I Can Make That Podcast | Episode 001 :: Aaronica Cole, The Crunchy Mommy

Aug 18, 2019

Today is the day, y’all!  The “I Can Make That: Conversations with Creatives” podcast is officially launched!

I’ve been dreaming up ways to connect my creative friends with the world for a while now and I thought it would be super fun to use this format to do so.  I think creative people are incredibly interesting to learn from and about.  We are wired differently.  Most of us have turned our passions into careers and we experience complex ways of balancing life, work, art and passion.

My first guest is one of my very favorite people.  I’ve been fangirling and swooning over for a few years now. Annnnnd possibly a small part of me invited her onto the show just so I’d have an excuse to hear her beautiful voice in my headphones.

Meet: Aaronica Cole!

She is a blogger at The Crunchy Mommy, which is where she shares about her green-friendly lifestyle that includes babywearing, breastfeeding, child rearing, homeschooling…you name it.  Aaronica also has a second blog (The Needle and the Belle) which is how I originally came to know her, where she shares her love of sewing through a handmade wardrobe that she creates for herself and her family, and sometimes creates for sale as well.  Aaronica a is body positive, fierce and fabulous force to be reckoned with and I’m honored she joined me on my podcasting journey!

 

Make sure to follow Aaronica at one (or ALL!) of her social medias:
Blog/Website: thecrunchymommy.com or theneedleandthebelle.com
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat: thecrunchymommy

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Great news!  You can subscribe to us on any of your favorite podcasting networks!

See you next time, Creatives!

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Updated 01/31/22: For those of you that are hearing impaired, I’ve been trying to find the best way to share our podcast with you as well!  The transcription isn’t perfect, but it’s darn close. Here’s my conversation with Aaronica on episode 1.

EPISODE 001: Aaronica Cole – The Crunchy Mommy

00;00;08;29 – 00;00;32;29
Katy McKinley
Hello and welcome to I can make that conversation with creatives. I am Katy McKinley and myself, proclaimed maker of things. My family and I live and die by the code of DIY. And naturally we found ourselves surrounded by people who lead some pretty creative lives themselves. I’ve decided to stop selfishly hogging all of my brilliant and wacky friends and then start sharing them with you.

00;00;33;12 – 00;00;45;09
Katy McKinley
Behind every finished project is a human being who went through a range of successes and failures in making and in life. And it’s about time that we get to know just who those talented individuals are.

00;00;47;23 – 00;01;09;05
Katy McKinley
Welcome to episode number one friends. Today’s guest is someone that I have been fangirling and swooning over for a few years now, and possibly a small part of me invited her onto this show just so I could have an excuse to hear her beautiful voice in my headphones. Hashtag stalker alert. My guest of the hour is Aaronica Cole.

00;01;09;08 – 00;01;34;06
Katy McKinley
She is a blogger at the Crunchy Mommy, which is where she shares about her green friendly lifestyle. It includes baby wearing, breastfeeding, child rearing, homeschooling, you name it. Ironically, Alison has a second blog. It’s called The Needle and the Bell, which is how I originally came to know her. She shares her love of sewing through a handmade wardrobe that she creates for herself and her family and sometimes creates for sale as well.

00;01;34;21 – 00;01;43;13
Katy McKinley
Aaronica is a body positive, fierce and fabulous force to be reckoned with, and I’m honored that she’s joining us. Welcome to. I can make that, Aaronica.

00;01;44;05 – 00;01;58;15
Aaronica Cole
Oh, my gosh. Katy, what an intro. And it’s so funny you say that. You’re fangirling over me. I remember when I first saw you on the peg leg pattern, I was like, oh, my gosh, she’s so amazing, right here.

00;01;58;22 – 00;02;18;11
Katy McKinley
The first question that I really wanted to ask, because this is such a funny question for me to answer. A lot of people in creative based industries tend to wear like so many hats that the whole What do you do for a living question is like really awkward or difficult to answer. So how do you how do you explain your career in business people?

00;02;18;12 – 00;02;20;18
Katy McKinley
Like, what do you do for a living?

00;02;21;00 – 00;02;53;13
Aaronica Cole
It’s so funny because it really depends on where I am. So my signature on like my business emails is actually head creator of awesomeness. And I like that because, you know, it’s different from what most people have. And in truth, that’s what I do. You know, I’m a creator of awesome things. But when I explain it to, you know, when I’m talking to people, I do introduce myself as a digital content creator as well as a the list is actually nonstop.

