Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

A Mother’s Love Comes Full Circle

Reading the Mother’s Day entries submitted by some of Pure Romance’s most powerful businesswomen and exceptional mothers was so enlightening. It made me reflect back on the years I was working my business, and trying to balance being a Mom.

I can vividly remember when I used to share the Pure Romance opportunity with servers at our weekly Sunday Perkins breakfast. Remember, this was an era when we didn’t have the benefit of smart phones (or even cell phones at all!) to network and market our businesses; however, you better believe I was still working it from the sidelines of my son’s football games or the regular parent-teacher conferences. Everywhere I went, I was always looking for the chance to share my passion and further build my Pure Romance business.

This Mother’s Day, my children are all grown up. As adults, they now all have their own issues to face, and wants and needs that are completely different from those of a small child. Despite the fact that I am not chasing after little ones anymore, or spending my weekend at various sporting events and activities, I find myself reflecting back on where it all began: before I was a mother – I was a daughter. This Mother’s Day, I want to share how caretaking comes full circle. My own mother has been riddled with illness and the physical hurdles that come with age, and so, once again, I find that balance between running a business and caring for someone I love.

When you are watching your parent struggle to fight death, memories tend to flood in at the most unexpected times. I can say there is definitely not a perfect mother – we do the best we can with the tools we have. There are plenty of things my Mom did as a parent that I vowed not to do, but there are also many traditions, values and techniques I carried on in my own parenting.

One thing I know I inherited from my mother is her work ethic. That woman worked tirelessly until the day she became too sick to carry on another day. She was a clerk for Kroger, and her passion and commitment to her company was evident. She truly believed that if she weren’t there to train the young kids coming in, that Kroger would start to go down hill. Yet, despite her tedious work schedule, she carved out time to show how much she cared for all of us.

I can remember fondly sitting outside on hot summer nights looking up at the night sky. My mom would make homemade peach ice cream and we would just count the stars and listen to the bullfrogs down by the lake. Some of those summer nights she would bring home French Chews and watch as my brother, sister and I chased fireflies. My childhood, like so many, wasn’t perfect, especially being the oldest child with two working parents, but this is a memory filled with nostalgia and happiness.

When I turned 15, I applied for a job as a server for Ponderosa. I wasn’t of age to take on this position and obviously I couldn’t drive. However, my Mother didn’t reprimand me. She made time to drive me to and from work for every one of my shifts. This is just one of the ways she instilled value of hard work in me.

Fast forward to my time as a young mother, I was working for a pediatrician as a Nurse’s assistant. When I was in a pinch, she would help me with the kids and she would often take time to make me a homemade, southern cookin’ kind of lunch and bring it to my work. These are the things that meant so much to me!

Lately, organizing caretakers, doctor’s appointments,  Apheresis treatments and handling the affairs as her power of attorney, things can get pretty stressful. However, watching her health and physical abilities decline so quickly over the last year has bulldozed me emotionally. The most difficult are the days she fights with me saying things like, “Why are you so mean to me? I don’t want to get up and walk. I’m just so tired. Just let me sleep.” When people are sick they need someone else to fight for them. It tears me apart to wonder and worry that she is just giving up. Late at night, often in her sleep, she talks to her own mother as if she is a young girl again. Those are the moments that bring tears to my eyes wondering if she is leaving this tangible world for one much more beautiful and brilliant.

Inevitably, the time will come for my beautiful mother to depart this world and leave me forever. In the meantime I will be right there to carve out time and help her fight for as long as she is willing.

This Mother’s Day I want each of you to celebrate yourself for all of the time you carve out and love you give forth daily. Enjoy the moments and reminisce over the memories. Life is fleeting, so today point your face up to the sun, breathe deeply and give yourself the appreciation you so dearly deserve. Happy Mother’s Day!

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HEATHER PILLOW: Pure Romance Moms Who Do It All!

