Words of Wisdom From Inspiring Ivy Interior Designer Mamas


The Ivy Interior Designer Network is a thriving community of entrepreneurs, many “mompreneurs” aka Interior Designer Mamas, who inspire us to work hard to achieve our creative vision and entrepreneurial dreams. They impart their years of wisdom onto their children, colleagues, fellow Ivy Interior Designers, and the team here at Ivy.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we tuned into some of the most creative moms we know, Ivy Interior Designer Moms, and asked them the question: “How do you maintain a healthy work/personal life balance as a working Ivy Mama?” From building a daily routine to stay on track, to learning how to separate work and family to maintain mental sanity, these Ivy Mamas teach all of us how to take better care of ourselves, and do better business along the way. Review the inspiring and heartwarming responses we received below that will make you feel proud to be a Mama this Mother’s Day.

ALEX SCHINASI | Co-Founder of IvyMark.comNew York, NY

“Having a clear separation between work and family is crucial to keep my sanity as a working mom. I try to stick to a schedule, make time for yoga and eat healthy to maintain my energy level in this wonderful chaos. Having a strong team to rely on when mommy duty calls is critical to being both a great mother and a good leader at work. I love that the interior design industry gives women the flexibility to excel on all these fronts.”

Ivy Co-Founder Alex Schinasi

FLORENCE CHOUX LIVINGSTONFlorence Choux Livingston Interiors | Mill Valley, CA

“As a mom, I try to be fully engaged with my son when he’s not in school and then be fully engaged with my work when he is in school. That structure helps me have separation and boundaries. I also share with my son what I do and show him my projects.”

ANDREA WOJCIAKAndrea Wojciak Interiors | Prescott, AZ

“Embrace the chaos!”

LESLIE MARTINM & M Interior Design | Chicago, IL

I don’t succeed at this everyday, but, I always try to fully focus on what hat I am wearing at the moment.  When I am with the kids, it’s all about them; I put the phone away and give them my full attention.  When I am working, I stay as efficient as possible – and as any mom can tell you, when the kids aren’t around, it’s amazing what you can get accomplished in a short amount of time.  My biggest tip is utilize technology – apps that deliver just about anything from groceries to birthday party gifts, and software that keeps me organized (like IVY!).”

JENNA GROSS | Colordrunk Designs | Decatur, GA

“I decided to work outside of my home two years ago. It was the best decision I have ever made – I am now able to separate my work and home life a lot easier. Also, the most important thing I have implemented is not looking or responding to emails after I leave the office at 5:30. I put my phone up until after my children are asleep. They are growing quickly and I need to soak in this time as much as I can!”

RACHEL MADDEN | Rachel Madden Design | San Anselmo, CA

“Exercise! It keeps the mind calm and focused and my body energized. 
Being present! When I’m with my kids, I try to be fully present. It helps to put the phone out of sight so I’m not tempted by social media or emails. 
Routines! I have a daily routine that keeps me on track so I can fit everything in (work, exercise, family).
Meditate! On days where work-related thoughts are too overpowering, I’ll call a ‘Mommy time-out’ to the hubby, and I’ll go meditate for 10 minutes. And that usually gets me present again.”

PAULETTE DEGRAW | 30A Design Group | Florida & Georgia

“Our team is full of working Moms. We understand each other’s struggles and challenges.  We work together to support each other, our spouses, and our children.  Our team is a family and family comes first!”

KIM MEARDON | M & M Interior Design | Chicago, IL

“Balancing a healthy family and work life is giving 100% to whatever you are dealing with at the moment. Not being afraid to set realistic expectations for yourself as well as your clients. Quality time with your family is better than trying to be present for everything!”

NANCY LANE | The Decor Detective | Houston, TX

“I wish I had a healthy balance of work/personal life. Ha! Joining Ivy has helped me immensely with its community over competition camaraderie. I know someone in the Ivy Designer Network will have a suggestion or an answer to questions when I’m stuck which has become a huge time saver for me. I’m getting better about work boundaries (only working during their school hours) and not answering texts/emails after hours. I try to do at least one thing for myself every day, such as waking up super early to get my workout in. Probably the healthiest thing I do for myself is I try to focus on what I do get accomplished at the end of every day and try not to beat myself up for what didn’t. I’ll take progress over perfection any day 🙂 “

KELLI WALDEN | Select Interiors | Lafayette, CO

“I set firm boundaries with my clients. The benefit of being a sole proprietor is working when I want, with the clients I want. I also get my children invested and involved with what I do so they have pride in me and can see the value I have as a person not ‘just a mom’. “

SHANNON ADAMSON | Shannon Adamson Interior Design | Lynnwood, WA

“Fridays are my dedicated days off from work to spend time with my 22-month old son. It’s not always easy to let the phone ring or ignore emails, but I want to prioritize making memories together. Work will always be there, my little guy will not! Hugs and lots of love to all the working moms out there. It’s a tough gig!”

SUSAN WINTERSTEENSavvy Interiors | San Diego, CA

“I try to be home every day by 3:00pm to do ‘my homework’ when my kids are doing their ‘homework’.”


“I make sure my focus is on whatever I am doing at the moment; when I am in mom mode, I make sure I am 100% focused on my girls, and when I am working, I am 100% focused on my clients and their needs. That being said, I try to find time to sneak away for barre class three times a week to clear my mind. And of course, a weekly date night with the hubs and great wine is a must 🙂 .”

 ALEXANDRA WAIDLEY | Alexandra Phenix | San Francisco, CA

“Short answer: I don’t really know! I’m still trying to figure this sh*t out!
Longer answer: While I’m still learning how to do this, one key thing I’ve learned is to create very clear boundaries between work time and mom time. It’s so easy to answer emails at the park on the weekends with your kid or try to work while they’re watching a cartoon. But they notice that and they want your full attention. Also, if there aren’t clear boundaries, my tendency is to think of my kid as an inconvenience and I hate when I get that way. No job, not even design, is more important than my boy. Clear boundaries also help me do better, non-rushed work for my clients. This leads to more creative and productive results.”

More of our Ivy Mama’s…

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