Smarty Mom this week is Jenny Jordan, Founder of Periwinkle Papers (see precious sample to the right!). Jenny has lived in Charlotte for 7 years, is married to fabulous hubby, Neal, and mommy to “Baby Joe”, 9 months. Jenny says “Poor Joe – “Baby Joe” has stuck and he will probably go off to college known as “Baby Joe” like “Baby Face” or “Little Richard.” Jenny was nominated by her Smarty friend, Virginia Hart. Here is what Virginia has to say:
“Jenny has been a dear friend since I met her in elementary school. We’ve gone through many stages of life together (braces, high school proms, college freshman dorm days at UGA, being in each others’ weddings within the same month) and she always knows how to make me smile. Her son, Joe, was awaited with much excitement and arrived in November 2007. It is such fun to now be “mommies” together!
I nominated Jenny as a Charlotte Smarty Mom because she has managed the ultimate balance between work and being a stay-at-home mom. Her hope for years was to create a stationery line (she has been a talented artist for as long as I can remember) and Periwinkle Papers is the product of many long nights spent working and big dreams. She creates unique personalized stationery and gifts, for little kids and adults alike! Since the arrival of baby Joe, she has not skipped a beat and continues to make Charlotteans happy with her cute designs and super friendly service. I admire this because she does much of it with sweet baby Joe by her side (or napping nearby). On top of it all, she still makes time for fun!”
Jenny’s Smarty Questions:
Do you consider yourself a stay-at-home mom or a working mom?
BOTH! Actually I am a “Stay-at-Home-Working-Mom! Anytime Joe is sleeping I am in my home-office/studio working away. Thursdays I have a sitter who keeps me sane. I spend most of the day in my office getting my work done. I always feel a huge load lifted by the end of the day.
What inspired you to create Periwinkle Papers?
My mom is an artist and has always had her own businesses – she has been an inspiration to me for sure. I have always loved to draw, paint and create. It had been a life-long dream of mine to have my own stationery line, as I am obsessed with fun papers. So, when I first moved to Charlotte, I made my dream a reality by creating Periwinkle Papers featuring my artwork and designs. I sell my personalized products (i.e. note cards, calling cards, stickers, t-shirts, etc) at retail stores (including The Buttercup, Fancy Pants, Southern Stationers, Papitre, John Dabbs, etc) and on my website www.periwinklepapers.com. It is my creative outlet. I work hard on it and I am proud of my little business.
What advice do you have for other “mompreneurs”?
If you put your mind to it – you can make it happen! It will only work if your heart is in it 100 %, you are determined, driven and willing to make sacrifices. If that is the case, then go for it!
This business is my dream and it is really important to me. That is what keeps me going. When I have thoughts of putting my business on hold for Joe, I realize how much I would miss having it! I have worked so hard to get this far and I don’t want to give up now. I may reorganize it one day to make it easier on myself but I will always have this business. I do it for myself.
So more advice to other “mompreneurs” – stick with it, even when there are obstacles and the going gets tough! You can mold it to fit into your life. If it is your dream – YOU can make it happen!
How do you balance work and home life?
I stay positive and maintain an upbeat attitude! It is never easy, but many things in life that are worth it are not easy. I strive to be a great mom, pace myself, make sacrifices and remind myself how lucky I am!
Thankfully my husband is super-supportive of my business and helpful around the house. For example, at night he will make dinner while I put Joe to bed, or vice-versa.
But, we all know our own limits. When I was pregnant I had people tell me it would be impossible to do my business and stay home with Joe. It hasn’t been easy, but by staying organized and disciplined, I find that I can juggle. I like staying busy and the challenge of juggling many balls! Is that crazy?
The bottom line for me is that family comes first. Joe is most important over my business and I love and cherish my time with him. And I wait until he gives me time to focus on Periwinkle Papers.
What is your favorite kid-friendly restaurant?
Phil’s Deli at Strawberry Hill
What is your favorite activity with your son?
Neal and I love taking our little guy to the pool. He has really enjoyed it this summer! We also enjoy our Music Together classes. Joe lights up when he hears his favorite songs.
What is a typical Saturday morning like in the Jordan household?
Early morning snuggle and play time with Joe in bed…and family walks with Banks, our yellow lab. We are just so happy it is the weekend and we can have family time!
What is your favorite date-night spot?
We love going out with friends, but date nights just the two of us are so fun and important! It gives us time to REALLY catch up. After a yummy meal out to we love to go to the Dean and Deluca Wine Bar at Phillips Place and get flights of wine. Saturday nights are the best because they have 2 acoustic guitarists playing everything from Allman Brothers to Prince.
Favorite place to buy kids clothes?
Fancy Pants! I love Kissy Kissy baby clothes and they have a great selection there.
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
Bedder Bedder and Moore’s #541, the Turkey Provolone Pita…mmm!
Favorite piece of baby/children’s gear?
It is not a piece of gear, but a book: Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, recommended to me by a dear friend who is a pediatrician. She said, “get him on a schedule and stick to it!” This book was my lifesaver when Joe was a newborn and I was a clueless new mom. It taught me how to get him on a napping/sleeping schedule which I was determined to do for his benefit, but also so I could get Periwinkle Papers back up and running.
Minivan or SUV?
SUV because it fits our style and needs (especially with our 1st child, doggie Banks) But my friends with mini vans swear by them! Regardless, I am so short I look funny driving anything bigger than a sedan.
Favorite thing about being a mommy?
The joy and happiness this child brings me! My life feels complete now. We tried for 2 years to get pregnant and I realize how blessed we are. I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life! I love knowing Neal, Joe and I have each other and it is wonderful having our own little family. I get tears in my eyes when I think about how much love I have to give my sweet husband and child!
I could not live without my…
… sister, Jakie. We are super close and she is my BEST FRIEND. We are so much alike and have been through a lot together. I am very fortunate to have this special bond. An excellent mother with three kids, she is an incredible role model for me. She is my biggest supporter and the #1 fan of Periwinkle Papers. She inspires and encourages me daily! If only she lived here in Charlotte and not Richmond!
Jenny’s Periwinkle Papers is offering a 15% discount off the entire online store during the month of September for CSP readers. Enter coupon code “SmartyMom” when you start your shopping cart. This is a great time to get Back-To-School items like “From the Mom of (child’s name)” notepads, bag tags, waterproof/sippy cup labels, etc. Or if you are a REALLY organized Smarty Mom, go ahead and get some Holiday Shopping done! Also if you have time this week, Jenny is hosting a Stationery Show at Periwinkle Papers Headquarters, 2628 Inverness Road in Barclay Downs. You can shop this precious stationery in person and receive 15% off your purchase.
Hours are Tuesday, 9/9, 10a-4p or Thursday, 9/11, 10a-4p. Happy shopping from www.periwinklepapers.com!