Vanessa is a mom of one and an enV-CHICA at Large.
How many children do you have? I have a beautiful two-year-old son.
How did you come up with the idea for your company? I loved being pregnant. But little did I know that when my son came into the world my life would never be the same. That was the problem. I remember holding him in my arms, crying, feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. But when I laid him down to sleep, I wondered what would become of me, who would take care of me with everything that was being expected from me.
I alienated myself even more from the already small universe I had created for myself after moving from DR. Self sabotage became very comforting. This had nothing to do with my family, but it had everything to do with me. I didn’t know what to call it or how to deal with what was happening to me.
Having talked about my feelings with friends and gathering the strength to attend a support group of new mothers in my local church, I came to the understanding that I was suffering from postpartum depression.
I had heard of the term but must admit feeling ashamed for a while of accepting the label and that I suffered from it. Women commonly have mood changes during pregnancy, especially after delivery. These mood changes may be caused by changes in hormone levels. But many non-hormonal factors may also affect mood during this period:
- Changes in your body from pregnancy and delivery
- Changes in work and social relationships
- Having less time and freedom for yourself
- Lack of sleep
- Worries about your ability as a mother
One morning in 2009, I reflected on how I was able to get out of feeling the way I did about motherhood. While receiving support from other moms and picking up jewelry making which I enjoyed doing while my son napped, more and more women became interested in my pieces and my business was born.
I had a new sense of purpose for myself: the opportunity to connect to other women through my art. These connections and support groups are why I am so passionate about the enV CHICA Movement: connecting you to your personal style.
A chica carries herself with a Caring, Hermosa (beautiful), Inspiring and Can do Attitude. She lives her life trying to do the best that she can. An enV Chica does it all with style.
You can help change someone’s life. As women we can band together to connect with each other and support one another, one wrist at a time.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? When you feel that you are about to lose your marbles, walk away, calm down, and then come back to re-asses the situation. You can’t make rational decisions when you are upset, angry, or frustrated.
How do you get your family to eat healthy food and/or exercise? As for eating healthy, I mix veggies into mac and cheese and casseroles. I am fortunate that my husband loves fruit and vegetables as much as I do, so modeling that interest in those foods to our son was never difficult.
How do you recharge your batteries? I schedule main/pedi days for myself at least once a month, I get my hair blown out professionally once a week and get a facial every six weeks. These little things make me feel good. The better I feel, the better I am able to care for my family.
I also belong to a woman’s networking group that meets once a month. Not only do these meetings serve as support for my growing business, but the friendships I’ve made over time with the women there make it feel like a very productive “girl’s night out.”
I make it a point to surround myself with like-minded women, and I mastermind once a week with a close friend to discuss how we can support each other’s family and business. Without those connections, I’d be lost because when you can surface your feelings of overwhelm with someone else who also gets it, it makes it ok.