MOMpreneur Spotlight

Holidays With Our Furry Friends

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I start out this post thinking of the many, many things that can be a hazard to our furry family members around the holidays. I made a list of the common (turkey anyone?) and uncommon risks to our pets during the holidays (seriously why would anyone swallow an entire strand of Christmas lights!). I ended up with a rather grumpy list of things not to do that put a bit of a damper on my holiday spirit (where is fall anyway??).
So, I decided to head back to the drawing board. I love the holidays. It is a wonderful time with family and friends and of course our pets also. There are many things you can and should do with your pet that are fun and will help keep everyone safe during the holidays.

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Meet the Author: Caroline Girls

 

 

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Heather Chastain is a CityMom and the author of Caroline Girls. She took a few minutes out of her whirlwind schedule and book promotion to chat with us!

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Question: What inspired you to write Caroline Girls?

Answer: Writing Caroline Girls is something that came to me organically. Once my little Caroline turned about 2 – 2 1/2, I realized her personality was emerging in a comical way. I don’t know what it was about her particular age … maybe the fact she was starting to express herself in a way I could actually understand or the fact she was simply developing into a toddler … but her antics were proving to provide me with entertaining Facebook posts. If even just for my friends and family.

 

After many, many looooonnng days of toddler parenting, I decided to try to take my frustration out in a positive way. I’d heard it a million times: “The days are long, but the years are short.” So I knew despite my aggravation, I needed to try and cherish these moments. Mentally, I started forming these stories. But I just didn’t see how it was going to come together.

 

Well, little Caroline LOVED wearing dresses. Every. Single. Day. Even in the winter, we had to pair leggings with them. One day, wearing a new dress I had purchased at Target, she looked down at the skirted part and said, “Look mom, there are Caroline Girls on my dress!” That’s when the light bulb went off! I decided to call the story “Caroline Girls.”


Question: You have a background in journalism and media, but was making the transition to children's author difficult? What made you decide to take this journey?

Answer: Writing a book was never on my list of goals. My senior year of college, I decided I wanted to be a news producer. I was so excited to travel. I love journalism — interviewing, talking to people. Telling people what’s going on in their world is super important to me. I worked as a news producer after college, first in South Bend and later in Indianapolis, where I earned an Emmy award for my journalism. However, the late-night schedule was difficult and when my contract ended, my husband and I decided we were ready for a family and this schedule wasn’t working for me. I knew there was no I way I could raise a child on that schedule, but I still had a desire to tell stories. I started writing short novels. I even went to some conferences and worked with some publishers, but I never thought it was the right project or the right time.

 

After my daughter Caroline was born, I began writing stories based on my daughter’s personality and antics.

 

I didn’t do anything with the stories until about a year and a half ago. My husband said, ‘This is what you should do,’ and I thought, ‘Yeah, this is what I should do!’”

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Question: What has been the most rewarding aspect of publishing this book?

Answer: Seeing the lives I’ve touched. What really sent me over the edge to publish this book, besides my husband’s encouragement and insistence, was my passionate desire to change the world. I want to make a lasting impact and to do that, you really have to focus on children because they are the ones who you can most help shape. We need a world full of kindness and inclusivity and that’s what you learn in the Caroline Girls book.

 

Question: What has been the most challenging part of publishing this book?

 

Answer: Selling the book! I’m self-published and so everything falls on me. It’s exciting, exhilarating and downright exhausting! I recognized early on there was no way I could sell and market my book well without help. Honestly, the overwhelming task of getting the word out about Caroline Girls and trying to get it sold was so much it made me consider not doing it all. But, fellow theCityMom Courtney Rice offered her marketing assistance (she’s a former marketing professional), and it has made ALL the difference! She’s able to focus on marketing efforts – what’s working, what’s not; I’m networking, trying to find venues to sell the book and plan events. The selling piece is so intense. It’s so refreshing to hear Courtney’s perspective and have a clear idea of what is successful in getting the word out!

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Question: How long have you been involved with theCityMoms? What are your favorite activities to do with the group?

