I’m so excited to introduce this week’s Smarty Mom, Krista Wilson. Krista is mom to Sutton (3), expecting baby girl #2 in November and married to hubby, Tom, for 7 years. You may remember Krista from her “Infertile in a Fertile City” blog. I first met Krista this spring after contacting her about her super-cute stationery business, Button Boo Designs. I LOVE stationery, always have, always will. Each Christmas, I save my favorite card designs, especially when they are a local mompreneur, and use a new designer each year for my birthday party invitations. So I saved Krista’s Button Boo card and the rest is history. BTW, she has some really cute “twins” party invitations, which are extremely hard to find. I loved Krista right off the bat, actually all she had to say was “I’m a die-hard Florida Gator and I love Charlotte Smarty Pants” and I’m forever your B/F/F! Krista has designed all of my children’s cards this year and I just love the unique, creative and sassy flare she adds to each design. Meet Krista!
What did you do in your previous life, aka, sans children?
I’ve had several jobs and none that go together! After college I worked for a Congressman on his re-election campaign. Once the campaign ended, we moved to Chicago where I worked at the Crate & Barrel corporate office in the architecture and design group (the obvious next step for someone in politics). We left Chicago and headed to New York where I joined the Tiffany and Co. staff in a similar group. We finally ended up in Charlotte, and I took a job at a commercial real estate firm (New South Properties) here in town. I can’t say enough wonderful things about New South! Not only are they the best in the business, but the staff is comprised of truly amazing people that are like family to me! It is so rare to find closeness in a work environment these days, but they achieve it with ease.
As a woman who struggled with fertility issues, what is your best piece of advice for other mom’s out there with similar challenges?
You’re not alone! One in six couples experience problems with conceiving naturally. While you may feel like you are the only one in your circle battling this issue (especially if your friends are popping out children faster than Angelina and Brad), rest assured there are many women out there just like you. Infertility is a painful realization that some women bottle up and hide from the rest of the world. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your situation with friends and family, know that almost every infertility clinic offers counseling. It’s important to talk to someone and discuss your emotions, whether it’s stress, anger, disappointment, or loneliness. For me, it was the support and love of friends that pulled me through those dark moments that come with infertility. You never know the support systems that surround you until you reach out for them. So, reach out and open up. If you can’t find someone to listen, call me . . . we’ll talk Clomid over coffee.
You are currently pregnant with baby girl #2, congratulations! How was your experience similar/different trying to get pregnant the second time around?
To start, this pregnancy is natural. After years of battling infertility, my husband and I were shocked (like fall out of our seats amazed) to hear the news that we were pregnant without a stitch of medicine. I’m almost half-way there, and I still find myself thinking, “Are you sure they didn’t switch the test results?” Clearly, we were overjoyed! However, this joy quickly turned into extreme “morning” sickness that lasted weeks beyond my first trimester. I’m finally feeling well again and craving watermelon and turkey sandwiches around the clock!
What inspired you to create Button Boo Designs?
My daughter Sutton! The company was named after a nickname I call her, “Sutton Button Boo.” When she was born I searched high and low for fabulous baby announcements and quickly realized that designing my own was something I wanted to tackle. I’ve also battled a lifetime obsession with stationery, even sending out my own Christmas Cards when I was in the sixth grade. Having a professional printer and ability to design cards is amazing. I’m always thinking of fun and different concepts that I not only want to sell, but want to own!
In your opinion, what is the most important piece of stationery a busy mom should have?
Thank you cards! Every mom longs to hear those two fabulous words…”thank you.” Receiving them in written form is practically breathtaking. Moms have so many reasons to be thankful…from the casserole a friend just dropped off to the loud toy requiring tons of batteries the grandparents just gifted your child. There is no substitute for a well written thank you note and every mom should have a stack ready to pen.
How do you balance your thriving business and being a mom?
PLEASE, it’s all smoke and mirrors! Balance is an important word that I promise to Google as soon as I complete my to-do list! All jokes aside, I try never to lose a creative thought so I write my ideas down everywhere (I’m not kidding, I once sketched an invitation on a Chick-fil-a bag). I mostly work while my daughter naps and during her preschool mornings and try not to take on too many projects at once. Quality verses quantity is my motto! Above all, I never forget that my first job is being Sutton’s mom. It also doesn’t hurt that I have an amazing husband who does the books for me (thank you, Tom)!
