Brenda and I have been circling ’round each other for a couple years. She knows people I know. Her husband grew up near where I grew up (as did Kelly Allison’s husband…who knew my hometown produced such good husband material? Not me!) We met through mutual friends at a party and had one of those instantly wonderful conversation. She’s smart, interesting, and utterly cool.
Brenda owns a design studio, Wink Design Atelier, where she is a creative director and designer working primarily with well-known and luxury brands to create or elevate their brand. Because she’s utterly cool, she also just launched a new project that I can’t get enough of, Get Fueled. It’s a blog that explores the creative process by interviewing an incredible array of talented people and teams. (Go get inspired!)
Brenda has a 10-year-old son who goes to Chicago’s first public Montessori school from 8:30 to 3:30 on most days. Sometimes he has an after school special, like rock band, and then he stays at school until 4:30. Brenda tries to schedule any meetings during the hours he is at school but play dates, getting a sitter, or even bringing him along works too.
Here’s what Brenda had to say about being a SpitfireMom.
How does being a mom influence your work?
Being a mom has forced me to be efficient and decisive with my design work. I go with my gut, and my design work feels fresher because of it. Also, the same rules apply to parenting as they do to running a business. Clear communication, setting parameters, and letting people know what they can expect from you and what you expect from them are key to being a good mom as well as a good business woman.
Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients?
My work and my family are both huge parts of my life. I talk about my family with my clients and I show my projects to my family. There are just too many funny anecdotes about my son, I can’t help but share them. Also, I love hearing his perspective on my design work. He has a great eye.
We know a SpitfireMom like Brenda has tips to share, so we asked for her best time saving trick:
There are no real tricks to time saving. You just need to decide what is the most important and not worry about the rest of it. So, if you stop by for a cocktail, the house may or may not be tidy.
What’s one thing you haven’t figured out?
I have not figured out how to answer emails AND build a LEGO star ship AND make dinner AND decide what my special magical powers are, all at the same time. I’m currently working on how to worry a little less. I believe that a little bit of freedom fosters creativity and confidence, it’s just hard to give that freedom to my child in this scary world.
And, if you’re a mom entrepreneur and just found out your expecting, Brenda says:
Awesome ! Exciting ! Congrats ! When can I come see the baby? I try not to overwhelm them with advice or suggestions unless they ask. Mostly, I let them know that I’m here to help. We are all so capable, all the moms that I know figure it out and we all bounce ideas off each other. I guess the one piece of advice that I would give is this – don’t be competitive with the other new moms, be open and sharing. It’s more fun and more helpful.
Brenda, a clinking of glasses is long overdue. I’m up for messy-house cocktails anytime. Your place or mine?
Julie & Heidi
Know a fabulous, creative mompreneur? We want to hear about her (or YOU)!