Francine Michelle wears a lot of hats. I’ve known her for about a year now, as we see each other at various blogger events & children’s outings. She usually has her son in tow, who is adorable & very expressive.
I knew that Francine was co-owner of Menchie’s Valencia at Gateway Village, but I had no idea that Francine is a videographer by trade! As we stood there in the corner of a retail shop & she filled me in on her background, I couldn’t help but think that Francine would be a great person to highlight on my blog. 🙂
Please meet the latest Real Mom of the SFV, Francine Michelle!
How/why did you begin your business?
Francine: Prior to becoming a mommy, I was a filmmaker/director working on various projects from features to documentaries, even rap music videos with Ice T. After I became a mom and returned to the chaos of life, when it came to filming what mattered most, I found I was only able to capture Xander’s special moments on video with my iPhone, in between feedings and diaper changes and I wasn’t IN any of the videos. I knew I couldn’t be the only one with this problem, so it was then that I set out to create a business for myself that I not only could be passionate about, but truly feel that I was making a difference for my clients and their families by providing an invaluable service. I am honored to be invited into my clients’ lives to create something so special that can be cherished for years to come. The reactions I get when my clients receive their final cut is a constant reminder of how important my job is creating Video Baby Books for them and future generations.
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Francine: The advice I would give is first to make sure that you are ready to return to the working world, both mentally and physically. Our little ones grow so quickly and each stage of development is so fleeting, it really is important to be around as much as possible early on. There is such pressure to get right back to work after our little one’s arrive, especially here in the United States where maternity leave is only six short weeks. So if you can, take your time getting back into the groove of everyday life and enjoy each new milestone as it comes.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Francine: Having a business in the San Fernando Valley allows me the opportunity to meet a variety of clients and capture such a wide array of stories because there is so much diversity here. I also love that there are so many great places to take my son and those very same places turn out to be where I end up meeting my next client. The Valley has so many wonderful resources for mommies and mommies-to-be where I am able to share my knowledge and experience in the form of workshops and educational seminars.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Francine: I wish I had known just how much would need to go in to potential client education leading to acquisition. My business model is unlike anything else out there, and it’s one of those businesses where potential clients don’t know what they don’t know, and therefore have no idea how much they are missing out on. Fortunately, I have established some great relationships in the birth and baby industry and those referrals have been extremely beneficial for educating potential clients. Regardless, it’s all been worth it because when I have to leave my son to go to work, I know I’m doing something extremely special, capturing memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
I couldn’t agree more with Francine’s advice about making sure that you are ready to return to the working world, both physically & mentally. If you are financially able to take an extended leave from the business world, then do give yourself time to bond with your little one – even if you decide to wait until your child is 4 ½ years old, like I did. 🙂
I also love her outlook on the Valley – the family-friendly scene, ability to meet potential clients, diversity, etc. Francine is well established in the birth and baby industry & I’m glad to hear that she has a great network of partners to refer her work. I only wish I had heard of her 9+ years ago, as I could have used her services when my kiddo was a baby!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.