00;02;53;14 – 00;03;05;25
Aaronica Cole
So I start with digital content creator, but I also do consulting for small businesses, for social media marketing and digital marketing strategies. And then, of course, I also add that I am also a seamstress.

00;03;06;20 – 00;03;09;08
Katy McKinley
And also I do this and also I do that, right?

00;03;09;09 – 00;03;14;26
Aaronica Cole
It’s like they’re like, So what don’t you do? I’m like, anything that’s detail oriented, I guess.

00;03;14;28 – 00;03;19;25
Katy McKinley
What would be what would you consider your origin story? We’re big like superhero fans.

00;03;20;05 – 00;03;20;17
Aaronica Cole
Yes.

00;03;20;20 – 00;03;30;19
Katy McKinley
So origin story is how we how we describe how you get started. How long have you been blogging? How long have you been sewing? Like what? What brought you into this world?

00;03;31;01 – 00;03;51;21
Aaronica Cole
So let’s start with sewing. I’ve been song since I was 13 and I have, like, really busy hands. I was like that kid that would take apart everything because I was just so interested in kind of how things worked. So my mom bought me a sewing machine. She put me into the sewing class and I was like, okay, so this is really lame.

00;03;51;22 – 00;04;01;24
Aaronica Cole
We made some drawstring bag and I don’t like this. These patterns seem like they’re really hard to follow. So I picked up knitting and crocheting after that fact.

00;04;01;25 – 00;04;03;08
Katy McKinley
I’m a crocheter too!

00;04;03;09 – 00;04;26;22
Aaronica Cole
Yeah, I loved it. I loved it so much. When I went to college, I would sit during our like, you know how you have the freshman seminar and I would sit and I would make baby blankets. But then actually when I was getting ready to go through my divorce with my first marriage, I picked sewing back up. My mom bought me a machine as kind of a way to, like, refine myself again.

00;04;27;01 – 00;04;44;26
Aaronica Cole
And I picked up, like some simplicity, a sewing pattern. And I was like, Oh, I’m going to make this for my New Year’s Eve dress again. I was like, Oh my God, these instructions are insane. So I’m just going to cut out these pattern pieces and put it together the way I think it would go together. It was a disaster, but I still wore it.

00;04;45;01 – 00;05;08;08
Aaronica Cole
It was very like, Know Cosby Show. And then I started to make applications. And then when I found out that I was pregnant with my second daughter, my husband, I got remarried and I would go thrifting and I would just take, you know, like oversize clothes and just turn them into maternity clothes. And I was like, This is so cool.

00;05;08;09 – 00;05;23;06
Aaronica Cole
And then after I had my middle child, my girlfriend was like, Hey, can you make some hair and pants? And I was like, I mean, sure, I always have this attitude like, I can make anything, even though I say yes. And I’m like, I don’t know if I can do this like I have.

00;05;23;07 – 00;05;25;02
Katy McKinley
I have that problem too, you know.

00;05;25;15 – 00;05;57;08
Aaronica Cole
Like, but it’s almost like, why say no when you could say yes? And so that’s how I started back selling consistently. So that’s this is was probably in 2014. And I just have not stopped since. In fact, I fell in love with PDF patterns with actually patents for Paris. They were my first my first purchase in a PDF pattern, and since then I have been nonstop.

00;05;57;08 – 00;06;12;20
Aaronica Cole
I actually had a shop that I opened up and I did a Christmas sale and I got so many orders, but I just got burnt out and I was like, I’m going to put the store on vacation and it’s still on vacation mode. Like three years later. We’re just like vacationing for a very long time.

00;06;13;11 – 00;06;17;24
Katy McKinley
You just, you know, on the beach sippin mojitos in my.

00;06;17;27 – 00;06;21;15
Aaronica Cole
Maitais and dreaming about making clothes for other people. But.

00;06;21;25 – 00;06;22;05
Katy McKinley
Right.

00;06;22;21 – 00;06;42;04
Aaronica Cole
And so that’s sewing. And even now, like, I sell more because after I have had children, like, I can’t seem to stop gaining weight. And I hated the way that ready to wear clothes would fit me. And I was like, There is no reason why I should feel uncomfortable all in clothing that wasn’t designed for the body that I have now.

00;06;42;13 – 00;07;05;19
Aaronica Cole
So I, you know, I really start to learn how to make patterns for my body versus just making a pattern, you know, because one of the great things about when you learn to sew is that you can actually make the things that different. She ready to wear versus, you know, handmade. As far as blogging goes, I actually started blogging.

