Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
My husband and I were (almost) high-school sweethearts. We graduated together and started dating our first year of college. After getting our degrees, we got married, bought a house, had kids, and have immensely enjoyed our journey together. After our second child was born, I began making her bonnets which eventually led to the inception of Briar Handmade. I now spend my time between motherhood, running a growing business, and everything in between.
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
My husband Taylor, and kids Noah Gunner (almost 7), and Gracelyn Briar (3).
How did you choose your kids names?
Taylor and I both loved the name Noah from the time we were dating. Early on, we both agreed that if we ever had a son, that’s what we’d name him. Noah’s middle name, Gunner, comes from my husband’s fondness of the London-based soccer team Arsenal (Arsenal Gunners). My great-grandmother’s name was Grace, so in tribute to her, we used a variation of that name for Gracelyn. We stumbled upon the name Briar after reading a children’s book by Karma Wilson, Sweet Briar Goes to Camp.
Founder and owner of Briar Handmade (www.briarhandmade.com).
What’s on your manifest board?
I don’t have a manifest board, but if I did, it would have photos of family travel, successful women entrepreneurs that I admire, and beautiful interior spaces.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
We always appreciate weekends at home, staying busy around the house, playing outside – especially when the Pacific Northwest graces us with sunshine. We also love spending time at the beach, camping, and trying different restaurants. We really enjoy each others’ company, so doing anything together as a family makes a great day.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Gracelyn can sing the entire Little Mermaid “Part of Your World” song, and sings it whenever prompted. Both kids also know more Pokemon facts than imaginable and keep us highly entertained by role playing various characters.
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
As a teenager, I always dreamed of graduating from college, since I would be the first person in my family to make that happen. My idea of what I wanted to do after college was always changing, but I knew having a family was a top priority. Other than graduating from college and having a wonderful family of my own, things look very different! I would have never dreamed that I would own and run a bonnet business and find so much satisfaction from it. Also, no one could have prepared me for how much I enjoy motherhood.
What are some things you really believe in?
Quality over quantity, surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy (thanks, Marie Kondo), and that your outlook on life determines your results. I believe strongly in the power of positive thinking and the “good vibes only” mantra.
Where do your passions lie?
Building my business in a thoughtful way, adventuring with my family, and (currently) catching up on all the Gilmore Girl episodes.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
It’s become stronger and more meaningful. We constantly rely on each other’s strengths to balance the whole parenting thing out. It’s typical that when one of us is losing patience or needs a break, the other jumps in at the right time to give support. It’s teamwork at its finest.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love?
There are some unavoidable, uncontrollable situations that happen – like miscarriages, a child being diagnosed with dyslexia, or friends moving away – but regardless of what things happen, it’s the process of dealing with them – and choosing how you will proceed – that builds character. Making lemonade out of lemons, so to speak.
A more fun and exciting lesson we’ve learned recently is that doing things that make you uncomfortable will make you feel more alive than ever.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
Don’t try to have a low-fat or low-sugar diet. Eat natural foods with only ingredients that you can pronounce, and you’ll feel much better. Look at food as nourishment for your body, instead of considering it to be the enemy.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
Sometimes it feels like a crapshoot! We’re all doing our best everyday, processing the myriad of parenting information available, applying what we think will work, and hoping for the best. It’s certainly not instant gratification and often feels like eternity until we know if our efforts have paid off in raising great people.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
While it’s important for me to have my kids understand and experience different cultures around the globe, at the end of the day, I want them to know that we are all human and very much more the same, than we are different.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
A king-size bed for the family, other moms to connect with, a babywearing device (for the early years), and my morning cup of coffee.