Several years ago, I decided that having kids just wasn’t for me. Babies were kind of weird and kids were cute and funny, but I didn’t really want one. I was happily married, self-employed and felt like my life wasn’t really missing anything. Needless to say, I was pretty freaked out when I found out I was pregnant. Flash forward, and now I wouldn’t change anything. (And by the way, I have totally changed my tune about babies.)
In 2009, I quit my day job to build my jewelry design business, Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry. After years of doing small arts markets and trunk shows, I began selling large volume orders to boutiques and gift shops nationwide. I traveled to places like Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas (and even France!) to sell my jewelry and build my brand. Having this business was kind of like my first child. It dominated most of my time and was the main focus of my life.
When I first had Max, I hilariously convinced myself that I could strap him to me and continue working 8 hours a day. It is really hard to make jewelry while wearing a baby. It’s hard to file papers, answer the phone, and pick up little beads off the floor. And of course, I could not hammer, solder or do any of that stuff. Also, babies are really cute and they make you not want to work.
With the help of my incredibly supportive husband and in-laws, paired with some serious time management strategies, I was able to modify my work schedule to keep Max at home while continuing to work full time. Eventually Max moved on to daycare, and I moved my studio out of our house so I could separate my business life and my home life. No one wants their full time job lurking in the spare bedroom during play time! I also hired an awesome assistant who helps in the studio, making my work day more efficient and enabling me to spend more time with my son.
While my business may have dominated my life pre-baby, Max is now my number one priority. When I’m not working, my time is devoted to him. We love hopping on the ferry and partaking in East Bank festivities and French Quarter walks. However, some of our favorite activities are simple and happen right in our little neighborhood of Algiers Point. Almost every evening Max takes a stroller stroll on the levee where we have a beautiful view of the CBD and Jackson Square. Sometimes, when the river is not too high, we feed the seagulls or throw little pebbles into the river. And if we’re lucky, we get to see a cruise ship departing! Another favorite past time is visiting Tom, a turkey that lives in someone’s front yard. Oh, and eating watermelon on the porch, we love that too.
Motherhood has really made me learn how to stop and smell the flowers. I am learning how to slow down, because the old cliche is true, babies grow up really fast!
Beatrixbell has been a loyal sponsor of New Orleans Moms Blog but did not compensate us for this post.
About Beatrix Bell
Beatrix Bell is the owner and artist behind Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry. A former resident of Baton Rouge, Beatrix graduated from LSU with a Bachelor’s in Art Education. After teaching in the Baton Rouge public school system for several years, she took the entrepreneurial jump, quit her job, and launched her business full time. Her designs can be found at boutiques and gift shops nationwide, as well as outdoor music festivals and arts markets. She resides in New Orleans with her husband Robby and son Max.