I am not sure what grade I was in, likely 1st or 2nd, when we clumsily traced silhouettes as gifts for our parents. I do remember thinking they were so very cool. It was no surprise, then, that I was instantly drawn to the work of Vana Chupp an artist many of my creative friends know and love. I was so pleased, then, when I met her and fell in love with both her work and, well, her!
Vana is the owner and creative director of Le Papier Studio – an online graphic design and product boutique specializing in elegant and one-of-a-kind silhouette heirlooms. She also has two lovely books published through Chronicle. The first is aptly called Silhouette Art and the second Pretty Paper Parties is a DIYer’s dream for customizable party delights.
Vana has two children. She has a sitter who watches her littlest twice a week while she goes to her studio for a couple of hours. Her oldest is in school for most of the day. She also, like many creative moms, works from home while the baby naps or late in the evening when her kids go to bed.
Here’s what Vana had to say about being a SpitfireMom.
How does being a mom influence your work?
Becoming a mom was the reason I started my business – my first born, Nikolas was the main inspiration behind my niche, silhouettes. Motherhood has made me super organized and efficient with my time. I am a list person. Ever since I had my babies, I tend to forget a lot so keeping a list of priorities is my saving grace. Being a mom has made me more emotional and compassionate than ever before and I can relate to my customers in a deeper level.
Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients?
My babies are the reason why I do what I do. I talk, write (read: blog) and brag about them every chance I get. But as much as I love them, and love being a mother, I also value my time away from them. I am a better mother and wife when I know I have achieved doing what makes me passionate and sets my heart on file.
We know a SpitfireMom like Vana has tips to share, so we asked for her best time saving trick:
Make a list of things that need your attention the night before. It has become a routine for me. I won’t go to bed without writing down tomorrow’s tasks. Attend to most of those tasks (if not all) by their due time. I can’t ever be a procrastinator. It’s something I was born with I think.
What’s one thing you haven’t figured out?
I have a deep love for illustrating by hand – you know, the sketching, watercoloring, the works. It’s the one thing I can’t seem to find the time to get to. And it makes me sad. Seems like running a business and attending to life’s needs has put this long lost love on the back burner. But once I get to it…well, watch out world!
And, if you’re a mom entrepreneur and just found out your expecting, Vana says:
Don’t aim for the perfect balance between family and work because such thing doesn’t really exist. Instead, look at life as a series of choices, all the necessary decisions you have to make in order for life to run smoothly. Some will take priority over others. It’s called “balancing act”, the weight of one aspect of life in excess of another.
I love the calm, even-keeled approach Vana has to life and the underlying fiery passion that fuels her work. Vana, welcome aboard!
Julie & Heidi
Know a fabulous, creative mompreneur? We want to hear about her (or YOU)!
Le Papier Studio