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momBOSS Interview with Nicole Feliciano MomTrends.com Founder and Author

I’ve known Nicole Feliciano, the founder of MomTrends.com, for over five-years. I can’t recall how we met, but I can recall the countless amount of times she has shown up for me – at events I was hosting (even when she only had 15-minutes to spare), social media contests that I needed help promoting, even personal advice when I felt lost in motherhood land. She’s a girl’s girl, a sharer, a dreamer, a media mogul, and a natural voice for the next generation of moms itching to find their inner momBOSS.

Last week, Nicole’s first book Mom Boss: Balancing Entrepreneurship, Kids and Success hit shelves. Before kicking off her book tour, she sat down with me to share some wisdom about her journey from the corporate world, to mommy land and her happy formula for mom boss success.

Mom Boss Nicole Feliciano MomTrends Founder and Author

So many moms have dreams they never pursue. What gave you the courage to leave your corporate job, start MomTrends and become a killer momBOSS?

I’m so inspired by the women, like my mom, who worked so hard to give my generation of women OPTIONS. I was raised believing I could do anything I wanted. Now, I want to blaze one too–where women get to work on their own terms. I wanted to create a life full of family and opportunity, and I knew no one would hand me the life I wanted.

What was your original vision for MomTrends and how has it evolved?

MomTrends was always meant to be a resource for moms to find lifestyle tips and a emotional boost, in an otherwise busy day. All our content is meant to be pretty, purposeful, inspiring and social.

What does a typical morning look like for you?

I get up at 6:45am. My girls, now 11 & 8, usually come in for snuggles in the morning. Mr. Momtrends whips up breakfast, and we take turns walking them to school. I try to work out in the morning before I head to my We Work office in DUMBO.

Once at my desk I try to do something creative to kick start my day–either styling a fashion shoot or writing. Then, it’s time to dig into calls and strategy sessions with my team. In the afternoon, I try to attend networking events. Most nights we eat dinner as a family. I cook 5-6 nights a week. Unplugged time is sacred. I try to log off from 6-9pm when the family is together. I have special reading time with each girl. My tween and I are really into adventure books; right now we are knee-deep in Masterminds. I read with the little one second because she’s the night owl. Right now we are reading Melody, the newest book from American Girl.

I pop back online after spending time with the hubby. Usually writing and taming the beast of email until well after midnight. Did I mention I crave more sleep?

Mr.Momtrends and I have date night once a week where we go out and try to avoid talking about work and kids–it’s our time to rekindle the romance!momboss_nicolefeliciano_2

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Quite the schedule! What’s your biggest tip for juggling personal, professional and family needs?

Keep a calendar. When I look at my calendar I can tell if I am overcommitted. I need to see a month, week and day mapped out and where I need to cut back. Sometimes the kids’ calendars look too complicated and I trim those down, sometimes I have too many meetings for work. I am constantly trying to juggle the calendar.momboss_nicolefeliciano_5

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What other tools/services do you recommend for aspiring mom entrepreneurs?

Get a good accountant–one that will really hold you accountable for profitability.

In your book, I love that you say “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How do you avoid looking over your shoulder and comparing yourself to other moms, as it’s such a cultural epidemic?

When you have a pride in authorship, you know you are on the right path. When I truly enjoy what I am creating I tend to look forward to what’s next, not side to side to see who is doing the same thing. Stay interesting. Never stop learning and don’t be boring.

What advice would you give to a mom who’s been out of the game for 5, maybe 10 years and now would like to become a momBOSS not only in her home, but outside the home, as well?

Start small. Find a part-time gig and test out your skill set. Experiment trying on a few things–maybe at home sales, or setting up a small Etsy shop. Analyze how you feel with each step and what worked so you can make informed decisions about your future.

Many moms turn to social media and the web as a means to create a business, while still being more available to their family. Is there still space in the online world for new voices?

Absolutely! Find a niche that inspired you. New faces need to come in with a fresh voice. Ask yourself what makes you passionate? You need to be able to have a sustained enthusiasm for your topic. And figure out early on, is this a hobby or a business. If it’s a hobby, don’t get frustrated that you aren’t making money. If it’s a business, figure out early on how you are going to become profitable.

What tips would you give to an aspiring mommy blogger, vlogger or Instagramer?