00;07;06;21 – 00;07;35;19
Aaronica Cole
Oh, very long time ago, about 14 years ago. I did it for fun that like I would this is really dating myself. But I used to like, I started blogging on MySpace and yeah, like very long time ago, that is on school. And after MySpace just kind of like, dwindled off. I still had a following. So I moved to WordPress and over the years I’ve had quite a few blogs like since then.

00;07;35;19 – 00;07;59;08
Aaronica Cole
And then in 2015, I decided that I wanted to leave corporate America and just write full time. When I was on maternity leave from having my daughter and my second daughter, I was paid like $200 to write an article and I was like, Well, so like I can make $200 in 30 minutes. This sounds like this is for me.

00;07;59;19 – 00;08;28;10
Aaronica Cole
And so I left my job. I left my cushy corporate job and pulled out all of my like my retirement, put it in a savings account so that in case we didn’t turn a profit, then I would be able to still pay our bills. And I went off and I started writing for a living. And my first client that I took on and did brand work for was actually Carter’s, which was pretty cool.

00;08;28;24 – 00;08;48;21
Aaronica Cole
Actually, my first year, I didn’t turn a profit at all. Like we were like one year to the day. We were like, Man, we can’t pay our bills is terrible. And a friend of ours lent us the money to pay our rent. And then I literally that month I started to turn a profit enough to pay like pay for things, which was really awesome.

00;08;48;21 – 00;08;55;19
Aaronica Cole
I also have an incredible husband who is incredibly supportive and is like, No, chase your dreams. You should do this.

00;08;55;19 – 00;09;21;09
Katy McKinley
And and part of it, part of the struggle is that if you have a have a partner in your life that really doesn’t get what you do, it’s almost makes everything impossible. So it’s really so important to have that support system in your life. I guess I kind of want to explore a little bit more about your blogging side, and you just explained a little bit about it, but like your your blog title is Crunchy Mommy Blog.

00;09;21;09 – 00;09;50;11
Katy McKinley
So, I mean, obviously you you like to explore more of the crunchy lifestyle that’s like the green frenzy and breastfeeding and baby wearing and all of that. So what when I guess when did you start subscribing to the Crunchy Life and what do you what is your version of it? Because honestly, I, I look at it sometimes and your version seems really friendly and open and just like, Hey, I’m doing this.

00;09;50;11 – 00;10;09;26
Katy McKinley
Why don’t you also do it? Whereas I’ve received it from other people and it’s like, you’re terrible that you’re not doing this version of things. And so I appreciate, I guess, coming from my, my life sour. I eat organic food and then also McDonalds that like I feel like, you know, in the happy medium where you’re not judging all the time.

00;10;09;27 – 00;10;33;16
Aaronica Cole
I do, I do, I do anything. Which is why my tagline is practically green living. It is a double entendre, you know, because it as much as I’m sure most of us would like to, you know, just eat organic all the time. And if we had, like people to prepare these organic meals for us and help us live these zero waste lifestyles, then sure, we would all do it right.

00;10;33;16 – 00;10;57;13
Aaronica Cole
But sometimes it’s just not practical. So yeah, yeah, that’s why that’s my tagline, because, you know, I definitely want to come up with practical solutions that will also help us, you know, in the long run, hopefully with the planet, you know. But after I had my oldest daughter, so when I was pregnant with her, I was like, I’m just going to get an epidural.

00;10;57;13 – 00;11;16;25
Aaronica Cole
I’m just going to do, you know, life essentially the easy way, whatever. And then I didn’t actually have to work when I was pregnant with her. And I started to look into just more things, like I watched Ricki Lake, the business of being born. And, you know, it was such a great documentary.

00;11;17;29 – 00;11;19;03
Katy McKinley
And I opened it.

00;11;19;08 – 00;11;40;07
Aaronica Cole
And I love Ricki Lake. Oh, she’s so amazing. But, you know, researching more things when I was pregnant about the impact of what we put into our body, how it’s passed into our children and when you’re pregnant, you want the best for your children, you know, especially because their unborn, you know, you always think about whatever it is that you’re doing is going to affect them.

00;11;40;07 – 00;12;01;27
Aaronica Cole
You listen to like classical music even when you hate it because you know, it helps their brains develop and all this other stuff. But then I was like, you know, okay, so after she’s here, then what difference does that make in, you know, how I treat myself, how I treat the world and everything like that? And she I actually had a pediatrician who was more crunchy, too.

