Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spotlight Boulevard :: Chic Mama

Hello friends! TGIT! Yes, thank goodness it's Thursday... and for Spotlight Boulevard! I know I have said this before but Thursday has quickly become my favorite day of the week because I feature a savvy and chic woman owned business. Women are rocking the world with their amazing businesses and I am not only happy to be one of those women, but also to have had the pleasure of making so many connections with these women. Some I have met face-to-face, and some I know only through their avatars and witty and engaging Tweets! Either way, I am thankful to be connected to them in some way.

I had the chance to meet this week's savvy and chic MOMpreneur, Adriana D'Arco owner of Chic Mama Diaper Cakes and More, last summer at the Westfield Baby Expo. I was located not too far from her exhibit space and was scoping her out her gorgeous diaper cake creations all night. I was thrilled when I finally had a moment to go over and introduce myself and see her products up close. Now, I have been to many baby showers and I have even made a diaper cake myself before, but nothing ever as well designed & styled as these! Chic Mama diaper cakes are are not just a bunch of diapers adorned with a few baby chotchkes. Chic Mama diaper cakes are charming and sophisticated!! They are bright, bold, unique, beautiful and uber CHIC! There is a design for just about any baby shower theme.


How amazing would these be as the table center pieces at a baby shower?? Not sure what to send as a gift to a new mom? Forget the flowers! Moms-to-be need diapers more than anything! AND, Chic Mama also has an eco-friendly collection of diaper cakes! See, savvy and chic! Adriana also offers custom diaper cakes designs, as well as towel cakes and many other great items for the chic mom-to-be! There is something for anyone throwing a baby shower or gifting a new mom.

Adriana has so very graciously offered up a 10% coupon for all Uptown Girl readers starting today and good through March 17, 2011! Enter code CM1002 upon checkout. Read on as I had the chance to ask Adriana my top 5 favorite questions and then to learn a few fun facts about this chic mama!

Chic Mama website:



The FIVE... with Adriana D'Arco from Chic Mama

Q: What was the inspiration for starting your business?

My true inspiration for my business are my children. I had been working in the corporate world for so long and found myself missing important moments in my children’s lives, or just being too stressed and busy to pay attention. I came to the realization that I needed to take a step back and find a way to be able to focus more on my children while still being able to continue my career. That is when the idea for Chic Mama Diaper Cakes was born.

Q: What were some of the challenges that you have faced?

My biggest challenge has to do with time. It seems that the hours just go by too quickly in a given day. Although, after reprioritizing aspects of my life, I am finally finding a way to incorporate my business, my volunteer work, MYSELF, and most importantly, my family into each day. I now know that I just need to take one thing at a time. When my children come home from school, my focus is completely on them.

Q: How do you find balance between “real life” and being a super female entrepreneur and/or MOMpreneur?

It’s a decision you have to make for yourself. I always put work and household chores first…I think it has to do with my Type A personality. I made a very specific decision last year to put my family and my own health first. I make sure to incorporate the gym into my daily schedule and have an energy level that I haven’t had in years. When school is over, I officially become the “soccer mom” and run from one practice to the other. When they have gone to bed, I get back to work if needed. It’s a system that is working very well for all of us.

Q: What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs just starting out?

Believe in yourself! I can honestly say that I would have never thought I would own my own business. If it wasn’t for the complete support of my husband I would not have been able to do it. He encourages me each day and believes in me. I now believe in myself too!

Q: What is up & coming for your business?

Hmm….my main goal right now is continuing to get my name out there. I continuously add new diaper cake designs and hope to continue to grow my product line with more “chic” items for the modern mom.

The TEN... with Adriana D'Arco from Chic Mama

1. I was made in Uruguay, South America but born in New Jersey.

2. I am fluent in Spanish.

3. I have one tattoo and at the age of 36 would love to get another one.

4. In my next lifetime I hope to be a ballroom dancer.

5. My favorite arcade game of all time is Ms. Pacman.

6. My guilty pleasure is Reality TV.

7. I MUST have chocolate once a day.

8. I am a truly dog person but have the best cat in the world!

9. I have a degree in Accounting and LOVE spreadsheets!

10. My children look nothing like me…100% their dad.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spotlight Boulevard :: Sassy Glass Shop

Hello Hello! I hope this Thursday finds you happy & well! I for one am feeling great and full of energy, and might I even dare say... sassy! It's in the air with spring coming. Do you feel it too? No? Well, then maybe this week's featured woman owned business on Spotlight Boulevard will ignite that spark of sassiness! I am so happy to finally feature Lisa Gifford Mueller from Sassy Glass Studio!

Let me begin with saying how much I adore Lisa! Not only is she super down to earth but she is is so passionate about her businesses and teaching and connecting with others. I love that! And, yes.... I said businesses! Lisa runs Sassy Glass Studio which handcrafts one-of-a-kind fused glass art. The collection is stunning and Lisa also offers custom pieces as well. In her shop you will find beautiful works of art, so spirited and colorful. Bowls, plates, frames and jewelry! I love the funky cocktail rings! The home good pieces would be a fabulous house warming gift! With Mother's Day around the corner a fused glass art necklace would be something so special and unique.


