Pam, local mom of two and owner of Mini Monet
Why did you decide to launch your business?
I went to school to be an art teacher and taught at Bayport-Blue Point SD for 4 years many moons ago. I missed working with kids and began teaching events at libraries about 6-8 years ago. While I was going through a tough divorce, I started journaling about owning my own art studio. I keep dreaming about it and then about 4 months later I found out that Mini Monet was for sale. I manifested my dream!
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have 2 kids who are my world! They are 23 and 19. My daughter is in grad school in Florida so I don’t get to see her often which is hard. My son is going to college for acting. For me it was important for my kids to see me own my own business (I also owned Fireflies children’s clothing boutique for 10 years and Garden of Beadin’ Bead Shop for 4 years). I wanted my daughter to see how empowering it is for a woman to be successful on her own. Both of my kids have worked for me. I wish for my children to have the confidence to believe in themselves and to know that they can do what makes them happy. I hope that they see that it truly is possible to follow your dreams by seeing that I was able to do it.
What motivates you?
When I go to work each day and get to do what I love! When I see my students come in excited for class, to see the smiling faces at birthday parties, to see an adult come to a class a bit intimidated and then at the end see that they are beaming with pride at their art…these all motivate me to keep going, to keep challenging myself even on the bad days.
How have your notions of what it means to be a woman changed over your lifetime?
The notion of being a woman has changed for me over my lifetime. In my younger days it was being married and raising a family. That was a huge priority for me. Now that I am divorced and my kids are grown, it is more about taking care of myself inside and out. I have recently changed my eating habits and have switched to a plant based vegan diet and have lost almost 20 lbs and I feel incredible. I make sure to allow time for exercise, art time and times for quiet walks on the beach alone. I have learned to let go of things I have no control over, some days that can be a challenge!
Define motherhood in your own words.
I define motherhood as a chance to learn to grow. You start out with no idea what you are doing, no handbook or guidelines. You make many mistakes but you learn as well. Being a parent has allowed me to look inside my own heart and work through my own childhood experiences. It isn’t always easy being a parent for sure but I would do it over and over again if I could.
What is the best mom advice you can give?
The best advice as a “seasoned” mom-remember we can’t do it all! It’s ok to not be the perfect mother who cooks the best meals and is there at every bake sale. Take some time for yourself even if it’s a 10 minute walk to be a better mom. Let your kids see you make mistakes, talk about it with them, allow them to express themselves even when you don’t agree. One of the biggest challenges was the teenage years with my kids, it was hell! Even when they hated me, I am sure many can relate, I never stopped telling them I love them. They may go away for a period but if you maintain that relationship they will come back to you.