Meet Ilana Griffo. She’s a woman after our own heart, because just like the women behind Bitte, she’s a mother and a small business owner. During her days, she mothers a sweet little boy, writes, illustrates and is an all-around creative mom-boss. She’s a reminder to us that as women, we don’t have to choose one path to serve our souls...In Ilana’s own words, “both of them can fill your cup up in different ways.”
Ilana designed a planner to further help and encourage us women to rule the world. And if that isn’t enough, she recently wrote a book on how to turn your creative passion into a business!
Read on for more info, and stay tuned on our Instagram account @shopbitte for a fun giveaway with her soon!
1. What does a typical day look like for you? Walk us through it!
Everyday is so different, but this year I finally discovered that I LOVE MORNINGS! I actually used to work a lot of late nights, because that's when I had uninterrupted time, but I've been getting up at 5, working out with a friend, and spending an hour at the computer before the rest of the family wakes up, and cherishing every single moment - it's such a great way to start the day. My son and I have a slow morning, eating breakfast together, walking the dog, and playing. We have a lot of help, so sometime's we'll pack up and head to Grandma's so I can work, or he'll go to Nursery school for the morning. I'll sit at the computer without looking up until it's time to get him. Mostly drawing, and answering client emails. I also have two mastermind groups that meet twice a month online to work through business problems, get advice, and get inspired. I'll spend more time drawing, and working on client projects in the afternoon too, using every second of nap time! When my husband gets home we all play, and cook dinner together. Then I'll usually steal another hour of work time, while my husband plays a little more, or goes for a bike ride. We'll watch an episode (or 12) of The Office or Parks and Rec, chat in bed, and call it a day!
2. What do you think is the biggest challenge for creative mothers who want to start a business? What advice would you give to other moms looking to start their own business?
Make time for YOU! I felt like every second I was giving my son my 100% attention; I was being a bad Mom. I was reminded that independent play is important, and honestly, he doesn't seem to notice when I'm with him but not playing the same way he is. I keep a pencil nearby at all times so I can take notes, or draw an idea really quickly when we're together. It's really easy to feel like you're living a double life - a mother, and a business owner, so just remember that both of them can fill your cup in different ways! It's also OK to ask for help! The kids love it, and you can take turns making time for yourself!
3. What are your favorite Bitte items?
OBSESSED. I mean COME ON!!! It's amazing to see how the simplest things can bring so much joy, and spark so much imagination in children, AND adults!
Growth Chart - Such a fun, interactive way to celebrate growth! Plus, you know I'm a sucker for black and white!
Baskets - Our house is basically a series of basket collections - We have a "5 minute sweep" every night where we put everything in it's place before bed - and honestly it's just throwing things into cute baskets ;)
Coloring Paper - Love this idea for when my son gets a bit older, but right now we're still in the "everything goes into my mouth" phase!
Safari Friends - These are too precious!
This book - makes me want to travel, and show my son the world!
4. Let’s talk planning! Tell me all about what your planner looks like?! Is it full, or do you like to keep plans to a minimum.
I'm pretty split down the middle between introvert and extrovert, so I really appreciate cozy time at home, but know how important activities are too! We have a few standing weekly events (playdates and trips) and we leave plenty of room for going with the flow, and spontaneity! I really like having a routine, so if I can plan a few days in advance, or create some consistency - I find that really helps my work, my creativity and my mental health!