That's some serious sass, right?? Lisa actually teaches classes too! Another great gift idea for someone or even yourself! Lisa's creativity doesn't stop at the kiln. Remember, I said businesses. When Lisa is not strutting her sassy creating fused glass art, you will find her behind the lens. She has a professional photography business with her hubby called ALM Photo! AND, Lisa also just launched something so cool called Creativity Central, which offers workshops to creative business people.

Lisa was so cool to answers some Q's and tell a little about herself. But even cooler... Lisa is offering an Etsy coupon for Uptown Girl readers!! Use code UPTOWN10 to save 10% through March 24, 2011! Thanks Lisa! You're seriously sassilicious!

Sassy Glass Studio contact info:



twitter: @AllThingsSassy

ALM Photo contact info:

website: www.ALMPHOTO.COM

twitter: @almphoto

The FIVE... with Lisa Gifford Mueller from SASSY GLASS STUDIO

Q: What was the inspiration for starting your business?

My inspiration for starting Sassy Glass Studio was actually my sister-in-law, Mary Jane, who had started Sassy Glass Studio as a hobby. One day she decided she wanted to down-size her hobby and asked if anyone in the family wanted to take over the glass and kilns. I jumped at the chance and once I mastered creating fused glass art I realized it was a great business opportunity. I guess the inspiration for my version of Sassy Glass Studio was the opportunity of endless possibilities of creating, marketing and teaching.

Q: What were some of the challenges that you have faced?

The first challenge I faced was how was I going to find buyers for my fused glass art. I knew I wouldn’t be mass-producing items so a retail type environment wasn’t an option, so I decided to focus on what I called ‘@Home Shows’ which were sort of like a Tupperware party. This worked well for a while until I got frustrated with packing and setting up my heavy, delicate glass constantly. So I decided to do art shows as a way to share my one-of-a-kind fused glass art with the masses. This was even more difficult because it was expensive to exhibit at the shows and the days were long and there was no guarantee that I would sell anything. It wasn’t until I discovered Etsy {} that I found an outlet for making sales and getting the word out about my art.

Q: How do you find balance between “real life” and being a super female entrepreneur and/or MOMpreneur?

This is a really great question for a couple of reasons. Not only do I run Sassy Glass Studio but I also have a professional photography business with my husband. Talk about a challenge and finding balance! I try to be consistent with carving out personal time for not only myself but for us as a couple. Working with your spouse can really blur the fine line between being together and ‘being together’. One bit of advice I always give other entrepreneurs is to make time for themselves to keep their body, mind and soul happy.

Q: What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs just starting out?

Ask a lot of questions. Do a ton of research. Find a mentor. No matter what industry you are in there will be someone you can get advice or learn from. Also, plan your business for success but don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you are a creative business person, take time out from the business side to focus on your creativity. It’s important to remember why you are in business. Most importantly, just do it. If you have a great idea that will solve a problem or fill a need or create something nobody else can, don’t wait for the ‘right time’ because the right time is now.

Q: What is up & coming for your business?

Sassy Glass Studio is offering classes at the beginner and intermediate level that are a great way to learn something new and create some art at the same time. I have also launched Creativity Central offering workshops to creative business people especially those who sell or wish to sell on Etsy. On the photography side of things, I am a partner in a brand new business offering video tutorials on-line as well as a forum-based community where photographers can come together to connect and learn. Going into 2011 everything about me and my businesses is focused on growing, teaching and connecting.

The TEN... with Lisa Gifford Mueller from SASSY GLASS STUDIO

{1} I am obsessed with Hello Kitty

{2} My super hero persona is Kitty Fantastic

{3} I am not embarrassed to admit the first two items

{4} I eat almost every meal with chopsticks

{5} I ride an adorable scooter with blue & white flowers all over town when the weather is nice

{6} I am that person who dances like no one is watching

{7} I can never remember the punch line to a joke

{8} Don’t tell my husband, but I am having a morning love affair with both Mr. Elliptical and Mr. Coffee

{9} I started a new Summer sport- bee petting – and have the photos to prove it

{10} I love NASCAR, monster trucks, wrestling and UFC

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

anything but a face :: an {i heart faces} weekly challenge

The title of this challenge made me laugh but I "get it" because the "anything but a face" pictures are some of my favorite photos to take. To me photography is about telling the whole story. Not just snapping pictures of people or their faces, but capturing the whole scene. From some flowers on a table to the shoes on people's feet. This particular photo was taken during a trip to Terhune Orchards for pumpkin picking. The kids climbed up on the fence to get a better look at the goats, but I loved how Woody was kind of carelessly hung. If he could really speak I think we know exactly what he would be saying. I also love how it totally captures life as a kid, when you can climb up on a fence with a buddy and all is great in the world.