who's your mama?

My dear friend Megan and I had big plans to team up as part of Super-Duper September. I was going to share her brand-new personalized jewelry business, Nia (not to be confused with my daughter Nina), so everyone could place orders in time for Christmas.

Ah, life.

Welcome to Halfway-through-March! So excited to introduce you to Megan and Connie, the daughter-mama duo behind Nia. And just in time to order some lovely, personalized jewelry for your favorite Mom for Mother’s Day!

niamomMegan, let’s start with you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself (and your mama).

Well, I am a 30-something mother of 4 and wife of 1, and real-life friend of Marla’s (don’t be jealous).  My days often feel the same: feeding the kids, changing a diaper, running a forgotten thing to school, going to the grocery store, getting a workout in,getting in a workout, asking my kids to clean up after themselves, cooking, playing princesses……you know, all of that Mom stuff.

It’s so easy for me to get overwhelmed and lose my focus.  I’ve been really challenged lately to seek everything I need from the Lord.  To allow Him to fill me up with what I need instead of expect other people to fulfill my needs.  It is such a change in perspective that is so helpful and allows me to live my life to glorify the one who created me.

niaMy Mama, what can I say?  My sisters always accused me of being spoiled (because I’m the youngest), I never believed them, until now.  As life has it, I was the only one of the 3 of us who ended up living near my parents.  I obviously need a lot of help, seeing as I have 4 kids, and she (and my dad) are ALWAYS willing to help me.  They even ask to watch them when I don’t necessarily need them to.  I don’t just love her because she helps me, she has always been a wonderful example to me of a woman who is on a journey with our Lord.  She doesn’t have all of the answers and she struggles with some of the same things I do, but she is committed to growing deeper in her love for Him and for His children.  I cannot imagine living apart from her.  She is a wonderful Mom to me and Gram to my kids!

niananaAnd Connie, tell us how Nia got started.

Since my girls were just tots I have used my creative bent to earn extra income for our family. Painting and sewing were my mainstays for many years. “Mustard Seed Folk Art” was my first artsy business. After founding CHLOE I found it hard to keep healthy balance in life; loving the work… I work too much!  I sought a new venue for artistic expression, that would allow my aging, not so nimble fingers to create and a healthy balance in life. At this point in the ministry of CHLOE, I do not receive income so a hobby for hobby’s sake is not an option. Voila… Nia!

adoptniaMegan, you’ve got four kids, and your mom has her own non-profit. How do you find time to make jewelry, and what does it look like for you?

As Americans we seem to pride ourselves on being busy.  It’s almost like an excuse to not be what God intended us to be.  So, I do admit that my life is busy, but you can always make time for things that are important, always.

This business is important to me for 3 reasons.  1. It is a much needed time away from the house and time spent with my mom.  It’s not always easy to carve that time out for she and I, and this makes that happen!  2. I will not say we are hurting for money.  Let’s face it, we live in a suburb in America.  But because my husband and I have committed to me staying home with the kids, we do need to find some alternative ways to make up for that.  3. I enjoy using the creativity that God gave me.  I used to scrapbook and cross-stitch.  Those hobbies went by the wayside as soon as I had my 2nd child (remember, I have FOUR now)!

Connie, what hopes and dreams do you have for Nia?

I hope that our Nia jewelry will bless others with a tangible way to express love and gratitude to special people in their lives. I hope that Meg will keep believing that hanging out with ‘Mom’,is a great way to spend an afternoon. I dream that in time, Nia will serve as an inspiration and model for a micro-enterprise to support CHLOE and the young women we serve.

niaellaMegan, what’s your favorite part of the jewelry-making business?

Not the bookkeeping!  Probably my favorite part is creating something that is meaningful for someone else.  Our jewelry typically has a special meaning for people.  Maybe a word that has been meaningful on their journey or the names of their kids or grandkids or a special Bible verse that has meant something over the years.

Connie, what have you learned in the short time you’ve been in business?

I’ve been reminded that any hobby can become “work’ when deadlines and budgets are involved; ‘balance’ is again so important!  More importantly I’ve been reminded that God gifts us uniquely and holds the elements to all worthwhile creative expression.

niapamMegan, any words of encouragement for busy moms who want to pursue their passions?

I would say to figure out first how God has gifted you.  If God gave you a gift, it is His intention that you use it to glorify Him. You will always be able to find time for that.   Also, I would say to find a motivated partner (maybe one who doesn’t have kids, or is your mother)!  I wouldn’t be able to continue this without my Mom’s drive and determination!

Thanks so much, you two! The rest of you, go visit the Nia site and place an order for Mother’s Day! And have a great weekend!

4 thoughts on “who's your mama?

  1. Sharon

    Is it wrong that I sent the link to my husband requesting a necklace for Mother’s Day???? They are darling!

  2. Jill Foley

    I LOVE Megan and Connie…(and the rest of the family). They have been life-long friends and I have always admired Connie for her artistic creativity. She made us the most beautiful Christmas stockings, tree skirt and placemats for a wedding gift and 16 years later I still treasure them. In fact, when my girls were born, I commissioned her to make Christmas stockings for them also.

    I am so excited to hear about this new venture they are pursuing together. And now I need to stop typing so I can go shopping for jewelry : )

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