Meet Belinda – rockstar mama & owner of local beverage company, Happy Camper Cocktails! We have loved partnering with Belinda for our Mocktail series on the blog – check out all of her delicious concoctions here!
Your Story – a little “About You” – How long have you lived in the Seattle area? Where are you from/why did you move here? What do you do for a living? Have you always done this?
I was born and raised in Black Diamond, WA. I moved back here after college and started my companies, Happy Camper Cocktail Company, and Simple Goodness Sisters, after a five-year career in technical recruiting with Microsoft.
What is your dream/vision for Happy Camper Cocktails?
With Happy Camper Cocktail Company we’re looking to create #happierhours. We aim to elevate the drinks experience beyond a toss em back kind of atmosphere by creating visually stunning, delicious tasting, and all around memorable drinks for our clients. We believe that life is worth celebrating and that special moments in life deserve special drinks.
How do you balance being an entrepreneur & a mom?
Carefully and with many failures. I try to prioritize my family life over my work, but with an understanding that I intentionally sought out an entrepreneur lifestyle where I would be able to blend the two. I don’t have clear boundaries, a clock-off time, or the ability to compartmentalize so I try to bring my kids into my work where I can and it makes sense, and then seek out childcare when I need to have uninterrupted work time. Being a work from home/self-employed mom doesn’t necessarily make my life easier, it’s pretty fluid and therefore gets messy and can be stressful, but I remind myself often that I chose this, and that I want to be more present in their lives, even if that means having to bring them with me on less convenient outings like Costco runs.
How has motherhood affected / changed / shaped your career path?
It took me on the 180 re-direction I needed. I always knew my recruiting work did not fulfill me creatively and wasn’t a long term goal of mine to pursue, but it was a really great job to learn from and build my foundation as a professional and gave me just enough creative license to stay interested. Having my first child and no longer being able to travel for work because of my husband’s work schedule, meant that I was forced to look head-on at my path and re-evaluate. I decided to use the opportunity to make intentional decisions about the lifestyle we wanted for our growing family and try to follow some lifelong dreams of creative entrepreneurship. I didn’t quit right away, though. I moved to a work from home contract role as I adjusted to this new reality and began to shape my business ideas. Before my next pregnancy, I decided to use my maternity leave as a test to see if I could keep at it fulltime. I haven’t gone back to “work” yet!
What was your vision of motherhood and how does it compare to your current reality?
I come from a line of badass, strong and nurturing women. I always knew I wanted to do this and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. My role models were real, raw, beautiful and unpolished, so I saw how hard motherhood could be through them, but I also saw the rewards and felt that love and just knew, that was my number one goal in life.
What would you advice be to someone hoping to start their own business?
My advice would be to start slow. Do a lot of thinking before you do much action. Make projections, lists, and plans but also do this; just picture success. What will it look like? What will it feel like? Be realistic with this exercise because it should be a business, not a hobby. If you gain the reputation you‘re striving for and the amount of work you hope for, how will that feel? Be sure it’s what you really want and that you can scale your vision to be effective without just your energy going into it. Because solo entrepreneurship is HARD and most businesses, including mine, really struggle with large growth.
What makes you feel strong?
My kids and yoga
How do you practice self-care?
Lately, my friends are the best self-care I have. I invest in relationships with other women, especially other mothers, who make me feel good and support my flaws as well as my triumphs. I wish I could say I do a lot of yoga or wine tasting but in reality, I do playdates with a group of incredible women who have my back no matter what. That’s what I make time for.
Who are significant mother role models in your life & why?
I could, and someday might, write a book about my own mother. Her resilience and strength have inspired me through many trials and her mix of unwavering love, honesty and toughness with her children is my inspiration. I also have a phenomenal set of grandmothers, a stepmom, sisters, and friends who have shown me the best of what motherhood can look like.
What is a piece of advice you wish you’d received?
I feel like I got a lot of great advice and took it to heart! My mom told me picking a mate would be one of the single biggest contributors to my life’s trajectory and I picked a really good one. My family is not afraid to make their opinions known and we’re big on unsolicited advice so I feel like there was never a shortage!
What does living a fulfilled and happy life mean to you?
Being able to be done with work and watch Jeopardy with both kids in bed on a weeknight, especially if I actually know some of the answers.
Do you have any personal mantras?
Feed your Dreams and Starve Your Fears also “you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
What makes you excited about Om. Mama Co.?
A supportive group of women is my happy place. Female Friendships are invaluable to me and I love that a supportive community is being built through this venture.
Where can readers find you?