 

Answer: I’m a new CityMom! In fact, Courtney is the one who encouraged me to join! She has had so much fun with this group and told me I would enjoy it, too! I’ve done a few different events – a reading at Urban Chalkboard and a networking event. I absolutely adore these women! I love how incredibly inclusive they are and excited to meet new people! It’s exactly the message I’m sharing with Caroline Girls!

 

Question: What's the next chapter for Heather Chastain and Caroline Girls?

Answer: To find an agent and publish more books! I have written 5 different Caroline Girls stories and I would love to publish them! I’ve also started formulating ideas for Baby Kate stories, my other daughter! I would also love to see Caroline Girls become an entire brand – merchandise and all! I’m also super excited to get more involved with theCityMoms because you ladies ROCK!

 

 

 

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Maeve Vintage

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Ever since I was a little girl I remember dreaming up doll house living rooms or rearranging my own bedroom. I think my sister hated it.  I was always watching my mom move the sofa here and the chair there, too.  Then I grew up wanting to be an interior designer, but chose the {obviously} more secure college degree of political science.  So I continued to rearrange only my own living room and bedrooms much to my husband’s dismay…

Then I decided to start a business.  I never knew all that was involved but had always wanted to be my own boss and own my own boutique.  I honestly never saw the business I picked involving ALL furniture.  I thought it would be an adorable clothing boutique most likely for children.  But alas, I chose to offer boutique furniture rentals when I launched Maeve Vintage with my mom and sister in early 2015.   Maeve is named for my daughter, her middle name, and I hope that by me sharing a passion of mine with her, letting her watch me work, and letting her play in the warehouse (aka real life dollhouse) it will show her that if you have a dream and work hard at that dream, you can make it happen no matter who says what.  

 

*She's also a great furniture tester*

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Maeve Vintage is a boutique rentals & event styling company that serves central and northern Indiana with a warehouse space located in Fort Wayne.  We hope to allow all party throwers to add some charm to their events without breaking the bank. We offer vintage sofas, chairs, dressers, buffets, and even tiny details like table décor and vintage china.  Along with our individual pieces, we also offer packages for those who need a little direction on what would look good together.  And if you still aren’t sure how it will all be pulled together, we offer styling services too! 

Maeve is my favorite creative outlet I’ve found to date.  I get to be creative.  I get to work with fun people, including my family.  I get to buy things all the time--things I have nowhere to put in my own house and which I can use and reuse and style differently, which makes them the best blank canvas!  I can style tablescapes, lounge seating areas, seating arrangements, and more!  It’s a fun way to be able to move furniture all the time without upsetting my husband!  Haha.  But seriously the best part is that none of it is at my house!  He loves that.  

Just some examples of what we've done to date: 

 

Winter Holiday Minis with Holly of Blue Baloon Photography:

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A pop-up luncheon featuring our china, goblets, serving dishes, and teacart. Photos by The Colagrossis:

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Wedding of Abby & Dillon featuring our sofa & chairs. Photo by Cambria Custom Events:

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Mid Century Modern Styled Shoot featuring our furniture and styled by us! Photo by Kelly Benton Photography:

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Bridal Shower featuring our lounge seating:

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Industrial Boho Styled Shoot featuring our chairs and styling. Photo by Indigo Lace Collective:

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If you are interested in what Maeve is all about, we have a ton of information on our Website - www.maevevintage.com.  We are always posting new things on instagram (@maevevintage) - sneak peeks of upcoming shoots, published shoots, real weddings and events, etc... So make sure to follow along with us on this journey!  

 

Lastly, if you are thinking of starting a business or new venture all I can say is just do it.  You'll never know EVERYTHING before you start.  You'll never be 100% prepared for all the scenarios that my come your way.  You'll never regret doing it if you are doing it for the right reasons... So just jump in.  Someone I met recently told me "done is better than perfect" because if you wait for perfection you'll be waiting forever... and it's right!  I'd love to hear from you if you are thinking about doing something new!  Just do it!  

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