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Working Mom in the City

Featured Mompreneur: Jessica

Posted on October 17, 2017

From late night sewing sessions to managing business operations, running a business in the fashion industry can be a lot of work.

Meet Jessica, owner and designer of Laura Faye and mompreneur, who does it all, with each leather clutch and accessory carefully designed and hand-made with care.


Jessica – Owner of Laura Faye

Jessica always had a love for fashion, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandizing and a Master of Science in Business Industry Training from Old Dominion University (ODU), which paved the way for Jessica to operate a fashion business.  In March of 2013, on her birthday, Jessica launched her business – Laura Faye. For three years, she was operating her business part-time. It wasn’t until 4 months ago, when she decided it was time to run her business full-time.

Dedication and Commitment

In 2015, Jessica spent 6 months travelling to New York every week, learning how to construct garments using patterns. On the other hand, the beautiful accessories and neck-pieces – she mastered on her own. Jessica explains that running a business is a lot of work.

“It takes a lot of time and energy to keep things running.  Besides being really meticulous, everything from each product shot, building my website, keeping my books, maintaining my social media presence, styling and modeling for each photo shoot, plus designing and manufacturing each item – I still do it all myself. “

With all the time and energy needed to run a business, it is not just the sewing skills that need to perfected, Jessica explains that business operations, managing social media accounts and styling for photoshoots are some skills to learn.



Jessica modeling her hand-made neck-piece

Giving Back

Jessica can do what she loves full-time — and that is managing Laura Faye. What Jessica loves even more, is being able to give back. It is important for Jessica to try and make a difference in the world. A portion of Laura Faye’s proceeds go to the Children’s Crisis and Outreach Center in Chesapeake, Virginia each month. With a smile as big as her heart, she hopes that Laura Faye will give her more opportunities for philanthropy work, and open a food and clothing shelter to give back to the community.

Motivation and Inspiration

Jessica grew up watching her father operate his business, as he is a very successful entrepreneur himself. Jessica’s mom is also a mompreneur and a huge inspiration! At 56 years old, mother of 5 adult children, her mom owns a daycare by day and is currently in school at night. In December, her mom will finish her Nursing Assistant program. Her mother, father, and son, motivate her as she moves through the journey of being a mompreneur. Her family is her biggest support system. Running a business can be exhausting but she encourages Moms to take that step and start turning business ideas into a reality.

“Do it! Being an entrepreneur isn’t pretty. Its exhausting and sometimes, very lonely – especially for a mother. But I’m doing it and so can you! My advice would be to never give up on your dreams just because you’re a mother. When your children grow up, they’ll admire that fact that you never gave up and you kept something just for yourself. Some mom’s think that because they’re responsible for their children’s future, they have to sacrifice their own. But that’s not the case! I always see the admiration in my son’s eyes for what I do.  So be bold. Be brave. Be courageous. We need you!”

Get them Involved

For Jessica, it has helped her to get her son involved with her business. From participating in photoshoots with his own camera, to helping her with small task, there is always a time for them to bond. It is all about balance. Jessica saw how much work her father put into his business, but he always dedicated time for just her. The balance that her father displayed is one characteristic that she appreciates now that she is running her own business and taking care of her son.

Jessica has been a vendor at many conferences and shows. Mark your calendar! Her next event will be on November 19th, from 2-6pm at the Hugh R. Copeland Center in Norfolk, VA, where she will be hosting her pop-up shop.

To check out the amazing hand-made clutches, please visit and check-out Laura Faye on Instagram @Laura_Faye




When the Start-Up isn’t Starting-Up

Posted on September 26, 2017

“One of the hardest actions in life is patience. It tests loyalty to your goals and endurance while you wait for positive outcomes” – Mohammed Dewji

Is your start-up taking a while to actually get started? Perhaps, your business is busiest during specific seasons.

For me, I started a photography business and with living in the city amongst so many wanna-be photographers, the competition is getting a little overwhelming. I am averaging 1-2 gigs per month which is good for now with a small child. However, I wouldn’t mind only 1-2 gigs a month but with a nice rate, ha.

While the business is slow, I thought of some things to can do in the mean time to ensure I have the best service when business starts to pick up. Hopefully, you find these ideas useful as well

  •  Learn something new

Take a class on Lynda or Skillshare that relates to managing the business such as financial management, social media, marketing, or drafting contracts.  Learning something new in a field that is not related to your craft or area of expertise will help in developing the business overall and give insight to managing your business from a different angle.

  • Join a meet-up

Living in Washington, DC blesses us with so many meet-up options. I have noticed that there is a meet-up for everything. With meet-ups comes networking and potential clients.

  • Fine-tune Processes

Pick a process that will occur in your business such as invoicing, corresponding to inquiries, pricing, refunding, posting on social media etc. Then go through that process from both the owners point of view and your future customer’s point of view. Do your emails sound professional? How quickly do you respond? How can your customers contact you for information? Are your prices negotiable? Some processes can documented and the standards can be set ahead of time before any complications or confusion happen.

