Meet Smarty Mom, Dana Peele, founder of Peele Paint, custom art for your little one. Dana is mom to Charlotte (3 1/2), Katie (14-months) and adopted greyhound, Dollar and married to husband, Jason. She lives with her family in the Matthews/Mint Hill area. When Peele Paint was founded in 2004 after the birth of her first daughter, Charlotte, Dana transitioned from elementary teacher into a business woman, artist and mom. Dana’s monogrammed canvases are my Smarty pick of the day!
What inspired you to create Peele Paint?
My lactation consultant at Presbyterian was opening a woman’s boutique called “A Woman’s View” and wanted me to create products and paint a belly cast for the store. I was looking for a way to fulfill my creative desires and my time at home while my first child, Charlotte was napping during the day. After teaching elementary art for 8 years and painting murals for 12 years, I thought people needed more art choices for nurseries and kid’s rooms. With the encouragement from my friends (who were having babies) and my family, Peele Paint came to be in September 2004. I started holding “Mommy and Me” parties at my house where moms would come over and have a footprint or handprint done of their child. Then I entered my first show for exposure at Lake Norman Regional Hospital aimed at new moms and patients. I am continually inspired by my customers as I feed off their ideas and needs for new murals/products for my business. What can I say, I’m “art-a-la-cart”! If you need something painted, I will find a way to help out! I love it!
How do you find the right balance between work and family?
Help from neighbors/friends and family. I love the YMCA! It gives me time for myself which is really important when you are a stay at home mom. During naps or bedtime, I paint. Weekends are family time as well as dinner time every night. My parents instilled in me the value of eating together and going to church together as a family.
What advice do you have for other “mompreneurs”?
Go for it all! Dream big! Anything is possible! Don’t let anyone tell you no. Keep trying and you will be surprised with yourself. Establish face time with customers/clients on a regular basis and give lots of thank-yous. Talk with your family about what your business means to you and how schedules will be affected. Everyone has to sacrifice a little and you need their support.
Favorite piece of baby/children’s gear?
I love the Johnny Jump up that you hang in the doorway and so did my little ones!
Best place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
I love The Children’s place/ Target, or any sale and hand-me-downs from friends are nice too:-)
Mint Hill Park off 218.
Favorite activity with kids?
Baking cupcakes/rice krispy treats (anything sweet or fun to decorate). Painting with water on the sidewalk. Running through the sprinkler in the back yard!
Favorite mom activity?
Getting pedicure/manicure or any spa treatment! Yoga.
Favorite date-night spot?
Bonefish Grill or anyplace that has outdoor seating in the spring.
Favorite kid-friendly restaurant?
Best birthday party you’ve been to or hosted?
The best party I went to was at my friend’s house for their one-year-old little girl, Caroline. They own Owen’s Bagel and Deli so they had unbelievable samples of their products and drinks! Steamed bagels, drinks for the adults and a taste-test before they opened their shop.
Minivan or SUV?
SUV all the way, although I’d love a cross-over with a third seat like the Arcadia! I want to look good driving it!
Best thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
All the arts, parks and museums around the city. There is always something going on!
I can’t live without my…Tall, Nonfat Latte with a shot of Hazelnut from Starbucks!
I wish someone told me sooner about…How having a Dustbuster is essential for every mom! Oh, yeah, the family dog is great too for cleaning the floor!
Smarty tip for Charlotte moms out there…Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Have a date night every week with your husband and tell your family you love them everyday!
Thank you Dana! You are super Smarty!