It is funny to think how people morph in and out of your life – someone you met casually at one point may become a bigger part of your life when you meet again later. A number of years ago I was doing makeup for a large project featuring Brides in different environments – and Jamie Khau was one of the girls modelling for the shoot. I did her makeup and she did a Re-Wear the Dress Story for the project – a bride being photographed re-wearing her wedding dress in a fun environment. I remember thinking that Jamie was such a nice girl – and she seemed so young to have two kids. Well now she has three! And we met again during our time as Stella & Dot stylists and now are connecting over SheTalksYVR. Jamie’s work and her blog site, Styling on the Inside, is a perfect example of a Mompreneur doing what she loves.
Scarlett: Hi Jamie! Welcome to Mompreneur Monday! Tell me: What is your background?
Jamie: My educational background is in Early Childhood Education. I have worked with children for over ten years as a preschool teacher, manager of a childcare facility, and owner and operator of my own. I made the decision to step away from my role as a small business owner, to spend time with my own three daughters. During that time off, I pursued some fun part-time work as an Independent Stella and Dot stylist.
Scarlett: How did you make a decision to start your company and blog? Are you still working at another job?
Jamie: I made the decision to start my blog last year, Styling on the Inside, because I wanted a platform to share my voice. I love writing and I’ve always had a deep desire within me to share some of my personal story, in hopes to inspire others. My mission with Styling the Inside is to promote positive mental health and well-being in ourselves and our future generation. When I started my blog last year I had no idea this would even become a part-time business. I mean, to do something that I would do for free anyway, doesn’t even feel like work. When I began Styling the Inside, I was still an independent Stella and Dot stylist and I was a substitute teacher at CEFA- Core Education and fine arts Junior Kindergarten. Currently, I am contributing articles to Vancity Buzz and I was just hired as a writer for Cella, a Vancouver and Victoria based print and online magazine. I also volunteer on the parent PAC at my daughters school and coordinate Hashtaglunchbag events every few months with a group of girl friends.
Scarlett: You currently married with 3 kids. How have you integrated your family and business
Jamie: Integrating my family with my business has its challenges in terms of finding the right balance. Some days, my family takes priority over my work. However, the beauty of having my own business and freelance writing is I get to choose my own hours. For example, as I write this my children are fast asleep. My family is very supportive of all of the work I do. They love getting involved, reading my blog posts/ articles, and joining me at events.
Scarlett: What and where did you study? Tell us about that.
Jamie: I studied Early Childhood development at Langley College where I received my diploma in Early Childhood Education. I am a licensed Early Childhood Educator. I have also participated in various child related workshops and seminars. Currently, I am taking a few online courses on development of infant/ toddler and special needs children.
Scarlett: What is your favourite project that you have worked on this far with your business?
Jamie: I don’t have one particular project that I’ve worked on for styling the Inside in particular. However, I am very excited about SheTalksYVR, a TED talks style networking event that I am on the advisory board for and I will be speaking at! This conference will take place March 7th, in honour of International Women’s day. Proceeds from SheTalks are going towards a scholarship at Simon Fraser University, for an emerging female leader. It`s going to be a great day!
Scarlett: What has been your biggest hurdle in the business to date and what lesson did you learn from it?
Jamie: To be honest, my biggest hurdle has been the technical side of blogging. I have never been very tech savvy. Needless to say, creating my blog, was my biggest challenge. The lesson I learned from it is not to get discouraged and to ask for help.
Scarlett: I am curious how you are generating income through your blog? Is it through writing assignments? I know this is something readers are always curious about too.
Jamie: Right now it’s through writing assignments as well as promotion. And it’s enough to pay for extra curricular activities and outings with the family!
Scarlett: What is your long term goal? Is this something that you always dreamed of doing?
Jamie: My first long term goal is to facilitate Styling the Inside parent-child interactive workshops. This will be a place parents can come with their children and engage in activities that promote mental well-being and confidence. My second long term goal is to write a memoir. I have always dreamed of sharing my personal perception of my childhood experience in a memoir style story.
Scarlett: If you could give a word of advice to other women out there regarding woman starting a business and building a brand, what would it be?
Jamie: My advice would be to just take the first step. Let go of any self-limiting beliefs that might be holding you back and simply begin. The only person holding you back is yourself. Have the courage to share what you are doing with others. The fear of your plans not working out will be there, but like they say, having regret is worse than having fear. And as cliché as it sounds, if it doesn’t work out at least you know you tried. In terms of building your brand, your brand has to align with you! Along with your business you are also in a way selling yourself. If people feel like they can relate to you, they will be drawn to your business.
Thanks Jamie for all of your answers! You inspire me to be a better mother, a more frequent volunteer and better blogger!