  • Study experts in your field

Best way to learn is from others who are where you want to be in 1 year, 5 year or 10 years. Study them and learn how they got to where they are. Their story may surprise you. As a photography, a female-photographer, I decided to take a look into Jasmine Star. She is a really good wedding and engagement photographer and I learned that she started out with the same lens I did! (nifty 50). She also still uses it! Not sure why, but that some how motivated me into thinking that this photography business can seriously go places if I put my mind to it.

So while business is slow or while the business is still in the works, take advantage of the extra time because you never know when your business will pick up!







Posted on September 13, 2017

It is my birthday month and I am officially 29 years old. Thanks to Facebook and the many posts on my wall, I remembered how old I am and that it was actually my birthday. For some reason, I almost forgot! I have never been the type to make a big deal about my birthday but this year I just had so much going on with all the days merging into one. So much happened while I was 28. I was reflecting on the past year and realized I went through many changes!

Firstly, I became a mom! I have a beautiful daughter with the funniest laugh that makes me smile so much. She is amazing, growing everyday, so funny and bright. Having a child is life-changing. My fiancé and I, love our daughter so much and we are happy parents! We moved into a larger place together and it feels nice to come “home” to my cute little family.

I also graduated from Georgetown University with a Master’s Degree in Technology Management! It was a long road and the last year was not easy! Attending class pregnant until 1030 at night, when all I wanted to do was eat and sleep was rough but I was determined to finish! When she arrived, I finished my last class, the capstone course, while taking care of a newborn. Now, that was a challenge! I did my work at night when she slept the most and then slept-in a little later in the morning. I am also so happy that the class was offered online. On top of earning my giant diploma, I received one of the “Most Inspiring Women in Technology” Tropaia Award. I have never really won anything before and I was so flattered and proud. Oh, and I earned my project management certification.

Year 28 started with a big change. On my birthday last year, I made a slight career change from Geospatial Analytics to Management Consulting. On my 28th birthday, it was my first day at the largest company I have ever worked for. I wanted to widen my experience and skill-set instead of focusing on geospatial information.

Now I am 29! I have re-launched my photography business. With the help of my technology management degree, I learned some business management fundamentals as well as developed an entrepreneur spirit due to the many projects that we had to develop in class. Using my learning experiences, I hope to gain more clientele for my photography business and find my niche. I also hope to gain more followers on this blog where I will continue to share my experiences as a typical management consultant in Washington, DC as well as my life as city mom!

Thanks for reading!



An Idea

Posted on September 6, 2017


I started this blog to add a little creativity to my life and share my experiences and ideas with others. I love when I receive input from others, it kind of lets me know that someone is listening, ha. So thanks!

Today, I am writing my first post about entrepreneurship. I am actually currently experiencing my first few weeks as a momprenuer as I re-launch my photography business. I am always so inspired by people who come up with a great idea and start a small business by doing so. For instance, there was a mom/optometrist on Shark Tank who invented the “sleep styler” for busy moms who still want their hair to look nice with little no effort. The sleep stylers are made from a towel-like material. It was funny watching her demo with the giant rollers in her head but they seemed like a really good idea. I also have friends who have turned their passions into something bigger – from non-profits to small consignment shops. It is amazing to see people you know starting their business. In some upcoming posts, I will share some “mompreneurs” on my blog and share their story!

What I love most about business ventures is that you can create your own goals, values and purpose for your own company. You call the shots and you run the show. Now, for some, that can be a scary thought but for others, it may sound like a dream come true. As a mother, a flexible schedule, working from home would be nice. So why not try to create that? A business venture that enables you to stay home during the day would be awesome! Thanks to technology we can sell goods, offer services and earn extra income all from our own home – which is perfect for moms! However, depending on where your passions lie, staying at home may not be an option but at least you are following your dreams and passions.

So if you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, ask yourself the following questions:

What am I good at and how much more am I willing to learn?

Why will people want to buy my product or use my service?

What problem am I solving with this product or service?

Where do you see your business in five years?

It is also a great idea to scope out your competition and come up with a business plan to get a rough idea of how much money you will need to start and maintain the business. It all starts with an idea, then some motivation and dedication.

Good luck!




Bored at Work

Posted on August 27, 2017

Let’s face it, work can be boring depending on the project and a dry spell may enter you career leaving you extremely bored at work. Perhaps you are working on a new project and suddenly regretting it due to lack of interest. Maybe you are lucky and have no idea what I am talking about because your job is awesome, ha! Well, this post is for people who may be bored at work and hoping for more of a challenge.

I was suddenly regretting my new position when I discovered what it really entailed and how I was no longer maximizing my skill-set or education I worked so hard far. I was a little weary at first but decided to try to make it work before making any drastic decisions.

Below are a few steps I suggest to take when you notice signs of boredom at work.

