We celebrate all mothers! Stay-at-home moms, working moms, and those who do both!
Squeeze De Citron is highlighting one of our favorite mothers for Mother’s Day! Grace Hamlin is not only a Mompreneur, but a size-inclusive model/fashionista; skilled thrifter; traveler; and home décor enthusiast. How does she have time to do it all? Well, admittedly she is working on that! Work-life balance can be a challenge for anyone, even if you appear to the world to have it all together.
Even though working from home can be advantageous for many, while having a more flexible schedule, Grace gives us a reality check of how she feels some days. “Being a mother and an entrepreneur can be a double-edged sword because although we may be our own bosses, it can look like work is never really done, or never feels done. So, I am learning as I go to embrace the gift of this role and create work/life boundaries, but it is not a seamless process," says Grace. Grace thinks carefully about the advice she would give to those moms starting their own businesses. She believes it is crucial to have a trusted network of other women in the same industry or somewhat adjacent to it. Grace believes it creates camaraderie and helps with the creative flow for both you and your colleagues.
The other thing is reminding starting out Mompreneurs of the glass vs. plastic ball analogy. We're all doing our best to juggle but we need to discern which balls are glass and will shatter when dropped and which are plastic, that will not shatter. Things like our children, our health - including our mental health - our marriage ... these are glass. “If I were advising my girls one day, I would say, (big inhale) how exciting! I'm so proud of you for dreaming big! I have your back and I believe in you,” states Grace. She would also want them to have a business plan, bottom line, whatever the business may be, it should be viable. Their dad would agree! Grace is very fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive husband.
For Grace, she works hard at both jobs…because essentially that is the case -her business and being a mom are two different jobs that sometimes collide. “Business-wise most of my time is spent on projects with brand partners, creating content for my social channels and a lot is happening behind the scenes that aren't glamorous at all,” Grace confides. “Most people don’t realize all the work that goes into being an influencer behind the scenes. It isn’t all gifts, events, and playing ‘dress-up’”, Grace concludes. Before any kind of formal partnered content shoot, there is a lot of back and forth between Grace and the brand partner. The scope of work is outlined, contracts negotiating, usage rights, and storytelling with messaging are defined with the partner. She may have more than one partnership going on at any time. Then shoot execution starts by choosing a location, general shoot preparations, styling, and photos taken with a professional photographer. Grace works with a local photographer Jess Roffer and then Alisia Thompson. Both of whom are balancing their careers and motherhood as well! The publishing phase is next and engaging with any questions that come up from her audience and sending over links.
The goal of many influencers like Grace, is to relate to other women with a common ground. What if it was just playing ‘dress-up’ and doing ‘try-ons’ in the mirror? “As a plus-sized woman, which is categorical phrasing that makes me laugh because is it really “plus” size if I’m representative of what is actually the average size in the US? But whatever we want to call it, it’s populated by women who are often ignored and excluded by the fashion industry,” says Grace. “So, when I feel silly about playing ‘dress-up’, I think about the messages I get from women who truly appreciate what I provide, as it is a service that helps them shop for things that make them feel good. These women appreciate feeling seen and represented,” continues Grace.
Even when it isn't clothes that Grace is sharing, she views her platform as a privilege that is incredibly meaningful and rewarding to be able to use her voice to amplify other brands and businesses of all sizes. She promotes brands like Squeeze De Citron and uses our beautiful tote bags because she genuinely loves them! Many of the brands Grace partners with happen to almost exclusively be founded and run by women, like Squeeze De Citron.
Squeeze De Citron bags, such as the ones Grace and her girls are shown carrying are perfect for the beach days (and pool or boat days) that she and her girls love to share together. ‘Mommy and Me’ adventures at their finest! Grace is touting the large ‘Grateful Spirit’ tote bag and her girls are sporting the ‘Mini Core’ tote bags. They are the perfect Mommy and Me bags because they're easy to knock or rinse the sand off the bag. “They are waterproof and hold everything you can imagine, and now that the girls have their own bags they put their favorite beach or pool toys in them and sunnies too,” Grace tells us. She continues, “Maybe it's just because it was my first Squeeze De Citron bag, but I love the classic SDC style of the “Grateful Spirit’, it is transparent with a gold pattern, the only SDC bag like it! It holds its shape so well and I just love the weave! The transparent bag with the gold pattern makes the poms pop! I do love the colorful ones too…it is hard to choose.”
Choosing a Squeeze De Citron bag isn’t easy, because well, they all have a personality of their own. Choosing one for the favorite mom in your life should match her personality as well. Is she colorful and carefree, is she spiritual and zen, or is she natural and subdued? What is her style? Squeeze De Citron gives you so many creative and inspiring options to pick the perfectly fitting gift. Don’t forget the Mommy and Me tote bags with matching minis. Grace says, “I think it all depends on the recipient but for Mother's Day I'd go with my favorite classic Citron style, however, the clutches are so fun and always catch my eye when I'm in one of my favorite local stores like Driftwood Beach and Home here on Longboat Key, FL. that carry Squeeze De Citron. The bags are one of my favorite gifts to give because they are all unique, with so much personality. What is also important to me is that all the bags are sustainably made and the production employs Mexican and Guatemalan artisans who are fairly compensated for their work.” Grace continues, “It is always important to support and share brands that are making a difference! Their founder and CEO is also a Mompreneur, whom I greatly support!”
These adorable poms were created especially for Mother's Day. A flower that will never fade! They are a fantastic addition to any Squeeze De Citron bag. You can find them by clicking here.
All in all, Grace feels privileged to be a Mompreneur. Her favorite part of this new phase in life is that her daughters get to see it all in an intimate way that if she were 'clocking in' at a more traditional job they wouldn't necessarily be as privy to.
There are two sides to this coin. There can be a myriad of blurred boundaries with personal, family, individual needs, and business that can be taxing. However, the other side is pretty great, like Grace’s daughters seeing their mom doing something she loves, growing her brand, failing sometimes, succeeding others, and advocating for herself and others. She becomes a role model as a mom and a businesswoman. Her husband’s encouragement and great support also set the bar high for what she wants her daughters to look for when they are adults. Juggling her responsibilities allows Grace to spend fun and productive time with her daughters. Her hobby of thrifting is something she shares with them. Their creativity is piqued and helps them to see that it is important to give back to the community and various non-profits that many of the thrift stores are affiliated with. It helps her daughters to appreciate helping others. Also, they all enjoy long beach days and mother-daughter time involves painting together, usually watercolors. Or they enjoy getting their nails done together, a different kind of painting.
Squeeze De Citron was happy to connect with a true “grateful spirit” just like her fav bag. Grace Hamlin inspires us to do it all! It is important to live the life you design. She shows us we can run a business, be a mother and enjoy our life at the same time. She is a happy Mompreneur! So, a happy mother does make a happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy yours! If no one else does, treat yourself to a good “Squeeze”!