Here at The Mommy Spot Tampa, we love to support local mom entrepreneurs so every week we will be featuring a new one. Juggling motherhood and your own business is always a challenge so we want to hear how all of the other mommies handle it. We are very excited to announce Mary Ann Konstas as this week’s Featured Mompreneur, take the stage Mary Ann…
What is the name of your business and what is your title?
I am the owner of Arabella Jane
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have a three year old daughter and my son will be one at the end of July.
Are you a native to Tampa? If not, tell us why and when you relocated here.
I am! I was raised in South Tampa and went to Plant. My husband and I moved around a few times for graduate school, but were happy to settle back here in 2012.
Tell us about your business and how you became a mompreneur.
While I was pregnant with my daughter, I took up jewelry making and had begun to enjoy the creative outlet it offered me at the end of a busy work day. I set up an Etsy shop, but I didn’t know anything about marketing and using social media, so the shop just kind of existed. After she was born I decided to stay home with her and use my flexible schedule at home as an opportunity to grow my creative business. I’ve always loved vintage jewelry, and had been wearing one of my Grandmother’s pins as a necklace for years. One day, the idea just clicked to create an entire line of jewelry that featured vintage pieces. I had my first “show” at my house and it has evolved from there!
What is the best part about being a mompreneur?
I love the flexibility it offers me. I love that I can just walk into my front bedroom and be “at work” while my kids are napping or after they go to bed. Some weeks are more productive than others, but at this stage of their lives, I don’t want to miss a thing! Having this type of business that I run out of my home means that I can enjoy them fully and work in my own time and at my own pace.
What is the hardest part about being a mompreneur?
Having a flexible schedule can also be difficult! While, like I said, I love being able to work during the kids’ naptimes, sometimes, it is hard to unplug and leave the business behind to just be present with my family. Balancing everything is certainly a challenge. Also, because of the stage of life I am in, I can’t say yes to every opportunity and I have to be content with giving the business what I can, when I can. I have to try not to worry that it is not enough, but just be grateful for where I am.
How do you balance motherhood and running your own business?
I have to keep my priorities in line. Faith and family come first and the business falls in line after those things. I work best when I lay out some goals for myself at the beginning of each week and try to be realistic about what I can accomplish. When you run a creative business alone, sometimes you can feel like a little bit of a chicken without a head, wondering what to do next and jumping from task to task. If I reign myself in and make a plan of short and long term goals, I feel more focused and can get more done. Sometimes though, having small children means being willing to switch gears. I may have a meeting scheduled, but if my daughter gets sick and I don’t have a babysitter, things have to get shuffled around. I am grateful that most of the people I work with are incredibly understanding and patient with me and my crazy life!
Any tips or advice you would like to offer other mompreneurs (or aspiring mompreneurs)?
It has been really helpful for me to network with other creative business owners. Find a group of people that are working towards similar goals and share ideas, offer support, and learn from each other. Also, be patient and gracious with yourself–being a mom AND running a business is tough and not always a pretty picture. If you are feeling burnt out, take a break and re-evaluate your schedule. It may be time to hire help or delegate tasks if the business is growing and you don’t have any more hours to commit.
Where can we find your business?