Have a consistent look and voice. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. To create a true community you need to be niche. I suggest making a mission statement for your personal brand. What are you about? What topics WON’T you cover. Make a vision board and stick to it. Don’t chase trends, make trends.

What’s next for MomTrends Media?

The Mom Boss big book tour! Coming to a city near you!Mom Boss Nicole Feliciano book cover

Balance is a loaded, unrealistic goal, I prefer “Happy Formula”. In your book you also state “You have to embrace that you can only do a few things really well at one particular time.” What’s your Happy Formula for managing all corners of your momBOSS world?

I focus on family first, then work. If I feel like I am giving these two things my best I am winning. I say no to so many things. Saying no allows me to make more space to live in the moment. My girls are the delicious ages of 11 & 8 right now. I don’t want to miss a moment. Sleep gets sacrificed and pursuit of outside interests.

How do you find time for YOU #MeaningfulMeMoments in your busy life?

I run! I have two women who I regularly run with. I love multi-tasking. I catch up with my girlfriends AND get exercise. It’s a win/win! If you aren’t on social media or don’t run, it’s tough for me to maintain a friendship.

Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are your top makeup/skin products?

I love the Kiehl’s tumeric mask for a pick me up. I always keep a mask in my fridge to de-puff my eyes in a flash.

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Currently reading I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.

Currently drinking raspberry iced tea, unsweetened.

I hope my daughters think mom is inspiring.

Motherhood is my passion.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was never make a big decision when you are exhausted. Everything usually looks more clear in the morning.

 

momBOSS Quotes: Gold Medalist & Olympic Mother Kerri Walsh Jennings

In the spirit of Rio 2016 Olympics, I couldn’t help but get inspired by the personal story of Volleyball champ (to put it mildly) and momBOSS mother Kerri Walsh Jennings.

momBOSS mother Kerri Walsh Jennings

Sometimes my passion is just to make it through the mornings. #momlife

In a recent NBC profile, I saw how Walsh Jennings’  manic mornings “mamagering” three children ages 7, 6 and 3, is no different than any of our mornings.

Sure, she has three consecutive gold medals in beach volleyball from 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. 

Sure she’s poised to win another gold medal tonight, in Rio, with new partner April Ross. Tune in TONIGHT 8pm! (Okay, record it because chances are the kids aren’t sleeping, yet. Rggg daylight saving time. I long for it to get dark at 6pm so we can be back at our 7:30/8pm sleep time.)

And, sure Walsh Jennings has graced the covers of countless magazines.

But, were I to have the privilege to speak to her, I’m sure she would say that the hardest and most fulfilling job is these mornings with daughter Margery, and sons Joseph and Sundance. 

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Kerri Walsh Jennings at TheMoms event, dishing on motherhood.

Since I can’t phone into Rio to get a direct quote, here are some inspirational nuggets Walsh Jennings has said over the years. They don’t all directly pertain to her role as a mom, but I feel many of them can help us better ourselves personally and professionally.

momBOSS mother Kerri Walsh Jennings

Translation: Stop judging other moms. Be the best mom YOU can be.

momBOSS mother Kerri Walsh Jennings

Tomorrow, I might actually be a better version of myself, but I’m in no way interested in being any version of someone else. #authentic #selflove

I hope some of these Olympic inspiration quotes from Kerri Walsh Jennings help you refocus and be better morning mamagers, when it’s time to … 

negotiate with toddlers, get everyone dressed, no shoes are not an option, feed yourself while you stand, comb hair (yourself included), put on their SPF, make sure everyone’s bag is packed with snacks because g-d forbid they go to day care where everything is 100% organic and yummy with a snack from mom … okay that was my morning! I’m documenting it on Instagram’s new Stories feature

momBOSS Interview: Rosena Sammi Jewelry Designer, Who’s Sari Now Founder

There’s plenty of negativity in the world, which is dramatized ten-fold by our media. But, I’m often struck by the immense selflessness and global consciousness I encounter from the fabulous females in my life. As a member of the media I want to shed more light on the goodness in this world, especially if it’s a kick-ass, do-gooder mom like Rosena Sammi. See how this lawyer-turned-jewelry-designer is making sure we dazzle in her accessories, paying-it-forward via her charity collaborations, all while being a momBOSS to two adorable girls.

