Find Your Internal Spark
I guess you could say the entrepreneurship bug bit me back in 2011 when I started freelancing in graphic, web design, and digital marketing. I always consider it more of a hobby, because I work full time in business development. Designing helped me stay creative in a different way than working in sales did and provided me with a balance. Some people do yoga, I do digital marketing and design. So with my free time I poured my energies into that.
Fast forward to Spring 2015 and I found free time is no longer in my vocabulary. We relocated from Florida (back) to Minnesota, my husband’s work takes him overseas for extended trips, we have two beautiful girls under the age of three, and a massive home renovation taking place. I find myself now working in the awesome, challenging role of Director of Business Development at a talented boutique technology firm in the Twin Cities. Yep, doing all of the above and unknowingly maxxing myself out in the process. Does any of that sound relatable to you?
I finally hit a wall in late Spring and stopped to examine my life. I think many mothers can say that, at some point, in the journey of parenthood they feel like they lost themselves. Actually, I think many folks in general can say this. Having so much to be thankful and happy for, but for some reason internally not feeling the same. After a lot of searching, it hit me. I needed to do something for me and only me. So slowly, I started to change my way of thinking. I purposely started to carve out time to write and design again. I started practicing and reading up on kindness (I think I am not the first to admit it does not always come naturally). Suddenly I found myself blogging for The Huffington Post and revamping the “dusty” website I had sitting around, www.MilaMarieOnline.com. Funny how a change in attitude and better time management can put new ideas and opportunities in front of you.
So back to the whole reason I am writing this. When my first daughter was born I created Mila Marie as an e-commerce site with the thought that I would sell other manufactures’ children’s apparel. It never took off because it had no focus or life behind it. Coming back to it in the Spring, I felt reenergized to focus my designated “me” time on it, revamping and giving it new meaning. I dove into learning about what it takes to launch your own apparel line. This was a blind decision now that I look back on what I have learned the past six months, but I went for it and am still going for it.
It was easy to pin point what the concept and focus behind the line would be because it was what brought me back to the site in the first place, finding internal happiness and shedding light on the quiet conversation of anxiety and depression that so many struggle with. How spreading kindness and uplifting others can play a huge role in this conversation. With that in mind I dove into playing around with typography (fun) to going through the UPC and SKU process (not fun). No matter how tedious or time consuming these various roles in starting the line have been, it was all me, which brought back that spark I felt I had been missing for so long.
Some people use the word Momtrepreneur to describe me starting this venture, but I prefer Entrepreneur. Being a Mom is a title that brings me extreme happiness, but does not encapsulate my entire being and platform for happiness. It is amazing what can happen when you really stop to reflect on your life and the changes it has undergone in the past two, five, or ten years. We live in a society where internal happiness is literally at your fingertips if you just know where to look to re-spark your flame and have the courage to move forward with your (sometimes unknown) passions. Doing so can take you down paths that you never dreamed of.
Kali Kasprzyk is the owner of Mila Marie Apparel. You can find Mila Marie Apparel on Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about the message and organizations Mila Marie Apparel supports, please visit: www.milamarieonline.com/about.