00;12;02;20 – 00;12;23;27
Aaronica Cole
And like, she had she would get these horrible ear infections. She I create actually babies. All of my babies have had cradle cap and eczema. I mean, like, they’re beautiful, but Rashi and my doctor was like, no, no, we don’t need a prescription. Here’s what you do like and here’s just like some old wives tale on how to get rid of all of these things.

00;12;23;27 – 00;12;52;19
Aaronica Cole
And I was like, Oh my God, this stuff works. You know? So I began to really investigate and explore. And by the time that we had our second had my second child, you know, people were coming to me for more natural and holistic solutions. So like she would get congested and or like, because my second is all this baby and by the time that winter came, you know, like all the babies are now congested.

00;12;52;19 – 00;13;10;19
Aaronica Cole
And I was over here making like shower melts and taking her into the shower with me to like, make her do congested and stuff like that. And they were like, Oh, can I get these shower melts from you? And you make them and you know, all that stuff. And like, she also had an ear infection for like a month straight.

00;13;10;19 – 00;13;31;18
Aaronica Cole
This is why I left corporate and I took her to a chiropractor and a doctor of homeopathy and three adjustments later that one month long, you know, ear infection was gone. And I was like, Yeah, this is it. This is the lifestyle that I need to be living. Because as much as I really respect medicine, it’s not always the answer.

00;13;31;18 – 00;13;48;06
Aaronica Cole
And I do. I do truly believe that Mother Earth has given us everything that we need in order to really heal ourselves. And as long as we take care of her, she’ll take care of us. And so, you know, people would actually joke. They’d be like, Oh, you’re such a hippie. You’re so crunchy. And I was like, I am in.

00;13;48;07 – 00;14;16;10
Aaronica Cole
I’m just going to make that my blog title and just share this information with people. But I don’t believe in polarizing people because I do believe that when you make people feel bad about their lifestyle, they’re they’re not open to to change. You know, when you think about how like you behave when people make you feel bad, it’s not like a thing of like, okay, now that I feel terrible about myself, I’m going to go ahead and do what you said.

00;14;16;10 – 00;14;18;16
Aaronica Cole
You know, that’s not how it works.

00;14;18;20 – 00;14;51;24
Katy McKinley
Oh, no, I, I absolutely feel that way. I feel like I learn better when I’m on when I’m on offense and non tense. So if someone’s yelling at me and I have to constantly defend myself, then I’m not actually listening to anything you say Exactly. But if you’re actually just trying to teach me, like in a very positive way, I listen, which I guess kind of leads into my next question, because one of the neatest things about being friends with you is that I feel like I’ve learned a lot from you when there’s a social issue that comes up and it literally can be anything.

00;14;51;24 – 00;15;23;16
Katy McKinley
It’s anything that you seem to be passionate about. You are very open to finding your voice. And I have more than just a crush on your regular voice. I like your social and political voice. You seem to be an activist and an educator for certain minority groups, and it’s really refreshing to see. And I guess, how do you decide when to speak up for the black community or the plus size community or breastfeeding mothers or women’s rights or whatever, whatever you’re passionate about, or use this moment?

00;15;23;16 – 00;15;25;07
Katy McKinley
Like how do you decide?

00;15;25;07 – 00;15;47;14
Aaronica Cole
It’s funny because for a really long time I did not want to say things like, you know, when you are developing a brand or when you’re like, Oh my God, I need money. I don’t want to turn people away because my views on certain things can be polarizing. You don’t want to say anything. And in the beginning I didn’t.

00;15;48;14 – 00;16;30;13
Aaronica Cole
But then one of my girlfriends, she’s also a blogger. She’s a you know, an author. Luvvie Ajayi, She was like when when this shirt church got shot up and the nine people died in Charleston, you know, she had brought up how like, beauty bloggers weren’t out here speaking on, you know, current events. And while I’m not a beauty blogger, I thought it was important to accept that criticism, you know, for what it was worth, because no matter what, you know, niche you’re in, if you have a voice, is your responsibility to use it.

00;16;30;13 – 00;16;57;21
Aaronica Cole
You know, if you have a platform, it’s your responsibility to use it. And when I see brands like Ben and Jerry’s or, you know, other brands taking a stand and taking that risk against losing money, but also standing up for something, it’s empowering. You know, it’s like that thing, Oh, well, why shouldn’t I say something? But it’s also something that I grew up with because, like my dad and my my mom grew up in the civil rights movement.