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Rosena Sammi. Photo Credit: Allaire Bartel

Pamela Pekerman: What gave you the courage to leave your profession as a lawyer and launch a jewelry business?
Rosena Sammi: I wish I knew, I would employ that courage and confidence more often! But, I think it had something to do with being in New York. This city makes you feel like anything is possible.

Pamela:  At what point did you feel fully confident in your decision to go into jewelry?
Rosena: I don’t think I ever felt 100% fully confident because it’s a journey, and each season presents you with new challenges. Having said that, after having children I truly appreciated the benefits of being my own boss and the flexibility that comes with that. I’ve been able to enjoy motherhood a lot more because of it.

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Head over to my Instagram page to see how I style these Rosena Sammi bangles, made from upcycled saris. #WhosSariNow

 

Pamela: At what point into your business did you become a mom?
Rosena: I became a mom about four years into the business. It drastically changed my ability to escape to India and spend months creating a collection, but it improved my efficiency tremendously.Rosena Sammi Chail RingRosena Sammi necklace

Pamela: What tips do you recommend for the mom who’s trying to find her passion and live her true path?
Rosena: Don’t be afraid of what other people think. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and take risks.

Pamela: How has motherhood changed your perspective on work?
Rosena: My perspective on what’s important in life became a great deal clearer, literally overnight. I find I don’t sweat the small stuff and I’m able to focus on things that matter.

Pamela: What does a typical morning look like for you?
Rosena: I’m early to rise, which helps because the morning is when I speak with India and deal with the production side of my business. Some days I’m able to fit in a quick workout before my girls are up at 6:30am, and our morning routine begins. It’s a lot of girl talk over the breakfast table and then off to school and pre-school. After that, I head to the office to see what the day holds. I’m fortunate enough to have an office in the city and a home office in Westchester, so I do my best to split my week between the two so I get the best of both worlds. I’m busy running my business, but I am also able to be the “Class Mom” for my daughter’s Kindergarten class.

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Pamela: Class Mom and Mom Boss, talk about a real #mamager! What tools/services/people help you manage it all?
Rosena: My husband, despite his very busy work and travel schedule, is definitely a true partner in the home so he deserves my first shout out. Secondly, I couldn’t live without services like Fresh Direct and Amazon (not to mention Net a Porter!). And, it does take a village, so after school help, house keeping and my team (in office and virtual) are all important.

Pamela: You are very passionate about philanthropy, particularly the plight of women around the world. How has motherhood impacted your philanthropy choices?
Rosena: Motherhood and especially having two daughters encouraged my focus on the inequity in the world for women. The fact that in so many cultures we are second-class citizens is disheartening, and I’m trying to do something about that in my small way.

Rosena Sammi family

Pamela: How did you come up with the concept for Who’s Sari Now?
Rosena: I wanted to design something that was more “green” than my typical collection. After much research and experimentation, I hit upon using upcycled sari fabrics and the result is Who’s Sari Now?. I was also looking to give back to the community, after years in the business I realized that helping people was more important to me than jumping on the next trend. I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of Apne Aap, Ruchira Gupta. Her organization rescues women and children from sex trafficking in India, and provides them with a job and education. It was the perfect match. 20-25% of proceeds from sales goes towards educating these young children, and I employ many of the women in making the collection. Changing lives in this way has been so rewarding.

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Actress Olivia Wilde wearing Rosena Sammi, Who’s Sari Now bangles

Pamela: Leading by example, especially as a mom, is key. How do you teach your children the value of good will, and helping those in need?
Rosena: They love to learn and help me with Who’s Sari Now?. The tags feature a little Indian girl from Apne Aap, so it feels very close to home. We made mini-tote bags for a multi cultural festival at my eldest daughter’s elementary school and they helped me give them out.

Pamela: What has been your biggest professional success, thus far?
Rosena: The firsts always feel good. When my jewelry was first in Vogue, when I created an exclusive collection for Neiman Marcus, those are things I will always remember.

Rosena Sammi Necklace Ribbon Nilgiri Whos Sari Now

Rosena Sammi Necklace Ribbon Nilgiri from the Whos Sari Now charity collection

Pamela: What’s next for Rosena Sammi?
Rosena: More exploration of enterprise development with women’s collectives. It definitely feels good to do good.

Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy life aka Meaningful Me Moments?
Rosena: It’s a constant challenge, but I’ve gotten better at it! I take a weekly French class at Alliance Francais, this is one thing that allows me quite literally to escape to a different world.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are your top makeup/skin products?
Rosena: UltraLuxe MoisturiserGuerlain Terracotta Bronzing PowderBobbi Brown Luxe Lip in Retro Red

Currently reading In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Currently drinking Hendricks and Tonic with a cucumber garnish

I hope my kids think mom is a good role model.

Motherhood is a challenge, but with the very best rewards.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was that I am capable of achieving anything if I work really hard.

momBOSS Interview: Latham Thomas founder of Mama Glow

Pamela Pekerman:How would you describe yourself and what you do?
Latham Thomas:I’m a single mother with an 11-year-old son. I’m the founder of Mama Glow. I’m a maternity lifestyle maven, whose focus is to support women before, during and after pregnancy. I’m known as the celebrity doula, serving women everywhere as they journey into motherhood.

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Pamela: MamaGlow – the website, the book, the brand – is so much to so many.
Latham: How would you describe the mission of MamaGlow?
Mama Glow is a holistic maternity lifestyle hub that offers nutrition, yoga, and birth doula services to women during pregnancy and beyond. We are all about celebrating this special time in a woman’s life and helping her look and feel radiant for those precious 9 month and beyond.

Pamela: At what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?
Latham:When I was pregnant with my son I was looking for resources and realized they didn’t exist, so the entrepreneurial spirit within me led me to found Mama Glow. I realized when I started getting cold calls from celebrities and when Vogue asked me to partner on an event early on, that this birth business I was cultivating could be a big deal. I still consider it something that’s growing on people. Not everyone is ready to talk about birth.Latham_Thomas_momBOSS

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Latham Thomas with Alicia Keys

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Latham Thomas with Deepak Chopra

Pamela: Who is the Mama Glow woman? How are you helping her Always Be Your Best You?
Latham: The Mama Glow client is a woman who is hip, savvy, trendy, fashionable and very conscious. She believes in the value of organics and limiting toxic exposures. She is educated and an active participant in her own well-being- she is also very driven and really benefits from the mindfulness area of our practice.

Pamela: What tips or daily rituals do you recommend for the mom who’s trying to find her passion and live her true path?
Latham: Writing down our goals and desires has a peculiar way of activating them in the world. It also gives the universe a clear indication that you are ready to take your thoughts, dreams and desires to the next level and spin them into action.  Start a Daily Gratitude & Desire journal practice. When you wake up each morning write down two columns: 1. What you are grateful for and be really specific here, and 2. what you desire- details are a must. When we call upon the universe to help send something into our orbit, we must be crystal clear on what we are asking for and be ready to receive.

Pamela: Do you have any tips for juggling personal, professional and family needs/obligations?
Latham: It’s a juggle. It’s not about balance, but about dynamic equilibrium and keeping the balls in the air and catching them when they come down. I believe in a strong self-care and self-reflective practice, whether that’s meditation, yoga, dance. Glow time is my self-care movement and it’s all about relaxation, whether you have 2 minutes or 2 hours.

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Pamela: Yes, I’m all about Meaningful Me Moments.
Latham: Exactly. When you indulge yourself, you honor yourself. You’ll be a better mother and better business woman for it.

Pamela: Speaking of business, is there something you do with him after a long day at work/being away?
Latham:We share highlights from our days when we get home. We have a tickle-time ritual where I tickle him and make him laugh after a long day away. I make sure to do an activity he loves with him like puzzles, Monopoly, or a game of pool.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?
Latham: Tata Harper skin care- Regenerating Face cleanser. Uma oils – wellness face oil to seal in moisture. Obsessive compulsive lip tar– it’s vegan, and I smudge some on the cheeks too. Boom! Done.

Pamela: What’s the coolest product for new moms, which you’ve recently uncovered?
Latham:Right now I am obsessed with Munchery Meal delivery service- It’s amazing. Moms get meals prepared fresh by chefs. It takes the guess work out of cooking and it’s a great price. You can order online.

Pamela: What’s next for you and Mama Glow?
Latham: Mama Glow is expanding into new territory. I’m launching a new platform based on rituals which I am excited about unveiling this summer. It’s all a blessing.

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Currently reading The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

Currently drinking Green Juice – always

I hope my son thinks mom is a woman who created a life of purpose and inspired him to be his very best!

Motherhood is MY BIRTHRIGHT.

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