Today at Design to die for, I've got a great interview with fellow blogger and mommy Allison Czarnecki. Author of the popular children's blog Petit Elefant, her company's mission is to “help the modern parent navigate the world of parenting” and regularly features craft ideas, how-tos, tips, reviews and giveaways.
Allison is a mother of two and runs Petit Elefant from her home. I was excited to learn a little more about her design style, some of her challenges, and her successes.
Hi Allison! What is your educational background? I have a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science, with an emphasis in Psychology.
I am a professional blogger, social media marketer, copywriter, mother. Not in that order.
I intended from the beginning of blogging to make this a professional endeavor. I never entered this as a casual affair. I thought about it, studied it, and entered blogging with very clear-cut goals and specific ideas about what I wanted to achieve.
My style is so bohemian, in that it's a complete mixture of styles. I was raised by two liberal-ish, hippie parents, so I have a little bit of that in me, but I really love classic, clean, preppy style as well. This is true of my home as well, I love clean lines, but I love color and unexpected pieces all over the house. There's no one way to describe my style, I'm all over the place! I wish my kids would let me dress them, but they're both really independent and have been dressing themselves since they were toddlers. My daughter has really funky style, she wears things I would never in a million years pick out. And my son, well, he's a typical 5-year-old boy. He wears jeans and tees and destroys things as fast as I buy them.
It's really hard to run a business out of my home. I have no help, other than that of my husband when he's not working, so it's really tricky. I'm on the computer on and off all day long, and always well into the night. I'm the one who picks my children up from school, shuttles them to after-school activities, and is home all day with them, so it's a challenge. Balancing work while being at home with my children is the biggest challenge in my life.
I've had a lot of success with what I do, and it's been really rewarding. Last year was really busy for me, and this year is even crazier with my growth as a businesswoman, so it's hard to choose. But last year I arranged to blog about a three-week vacation my family took down the coast of California from San Francisco to San Diego and Catalina Island. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done professionally, arranging the whole thing, but it was completely sponsored and will likely remain one of the best vacations we'll ever take. It was phenomenal. Also, I planned the SocialLuxe Lounge party that was a kickoff for BlogHer 2009 in Chicago, and it was even better than I'd imagined. It was a whole host of brands pampering bloggers before the big conference and it was a spectacular success. We'd planned for about 250 bloggers and over 500 came, and it was the talk of the conference, so that was really exciting for me to have that much success at my first event.
I hesitate to give any tips to moms who are thinking about running a business from home because I haven't figured it out yet! I'm going into my third year, and I'm winging it one day at a time. Every day is different, prepare to be unprepared and shoot from the hip when you have to. Let companies know if you're doing a conference call that you have children in the house, most of the time they understand. Know that you'll be running crazy hours, feel frazzled half the time, and that it's OK to get takeout more often than not!