People often ask me what it’s like to run a business while being a mom to two young children. I started my company, The Jones Market, as a new mom, and the company has grown as my family has. People are often surprised when I tell them that there is a single principle that guides both how I run The Jones Market and how I raise my children: it’s creativity.
Staying creative and inspired is essential to the success of my business—The Jones Market is an online shop selling handmade, tuggable, non-toxic jewelry for moms with babies. Designing jewelry demands creativity, and I believe that staying connected to my creative side impacts my business in other ways, outside of the design process.
What does being creative mean to me? It means paying attention to the details—finding the small, beautiful parts of my day, appreciating those details, and sharing them with other people. I try to engage with what’s around me as much as possible, whether that’s my physical surroundings, the music I’m listening to, or the books I’m reading. Not only does paying attention help me find new inspiration, but it helps me connect with people. Thinking about how other people engage with the world around them is also a big part of my creative process.
I put this into practice every day at The Jones Market. New designs often start out with something that’s inspired me, whether it’s a song, a new neighborhood I traveled to, or nature. (Lately, I’ve been captivated by the striking colors of different birds!) Then, I think about my customer, and what her life is like. I try to imagine how she’ll wear our jewelry, and how it will make her feel. My employees and I often share our inspiration and ideas about how our customers will interact with our product. Our work environment is collaborative, and open communication allows all of us to be creative and share ideas.
As a mom, I focus on nurturing creativity in my children daily. I encourage them to pay attention wherever we are, and I pay attention to their creative gifts. For example, my son comes alive when he’s drawing or building something, but my daughter’s creativity shines socially. She takes joy in finding different ways to make people laugh. I prioritize finding ways for them to be creative in a way that feels natural to them. I see a parallel to this as a manager to my employees—when I pay attention and see what excites them, I can find ways to build more of that into their role.
When I feel creatively blocked, there are a few things I do to reenergize and spark new ideas:
- Travel: Exploring somewhere new, even if it’s just a different part of town, consistently gives me new ideas.
- Childhood hobbies: When I feel burnt out, I spend some time doing the activities that I loved as a child: reading an absorbing book, painting, or baking. I would often lose myself in an activity as a child, and this helps me tune out the external noise.
- Give to someone else: Sometimes, giving some creative thought to a friend helps me break through a creative block I’m having about my own business. I ask if they’re having any roadblocks, and spend some time talking through ideas with them, and often come away with new ideas.
Since there’s much more to running The Jones Market than designing jewelry, I use a few tools to streamline other processes so that I can focus on staying creative. I used GoDaddy’s Online Store product to set up my e-commerce website, and use GoDaddy Bookkeeping to manage the business’s finances. For purchasing postage and shipping customer orders, I love Endicia, which makes fulfilling orders simple and speedy. All of these enable me to spend more time growing my business, and more time with my children. Another tool that I love is Instagram (and Pinterest to a lesser extent); marketing is one of the most important parts of running a business, and social media is a wonderful way to share what inspires me visually and engage directly with customers.
Running a company while raising young children is not without its challenges, but it’s a rewarding experience. I’m thrilled to be teach my children not only what it means to work incredibly hard, but what it means to live creatively.