Well, we’re back here again for another awesome #RealMums interview with a real, hard-working, inspirational mumma. This week’s mumma is Angela, well-known for being the founder of Finlee & Me. Angela is an entrepreneur who started Finlee & Me as a “blogging experience” to help parents share not only educational activities with their children, but create meaningful family bonds. Angela is passionate about supporting parents and families in this capacity, and I know I am personally inspired by her journey and her accomplishments (as this is my passion too!). It was a privilege to get to chat to her and find out more about her family and her motherhood story. I hope you enjoy!
Hi Angela! It is such a priviliege to have you join us for our Real Mums blog series! I’m so excited to be able to chat with you today about all things motherhood, business and life! To start off, could you introduce us to yourself and your family?
I’m originally from Canada, but fell in love with Australian from Tasmania. We now live in Brisbane, QLD with Finlee my 7 year old and Chloe my almost 4 year old. I’m also an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician (14+ years’ experience with a master of social work degree) and most importantly a mother.
Can you tell us a bit about what you do with your time?
My time is quite structured as this allows me to fit everything in. I work full time as a mental health clinician during the week. Then when I’m done from my mental health job, I put on my mom/mum hat to hang out with Finlee my 7 year old and Chloe my 3 year old. I try super hard to not do anything but focus on them from the time I get home until they go to bed. Then at night time, I focus on the Finlee and Me business, but also my 1 on 1 coaching business clients. Weekends are my time for the family and do no work Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the day, but Sunday night after 7pm I catch up on everything.
You are a busy woman! Where did the idea for Finlee & Me come from?
The idea came shortly after Finlee was born. I was looking for quality products that would allow him to be creative, nurture his imagination and create childhood memories, but I was stuck finding these products, so I went on a mission to find these products and hence Finlee and Me was born.
Finlee & Me has now become a well known online presence, and you’ve joined with Nuffnang Australia as one of their Top 30 Influencers. What has this experience been like for you and your family? Has it affected your family life much?
Yes, I have just recently joined with Nuffnang and they are a delight to work with. It’s brought so many wonderful opportunities my way because I’ve got to meet so many cool people and build relationships, while at the same time spending time with my family. For example, we’re heading to Bali in February 2017 and I’m working with Club Med and Holiday Inn; which is so so awesome and I never thought that would happen.
How do you manage your time between your commitments to Finlee & Me (and beyond), and your family?
As I mentioned before, everything is very structured and set. I also have a very supportive husband who helps out on so many different levels which has been a huge reason why I’ve been able to grow the Finlee and Me brand.
Do you still get to use your (quite experienced!) background as a mental health clinician? Has this background helped you at all in your online business?
Yes, I still use my mental health background as I’m still working full time as a mental health clinician. Working in mental health has allowed me to connect with my amazing community of mothers. I’ve been able to help them with depression, anxiety etc for both themselves and their kids by providing information. I love mental health and just can’t give it up.
What about as a mother? Does your knowledge and experience as a mental health worker play a role as a mother?
It’s funny because my role as a mental health clinician has helped and that my son is currently getting assessed for a few things and it’s because of my background that I was able to pick up on these things.
What do you enjoy most about being a mother?
I love that kids can keep things real. That they show you what’s really important. See joy in everything. And how they can just be in the moment and not worry about anything else. I love that I need them just as much as they need me.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced? How did you work through those difficult times?
To be honest, the biggest challenge was to realise that you will get hurt and burned in business. Some people are only out for themselves and will do anything, take advantange of you etc. It use to be a challenge, but now I look at it as a benefit. It’s best that people like this are not part of my business/brand/life because I only want to have positive people in my life because life is to short.
If you could share one piece of advice for new and prospective mums reading this, what would it be?
Just because you’re a mom/mum doesn’t mean you can’t have dreams. In fact, create your dreams, role model to your kids that hard work is a good thing and your goals are important. So go out there and do what you’re meant to do. Be happy. Love life. Kick ass.