So thrilled to bring you the third installment of The Working SAHM – A Series on Balance.
I met Loriann on a playdate a few years back and was so taken by her magnetic personality – and in the past few months, I’ve watched as her business has grown into a powerhouse events planning business. She recently made that transition into being a full time Working SAHM, and I wanted to check out how she handled it all. My photographer and I headed over to her home to interview her one early Saturday morning we were shocked to find that her house was already in full swing – she was hosting an Easter photoshoot event in her home, complete with photobooths, blasting music, florals, and of course, her family helping out, right by her side. (You’ll get a glimpse of her husband filling in as the Easter Bunny, too!) You’ll see what I mean from the pictures we took that day! I’m so proud to introduce Episode Three – Introducing Loriann Serna of That Can Happen.
Loriann, tell me about your family:
I am married to my best friend and business partner, Herick. We have three beautiful girls ages 20 (Jez), 15 (Natalia) and 2 (Frankie Beau). He has a gorgeous head of silver hair. I wonder why?
What you do, career wise, and how did you get started?
I am a creator of all things inspiring and delicious. At one time we had a bakery called Ah, How Sweet and when I became pregnant with Frankie I knew that had to end, at least temporarily. I found a way to incorporate my husband’s wedding and music services, baking, party planning and creativity by starting Wife Of The Party. Up until February of last year I worked in corporate during the week and with Herick all weekend. I dreamt of the day where I only worked at home, growing a family business.
Why did you decide to become a SAHM?
My husband actually made this choice for me. He reminded me over and over when I would complain how exhausted I was that I needed to put my fears aside and believe a little more. The idea of not having profit sharing, a 401k…it terrified me. As I watched Frankie grow and only shared 1 hour lunches with them during the week I became more and more unhappy. One day, he just chose. And I listened. My fears fueled me and here we are! Now, I celebrate people full time all day every day.
What is the most difficult thing about being a SAHM and working from home at the same time? When do you find the time to work or create?
For me the most difficult thing about working at home is getting up and getting ready. Staying committed to some sort of routine. Previously I would get up, do my makeup, throw on a cute outfit and head out the door as I hand off the baby. Now I am lucky if I shower before 11! I work every morning on the computer from 7am to 10am and intermittently throughout the day. I take every phone call as it comes and turn into a beast when she goes down for a nap creating, sketching and planning. We also schedule most of our meetings at home three days out of the week, evenings.
Have your career objectives changed since becoming a SAHM?
No, the only thing that changes is the fire inside me burns hotter and I am more excited every day. I can tell you that checking my emails is no longer a chore, it feels like opening a birthday present every time we have a new potential client.
Do you have any childcare help?
I have my husband that helps with the baby, he’s very hands on. From breakfast to diapers to emergency park runs during a mini meltdown he is always right next to me to help. Our daughter Natalia helps often too but I try not to leave her with her when we work events. The baby is our responsibility and it’s important to me that Natalia enjoys being a sister, not a second mom and understands the difference between family responsibility and mommy responsibility. People often say I’m lucky because “I have a built in babysitter” but that isn’t complimentary, I am quick to correct them.
What are some tips you have on balancing those two roles, or keeping yourself sane? What have you found the most helpful in maintaining this balance?
The best tips I have for all of the above is a good cup of coffee in the morning, lots of water and mommies on speed dial when you need to hear the occasional friendly adult. Happy hour works too every now and then. One struggle I haven’t mastered yet is how to stay organized with customer relationships. In corporate we had wonderful, expensive software to ping me when I needed to call someone or send an email by a deadline. I am right now the only CRM our company has but I’m in search of any small business programs and welcome any feedback or suggestions!
Give me a brief rundown of your typical day at home with your baby, and working.
6:30am wake up call with “I want boobies” in my ear (I just stopped nursing last month). 7:00am coffee is ready and I have a couple hours to dedicate to efficient email follow up (SO IMPORTANT). Everything after that we make up as the day goes by. Most often times by 11 Frankie is in tow as we head out to do scheduled wedding walkthroughs, sneak in lunch and a nap on the way home. 80% of our business is done behind the scenes so that the 20% you see online, in photos and in your hearts is beautifully executed and part of the soundtrack of your lives. Thank you for having me, Jody and team!
Thank you to the incredible RLH Photo for the pictures, thank you for being such a huge part of this.