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The Spitfire Mom Society Introduces: Justina Blakeney

By May 20, 2016

Spitfiremom_template_Justina2 One of the neat things about the community of creative working moms is they’re quick to connect one mom to another rad mom. Jenn mentioned it recently in her post on mentorship. We’ve found it to be true here too. It’s thanks to an intro from one of our first SpitfireMoms, Chandra of Oh Lovely Day, that we were connected to today’s SpitfireMom, Justina Blakeney.

A thoroughly modern hyphenate, Justina describes herself as a designer/stylist/blogger type. Basically, she designs and makes (stunningly beautiful) stuff, and then shares it with the (very appreciative) world. You can get a glimpse into the world of the New Bohemians, and dabble in some DIY yourself, with Justina’s book coming out next April exploring the homes of a new creative class.

She’s also the mom to a little one, Ida. While Justina’s working, Ida is mostly with her father (Justina’s husband, Jason). He’s a stay-at-home dad. Her week is structured in a way that she works from home or cafes five days a week until usually about 3 or 4, then a family outing or just hang out together around the house. Tuesdays are an ‘all day’ work day and Ida is with her grandma. Weekends are reserved for family time, which usually means a trip to the farmers markets, going out for breakfast and then hitting up a museum, or going to hang with family or friends.

In the evenings bath-time and night-time are mostly time that Justina has one-on-one with Ida. Then if she has a photoshoot, deadline, or Ida has a doctor’s appointment the schedule changes, but that’s the general framework. The family works to keep things pretty flexible and fluid.

How does being a mom influence your work?

Being a mom influences my work because I’m forced to be better about managing my time. Also, I can’t work until the wee hours or do outrageous requests for clients because I also have to think about what’s best for Ida. It’s challenging to find the time to get everything done. I think, on average, I sleep about three hours less per night than I did before I became a mom.

One way it’s positively affected my work is that I’ve become close with a number of other designer/moms because we can relate to each other in a new way. We have common challenges and are all juggling all the time. We support and help each other grow. Also, she inspires the heck out of me and puts me in the best mood when she says and does the silliest things. She’s my muse.

Do you talk about your kids with your clients or potential clients?

At this stage most of my clients are pretty familiar with me and my life because of my blog, they already know about Ida, most of them have even read her birth story, know what a difficult time I had with breast-feeding, and know her favorite color is purple!

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SpitfireMom Introduces: Alicia Rosauer, Unison Home

By December 2, 2015

Spitfiremom_Alicia-Rosauer For nearly all of us, Balance is the name of the game. It is what we strive for, what we rejoice in, and what we covet in other’s lives. My balance idol is SpitfireMom Alicia Rosauer, mother of two, pregnant with her third and co-owner of Pinterest-worthy Unison home décor. For ten years, she has worked as the Creative and Marketing Director at Unison as well as designing some of the products with her husband and other artists, building a very successful website and brick and mortar store in her native Chicago.

Her life is busy to say the least. But with the support of great staff and a nanny, she and her husband have worked out the ever coveted work/life balance. Her philosophy about making the important everyday decisions, and owning her choices is being true to herself and finding that balance within her partnerships. “Supporting each other’s decisions is really crucial; otherwise there is unnecessary stress.”

And now, with their third daughter on the way, Alicia is reevaluating her role within her company and her family. For Alicia, balance is not about doing everything all at the same time, but learning when it is time to work on the business and when it is time to be home with the kids. Balance takes place over a lifetime, and she is heeding the warning of people on their deathbeds who regretted ‘working too much,’ and finding balance in her life.

This is what this fantastic SpitfireMom has to say about being an entrepreneur and mom:

What do you love most about being an entrepreneur, and what’s one thing you wish you could change about it?

The best part is that we can decide whatever products we want to make or develop and be involved with every twist and turn it takes to get them made and marketed. We believe in adding to your style, and making our products versatile and timeless. We don’t push an idea that you have to buy into our whole look or style. We want to offer products that are of the moment, but that can also work with what you already have.  The bonus is that Robert and I are almost always in sync with our ideas and interests, and that we are a husband and wife team working together.

The one thing I wish I could change about it is the challenge of being involved in so many levels can be overwhelming at times. There is also the aspect of continually growing the business to satisfy your own wishes, the company’s needs and staff support.

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Minted $125 Holiday Gift Giveaway!

By November 23, 2015

SpitfireMoms! The holiday season is upon us, and we want to make your life a wee bit easier. We’ve teamed up with our favorite source – Minted, to provide one lucky reader with a $125 gift credit. Minted is the world’s premier marketplace for independent design. They source exceptional artists and designers all over the world and bring their work to consumers who appreciate great design!

Use that $125 credit to create a gorgeous, foil holiday card like we did last year; a piece of custom silhouette art of your child, or every grandparents pride and joy – the photo calendar. It’s up to you!