1. Stay Positive. It is easy to fall into the trap of negativity when you are bored at work. Pointing to the negatives more than the positive things that are happening around you can lead to very sad days at work! Try to stay open-minded and more opportunities may come your way…

2. Strategically ask for more work. Let’s just say you want more experience in a certain area. You have to strategically ask your boss for more work using this skill-set in way that it benefits the project. If you propose the idea in a way that it will add value to the project, client or company then you will have more of a chance that your suggestions will be acknowledged. Strategically offering suggestions places you in a situation where you can develop new skills and take lead in new area and your manager will benefit from doing so.

3. Start networking.  I know you here this a lot in the consulting world but networking is important. Get to know what other projects are happening at your particular site and also get to know the people around you. You will expand your network and your office will be more pleasant with new people around to chat to outside of your project. On top of that, you will get a feel of what else is out there within your consulting company.

4. Process Improvement. Take a look at current processes, procedures and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). Is there room for improvement or updates? Hey, it is something to do.

5. Give it another month or two.  It is tough hanging onto a job that does not excite you but sometimes, projects do get better, especially if they are in the early stages. Also, if you are a mother, long-term projects are more attractive because the next project may change your commute, it may mean finding a different day-care and much more.

6. Discover what you really want.  Before you make any sudden moves, find out what you want from a career first. Find your passion, take a few self-development courses, read a few career-development books. Really take the time to focus on you and from then you can plan out the next steps and create some goals.

7. Do something outside of work. So you have discovered what you have a passion for. Now is the time to join a meetup with like-minded people, start a blog or join a professional network. That way you can meet people who are working in your field of interest and get a fair understanding of how to enter this field and what you need to do.

8. Move on. After some self-reflection and discovery, you may realize that it may be time to move on from your project, or career altogether. Your boos didn’t give you more work as promised, you are still not motivated, you would rather be with your child before you waste another minute in the office. Before you come to this decision, ensure that you have a concrete, steady exit plan. Having a child means that we now have someone who is looking up to us and relying on us for support. So, it may not be as easy to just move onto a new job or company without truly weighing the pros and cons.

If you have more ideas or would like to share your story, please comment below!

Good luck.


Making Baby Food

Posted on August 19, 2017

img_3190My daughter is loving stage one baby food. She loves carrots, pears and sweet potatoes!

It is exciting when your baby is finally ready for baby food! It is so cute when they try different foods for the first time! Whether you decide to make your own food or use jarred food, it nice to do a little research first! I purchased the book below to help me with making my own food.


The first step is deciding when is the best time to make the food and then developing a time-saving schedule! Right? When do you have time to make this food while working Monday-Friday and taking care of an infant? For me, I make mine on a weekend and I make enough to last my daughter a week (which isn’t much when they are tiny) and I freeze it. I also spent a lot of time deciding which baby food maker to buy. Do I want one that steams and purees? Do I want the cute little baby bullet? Or do i just want to buy a regular kitchen food processor? After thinking about it for a week or two, I decided to go with the cheaper option which was a small food process by Kitchen Aid. It is not bulky and doesn’t take much counter – top space. So I just steam the food in a separate pot then add it in!
Some other tools that I found useful in making baby food are apple slices, vegetable peelers, freezer cube storage and small glass jars. Don’t forget soft spoons and lots of bibs!

So, I don’t want to give the impression that I have it all together and make all of her food because I don’t. I buy jarred food as back up just in case I do not have time to make more food. I personally like the organic food by Beech Nut (Only tried stage one so far) because I looked at the ingredients and I noticed that they had the least extra-stuff out of all of the options that were available. In fact, the stage one Foods only contain one ingredient according to their list on the back of each jar. It is also exciting when you can find these on sale, he he. Overall, it is quite simple! Steam and blend. I have found that roasting some of the ingredients lead to a better tasting puree but it takes longer. Also, making my own food does help save a little cash.

Have Fun!


Return to Work

Posted on July 21, 2017


After taking 17 weeks of maternity-leave, I learned two things:

  1. It is tough being a stay-at-home mom taking care of a baby.
  2. It is also tough leaving your baby at daycare.

So, I returned to work and I was, “on the bench.” If you are in the consulting world, you will know that this is a time for employees to find a project to work on. I enjoyed working at the home office vs. client sites because there were many events going on, free breakfast in the morning as well as their free Starbucks machines and so on and so on… I guess there are some perks.

This was my first time on the bench and I was nervous. The kid beside me didn’t help because he told me about how he has been on-the-bench for three months. It was actually a little stressful applying to projects and being rejected once or twice for either not having enough of their required experience or having enough experience but not at the right-level etc. The week of rejections, adjusting to being a working-mom, missing my child, getting used to scheduling pumping sessions in between it all was just quite overwhelming. Needless to say, I felt a bit hopeless. I was only on the bench for a week and a few days but it felt like for ever ha!

How was your first few weeks back at work after maternity leave?