Andrea ArEsse is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. She is an Author and Blogger, and owner of Mom Knows Some Things. We are excited to share Andrea’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
In the year after welcoming my first child I was hit with blow after blow, and loss after loss. One of the challenges I faced was giving up my own job as my husband had been relocated. Though I was not forced to give up my career in the move, I saw the change as an opportunity to explore new ventures. For me, writing has always been an outlet to work through my own personal pain and heartache; however, this time was different. This time I felt like I had something really important to share, and so I began my journey as a blogger and author. My book is currently out to beta readers, and I am excited to one day soon be holding my book in my hands and empowering new moms to find the strength in their struggles.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part of this journey is the daily challenge: goal setting, being persistent, working hard, and most importantly believing in yourself. While there are definitely times where I have second guessed my choices, and myself, I know that each obstacle brings me closer to the finish line. It’s a pretty gratifying feeling to be able to fuel your own confidence with something you’ve created, and although I am still getting my ducks in a row with my product, I know that once I have them in line the sky will be my limit!
Can you describe a typical day?
As a stay at home mom first and foremost, my days are filled with being present for my daughter. Unless I am including her in a post, I try to put down my cell phone to not miss the moments I have worked so hard to be able to observe. Naptime is a completely different story. It is all about social media and creating content for my blog. I set my alarm for before my daughter’s regular wake up and begin my day catching up on emails and messages. If I have time, I begin planning or writing a post. When naptime hits, I will finish a post, research companies that are willing to work with contributors or seeking product reviews, research publishers, and jump on Instagram (andreaaresse) to build my audience. I will also use this time for dinner prep as it takes a little bit longer as I will often be posing the ingredients and taking pictures along the way. After my kid is down for the night, I will have my husband read over the completed post, I will edit photos, and I will be creating a large social media presence before spending some time connecting with my husband, and relaxing before bed.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
My husband has been my biggest supporter. He reads all my posts, and is the first to tell me “You’ve got this”. He is also the one who made me realize the book that started as a page in my diary could actually become something fantastic, and encouraged me to go further. I have created a few contacts of people I can lean on for support, such as beta readers and fellow bloggers, and I have started to connect with women who have either found a publisher, or self published to weigh the pros and cons before making my final educated decision as far as which route will be best for me.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
I don’t feel that anything I have done has been a sacrifice. I would be lying if I said there weren’t things about my former life that I miss such as the people I moved from, and the security of regular compensation from a job, I am happy with the choices I have made to get to where I am today. We definitely live more modestly. We rent instead of own. We live off of big batch meals during the week. We budget to the penny, and we have learned that it’s better to have people in our lives than things in our pockets. While I no longer enjoy the luxury of nail salons, and have adopted bi annual haircuts, I find the gains more than outweigh the losses. One thing that has been challenged has been my connection with my husband. Although I unplug with my daughter, I need to unplug more around him so that I can continue to nurture that system of support. It’s a balancing act for sure!
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
A day off is a day where I completely unplug. I put down my camera and stop thinking about whether or not this excursion would have made a good post. I’m also a big believer in self care and me time, so I’ll usually poor a glass of wine, light a candle, steam a bubble bath and just soak. Sometimes I’ll read, sometimes I’ll turn on Netflix, or sometimes I’ll do nothing except sit, soak and relax! Also, date nights are important to us. We make a conscious effort to get out together at least once a month.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
I have been becoming more and more active in my community. I think it is so important to support local companies especially if you are hoping to be supported yourself. I am a part of an online community that is geared towards supporting moms in particular. If I’m ever looking for something, I turn to the group to see if I can find it there first. If not, I’ll broaden my scope. I have been trying to read local authors as there are so many great ones who have gambled on themselves and who have self-published. More importantly though, particularly through my online community, I work to support women in knowing that they are not alone in their struggles. Whether it’s through advice, a shared experience, or a simple “you’ve got this”, I think it is important to communicate to someone that they are not alone.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
If I’m going big, I have to say JK Rowling. Her story is more than wizards, but is nothing short of magical. From a young age and as a writer, she is someone I have always admired. Of course there will be no theme park spawned from my book as it is a self help narrative geared to empower new moms through the grind of motherhood, but her rags to riches, persistence and knowing the worth of her words is ultimately what is inspiring to me today.
Also, as a shout out to a fellow Vancouver Mompreneur Elite + member, I just wanted to say thank-you to Elaine Verrier for connecting with me. I had reached out to her asking for an inside perspective on the Mompreneur memberships, and let me tell you, a 45 minute conversation with her boosted not only my excitement, but my confidence. For someone who knew nothing about me, she was so ready to offer encouragement and guidance. In 5 minutes she told me ten things I needed to be doing differently, and 3 people I needed to contact immediately. She is definitely a powerhouse, and someone that is that ready to support someone else is going to be a force to be reckoned with in her own business.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
The immediate future will be filled with getting my book published and promoted. I am currently working as a Mommy Ambassador for Urban Baby & Toddler Magazine which will further my reach as a blogger. In the long run, I have a plan to expand my brand. While I would love to share more details on the planned direction, you’ll just have to stay tuned to see!
Any tips for other women thinking of starting a business?
Don’t just find something that scares you, but something where the fear is outweighed by the excitement. There will be a lot of opinions, there will be a lot of obstacles, and there will even be some self-sabotage due to doubt and insecurities, but you need to hold on to what it is that made you passionate in the first place. Set realistic goals for yourself each month and write them down. I always say that dreams are the catalyst for the goals that will one day become a reality. Dream big, create a plan, and prepare to work your butt off to attain it.