Here’s Our Story
I’m a working mom from Southern CA in my mid-30’s to a beautiful and fierce little girl, Everly, married in 2014 to a just-as-fierce man, Justin. I was born in the Philippines, and then moved to various parts of the US, but mostly spending time in Colorado and California.
Justin and I met at the UC Irvine in the fully-employed MBA program, where motivation and drive was high, and we dreamed of ruling the ‘corporate world.’ I was always known as sort of a “hustler” (so I’m told), always holding multiple jobs at once, having had a stint in education, but spent most of my career in IT. Sometime in-between, I chased a very far-fetched dream of creating an online women’s boutique in 2008, called House of PlumRed. I had ZERO fashion experience. I had studied International Relations and French, and swore to myself I was going to be an international spy or some high-powered lawyer (even having taken the LSAT). Life’s journey didn’t take me in that direction, and after a few years in IT, I felt a creative push to open House of PlumRed. It was an eye-opening experience for what I was capable of, but after 3 years of building a solid following, I decided to go back to corporate life and self-assess by getting my MBA.
By this time, I made many business and career mistakes and collected a few bad ex-boyfriends. It was time I backed my ‘business intuition’ with some real ‘business education.’ I went back to school (part-time), and it was the best decision I ever made making great connections and learning a lot of myself – oh, and I also found my husband there. (We can forget about all the times I cried on the kitchen floor because I was too exhausted from work and couldn’t figure out how to finish my paper.)
We graduated, married, and were off to the races – Justin making leaps into the corporate world, and me, with an obsessive goal to “prove that women (minorities) can be wives and strong corporate leaders” too. Then, 2 years into our marriage, we had Everly, a sweet, but ‘spicey,’ personality-filled little girl who rocked our lives, and really changed up my “obsessive goal.”
It was a challenge enough to prove to corporate America that I (and women) were meant to be leaders, but now I felt the need to prove that you could be a wife, a corporate leader, AND a MOM.
Fast forward, 2 years later, I drove myself crazy trying to keep up with those expectations (SURPRISE, SURPRISE!). My husband was working long hours in management at a large company, and I was traveling a minimum of 50% in an executive position across the US – having gone back to work after only 6 weeks of maternity leave. I had a career, but it was at times, at the expense of my family, my marriage, my time, my SANITY and health, and all I could show for it some days, was a great paycheck with a bad attitude. I was an avid reader of books called “Darling, you CAN have it all,” but there was something these books were not telling me. I went through major soul searching. We uprooted from Orange County, CA to Murrieta, CA for a different pace of life. I quit my executive level position for another company that just made me feel like I was doing ‘good’ for the world, without the same level of stress. Since then, I’ve learned a lot of things.
- I am still in IT, and I need a creative outlet. Reminiscing the days of owning my women’s boutique, I craved that creative outlet. Instead of making this another separate component of my life, I decided to use this as a platform to embrace my role as a mom and collaborate with my 3-year-old daughter. It’s good to have a creative outlet!
- I learned that you CAN have everything, but I also learned that having everything isn’t what you read in books, or see on TV.
- I learned that there are things you can do to find balance for yourself and your family.
- I learned that hearing stories and sharing stories about struggles, tips/advice, and triumphs as a working mom heals the soul.
So this is what I plan to share with you… My evolution of having it all, as a mom to Everly, as a wife, and as an employee, while also leaving room for me, through funny stories, enlightening thoughts to what we do for family vacations and kid fashion.
Check out the rest of the blog to learn more about, Everly and our venture together as mom and daugther – Oh, Everly! Boutique