could talk to your 19-year-old self, what would you say?
Stop putting stupid bumper stickers on your car. They're ugly and they're going to make it way harder to sell the car.
How do you and your partner stay connected and prioritize your relationship?
Date night is everything! We also prioritize each other's time alone. We both have pretty intense schedules with work and kids, and we both need time alone to recharge. We give each other a night or day off at least once a week. I can tell when Jared needs a break, and I'll push him out the door to go see a movie or to go surfing. He always comes back a new man. He does the same for me.
What do you hope your kids are when they grow up?
p.s. Have you met Amanda Waters, the inspiring mama behind Homesong?