What is your favorite activity with Sutton?
With Sutton, every activity is fun!!! She’s a natural comedian and loves to perform, so even mundane tasks like pouring cereal become entertaining. She will dance to her reflection in the oven door or sing a made-up song into a banana. However, if I HAD to pick one activity it would be taking her to the pool. Sutton thinks she can swim and it’s a riot to hold her in the water while she shouts to the world, look at me!!!!!
What is the funniest thing Sutton has ever said to you?
Sutton told me last week that she was going to get married so she can make her own decisions. She is THREE!!!!! I asked her what on earth she would decide, and her response was “to eat cupcakes!” She even announced that she was going to marry none other than Tim Tebow (UF quarterback)! Hilarious!!
What is your favorite kid-friendly restaurant?
It’s a tie between Chick-fil-a and Brixx in the Foxcroft shopping center. Chick-fil-a because of the many locations with playgroups and the yummy, yet healthier version of chicken nuggets they prepare. Brixx because I think it’s a playgroup with a restaurant. You can sit outside and enjoy a pizza while your children make friends and enjoy running around the patio. Best of all, it’s a universal understanding among people who eat there on Friday evenings that kids roam free along the outside seating area and everyone seems to love it!
What is your favorite date-night spot?
Barrington’s restaurant in the Foxcroft shopping center. I’m quite sure that Chef Bruce Moffett is not human; he must be some form of culinary god. His menu is upscale, but not uptight, and changes seasonally. Make sure to go in the fall and order his famous pork chop that I promise will change your life. This place is intimate, and my husband and I have had some our best conversations in this cozy bistro style restaurant. I’m not alone in adoring Barrington’s as it was just named one of the top 11 restaurants in the country.
What is your favorite mani/pedi spot?
Myers Park Nail Spa. I’m a firm believer anyplace I can get a pedicure is heaven, but this place serves WINE! I’m not saying you’re going to get a fabulous vintage, but sipping a decent glass of vino while having your feet rubbed is nirvana. I love this place so much they are lucky I haven’t had my mail forwarded.
Favorite place to buy kids clothes?
Chocolate Soup! Not just because it’s named after a dessert (which doesn’t hurt), but because the clothes are precious and the sales are amazing. This store is super kid friendly and won’t break the bank.
Minivan or SUV?
SUV, however I have several friends with minivans and I’m jealous of their automatic door and lower seats! Add the DVD and side tables and I swear you are driving a living room. Who couldn’t love that?
What is your best $-saving tip for your family during this tough economy?
Take it outside and enjoy a “staycation” within the city limits! Charlotte has over 210 parks scattered along our city and they are all FREE! My family loves to pack a picnic lunch and walk through Freedom Park or bike ride to Carmel Park on the weekends. To truly get a feel for our city, we also love to head to every festival we can find. The Taste of Charlotte was this past weekend and for ten dollars we sampled some of Charlotte’s yummy dishes, listened to a free concert, and walked the streets of uptown while enjoying local vendors. This Sunday you can find us at POPS in the Park to listen to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra play for FREE in South Park. Pack a picnic dinner and you have a cheap date night full of cultural significance. Stop and smell the roses of our city . . . they are awfully lovely this time of year.
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
I think the best kept secret in Charlotte is how truly fabulous our city really is. The Emerald City has so much to offer and many of us don’t even realize it! We are a young, vibrant, cosmopolitan area with fabulous restaurants, hot bars, and nationally recognized achievements.
Best thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
Charlotte is a “village” when it comes to raising children. Our community is very family friendly and this is proof by the wonderful restaurants and stores that cater to Charlotte families. It’s also easy to meet people in Charlotte making playgroups easy to form and friendships even easier to maintain.
I could not live without my…
YMCA membership. If you’re looking for me, try the Harris Y! If I’m not at ballet lessons, gymnastics, the pool, Child Watch, or working out you can find me at The Garden Deli (inside the Y) noshing on the world’s best chicken salad sandwich. Don’t believe me, try it! What would life be like without the YMCA? I’m not sure, but I shudder to think.
Thank you, Krista! Based on your answers, I’m pretty sure we are related:-) Happy Saturday, Smarties!