Heather Pillow (Warrenton, VA) – I can remember the first time I met Miss Heather Pillow – it was during the acquisition of Slumber Parties when she received a shocking call informing her that the company she had been working for at the time had been sold. Filled with panic and worry for the business she worked so hard to build, and the team she promised a brighter future to, she went into Mama Bear mode and jumped on the first plane to New Orleans to meet with Chris and me. She showed up in her “mom clothes” because she was just at an extra curricular activity for one of her children when she received the news; she apologized for it immediately! However, I could tell in that moment that not only was she an involved and busy mother, she was a true leader and take charge businesswoman. I had a flashback to 15 years ago and saw so much of myself in Heather at that moment. Not only is she overly involved with her children who participate in soccer, gymnastics, swim team, basketball, Spanish classes, piano lessons, pageants, and even roller derby, she continues to excel in her Pure Romance Business. Heather is a rock star in personal sales and an exceptional leader to her team, “Pillow’s Pearls,” who are on track to rake in over $1.6 million this year! As if she didn’t already have too much on her plate, she took on a position as a Corporate Trainer to pass on her wisdom to Pure Romance Consultants all over the world. She is the true image of ambition, organization and drive. I’m sure so many of you will agree once you read her tips on how to work smarter in your business and stay sane at home so you are a good Mom to the ones who matter the most.

A quote I live by:
“Today is a gift… that’s why it’s called the present.”

Tips to keep a balanced life:

1. Do a nightly “brain dump.” Before bed, write down everything that is weighing on you, things you would like to accomplish the next day and what you are proud to have achieved today. Getting it all out on paper releases your brain to be able to rest and you have your To-Do list all prepared for the following morning.

2. Carry a “traveling office.” This is a portable file box with upcoming party Hostess info, the past month’s parties so you can make client care calls, your calendar, goodie bags, a calculator, order forms and catalogs. You can work ANYWHERE as a Pire Romance consultant, and you should!
3. Acknowledge what you do well and farm out the rest! If you are not a good paper pusher, find another stay-at-home mom who’s looking for a little extra folding cash and have her do your data entry, inventory processing, stamping catalogs, packing backorders, etc. This frees you up to work with your team and your clients personally.
4. Schedule in time for YOU in your weekly schedule. Whatever you love to do, do more of it, whether it’s reading, exercising, a mani, etc. All work and no play makes you a sad, and cranky mom and guess what? You’ll find the rest of your family is sad and cranky, too. Set the bar high for joy in your household.

A story about motherhood and a business:
When I was a new Consultant and finally realized I needed to do a much better job sharing this opportunity with women at my parties, I decided to craft a stronger opening speech for my shows. I practiced it day and night, everywhere I went with my 5-year-old, 3-year-old and newborn. One morning, on the way to preschool, I was practicing in the car and from the back seat, I hear my oldest say, “Mom! You forgot to say the thing about saving for a trip to Disney!” Even my daughter knew my speech better than I did!

Heather has been married to her husband, Adrian, for almost 17 years. They have three children: Susan (14), Max (11) And Ava (9).

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SHANNON MERRELL: Pure Romance Moms Who Do It All!

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I’ve been featuring Consultants who have done an amazing job balancing motherhood and their careers with Pure Romance. Each day of the week leading up to Mother’s Day, I will be spotlighting a Consultant’s point of view and on Mother’s Day, I will share my own thoughts on maintaining balance – because when it comes to family and work, I do believe it’s possible to have it all!

Shannon Merrell (New Market, MD) - There is so much to say about this young woman and the amount of strength and balance she possesses. I chose Shannon for this Mother’s Day blog series because she is the quintessence of focus and determination in a time of trial and challenge. I can remember when I first met Shannon – she just exuded light and happiness through her bubbly personality. Of course her business told the true story of just how driven and successful she is, but her success made so much sense when I met her, and witnessed her warm and welcoming demeanor. It’s obvious that no one is a stranger to Shannon. Everyone who knows this sweet soul was rocked when they learned of Shannon’s brain tumor. Still, she kept things light-hearted and infused humor into a scary and traumatic situation by naming her tumor, “Pepe.” After a very extensive brain surgery to remove this tumor, Shannon is left with an uphill battle of recovery to regain some of her physical abilities. She has a family and a business to maintain and build, which is a lot for someone who is struggling to simply care for themselves. However, Shannon is already back at it all, maintaining her personal sales, as well as working with her team, which is estimated to gross around $3.5 million this year! I am so proud of this woman. She doesn’t use any obstacle as an excuse, which showcases the deeply engrained strength and will of her character, and explains why she is so successful. I just want her to know that everyone who looks in on her progress and fight is floored by what they see – we are all in the cheering section witnessing true amazingness at it’s finest.

A quote I live by: ”Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” and “Just keep swimming.” – from Dory, as of lately.

Tips to keep a balanced life: 

  • Don’t use your family as an excuse to neglect your business or reach for success. My family is also a priority, but I don’t use them as an excuse.
  • I also find making a goal board with clear, broken down goals helps.
  • Get your older kids involved! Let them know your goals.
  • Have patience! I don’t have much of this, but what little I do have left, I have put towards my business!  :)
  • Don’t give up or expect instant results if you don’t aim for them. Honestly, it took me years of not giving up my goals to reach Executive Director.

