Being both a Mom and a “millennial” I am constantly caught between what is hip and happening in Charlotte and my Momiform with spitup plastered to the front (lets be honest, the latter usually wins). But over the last year my 20-something-self has noticed a booming business and social scene in Charlotte centered on culinary trends, fashion and the vibrant business community. Little did I know, one of my dear Mama friends was hard at work crafting a place where local businesses can connect, celebrate food and the glorious lifestyle in the Queen City. Charlotte Lately has taken off and working quietly behind the scenes is one of our own tribe, a Mom. She’s given the Smarty Moms the “exclusive” as she rarely posts about herself or her family. She’s a photographer, a community contributor, a business extraordinaire and most importantly Mom to little miss Andie. As it turns out, Mom’s can be hip and happening! Without further to-do, here is my dear friend Courtney Schramm.
Smarty Mom: Courtney Schramm
Married to: Calvin Schramm for 5 ½ years
Children: Andie Emily Schramm – 16 months
Years in Charlotte: almost 5
Originally from: Boise, ID
Occupation: Publisher of Charlotte Lately
You aren’t a native Charlottean, but you are a huge fan! Why do you love the Queen City? I do love the Queen City. The first week I went to church here, a man walked up to me and told me that he has lived in all parts of the country and concluded that CLT was the best. I have told numerous people that the more I live here, the more I love it. I love exploring different areas with my family and you can find me going on leisurely drives with no destination in mind with a large (ok XL) QT gas station drink in hand and my camera. You can’t beat the seasons and proximity to the beach, mountains, lakes and many amazing cities. The southern hospitality doesn’t hurt either. I sure have been proving that man at church right ever since.
You recently made the switch from full time working woman to being a stay-at-home working Mom. How has that shift been? I have always loved working– I worked throughout my college years and sometimes put more effort into my part time jobs than my homework. I know that I am the best busy person and the best lazy person so I try and have a schedule to keep me afloat. From working in the corporate world, staying at home, now running a side business I still don’t have all the answers. It took a while to learn the new groove staying at home with our new baby and many good friends to drag me out of my pj’s, turn off netflix and get some fresh air. Working or being home, I respect all situations because I know everyone is just doing their best.
You are a one woman show– running both a social media management company, photography/videography business and the booming local instagram account Charlotte Lately…Oh and the full time job of motherhood. How do you manage it all? Since starting my own business, I have realized that I am a great employee and like being told what to do and when to do it. The shift to the “managing” type has been tough. I have a great team right now that is patient with my learning curve. Because I care about quality and not so much quantity I try not to overcommit. This has also proven hard– can’t always do it all. Being able to “let go” and delegate some responsibilities allows me to define my brand better and watch others grow. My dad gave me some good advice as a teenager (which I may or may not have listened to completely at the time), but he urged me to be the same person in all my encounters, environments and social circumstances. Whether it’s church, a fancy event, at the park with my little one, a photography job, alone etc., I try and stay true to who I am. It’s all about keeping relationships the priority. I couldn’t do what I do without my amazing husband who is my biggest support. We are definitely a team. I got pretty lucky that the man can cook up a storm and I’ve got pretty good at taking out the trash if I do say so myself.
One of the hardest things for the generation of social media Mom’s is balancing the art of a beautiful feed with real life. Have you found this to be challenging? Sometimes I have found that I overcompensate to be real and authentic as I don’t want to seem like I have it all together. I can’t get caught up in what I “appear” to look like because I will never know what every single person is thinking about me and it’s a waste of time to stew on it. What I found to be the most important aspect to this blessing/curse of social media is to keep what I think of myself in check. If I feel that I am seeking attention for posting something or leaning on the validation of likes/comments/followers, then that is the root problem. I will admit to this happening a time or two or ten, so I have to step back and bake some store bought cookies for someone ; ) Reaching outside myself has been a great remedy for comparison or unattainable pinterest posts.
There is definitely a social media movement and love fest for Charlotte among the 20 somethings. Do you think it is giving people a sense of pride for this great city? Charlotte is definitely experiencing an exciting time of growth. The culinary scene has been fun to see and experience first hand. So much talent and passion and at the end of the day many Charlotte locals are just trying to put food on their table. The social media movement gives businesses a quick and effective medium to get the word out there and a chance for locals to connect and build real relationships.. My advice is to keep posting and make Charlotte look as beautiful virtually as it is walking down the street.
What do you love most about being a Mom? It is a rewarding, beautiful, emotional, physical, mental, spiritual experience. I am a better person and feel like I’m the one learning the most. Though my nights are sometimes confused with day, my hair unwashed, legs unshaven (sorry for that) and look a bit more haggard on the daily…she is my sunshine and keeps me grounded. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What’s your favorite place in Charlotte? I have many but my favorite is Va da Vie gelato in the Park Road Shopping Center. Get the pistachio and thank me later. Tell John & Wendy I sent you.