Who doesn’t love a good party? Maddy Hague is out to make every party more than good. She’s the owner and designer behind Splendid Supply Co., a boutique party and home goods line and our newest SpitfireMom.
Splendid Supply Co. is a spin-off of a blog Maddy was writing, Somewhere Splendid, which blended entertaining and home decor into a new “nesting” category. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a Graphic Design BFA in 2006 (as did her husband-they met on Freshman Orientation Day!). She worked for Target Marketing as an Art Director/Graphic Designer. For the seven years she worked there she became a sponge, learning a ton about styling and photography. In fact, she now teaches a class in photo styling for bloggers called The Style Lab with her pal Shauna.
She’s a work at home mom, which for her means each week is incredibly unstructured. Playdates, impromptu berry picking or trips to the zoo, emergency trips to Target because her daughter Aurora (age 2) can’t find her favorite headband and is now having a massive meltdown about it… it all happens during a week. Maddy tries to stay nimble and have a constantly changing list of work tasks she needs to accomplish during that week. Some things she can do while Aurora is entertaining herself, some things Aurora gets to “help” with (like when Maddy’s recipe testing for a Momtastic post or when she’s photographing a new product – Aurora absolutely loves “taking pictures,” which for her is pressing the camera button when mom says “NOW!”).
Maddy says she left the Target job to dedicate as much time to raising Aurora as possible, so at the end of the day, if that means she’s working at night because she needs to focus on her daughter during the day, that’s what happens.
Here’s what Maddy had to say about being SpitfireMom.
How does being a mom influence your work?
I’m definitely a lot better about knowing the value of my time and how much I can handle. Before having a kid, I was an ultra-overachiever. I wanted to take on everything, because there were so many projects I wanted to do. I was running a wedding blog, a nesting blog, an online magazine, and working full time all at the same time. It was absolute insanity! I managed to balance pretty well, but I was running myself creatively ragged.
Now, I’m way better at saying no, and I’m a lot more honest with myself about what I can handle and if it’s worth my time. That was a huge reason why Somewhere Splendid evolved into a product line. Although there’s a misconception that bloggers make the Big Bucks once their traffic is doing well, it’s not really true. If I broke down the number of hours I was putting into the blog and the amount of money I was bringing home because of it, I was making an abysmally low hourly rate, way below minimum wage. Aurora helped me see that it wasn’t really worth it. I’d much rather be spending the time with her!
The product line certainly requires a good amount of time and attention, but it’ll be easier to get to the point where I can hire help if I need it, which is really important to me now.
I sort of had to back away from too much freelancing because my schedule is so unpredictable. I really enjoyed having different clients and projects, but I just can’t handle it. I make exceptions every now and again, but I’m keenly aware that my schedule is unpredictable and clients typically can’t be flexible on their timing. I did all of the branding for Splendid Supply Co., and I designed the new website for the brand (with development by Zoe Rooney!), so that was my branding fix for the time being.
Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients?
My Instagram feed for @somewheresplendid is littered with pictures of Aurora, so I think everyone is pretty well aware of the kiddo. I keep my @splendidsupply feed product focused though. I don’t mind talking about A online – I know some parents do, and I respect that, but since my family and my husband’s family are both scattered across the US (none of them are based in the Twin Cities, MN, like we are), it’s really the best way to let them all see her grow up. I shy away from any “naked baby in the tub” pics though. Even though we’re okay with posting pictures of her, I am well aware that the Internet isn’t always a super shiny, happy, friendly place, so I edit appropriately.
We know a SpitfireMom like Maddy has tips to share, so we asked for her best time saving trick:
It sounds really simple, but honestly: focus on one thing at a time. If you’re going to play with the kids, play with the kids. If you’re going to work, work. Dividing your attention leaves you feeling scattered and prone to making mistakes, and rework is the hugest time suck of all. Also: cook in large batches if you have a busy week ahead. Five minutes in the microwave is infinitely superior to 30-60 minutes in front of the stove top.
What’s one thing you haven’t figured out?
I have nothing figured out, hah! Being a mom is something you’re never 100% on top of, I think. My biggest challenge is probably keeping my house immaculate for more than a couple of hours. If someone is an expert on keeping clean with little kids and has great advice, I’m all ears!
And, if you’re a mom entrepreneur and just found out you’re expecting, Maddy says:
Some moms can be judgier than Mean Girls in high school. Don’t worry what other people think of your parenting style. Do what’s right for you, and what’s right for your child. Only you can determine that, so ignore anyone else who feels like giving you unsolicited advice. Oh, and get the freakin’ epidural. It’s a life saver.
What a wonderful peek into your splendid family, Maddy. Thanks for sharing your journey with us! I’m off to ogle those delightful tassel mobiles on your site…
Jenn & Heidi
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