00;16;57;21 – 00;17;26;23
Aaronica Cole
You know, my dad was actually a victim of you know, he was targeted and a victim of racist acts, you know, So it’s it’s hard to not say something. And I would talk about it on my personal page, but I feel like it’s I have to talk about it on my my professional page, my brands, because I am my brands and my visions, my mission statements, my values are all something that transcend through all of my brands.

00;17;26;23 – 00;17;50;27
Aaronica Cole
And when people see that, you know, or when people are interested or my my target audience is either open to hearing that or shares the same values as me. And I do feel like that if you have a voice, if you have a platform, then it’s up to you to use it for good. You shouldn’t just be out here trying to make money off of it.

00;17;50;27 – 00;18;26;18
Aaronica Cole
I think that making money, of course, is really good because it’s hard work what we do as bloggers and influencers. But it’s all for now if you don’t use it for good as well. What’s the point in building up a community if not to use that community for good in where I take a stand like I love children, I love people, but I love being black and it’s something that’s really hard for me to recognize that people, there are groups of people that don’t see me as a as a person or an equal to them.

00;18;27;03 – 00;18;54;10
Aaronica Cole
You know, it hurts to know that, like my children are seen as children or they are seen as someone who is people who are loved or, you know, as people who are loving, you know, and I want something better for my kids, you know, having to teach my daughters that slavery existed. And how that mentality is still around is hard because they’re like, but why in I don’t have an answer.

00;18;54;22 – 00;19;16;20
Aaronica Cole
You know, the only thing that I can do is stand up for what’s right. You know, in the same thing, like I had to have the conversation with my oldest daughter where we talked about like, you know, if she’s raped or if someone is raped, you know, she has to have the baby, you know, and the person who took advantage of her would have rights to that baby, you know, and be a part of her life.

00;19;17;04 – 00;19;34;05
Aaronica Cole
And I expose her to these things because I want her to know that she has a voice. There should be heard as well, and that she doesn’t have to lay down and just accept things for what they are, that she can be a changemaker and that we all can be. But we can’t be committed to change if we’re not willing to speak up.

00;19;34;05 – 00;19;35;15
Aaronica Cole
When injustices happen.

00;19;35;16 – 00;20;02;16
Katy McKinley
We raise our child. Very similar to kind of what you’re saying here. We we have a lot of uncomfortable conversations. We we talk a lot about current events more than I think most people talk to their eight year olds. But I feel like it’s so important to infuse it now because they’re innocent and they see the world the way that it is and they see you know, they see people with different skin colors, but they don’t see them as negative or wrong.

00;20;02;23 – 00;20;12;05
Katy McKinley
They just see them as different. And so if you just infuse it right from the beginning, it’s such like an easier way to have them become better adults.

00;20;12;06 – 00;20;25;29
Aaronica Cole
Yeah, Really? Yeah. So I definitely agree with that. Like, we love to sit and watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which of course is not everyone’s got a straight guy on there, but like Queer Eye on Netflix.

00;20;26;13 – 00;20;29;09
Katy McKinley
Oh my God, I love the reboot of that. Oh my.

00;20;29;12 – 00;20;32;29
Aaronica Cole
It’s like you can’t go through and not cry. You know.

00;20;33;22 – 00;20;36;14
Katy McKinley
I literally like every single end.

00;20;36;17 – 00;20;55;04
Aaronica Cole
But the impact that they make, not just like with redesigning these lives, but the impact that they make by exposing or putting themselves out there to change the mentality of people is so important to. And I think that, you know, it’s important for us to do that for our children as well.

00;20;55;10 – 00;21;16;26
Katy McKinley
But so when you do decide to speak up and when you do decide to kind of provide a voice, how does it I mean, I’m sure it does. Is it drain your emotional energy and how do you recover from that and just keep moving as as someone who is their own brand and who makes money off of this social media life that we’ve kind of put ourselves in?

00;21;17;13 – 00;21;49;07
Aaronica Cole
It’s funny. It actually invigorates me, Oh, what does Dream Me is like, so even within our community, like our sewing community, of course, like we deal with things like lack of representation in, say, custom fabrics. What does dream me is when my white women are like, Well, why do you have to be included like that? Having to answer that question is draining because it’s like, Well, well, why not?

