Mompreneur Story ~ Simply Gracious Photography

We thought it would be fun to interview a few REAL LIFE Mom Bosses, so we put out an ad looking for submissions. BOY DID WE GET A LOT! It was SO hard to filter through because their are so many talented mamas out there!

We picked 4 amazing Mompreneurs and we want you to know their story! While reading through their interview we hope you find comfort in knowing that you're not alone in this, and laugh a little as well. Sometimes this "Entrepreneur world" can seem lonely and we as moms think we're failing on a daily basis, but that is a normal part of being SUPER MOM! Even though our lives are hectic and we are over-worked and under-showered, we are doing the best we can and most of the time succeeding even if we don't feel like we are. So, when you're feeling overwhelmed, just hear these words: You are doing great, your kids are great, and you are going to be OK!!


Here is our first featured Mompreneur: Simply Grace Photography

Your name?  Abby Willtrout
What is your business name, how long have you been in business, what service you offer?   My business is Simply Gracious Photography & I have been in business for almost 4 years. (my business-versary is in April!) I am a wedding, portrait & lifestyle photographer.
Do you have a studio/office/store? Or work from home? If so, how big is your workspace?  I dream of a beautiful, spacious studio with brick & shiplap walls with tons of windows for natural light.  But, currently my reality is my desk in the basement of our home. Fancy, right? 
How many kiddos do you wrangle daily? I am super blessed to work at home in the presence of my three kids. (4 year old, 3 year old & 1 year old)
How many work days/hours do you work per week? I easily spend 40+ hours a week during Spring, Summer & Fall months between sessions, weddings, editing & admin work. Soon I will be adding homeschooling to this workload & am currently taking applications for a nanny/assistant. <--- I wish! haha
How many days/hours do you THINK about work?  Honestly, I sometimes tell people, "be thankful you don't have an artist mind". I never mean this in a disrespectful way, but my gosh, my mind NEVER stops. I am constantly thinking about work.  I am so inspired by my surroundings (sunsets, textures, nature, fashion, light) & life in general. 
What is your showering schedule? Showering is a difficult task. If all three kids are not in the bathroom with me pulling every piece of makeup & bobby pin out of the drawers, then they are in & out of the bathroom asking me to get them their juice cups or to turn on Bubble Guppies. It's super relaxing. lol  Needless to say, I try to muster up the energy at the end of the day for a shower when everyone is sleeping. #thankgoodessfortopknotsandtiebacks 
What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced being a mompreneur? Oh, dear...maybe that one time I showed up to a session with couch cushion creases all over my face & neck because on this very rare occasion I was able to take a nap before a session. Not cute. 
If you had to describe your life (overall) in one word it would be: Blessed
Ok that was hard. Use 3 words: Blessed. Fun. Exhausting. 

What is a time where you felt “mom guilt”? While I am downstairs at my desk working when my husband is home & the kiddos stand upstairs at the baby gate begging to come down to play. 
What does your typical work day look like? I wish I could say I had a regular routine that I stick to, but I just don't. My mom duties always come first & then I just get my work done in between the madness. I probably shouldn't consider myself a mom boss since technically I work for my kids! lol 
What does dinner time look like? Dinner in our house is similar to a show at the circus. Lots of juggling, running circles, dancing, interruptions & laughter. But as long as we eat dinner before 7pm, I consider it a win in my book.
Has there ever been a life changing moment or incident when you realized you are working too much and need to cut back? Tell us about that moment. Last year I had to miss my oldest daughters very first soccer game because I had to shoot a wedding. At this point in my life, my growing children & family are priority, so I just try to stay strict with my schedule so I do not over book myself. 
What is one thing that has helped you keep family and work life balanced ? I try to manage my schedule in a way that will still allow us family time. However, there is still usually a month or two, especially in the fall, where my schedule gets a bit crazy. We are consider the busy times a blessing though & make the best of it. 
What is one product that you can recommend to other Mompreneurs to make life easier? I have a plethora of products that I love & that help me in my day-to-day mompreneur duties. I would say a good sized crossbody purse filled with all of your family essentials (wipes, hand sanitizer, lip gloss, lotion, hair ties, baby snacks, water, pens, paper, crayons, business cards,etc.). This comes in handy for me with my kids & for sessions. I am totally one of those people that you might say is carrying too much, but I like to consider myself well prepared. 
What can we find on your desk most days? (be honest!) My computer, printer, planner, about 4 random water bottles, a protein bar, photos of my sweet children, a few framed motivational quotes, a few pens & sticky notes of to-do lists. 
What is your favorite thing to do FOR YOU? I am a girly girl at heart. Shopping, thrifting, getting pampered, gardening. Any of those things will get me to a 'happy' place.
What is your FAVORITE thing about being a #MOMBOSS? It's easy to say 'being my own boss' is what I love, but it's more than that to me. I have the opportunity to be present with my children, to raise them & watch them grow each day. It's not always easy & boy do I miss the days where I used to sleep, but I wouldn't trade any of this for the world. I have learned so much about myself & my capabilities while running a business of my own.
If you had a “Real Housewives” slogan what would it be?  My faith keeps me strong, my family makes me whole, & this life I am living keeps me inspired.  
If you could have a super power what would it be? My superpower would be I am not going to lie, I really thought about this for a while, but kept coming back to the same thing. All corniness aside, I 100% would love to be able to sprinkle 'KINDNESS' on people. Think about it. If everyone had a kind heart, this world we be a much more pleasant place. Clearly I am not a superhero kind of gal. lol 
What do you want your children to learn from seeing you work so hard? I hope that my kids learn that no matter what situation life brings us that it's important to make the best of it. There is always someone out there that would love to be in our position, so consider all trials a blessing & move forward.
We are all about giving back here at StrawRev, do you donate or give back to any cause? Paying it forward brings me so much joy. I don't have a specific organization or cause, I just simply give what I can.  Anything from donating a session to benefit, paying for someones lunch behind me at Panera or randomly posting a Starbucks giftcard barcode on my Instagram page. 
And DUH, what’s your favorite product in the Shop?
 I am in love with the tiebacks & cannot wait to get my hands on some of the new spring prints. They all look gorgeous!