A story about motherhood and business (submitted by a very close friend and sister Consultant, Jen Roy):

“From the moment I met Shannon, I knew that she had ‘it;’ ‘it’ being that special something – that magnetic personality that draws people to them.  Shannon is the resident “funny” girl. She’s always doing something to make you smile, whether it be acting silly with her character impersonations, telling a silly joke to turn your sad mood around, to something so completely random that all you can do is shake your head and say, “That’s Shannon.”

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What most people don’t know about her is that on the inside she has suffered from terrible and sometimes debilitating anxiety. Some days it was hard for her to get up and just head to the grocery store.  During this time, Shannon’s husband was transitioning from a teaching job to a very demanding job as a Federal Air Marshal. This meant that he would be gone for long periods of time, and Shannon had to basically live life like a single parent. Did that stop her?  No way!  She did what she had to do to face her fears and overcome them.  At the time, she was managing a household with two little girls, being both mom and dad, and running a very successful party business and team.”

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TERRI TASSIE: Pure Romance Moms Who Do It All!

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I’ve been featuring Consultants who have done an amazing job balancing motherhood and their careers with Pure Romance. Each day of the week leading up to Mother’s Day, I will be spotlighting a Consultant’s point of view and on Mother’s Day, I will share my own thoughts on maintaining balance – because when it comes to family and work, I do believe it’s possible to have it all!

Terri Tassie (Dundee, MI) – I’ve known Terri for a very long time, around fifteen years to be exact. One of the first things that caught my attention about her was her dedication to her business and drive to succeed, not to mention her quick-witted humor and wonderful warm personality. While in town for business, I was always invited into Terri’s home. Watching the respect and love her children displayed for her during these visits was a true testament to the quality of this woman’s character. Over the years she and her family have baked delicious treats, made jewelry, and organized pot lucks at her husband’s auto dealership – all to raise money for the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health. I love how she has taught her children, as well as the Consultants she mentors, the value of giving back. I chose Terri for this Mother’s Day series because she displays the advantage of hard work and dedication, as well as the value of paying it forward. Over the course of her Pure Romance career, she has made herself abundantly available to her team members and other Consultants (not just those in her Downline) – she has always had an altruistic character. Terri is a wonderful woman and mother. She is a strong leader and businesswoman. I’m sure many of you will love to read her “trade secret” tips to how she keeps it all running on a day-to-day basis.

A quote I live by: “The power you have is to be the best version of yourself you can be, so you can create a better world.”- Ashley Rickards

Tips to keep a balanced life: 

  1. Prioritize my daily schedule – making sure there is time for ME, my Family, my Business every single day.
  2. Be personable with every woman, and always carry sample packs and business cards. An example would be bringing in Pure Romance products to Sunday school, family weddings and gatherings; I was a school mom so, of course, the package was regularly going to the staff at the school.
  3. Understanding that it’s not always possible to keep business and personal life separate, but it’s manageable with dedication and the want to be better!

A story about motherhood and business:

Story #1: My husband and I were approaching a rough patch in our lives, and our future appeared bleak for a moment. Pure Romance allowed me to provide for my family and keep myself level-headed. Along with the help of my teenaged children who assisted with my back orders and inventory, etc., I was able to keep everyone in good mind and spirits.  The hours became longer and the work became harder, but it was always worth it at the end of the day. Over time, I realized that my family AND my Pure Romance Business are what mattered most to me. Family and my business are my most prized possessions in life and something that I hold dear to me. Even after the (then 10) years of being in the business, I realized that I could be a full-time mom and a full-time business owner with Pure Romance. This proved, once again, that being dedicated to my business and compassionate to my family, I could be a winner in my and my own children’s eyes. I can say that my husband and I are happily married still, and my children are the light of my life; because of Pure Romance, I became a stronger woman in life and business.

Story #2:  I remember the first time my children asked what I did for my Pure Romance business. They were only 11, 8, and 5, so I told them that I did parties for Mommies, (trying to quickly get out of the conversation), but of course my kids wouldn’t leave it alone so this “question-answering thing” continued for some time with simple answers from me like I do “girlie mom stuff.” My daughter was like, “I love girlie stuff”. This continued for what seemed like hours, and I just grew more uneasy with the topic as I was raised a very strict Catholic, and I just wanted it to stop.  Finally I said, “Look, kids, this is stuff JUST for Mommies and Daddies – it’s just that simple, the shave creams, bubble bath, etc.”  ALL of a sudden my 5-year-old said, “Mom, you should have just said it is for GROWN UPS”.  I laughed right out loud.  Moral of the story: we try to give too much information and a simple answer was all that was needed.