00;21;50;04 – 00;22;24;16
Aaronica Cole
You know, we would like for our dollars to be included, so why can’t our our faces included or, you know, having to explain that white privilege is not like a derogatory comment. You know, it is saying that you have a responsibility because you have a privilege. So that is tiresome. But, you know, standing up for what I believe in or speaking of when, you know, I see babies in cages and I think that that’s wrong, you know, or it’s obvious that that’s wrong.

00;22;24;16 – 00;23;05;08
Aaronica Cole
And, you know, that’s invigorating to be able to stand up and speak on it or stand up and do something to help raise money for those children or those families like that feels amazing. But what doesn’t feel amazing is when people don’t get it. You know, when you have to explain, like when people don’t see that, you know, calling a woman of color colored is derogatory or, you know, people want to, you know, feel like they should be able to use the N-word, you know, because black people use it and having to break that down.

00;23;05;11 – 00;23;30;03
Aaronica Cole
Now, that is tiresome or, you know, even watching Powers, it’s like when, you know, Voldemort, I will not speak. His name was elected into presidency. Like I had to take some time off to really figure out what that meant for me and my family and just kind of take a break because I’m very Chicken Little ish. I’m like, Oh, my God, the sky is falling, Everyone is going to die.

00;23;30;16 – 00;23;55;22
Aaronica Cole
Like, no one will survive this. Like, you know, I do have to take time off and and, you know, step away. But regarding like working with brands and things like that, what I’ve learned about life in general, whether you’re working with brands or not, is that people will want to work with you because of your voice and people will want not want to work with you because of your voice.

00;23;56;07 – 00;24;00;04
Aaronica Cole
I’m not for everyone, and that’s okay. I’m not trying to be for everyone.

00;24;00;12 – 00;24;01;27
Katy McKinley
That’s a hard pill to swallow.

00;24;01;27 – 00;24;21;23
Aaronica Cole
It is it? You know what it is? At first it’s really hard. Yeah, I But then when if you find out that people don’t want to, like, work with you because you believe that women have the right to choose whether they should get an abortion or not, then it’s like, you know, that’s fine. Like you weren’t for me anyway, it’s okay.

00;24;21;23 – 00;24;41;21
Aaronica Cole
And honestly, I am a believer that we don’t have to agree on everything as long as we’re respectful. You know? In fact, when I shared my thoughts on the abortion bill that’s had that passed here in Georgia, I thought for sure one of the girls who came on my status and was like, Oh, well, no, abortion is wrong.

00;24;42;21 – 00;24;56;27
Aaronica Cole
And after like my friends was handed her her ass, you know, I was like, Man, she’s going to definitely befriend me. Nope, she’s still there, you know? And it’s not disrespectful. It’s a thing of like, No, we disagree, but it’s okay.

00;24;56;27 – 00;25;23;25
Katy McKinley
Yeah, No, I, I think the Internet has said it’s been changed a lot in the last couple years. And there’s been a lot of a lot of discourse and not all of it has been very friendly or progressive. Yeah. And so it is nice when someone can have a differing opinion and it ends in a in a peaceful way because someone is going to learn something if you’re not, you know, constantly screaming in each other’s face.

00;25;23;25 – 00;25;24;05
Katy McKinley
Right.

00;25;24;13 – 00;25;28;15
Aaronica Cole
Right. Like as long as we’re not all using caps, locks, everything will be okay.

00;25;29;09 – 00;25;34;17
Katy McKinley
And I know you’ve you’ve mentioned your kids a couple of times, and you do have three little ones at home.

00;25;34;17 – 00;25;35;00
Aaronica Cole
Three of.

00;25;35;00 – 00;25;43;03
Katy McKinley
Them and well, two of them are now in school. And you’re switching from that high school life to Alex. Are you public school or charter?

00;25;43;03 – 00;25;43;16
Aaronica Cole
Yeah.

00;25;43;23 – 00;26;03;11
Katy McKinley
Yeah. But either way, it’s a big shift for you. It is. So you’ve been up until now and you still are balancing the the full time mom, but also full time working from home life. And what would what have been the biggest challenges with that? Like how how are you finding your way to balance it all?

00;26;04;08 – 00;26;40;05
Aaronica Cole
I think that there’s a lot of challenges actually, like having a it was way easier when though the baby when he was like a baby, you know because I baby war I would distract him to me so right you know shoot pictures do everything needs to be done. But now that he’s independent and hears every single thing apart in my house and, you know, needs to be supervised, entertained, you know, now it’s really hard because you know it it’ll be I need to get the contract signed.

