1. After working in corporate America for many years I’m sure being a full-time mom has its own challenges – what’s a typical day like for you?
Balancing life is a constant challenge, but having a schedule and routine really helps. My days are often dictated by my daughters’ part-time school schedule. When they are at school, I work on my business- Teal Firefly. The days when they are home, we plan fun activities, run errands or they play freely together. Evenings go by fast with the playtime, dinner, clean up, bath/book/bed routine. If it’s not too late, my hubby and I relax together.
2. What are some of your favorite things to do in Chicago as a family?
We enjoy get-togethers with family and playdates with friends. There are so many fun neighborhoods to explore and events around the city, we’re never bored! Living in such a large, vibrant city, I love that my girls get exposed to so much culture and diversity. We live in the South Loop neighborhood in downtown Chicago, very close to Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and the art museum. The girls are very curious at this age, so love exploring and are always learning something new! They were so excited to recently ride the bus! In the summertime, we enjoy the many great parks and playgrounds nearby; from Millennium Park to Daniel Webster Park, which is literally across the street from our townhome. The Lakeshore East Park is our favorite in the city; it’s a hidden gem, surrounded by high rises. It’s beautifully landscaped with a playground, wide open
We live in the South Loop neighborhood in downtown Chicago, very close to Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and the art museum. The girls are very curious at this age, so love exploring and are always learning something new! They were so excited to recently ride the bus! In the summertime, we enjoy the many great parks and playgrounds nearby; from Millennium Park to Daniel Webster Park, which is literally across the street from our townhome. The Lakeshore East Park is our favorite in the city; it’s a hidden gem, surrounded by high rises. It’s beautifully landscaped with a playground, wide open
In the summertime, we enjoy the many great parks and playgrounds nearby; from Millennium Park to Daniel Webster Park, which is literally across the street from our townhome. The Lakeshore East Park is our favorite in the city; it’s a hidden gem, surrounded by high rises. It’s beautifully landscaped with a playground, wide open fields and fountains.
3. What made you laugh recently?
My girls are 3 and 4 years old now and the conversations they have with each other are adorable…and often comical! They recently learned to sign “The Pledge of Allegiance” and rather than end with “liberty and justice for all”, they say “liberty and juices for all”!!
4. How did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
At my daughter Meera’s first birthday at the Field Museum, we announced we were pregnant again! A few days later I was scheduled to travel to London for work and was going to miss her actual birthday. I’d already missed many of her milestones as I worked a hectic job at Starcom servicing Microsoft. It was then that I realized working a corporate job would never provide the balance, autonomy or creativity I’d wanted. I didn’t want to repeat the same cycle with my second child of missing out on so much that mattered to me with my second daughter.
I’d always dreamed of starting my own business, and so with my hubby’s support was able to begin the journey shortly after my second daughter Maya was born. Life was crazy with two under two, but starting my own business gave me the flexibility to be there for my girls – which is super important to me.
5. You recently launched Tealfirefly.com! What sparked this entrepreneurial endeavor?
When I worked in corporate marketing, my free time was so limited and I craved more quality time with Meera. Sometimes I’d give her the iPad to keep her occupied while I finished work, but realized she quickly became addicted to it and was a monster when I took it away. I noticed that she was much calmer when I gave her a craft; she innately loved to cut, paste and create. So I was inspired to make a product that would get kids to use their hands to create something. I often didn’t have the time to research, plan and shop for a fun crafting activity and knew other busy moms were in the same boat.
Card-making has always been something I’ve been passionate about! When I was little, I labored over the creation of delicate cards for my big sisters when they went to college. I would be so excited to drop them in the mailbox, and anxiously awaited their arrival, knowing how excited my sisters would be to get the cards! Now that I have a family of my own, I realize that card-making can help me instill in my girls the habit of fostering relationships and staying connected to those who matter to them in a real, meaningful way.
So I created DIY card-making kits to help families exchange screen time for quality time via sharing the card-making experience. I hope my product can help spark children’s creativity, cultivate gratitude and nurture relationships with family members and friends who’ll cherish receiving the handmade sentiments. By providing everything needed for a fun yet structured activity, I hope busy moms can enjoy more of their limited time to bond with their child(ren).
6. What are your go-to apps?
- Keepy– I store pictures and videos of kids’ artwork here. It’s really helped me stay clutter-free.
- Day 1 Journal– I love journaling special moments big and small here!
- Trello– This app has really helped my hubby and I stay on the same page with managing the house, girls, projects…everything!!
- Nike Fit Club – When I can’t get the gym, this app provides great workouts that can be done anywhere!
7. What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things”
– Kurt Vonnegut
It’s so simple yet powerful! In balancing my life, I keep this in mind. Especially with young kids, I realize as I look through our photo albums, some of my favorite memories are of the little things; the girls playing dress up at home, singing school songs, weekend family breakfasts, etc. Life goes by so fast, it really is important to savor these ordinary yet special moments!
8. What do you hope your daughters learn from you?
Our children are our legacy so there’s so much I want to teach! It’s really important to me that my daughters understand their roots, celebrate our culture and traditions and pass that on to their children as well.
I want my daughters to know it’s possible to be strong and “soft”. I’d like to instill in my daughters the habits of showing gratitude, as well as expressions of empathy, compassion, and kindness. Social and emotional skills are really important to become a well-balanced individual.
I hope to instill in my daughters a strong work ethic and habits for healthy living. We generally eat healthy and I love that my girls already love green shakes, fruits and even vegetables! Working out has always been a regular part of my life (I especially love running and kick-boxing) and I’d like my girls it make it a priority as well. I also hope my starting a business inspires them to find their own passions, go after their dreams and work hard to make an impact. If I can do all this, I consider my life well lived!
Laxmi is offering a free Thank You coloring card for a limited time! It’s the perfect way to keep your little one busy and teach them about showing gratitude! We’ve all heard of the stress relief benefits of coloring, so she’s also offering an advanced version for adults!! Download it today at http://www.tealfirefly.com.
To learn more about Teal Firefly visit their Website, Facebook and Instagram.