You may recall last month my music review of the group Emeralde. The female artist in this pop duo is Margie Russomanno. Not only is Margie a musical artist, but she is also a clothing & jewelry designer. This working mom is multi-talented & I thought Margie would be a great person to close out my Real Mom segment of 2015!
Please meet the latest Real Mom of the SFV, Margie Russomanno!
How/why did you begin your business?
Margie: I’ve designed clothing and jewelry for as far back as I can remember. I’ve always been fascinated by fashion but never a slave to it. I envision an outfit or an item and then go about trying to create it not always successfully, but when it works, it’s thrilling! Making an ephemeral idea wearable is something akin to magic. I enjoy pushing boundaries and wearing eye-catching pieces. Through the years, people would ask me where they could get the bracelets or rings or jackets so I began making them to sell not just to wear.
I am also the singer and co-writer in the pop band Emeralde. Both of these businesses were happening simultaneously when it occurred to us that we should combine them. It’s been a blast designing pieces that work with our songs. For example, our single is called “Spontaneous”. It’s a euphoric romp of a song about Penelope a precocious French girl who gets into trouble because she’s so spontaneous. I’ve designed colorful fun pieces that Penelope would wear. They are in our Spontaneous line. I work with genuine emeralds and other gemstones, combining contradictory elements like leather, studs and pearls and gems for a tough girl/romantic, feminine with an edge kind of look. You can wear our leather gemstone cuff bracelets with jeans or with a $7,000 Versace gown. Always keep them surprised! That’s my motto.
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Margie: Don’t forget who you are. Being a mother has a defining effect upon a woman. It is suddenly your label and along with the exhaustion that sometimes comes with the daily duties, many women lose themselves and their goals. They become too drained to look their best, be their best. There are many sacrifices to be made but don’t forget who you are and what you were created to be. I do believe being a mother is the most important thing you can do with your life and a priceless investment of your time and energies. But children grow up and leave and many women are left with having to rediscover their calling and purpose. Some never quite make it back on the grid. They wait for grandchildren to find purpose again. It is very important for children to see both their parents making their individual marks on the world. If you have a passion in your life NEVER let it go dormant. Time allocated to it will be scarce but don’t stop. There should always be some forward momentum in your personal growth however slowly “life” dictates.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Margie: My design business is primarily online but I love living in the San Fernando Valley. I used to say it was close enough to where all the action was but now a lot of action goes on right here yet it is still family friendly.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Margie: I wish I took the advice I gave in this interview. I wish I gave furthering my career and aspirations more thought and time. I don’t regret the sacrifices I made for my child. I only wish I didn’t forget myself so thoroughly.
I couldn’t agree more with Margie’s advice, “It is very important for children to see both their parents making their individual marks on the world.” I know many women (myself included) who have had to put their career on the back burner in order to raise their family. I also know that when I found a creative outlet in my writing, it really gave me a sense of purpose. I made sure that my family understands that we get to experience certain events, movies or food because I have to write about it later on in my blog. So my daughter understands that “mommy writes &/or mommy blogs.” Also when I went back to a corporate job several years ago (at a company I am no longer at), it was such an eye opener to go back into the world of “dressing up, attending business meetings & holding conference calls.” Having been a working mom, a stay-at-home mom & now a work-from-home mom, it really is great to work towards something that I am passionate about, much like Margie loves her artistic career.
Margie’s comment about wishing to take her own advice really gives all women some food for thought. Do we take the road less traveled or the path of least resistance. It is such a personal AND tough call to make at times. All that you can do is make the best decision for yourself & your family. Margie is also a great example of “just going for it.” It’s never too late to pursue your dreams & aspirations!
This will be the last “Real Moms of the SFV” interview for 2015. Be sure to come back next month to see who I feature in 2016!
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.