00;26;40;05 – 00;27;04;12
Aaronica Cole
And now I forgot where it was in the contract signing because I had to run off and stop him from climbing a bookcase or you know what I mean? So now it’s it’s more difficult as far as that goes, just being able to focus. But with them going back to school. In fact, when my daughter told me she was ready to go back to school, like I cried about it for like a whole weekend, I’m like, my feelings were hurt.

00;27;04;24 – 00;27;21;15
Aaronica Cole
And I was like, Oh my God, she hates me. And I didn’t. I made it about me and not about her or them. And, you know, in fact, it was time. Like I thought that homeschooling was like our permit solution. And I was like, This is it. We’re going to travel the world. It’s going to be everything. Everything is awesome.

00;27;21;15 – 00;27;42;25
Aaronica Cole
But in truth, I hated it, too. Like, I was not like the best mom when I was homeschooling. I wasn’t the best I could be at anything, honestly, because I kind of just felt like I was always on and never had time to recover. And of course, when you work from home, it’s hard to have office hours, especially when you’re running all the time.

00;27;43;00 – 00;28;08;04
Aaronica Cole
You know, you’re running to your desk, you’re running to do this, you’re running to do that, you’re running to do this, you know, as it can be really difficult. So, you know, learning to have those like off hours. In fact, I just posted in my Instagram stories that I’m moving towards, you know, some black scheduling that I am planning to make successful because now they’ll be out of the house.

00;28;08;04 – 00;28;40;10
Aaronica Cole
In fact, they will be at a morning I’ll be at a two day program where he’ll be out, you know, for two days of the week. So I’m able to like really, you know, use that time and use nap times and stuff like that. So I’m looking forward to how it all positively impacts my business. I have hired a new assistant as well, so I’m like, we’re ready to to really be over here creating really dope content, really great pieces of clothing.

00;28;40;10 – 00;28;47;23
Aaronica Cole
I’m excited about, you know, taking different courses that will better myself and and really help me grow.

00;28;48;00 – 00;28;50;11
Katy McKinley
You’re just you’re on the verge of something amazing.

00;28;50;11 – 00;28;51;13
Aaronica Cole
I hope so. You speak it.

00;28;51;13 – 00;29;21;29
Katy McKinley
Into existence, Katy. Now I so I actually work back in an office now, but I did work at home for myself for two years and it is really difficult and it’s hard when your office is in your home because you, you never leave your office or you are concerned with being called to your work and you forget that there that there are people who work an 8 to 5 job and then get to go home and just be humans with their family.

00;29;21;29 – 00;29;23;13
Aaronica Cole
Oh, my gosh. Yes, It’s.

00;29;23;15 – 00;29;24;13
Katy McKinley
A hard balance.

00;29;24;19 – 00;29;30;21
Aaronica Cole
Isn’t there a wow that people like leave work and they don’t think about work anymore?

00;29;30;21 – 00;29;49;22
Katy McKinley
Work? Actually, I can’t imagine what it really feels like. So, no, it is hard. It’s a hard balance. And I had a hard challenge and it’s something that a lot of us go through in this like creative realm of things that I think some people don’t really take into consideration before they jump right in.

00;29;49;23 – 00;30;10;12
Aaronica Cole
Yeah, it’s also hard because like when you’re a creator, chances are you’re doing something that you really love. So it was hard to pull away. Like, I don’t want to stop working, you know, like I’m enjoying writing, I’m enjoying selling these pieces, you know what I mean? Like, I’m having so much fun. I just don’t feel like stopping.

00;30;10;13 – 00;30;31;15
Katy McKinley
And then sometimes you’re like, Let’s say you’re sewing to create a pattern or doing something for something specific. And then sewing is actually also your your hobby and your passion. So you like exit from that and then continue to sew. So you’re all your whole time feels like you, I guess from an outsider’s perspective, looks like you’re just constantly working right?

00;30;31;15 – 00;30;37;13
Katy McKinley
And you are in a way, but you’re also doing it because it’s, it’s literally what drives every single day to get up.

00;30;37;16 – 00;30;45;21
Aaronica Cole
Because my kids are like, Mommy, you always work. And I’m like, I don’t know if it’s always working or like, I’m just kind of always creating.

00;30;46;12 – 00;30;48;04
Katy McKinley
And like work playing all day.

00;30;48;15 – 00;30;48;24
Aaronica Cole
Long.

00;30;49;21 – 00;31;03;00
Katy McKinley
What if you could skip one part of the creative process and it could be in any, any level of any creative work that you do, what would be that part that you skip over completely?