Here’s a few of my favorite Holiday designs:

Modern Doves  /  Love and Joy  /  Holiday Cheer  /  Watercolor Tidings  /  Bright Future

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The SpitfireMom Society Introduces: Tran Wills

By November 2, 2015

Spitfiremom_Tran-Wills Denver is not a particularly large city, and so it always amazes me to meet new, interesting, vibrant people. This is very egocentric of me, I know, but really – where are all of these cool people hiding and why aren’t they all friends with me? It’s distressing. Tran Wills is one of these awesome Denverites. Tran and her husband Josh have three thriving businesses and four thriving kids here in the Mile High City. They are cofounders of Base Coat Nail Salon and SVPER ORDINARY, a gallery and retail shop located at The Source. Josh also cofounded Consume & Create, a Design Studio. Their kids range in age from 4 to 16, the oldest having been born while Tran was still in high school. Josh worked nights and Tran worked part time while she finished school. A few years later, their first business was born: The Fabric Lab. Eighteen years and several businesses later, Base Coat is set to open a second location in Los Angeles next summer, while SVPER ORDINARY has a fabulous space in downtown Denver.

Tran’s philosophy in her business and personal lives can be summed up in one word: discipline. She sets all clocks 15-20 minutes ahead because she would rather be 20 minutes early rather than 5 minutes late. After the kids are dropped off at their various schools, she and Josh head to work. Tran visits each store a couple times a week and works from 8-2:30. From 2:30-9 they tackle dinner and homework. When the kids are in bed, it’s couple time – TV, email, and laundry. Weekends are strictly reserved for family.

Here’s what Tran had to say about being a SpitfireMom:

How has motherhood influenced your work? Your creativity? Your business? Has your clientele shifted at all?

My family is the reason why I am an entrepreneur. I get up every day for them even days when I just don’t want to and hide in bed. They depend on me and I depend on them. I want them to see that anything is possible if you work really hard and have a dream you whole heartedly believe in. Owning a business is one of the hardest things I have ever done but I do not ever regret one day of it and I never want my kids every living with regrets. Motherhood has made me a great multi-tasker, which helps me every day in my businesses to get all the shit I need done to help the success of our businesses and be better at time management. I am rarely late. I set my clocks 15-20 minutes early. My husband hates it. I am not of fan of tardiness at all, I rather be 20 minutes early than 5 minutes late. The most challenging, nothing kills me more when people are late to a meeting with me. It’s kinda crazy I know but to me it’s super disrespectful because I made the time to see you and I deserve that same respect back because my time is just as valuable. We have the best customers/clients in the world and people who have been supporters who have been with my since our first business, The Fabric Lab, when I was 22 watched me grow up and my businesses grow up. So in a sense all clients and customers all too grew up with me. Does that make sense? When I am buying merchandise for the stores especially kids retail I ask them questions and have them use the products first before we put products on the shelves. They have no biased opinions and are honest right off the bat to help me make decisions. It’s great! They keep me on my toes and that’s when you have to get creative and improve.

Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients? If so, what is your approach?

My kids are part of our businesses in every way. I am honest to clients and customers about my life and I think they appreciate the honesty. If people want to really work with you they will. My kids come to business meetings, and to the store when I do not have a sitter and events. This is the way it is for us and we have never had a problem with clients or customers and if they did, do you really want those people in your lives or work with them?

If you could go back into time at the start of your business, what knowledge would your current self share?

If I could go back I would listen to my gut more about the people I had enter my life. I unfortunately surrounded by people who were not good for myself and family and I knew that but chose to ignore it. I give people a benefit of the doubt. Right now in our lives we are very selective about the people we have enter in our lives and ever since we did that we are in such and amazing place with amazing people that we are so lucky to call friends and be partners with. Get rid of the poison in your lives. It is so good to breathe again!

What do your kids know and think about your business? Or, what do you want your kids to know about your business when they’re older?

Having 3 older kids it has been great to hear them tell Josh and I, their friends and our family that we are their role models. I think that is the best thing and the understand why we work so hard. For Them. They know we own our own businesses and it’s not a typical 9-5 and our days can get crazy. They have embraced it. We are so supportive of our kids and they are so supportive of us. Our 5 year old is funny and really doesn’t understand what we do other than we are the “Boss Applesauce”.

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This Spitfiremom loves Rodan + Fields

By October 28, 2015

Hi guys!
It’s here! I’m just past my 60 day mark using new skincare routine, using Rodan + Fields, and I’m excited to share the results. If you’d like to follow along on my skincare journey, see this post, and this. To recap, I’m using Rodan + Fields Redefine Regimen, Eye Cream, and Hand Treatment.

60 days out, my skin is smoother, firmer, my wrinkles have diminished quite a bit, and overall my skin just has a natural GLOW. Most days I don’t even wear powder or blush. What may have seemed daunting in the beginning is now a natural part of my day. And as I approach my birthday on friday, I am feeling really good about turning 34 (plus 10!). Having confidence in your skin cannot be underestimated!



So thanks again for following along on my skincare journey. It’s been awesome to hear how Rodan + Fields has helped over SpitfireMoms as well. If you’re interested in their product line (or the business itself) please be sure to reach out to my girl Deanna!

~ Heidi


Connect with my R+F rep, Deanna here:
Website   /  Facebook   /  Instagram


Note: Products were provided by Rodan + Fields consultant Deanna Koether. All opinions and styling are our own.