I remember the first time I met Patricia Snow over 13 years ago, when she met me with a huge smile. Over a decade later, I have never seen Patricia without a glowing smile and a welcoming heart. She instantly makes you feel at home no matter where you are. You are never a stranger in her company. And through the years, Patricia has gone back to school to earn her MBA, has had a career in consulting, started her own business, gotten married and had her first baby, and most recently, twins. And somehow Patricia makes all of this look so easy, as she smiles and gives you her time. Please enjoy getting to know one amazing Charlotte mom, while you draw inspiration from her ability gracefully wear many hats.
Smarty Mom: Patricia Snow
Mom of: Ruby, 8 and twins Luna & Lucas, 7 months
Alma Mater: North Carolina State University and MBA at Duke
Married to: Ramon Lopez
Hometown: Yadkinville, NC
Occupation: Owner of Ruby’s Gift and Consultant at Wells Fargo
You wear many hats! Tell us about a few of them:
1. Being a mom and having twins in your forties:
Well, it is 49 to be exact. Is that inspirational or crazy? I hope I am inspiring others. I don’t see the impossibilities and never will. This definitely drives my hubby, Ramon, crazy, but I think he’s getting used to it. I always wanted a big family and I could honestly visualize it. I had a couple good friends, Jerome and Scotty P, tell me that all the big dinners I used to host was laying the groundwork for a table full of kids. I am from a big family that still does Sunday supper. Who does that? Thank you sis!!
2. Working for a corporation as a consultant:
I have been so blessed and lucky to have jobs, with caring bosses, and anytime I make a career change, it seems to just flow. I started my career at SAS Institute while I was at NC State. Wow! What a fun company! Best cookies ever and little kids eating lunch with their parents. IBM then wooed me away to Charlotte. They had so much trust and believed in me. I still can’t believe the responsibilities they gave me. Working for them gave me the bug to travel, which has led to so many great relationships and really ultimately my marriage. One gig was in Puerto Rico, which made me fall in love with the culture, the architecture, and the food!! Wachovia inspired me to move from independent consulting to working for the bank. I observed such great leadership, and smart IT operations- yay Steve Clement and Amy Nichols!! I tried software sales for a little stint, but it just wasn’t for me and the travel kept me away from my babies. I am now back at Wells Fargo, and it feels like home. It’s all about the people!
3. Owning your own business/being an entrepreneur:
During my travels for work and for fun, I fell in love with art, and with uniquely crafted items. Ask anybody that knows me. ☺ And when I went back to school at Duke, I knew that my core reason for going was to obtain a good financial base for starting businesses. I have so many new business ideas! One that I could not let go was having my own art and gift store. When my dear Aunt Ruby, my oldest daughter’s namesake, passed away in 2009, I HAD to open the store, and dedicate it to her. The store is Ruby’s Gift and is located in NoDa, inspired by the many gifts my Aunt gave to me as well as the gift of having my daughter.
4. Remodeling your house:
We LOVED our little bungalow in Elizabeth, but had dreams of expanding and fixing a number of pending projects. We finally pulled the trigger in the fall. Yes, it was just one month before the twins were born. Yes, this was crazy!! The renovation was a real challenge. So many people in Charlotte want to tear down and start new, but this little house had so much character. We preserved that 1920’s character throughout and I am so glad we did. It even feels like we still have our little bungalow with all the memories. Little Ruby reminds us of this all the time.
What’s your secret to balancing it all?
Well, I’m not sure I do a good job of it, but I will share what I can. Anyone that knows PSNOW knows that I always have a lot going on. I want to do it all!! I am constantly prioritizing, working out plan a, b and c. Also, I do call on people to help. And I am lucky to have GOOD friends, neighbors and family, that give, give, give. I also, do force myself to LET THINGS GO. All we can do is try our best, and be kind while doing it and the result may not be 100%, but it’s a damn good 80%. One little trick that helps me a lot is when something is worrying me, I write it down in a journal or on my phone. It kind of works out a plan that I can go do. The next day ALL can be better. Thank you Elizabeth and Crescent Ave neighbors, friends, family, and Hawthorne Lane UMC for all your help this year!!
Tell us more about Ruby’s Gift:
Ruby’s Gift delivers a one-of-a-kind artist community, featuring creative gift options that are affordable and fun. We have well over 100 artists featured in the store, with some artists even working in the store! We pride ourselves in being “All LOCAL, all the time.” It’s not an easy business model, but it really feels good promoting the local artists and providing customers with the perfect piece of art. And I like to shop there!! ☺ We feature paintings, pottery, leather purses, jewelry, candles, a little bit of everything. The icing on the cake for our customers is that our artists will do custom orders and we do beautiful gift wrapping.
Going back to my Aunt Ruby, my inspiration, who taught me how to have an open and free heart- she demonstrated what it meant to be accepting of all the differences that exist in this world. She also taught me how to make my home warm and to welcome all into my home. “Come on in…sit down. Can I get you a cup of coffee? How about some cake? I have some freshly baked cornbread in the oven. How have you been?” I hope my customers feel this when they visit the store.
Are you raising your children to be bilingual since your husband is from the Canary Islands, a Spanish speaking territory of Spain?
YES!! It would be a shame to not have them learn Spanish. I have to give my husband total credit for this, he only speaks Spanish to Ruby and our twins. We are amazed at how much Ruby understands and can speak. Whenever we go to Spain, she picks it back up pretty quickly. On her last trip to Spain, she even started answering her Abuela’s phone. Our family there could not believe it!!
Do you speak English or Spanish in the home?
We speak a mix. My husband speaks mostly Spanish to the kids, and I speak a mix. When Ruby was small, I tried to speak all Spanish, and it really helped. I now need to do that again with the twins. Ruby’s Abuela, cousins and friends do not speak English, so she would really miss out if she does not understand and speak Spanish.
Where do you vacation to get away from it all?
Unfortunately, we have not been on vacation for a little while, but we love the mountains, Asheville area, spending time with our good friend Athar, and I love the NC Coast, Wilmington/Wrightsville area. I feel like it’s a little hidden gem. And of course, the best get-away is SPAIN!! We really do relax when we go there. My favorite day in Spain is the breakfast on the boardwalk, a couple hours on the beach, lunch at my mother-in-laws, a nice siesta, a little shopping in the old city, and finally some rioja, chorizo and cheese before bed.
What do you love about Charlotte?
The people, the trees and southern culture are what I love. I grew up very Southern, in a little town called Yadkinville. The people that I trust the most and know that I can count on for anything are from my hometown. Love them!! I love everything Southern- the talk, the food, the mannerisms. The people in Charlotte, Southern or not, have become my 2nd family. I am amazed how close people in Charlotte can be and how helpful. I don’t think it’s just my circle. I think a lot of people here feel that way. Finally, the TREES, I have learned through my travels that I adore the trees here and I can only live where there are big beautiful green trees like we have here.
Any favorite restaurants?
I love the local spots, fancy and casual. I have been a big fan of The Fig Tree for years. It has been our go-to spot for anniversaries, birthdays, and all occasions. I feel welcome and part of a family when I go there. I also really like Bistro La Bon and Custom Shop, because they feel like little European restaurants. And I have to give a shout out to Moo and Brew, a new local bar/restaurant, owned and operated by our Hood family, the Currents.