Introduce Yourself. Hi! I’m Lauren. Lover of all things music and movies related. Inappropriate joke teller and referencer of 90’s movies. I am a writer and designer, mama, and wife.
Tell me about your family. I am married to my best friend Greg and we have an almost five (!!!) year old son named Everett. He’s a pretty awesome little person.
How long have you lived or worked in NoVa? What area do you live/work? We moved back to NoVa in 2013 and I work mostly from home in Bristow.
What is your business? I am the owner and principal designer for a design company called Moxie Design Company. We create beautiful, engaging and unique websites and logos. We also manage social media accounts and provide brand development. We are fairly new, but have already worked with several small and medium sized businesses on growing their brands. One of our recent clients has increased their following by 175 folks in less than 2 weeks!
Tell me the story of how you got started. I started my career after college working in Marketing for a technology company, then I led marketing and social media for a community college an hour from NoVa. When I had my son, I wanted to stay home with him for a year. I also wanted to have a creative outlet and make some money so I can still have my own identity in a way. I started helping my photographer friend re-design her website for free and I was blessed enough to get a lot of interest and awesome referrals from that initial job. Five years later, I still get to be with my son everyday and also work doing something I love to do.
What’s your favorite thing about this area? I like living in Bristow because it’s a smaller area with mostly communities of working or stay at home moms. I like that it’s not as overwhelming as larger cities but still has things to do.
What’s something you struggle with being in this area? I am from small town in Virginia, so moving to a larger city took some adjusting. Smiling at strangers is not always appreciated here! The driving takes some getting used to at first. It’s also hard to afford any 5 day preschools on top of all of the other expenses in the area, which makes it harder to find time to work.
Do you feel supported as a female entrepreneur? Yes! I work at my gym a lot ( they have childcare-woot! ) and it’s filled with women on their laptops making it happen while their kiddos play. It’s like a little community.
What is the biggest obstacle you face as a working mother? I struggle with the same thing most women do: the balance of working and being an awesome mom. If you work too long one day, you feel like your cheating your child on time with you or that you missed some milestone in their life that 5 minutes you were checking an email. Sometimes I feel guilty that I drop him off at preschool or at the gym so I can work a few hours with uninterrupted concentration. On the other hand, I feel guilty and sometimes even resentment that I can’t work as much as I want to work. I am a woman who feels most herself when I can create something and if I feel rushed it’s hard to give my job my all.
What advice would you give to someone just starting as a business owner? It’s cliche, but you often have to start off working for free. It sucks . I had 5 years of experience as a Marketing Manager and I was working for free on a mom and pop website. Unfortunately, you have to show how good you are no matter your business. Offer discounts, attend community events and do whatever you can to get customers to notice you.
What do you do when you’re not working or being a mom? I love to write. Also shop. A lot of shopping. I love girl time and I try to work out – emphasis on try.
Favorite local restaurant? Let’s be honest, Bristow/Gainesville is lacking in the restaurant department. I do like Firebirds though!
What do you do as a family on the weekends? We try to get out and do something outside as a family. We go on hikes or the pool. My husband works most Saturdays, so we have Sunday and Monday as our weekends.
What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about being a mom? We really are all trying our best. Right or wrong, good or bad, we want the best for our kids. We want them to grow up and become happy, successful adults with whom we’d like to be friends. I also believe we do NOT give ourselves any slack and our expectations of ourselves are way too high. We are given these Instagram-level life expectations with the little girl in the white linen dress with no stains on it, and the little boy with the perfectly coiffed hair who would never dream of peeing off the back deck. It’s always in our faces. We just need to accept the imperfection as perfection. Our kids think we are doing just fine. And, as someone who posts for a kid’s brand…that little boy is TOTALLY peeing off the back deck between takes. And that little girl has been shoo’ed away from any food or drink that isn’t clear for at least an hour!
Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to start your own business? My son. And also my husband. I knew I wanted to stay home with my son for at least the first year so I can be the one seeing his first steps and hearing his first words. My husband was and is still 100 percent on board with my staying “home” with my son everyday and has made a lot of sacrifices so I can do just that.
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you? My “head in the clouds” dream job is to be a screenwriter/director for movies! Also, I love sharks and am terrified of butterflies.
Anything else you would like to share with the reader? I really love meeting other women business owners and other mamas. I hope to get to meet some of the readers of this blog and if any of you need help with growing your business , I’m offering a big discount on websites for the month of August! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for 30% off your new, market-driven website! Use the Subject : MommingInNova