{What it means to be a mom for the first time. // by Naomi Davis}

For years now I’ve been reading Love Taza | Rockstar Diaries. What keeps bringing me back? Her fresh perspective on life and her adoration over life + family. Really, it’s so inspiring. It has helped my focus on life evolve as well, as we all know how easy it is for life to do it’s own thing :) Thank you Naomi for sharing your heart with us on this precious topic…

[See Lisa Leonard's response to this same question here.]

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What it means to be a mom for the first time? Oh where do I even begin?

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I suppose I could tell you it means saying goodbye to a full night of uninterrupted rest for a while (*years?!*) and saying hello to finding spit up on your shirt like 5 minutes after you just changed it. I could also tell you it means 5 second showers if you can swing it and eating most of your hot meals cold.  I could tell you it means searching the apartment for your lost phone only to find it in the back of your closet inside a shoe a few days later, thanks to having a crawling baby. Or that you’ll spend your minutes away from baby thinking, worrying, and dreaming of baby and dying to get back to cuddling that little bundle of baby.

It also means highlighting almost every sentence of all those baby books you’ve been reading, memorizing,  reviewing and researching non-stop until a few weeks in when you toss those books aside and realize your instincts are actually onto something.

But what I want to tell you, what I can’t really put into words, but have to try and tell you anyway, is that you are on the cusp of experiencing love in a way you never have before.  Holding that tiny baby of yours for the first time, a precious gift from God which your beautiful body just made (go body!), will change your life forever. In the best way of course.

This empowering and fulfilling love? It’s the love of a mother. And it cancels out all of the exhaustion and worry and nerves. 

I cannot wait to watch your journey into motherhood. You and Zack will rock it! Congratulations my dear!
[photo by Tim Coulson]

Naomi Davis blogs at Love Taza | Rockstar Diaries, sharing with us the beauty that comes from living a present life with the people you hold close to your heart. Naomi and her husband, Josh, live in New York with their littles, Eleanor and Samson.

{What it means to be a mom for the first time. // by Lisa Leonard}

Today my beautiful friend Lisa Leonard is sharing with us, “What it means to be a mom for the first time.” Lisa has such a kind, gentle, inspiring spirit — you’ll see that in her words below. Thank you Lisa for sharing your heart with us on this precious topic…

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Everything I thought about being a new mom change the day my son David was born.

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He came out quietly. There were whispers from the doctors. There was a terrifying tension that filled the room.

After the doctors did a quick evaluation, Steve, my husband brought David over to me and laid this tiny, swaddled baby on my chest.

He was adorable. He had a full head of hair, blue eyes and a button nose. He also had only two fingers on his left hand, a severe heart defect and we would soon find out, a genetic disorder that would make life look very different for our new baby.

The day my son was born was the day I began to learn that being a mom was about sacrifice. For me, being a new mom meant g-tube feeds, surgery, doctor visits and sleepless nights. But most of all, being a new mom meant opening my heart to a new kind of love. This little man came into my life and turned it upside down. He made me better. He made me less selfish. David makes the sunshine brighter and the stars twinkle at night.

He made me a mother, and I love him more than words can say.

Lisa Leonard blogs at Lisa Leonard Online where she shares stories from her heart, thrift store finds and her inspiring jewelry collection. Lisa and her husband, Steve, live in San Luis Obispo, CA with their two boys — David and Matthias.

{5 tips to grow your biz + work with your community.}

just over two years ago i moved my gussy sews shop from etsy to big cartel. and then shortly after i wrote this post comparing the two e-commerce sites based on my personal experience. don’t get me wrong ~ i love etsy and all the resources they distribute. their newsletters inspire me with seller ideas and overall brand development {are you signed up??}. however, working with big cartel has been fabulous as well! :) i so appreciate the complete HTML freedom as well as having an independent shop {no “home” link which showcases other shops}. and, it’s been amazing working with big cartel and getting to know their team a bit more.

today my friend dan is here to share 5 tips to grow your business and work with your community.

so dan, take it away, sir!

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We get it. You’ve got an online shop. You’ve created amazing product. You’ve designed a
beautiful store. And now, well, you need customers. Promoting your shop doesn’t have to be
expensive or frustrating. You don’t have to rely on friends and family to be your only
customers for the foreseeable future. We’ve got some great ideas, found right in your own
backyard, that will help push your shop past that awkward “first day of school” phase.

SELL AT {and SUPPORT} LOCAL RETAIL STORES: Local boutiques are always looking for something special to set themselves apart. Your unique, custom goods may just fit that niche. Sell to them on consignment to ease their risk, or offer a competitive wholesale price (usually 1/2 of the retail price you sell for). Once your products are in there, spread the word about that place,
and make sure you shop there yourself. The more you support those stores, the more they’ll
support you and your products.

ATTEND OR CREATE EVENTS: Get out into the world! Even if you’re going to events that aren’t directly related to your business, put your face out there in new crowds and be sure to bring plenty of business cards. If there aren’t any relevant or interesting events in your area, create one! A fun meet-up at a local waffle cafe (great, now we’re hungry) can go a long way when
trying to build your business.

GIVE BACK: Support local non-profits that align with your beliefs. Volunteer your time, goods, or portion of profits. Other supporters of the non-profit will take note and be more likely to support you in return. Make your community a better place. You’ll quickly find yourself
connecting with like-minded people who share the same passions, ethic and drive.

CARD ME: Make sure whenever you’re out of the house engaging your community that you’re never without business cards. Hand out a card with every conversation you have, and consider
including an exclusive discount code on the back of your cards to encourage folks to visit your
site and make a purchase.

DON’T GO AT IT ALONE: Find ways to collaborate. Curate an exhibition, swap blog posts (Oh hey,Gussy!), run a contest with a brand you admire, or concept and create a product with a shopthat complements yours. You’ll share the workload and instantly double the community your
promotions will reach.

And most importantly – have fun representing what it is you love to do. You are the face of
your business, and making a great impression can lead to long term brand loyalty.

SHARE WITH US: do you have a tip that has worked really well for you? is there a tip here that’s inspired you with your business? share with us below! :)