I’ve been a fan of this next SpitfireMom for years now. Being thoroughly immersed in the wedding industry, I was familiar with her stunning designs, not to mention her oh-so-gorgeous office, which has made the rounds on many a style site. And then I found her blog La Petite Peach, and let’s just say I was hooked!
Desiree Spinner is the Editor and Creative Director of La Petite Peach, the blog for all things fashion, travel, and design for selective mamas. She started the site as a personal blog to catalog her favorite European finds after living abroad in Italy with her then one year old. The time they spent there was truly amazing, and she was so inspired by the European way of life. Everything was quality over quantity, and family was always #1. It was exactly how she wanted to raise her family, and she tries to live that every day.
She currently runs the site just like a magazine with an editorial calendar, and stays ahead by three months! It’s not easy to do but she runs the blog out of her home office (yes, the one I love), which makes running a small business much more manageable. A little over a year ago, she convinced her husband (begrudgingly) to turn their old 1970’s garage into a gorgeous, creative space for Desiree and the La Petite Peach staff to work out of. It was a labor of love but now she can have her kids at work with her if need be (snow days, ahem!), and be more present with her team.
Her oldest is in school so she works school hours, and the baby hangs out at the office. No matter what, at 2:30 when the school day is over, she shuts her computer down, and puts in some quality kid time. She says it’s the only way to keep, balance when your office is at home. If she really needs to, she puts in a few hours in the morning before school. She tries not to work at night because that takes away from quality hubby time.
Here’s what Desiree had to say about being a SpitfireMom.
How does being a mom influence your work?
I have always been the type to finish a project before starting a new one but now I am the ultimate multitasker! I think being a mom made me more efficient with my time. It influences my work every day because I am constantly thinking about the brands/artists/designers we feature, and how readers will respond to them. I always have to be true to myself, and ask “would I use this product/photographer/designer etc. for my family?” if the answer stays yes, I know I am doing my job! The MOST challenging part right now is when the baby starts to cry, and I have to stop what I am doing, even if I am on a roll. When I am being creative, and I have to cut it short, I just remind myself that she is only this little once, tomorrow she will be a day older. It keeps me sane when I need to put things aside and be the best mom I can be.
Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients?
I have pictures everywhere! However, most of my work is done online or over the phone. I wish we had more clients come into the office; we have a ton of fun! Typically clients will bring it up to be because they follow LPP on social media, and I post pics of the new baby so they often ask. I love relating being a mom to a new product that is being pitched for a feature. For example I was pitched a shopping site with all designer fashion, but breast-feeding friendly (i.e. easy access). I LOVED chatting about it because I am a mom who works so I want to look fashionable at the office, but I need to be practical as well. It’s fun to exchange stories with clients; it makes our site feel like we are connecting with people, and not just putting things out into the blogosphere.
We know a SpitfireMom like Desiree has tips to share, so we asked for her best time saving trick:
My least exciting time saving tip is to respond to emails first thing in the morning and never at night. There is nothing worse than waking up to 500 emails and your phone beeping like crazy while you are trying to get yourself, and the kids, ready for the day I also take meetings before regular office hours (but after the kids are in school) if it is possible, that way I am not taking time away from connecting and being creative with the LPP team. Since my day ends at 230, I want to be able to greet every employee when they arrive and not take meetings during the day so I am there to help and guide them when they need me.
What’s one thing you haven’t figured out?
The one thing I feel at the end of every day is, there are not enough hours to get everything done. I never quite finish the laundry or have two hours of work on a school project or get everyone in the bath before bed. I try to be realistic about how much I can do in 24 hours. Sometimes things get crazy but you just have to keep your head high and get through whatever it is with grace and class. I make sure no matter how tired I am, I get up early and go to bed early. Sleep is the most important thing, if you’re tired you can’t put your best self forward.
And, if you’re a mom entrepreneur and just found out your expecting, Desiree says:
I would say that the most important thing you can do is take time to be at home with the baby if you can. I planned a year before the baby came to take three months of not working at all, a real maternity leave. It was hard because my team works out of my home office so I wanted to be there, but I promised myself I would give the baby all of me for three months then slowly ease into the work week. It took a TON of planning in advance, but it was so worth it. We had some amazing bonding time, and because I had planned so carefully, nothing fell apart while I was out.
Family and career focused, organized to the nines, European sensibilities and an advocate for maternity leave (and a good night’s sleep)…Desiree is our kinda Spitfiremom!
Heidi & Julie
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