Terri has been married to her husband, Tom, for 26 years, and has three children: Shanie 25, Trent 22 and Collin 19.

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CRYSTAL BOLES: Pure Romance Moms Who Do It All!

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I’ve been featuring Consultants who have done an amazing job balancing motherhood and their careers with Pure Romance. Each day of the week leading up to Mother’s Day, I will be spotlighting a Consultant’s point of view and on Mother’s Day, I will share my own thoughts on maintaining balance – because when it comes to family and work, I do believe it’s possible to have it all!

Crystal Boles (Portland, OR) - I can remember when Crystal started her Pure Romance business – she was so hungry for success.  Just like many other women, she came on board with the intention to spend more time with her children and make more money! However, Crystal was struggling with some internal battles and trying to find balance as a woman and a mother. She was starting out in this business as a married mom with two young girls and battling an unhappy marriage. Before long she was navigating a divorce. I can remember her going through these challenges and changes in her life, and just like many Consultants I felt like a mother in a way to Crystal, so I was rooting for her to come out of it all a better, stronger woman.  She powered through being a single Mom using her Pure Romance business as leverage.  Witnessing the transformation that she went through was inspiring – she finally found herself and found happiness. Watching her now is a beautiful thing – not only is she one of the strongest leaders we have in the field, she is a Corporate Trainer, on track to achieving an over two million-dollar team, killing it in personal sales, and is now married to the man of her dreams (with whom she has a 2-year-old son). Her daughters are growing up to be lovely young women and her life is in this successful balance that is a gift to all who look in at her. I chose Crystal because she exemplifies the strength it takes to get through storms and find your true self. I know when you read what she has to share you will see just how strong she is as a business woman, leader, mother and woman. Seeing her so happy means the world to me!

A quote I live by: “Make your own sunshine.” 

Tips to keep a balanced life: 

1. SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE YOURSELF – BLOCKED BY THE HOUR!

2. I USE A CALENDAR SYNCED WITH MY HUSBAND’S AND A DAY PLANNER

3. GET HELP WITH KIDS  (THIS IS CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS). I chose this business to be home for my kids and have more time with them. That does not mean that my ONLY identity is as their mom.  My personal success directly impacts my ability to be the best mom I can for them.  YOU taking time for YOU re-charges, refuels, revives you as a person. Also, when your teenage daughters say, “I want to be like you when I grow up!” you KNOW you are doing something right. 

A story about motherhood and business:The real inspirational story involves my youngest child, Wyatt. My husband and I we were blessed with a baby boy in 2012. Pregnancy and six weeks of bed rest was really rough, but I was able to manage my Pure Romance business from the couch – I actually did an $800 party via Skype during this time of required immobility. Unable to get up for weeks, it was beyond difficult, but we made it and one week before he was due I was induced. He was PERFECT!  Big, healthy baby boy, whom we adore!  Having had two children before myself, I began to notice as he reached specific ages, that he was NOT reaching his milestones.  Around eight months old, I convinced my husband of this and took Wyatt in to see the doctor.  At 5:30pm, after Dr.’s hours, I received a call that changed my life. Our pediatrician apologized for the news she was about to give (that’s never a good sign), and explained to us that the MRI results showed that at some point Wyatt had suffered a stroke.  Doctor visit after Doctor visit we learn more about his diagnosis…he has Cerebral Palsy.

Though he did not walk until the age of two and has limited use of his right side, he is AMAZING. PT, OT, Speech therapy, all of these, in combination with his doctors’ visits consumed a ton of time.  IF I had chosen a different direction in life I would not be here to make sure he is getting the BEST support to increase his mobility and growth.  By the time he is 5, we hope that his condition goes unnoticed.  We are lucky, blessed and oh so grateful to have the opportunity to stay home with him, not to mention, pay for the medical expenses involved.

Wyatt is already running now, speaking, and attends preschool with other kids his age.  And though, he still has physical challenges ahead, we know he will overcome and succeed!

Crystal has been married to her husband, Dustin, for four years, and has three children: Kailee 15, Emma 12 and Wyatt 2.

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