Sweaty Palms of This Awkward Mom

It’s been too long. Too long since I’ve woken up and got dressed in a business-friendly attire. Too long since I’ve put decent makeup on and the FIRST time I’ve ever worn fire engine red lipstick… This is how the day started for me who jumped at an opportunity to attend, “Mompreneurs: Growing Business & Raising Families”, an initiative by Detroit Startup Week.

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Trying to look professional.

The truth is, my mom (an amazing textile designer) told me about this just the day before. She always seems to know all the insight into the new programs and business opportunities in the “upcoming” Detroit. But I somehow got the kids dressed, made lunches and raced my ass out the door leaving 1 hour early, because you just never know what will happen with a 1 and 4 year old.

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Fancy lanyards with badge. I felt important for about 10 seconds.

Upon arriving I found an amazing free park literally right in front of the building, and I was super geeked I was on time! Once I met up with my mom, she took the kids, and I made my way inside, feeling ready and refreshed.

 

Once I was registered I was handed this lanyard. “OUUUU” I thought, super professional, but soon found myself confused on where the hell to go, so I felt like an idiot 5 seconds later. No signs anywhere just a old elevator with an actual elevator operator (the Masonic temple is a older building.) Once on the 3rd floor I spotted the signs on where to go, but went in mommy mode and went looking for a potty.  As soon as I found it, there was a line of ladies waiting :-/ Of course I went into double mommy mode and asked if there was another one – and indeed it was, just around the corner. What’s important about this part is that the ladies standing in line heard it too but just waited. So I just proceeded and there it was are less than 30 feet away – an empty bathroom. After the pee, I whipped around the

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Where the line for the potty was lol…

corner and yelled “hey there’s an empty bathroom and it’s super close”. They just smiled and no one moved. Immediately I thought — ok clearly they have no kids and a life lol.

 

When the discussion started, it was truly inspiring,  I heard stories about one who had a kid at 14, some who started businesses later as a moms, single moms all successful, amazing mompreneurs. It included Dr. Nicole Farmer, Sylvia Crawford, Rian Barnhill, Cheryl Johnson, Sarah Swanson. It was all sounding good, I was getting excited – until question time. Now I have to admit I get a bit nervous talking in front of people, but this anxiety was different. I started to sweat, my heart was racing, and I kept going over and over what I wanted to ask. My questions were legit, sensible and do I dare say creative, but here was I was, going over and over about how to ask. My thoughts were racing fast and it felt like I was having a panic attack.
Finally at the end when a dad just started blurring out questions, I slowly raised my hand – not really high. OK, OK, I lied. It was actually just an “usher finger” type of raised arm.

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PANIC TIME!

While everyone was asking about time management and how to get things done. I had hardline questions like making money online, ROI, ROS, google or balancing of power and money between your mate – deep practical business questions. But by the time I had organized my thoughts to make sure the questions made sense, it was too late. Time’s up. No time for questions, no time for this socially awkward mom with amazing questions.

I have to admit, I  got really emotional – the crying type. My nose turned red and one tiny tear started. At the moment, I almost decided to get up and leave. Only to feel regretful and find that same bathroom, the empty one, no one wanted to go to, crying because of a missed opportunity. It was a very sad, depressing moment.

But something happened. The moderater said she wanted to end early so we had a chance to talk, in-person, to the panel. FINALLY I had a second chance and I took it. Business cards in hand, sweating underarm stained shirt, I conjured up the strength and introduced myself TO EACH SPEAKER. I started by explaining I’m an awkward mom and here some questions I had. Almost of all them told me the questions were amazing and it should have been talked about. They assured me that they’ve been where I was, nervous and all. And I’m proud to say a few inquired about my graphic design services too.

 

The lesson here is this. Don’t be afraid of what people think. Don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions, seriously. It’s hard I know. I remember how it used to be working corporate and feeling on top of the world; but it’s different now. As moms we’re making and molding the future world. If you feel you missed an opportunity, if it’s really meant to be, it will open itself up again. I promise.

As for me? I’ll still be that socially awkward mom at first. Probably because I’ve been out of the business/corporate loop for a while, but I learned how to network better that day and now feel like if I can yell to a line of ladies there is a bathroom with no waiting, in a crowd – I can do anything lol!

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I’m. Still. Here. …and Designing.

Well hello ya’ll and Happy Holidays! I’m beginning to realize, apologizing for posting late is unnecessary;  Meaning life happens and you simply get busy. My little boy is now 7 months and I admit I find myself sleeping more than designing, especially since I have two kids. But I’ll get back to it! Anyhou – today I’m going to keep my promise and talk about the Berenstain Bears drawings I mentioned in my previous post.

Berenstain Bears.
Let’s just say I read quite a bit to my kids, and well… as a designer/editor I just notice the details – ALL OF THEM. (insert your laugh here) I couldn’t help but notice in the series, the drawings have morphed over time. I ike that. It tells me, someone has gotten better at what they do and/or wanted to try something new, or just got criticized and realized the criticism was actually true. Check out the images below.

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Left 1968, center 1974, right 1985

Amazing isn’t it?  As you see, the first, is more freestyle and at least to me, fun! The middle almost 10 years later seems more modest and controlled and the last is more defined by bolder lines – which makes it super clear, concise and clean.
There is something to learn here. Especially for me– design skills change or “improve” over time.  I think as designers we sometimes get caught in doing things the same way. For example I worked corporate for 10 years doing mainly the same thing. I admit it was a little more fun in the beginning, where I was wild and free LOL.( I seriously got better in time)  I need to get back to that — and we all can by taking long breaks, life transitions or just cold turkey it, overnight and change it up.

In my next post I’m about going to talk about Adobe and how I am being “forced” to find another set of  design tools to use.

You can always check me out on Facebook, Instagram or Etsy store ^_^.

(*Above images belong to The Berenstain Bears*)