Celebrating Moms Part 3, Meet Valerie!

April 15, 2014

Celebrating Moms Part 3, Meet Valerie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Kansas. After graduating from Kansas State University with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration, I married my husband, Shane. Over the past 12 years, we have lived in Montana, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Baltimore before his work finally brought us here to Portland, where we plan to stay! Shane grew up here so it feels good to be somewhere where we have some roots! 


How many kids do you have and what ages?

We have a son, Xavier who is 8, as well as two lovely daughters. Elleri is almost 6 and Emerson is 2 1/2. 


You do some freelance work. Tell us about what you do.

I have a freelance Graphic Design and Illustration business, focusing mainly on print and digital design. I have been very blessed to work with great clients who, not only keep my very busy, but are a dream to work with. 


Any advice/tips for moms trying to balance kids and work?

I think balance is something all working moms struggle to find. My tip would be to find what works for you, and go for it. Maybe it's not traditional hours or what would work for someone else, but if it works for you and your family, that's what counts. Sometimes we have to let go of that little voice telling you it's not how it's 'supposed' to be and just be ok with what it is. As much as possible, I try to work when my kids are napping or after bedtime, but sneaking a bit in here and there, like when they are watching a movie, definitely happens during busy times! I also feel fortunate that l am somewhat able control my work flow. It's hard to say no or turn someone away, but for my own sanity, saying no can be just as important as saying yes!


What’s your secret to always looking so put together, especially since you have three kids? Any tips for other moms?

Well, I never really feel put together! Good or bad, I tend to buy clothes in the same color family. Everything works together, which helps when you are in a hurry. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I've learned that a skinny jean, cute pair of boots and scarf can get you pretty far! I also feel like accessorizing with a cute pair of earrings or a great necklace can add a little polish in a simple way that can brighten up your look. 


Did you stop wearing jewelry when your kids were really little and pulling on everything? If so, around what age were you able to start wearing it again?

I did. My son actually pulled on and broke one of my nice necklaces when he was a baby. I was able to get it repaired, but I learned my lesson quickly! Now that our youngest is 2 1/2, I feel pretty safe wearing my jewelry again. 


What do you look for now when picking out new jewelry?

I think I choose it a little like I do my clothing, pieces that work together in different ways. I prefer bold, delicate pieces, paired with smaller, simple items. Also, I tend to go for blueish stones like labradorite, amazonite or turquoise since I have blue eyes! 

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