00;31;03;11 – 00;31;27;04
Aaronica Cole
The self-doubt? Yeah, Yeah. Like definitely because like, I experience it for everything, like, and for me, like I go into almost like a catatonic state where, like I have self-doubt and until I move past it, like I’m not moving on the project, you know, which can be really hard because like, even inside I was talking to my husband about this and I’m kidding.

00;31;27;04 – 00;31;37;15
Aaronica Cole
I’m sure you get this too. Like, it’ll be a really great pattern, but I don’t know if everything’s so now I’ve got to really, like, stare at all of my fabrics and I’m like, Oh my gosh.

00;31;37;15 – 00;31;38;24
Katy McKinley
I’m an hour.

00;31;39;13 – 00;32;01;05
Aaronica Cole
Or more. And it’s like, I’ve got to touch them. I don’t know that I’ve pretty washed this one. I don’t know, Do I have enough of this fabric? Which of course is like an issue in your plus, in like your patterns take up more fabric and then it’s like, okay, so if I use this pattern or, you know, a fabric, what am I going to make to go with it?

00;32;01;05 – 00;32;17;05
Aaronica Cole
And so then you go down this whole like, whole, and then at the end of it, you’re like, Oh, I don’t know if this is it. So I think I’m going to move on to something else, and then that just doesn’t get done. And the same thing with writing for me, like it’ll be a thing of is this relevant to anybody?

00;32;17;05 – 00;32;42;14
Aaronica Cole
Like, does anybody actually care about this? Or what makes me think that I should be the one who writes this or, you know, you know, is this good enough? Like, is the writing good enough? Why is should I really submit this or, you know, so if I didn’t have that, I feel like I would move a lot faster and just a lot more efficiently and happily, You know, honestly, isn’t there.

00;32;42;14 – 00;33;06;08
Katy McKinley
A meme that’s floating around or has been floating around for a long time about the creative process where it starts like there is? I have this amazing idea, this is awesome. I’m then best Oh God, everything X I’m the worst. Like I am paraphrasing it poorly, but there is like this very specific meme that is me to a tee on how I start and finish.

00;33;06;08 – 00;33;09;22
Katy McKinley
Like literally every single project I’ve ever encountered in my life.

00;33;09;28 – 00;33;21;18
Aaronica Cole
Oh my God. Like even your paraphrasing sounds exactly like me right now. I’m like, Oh my gosh, Right, this will be epic. And then I’m like, It is not epic. I’m not epic. I’m terrible at everything.

00;33;21;27 – 00;33;52;10
Katy McKinley
And I eventually I’m going to send it to you. So you can read it. Yes. Better than how I just it. So the last question that I really want to bug you about is what is something that people would find surprising about you? I want to end every single podcast with this because I really think it’s fun to kind of just learn about someone, you know, on a little bit of a deeper level and it could be something silly and it could be something completely deep.

00;33;52;10 – 00;33;57;07
Katy McKinley
But just what’s something that we would, we would find surprising about you around a call.

00;33;57;19 – 00;34;17;16
Aaronica Cole
I always think that it’s so crazy when people are like, Oh my God, you’re so confident, like, or, Oh, you know, I love it. They speak to your confidence a lot, but like, there’s like a battle that happens every single day to wake up and be like, Now, girl, you’re beautiful. It’s fine. Like, I understand you’re the happiest you’ve ever been.

00;34;17;29 – 00;34;36;07
Aaronica Cole
You’re still, like, everything. Like, go. Hey, give yourself this pep talk and don’t worry about it. And I didn’t realize that I really had this problem until, like, it came time to figure out how to pose, like, in front of the camera. Like, I’m really awkward in front of a camera. I hate taking pictures. I get in front of the camera.

00;34;36;09 – 00;34;57;05
Aaronica Cole
I’m like, What do I do? Put my hand up on my head when I it if we didn’t know, okay, no, just put my hand down and not 12 posing in front of the camera, but like somebody gave advice on just like do it in the mirror first. And then I was like I just realized I don’t actually look at myself in the mirror unless I’m like, doing makeup.

00;34;57;05 – 00;35;21;00
Aaronica Cole
And then that’s it. Like, I never just, like, stare at them at the mirror and, like, appreciate, like my body or see how it looks when I do different things or, you know, any of that. I’m that was something that I had to like recently learn about myself. Like, okay, now, my girl, you got to stand in the mirror, like, investigate yourself and really appreciate everything you know that you have.

00;35;21;00 – 00;35;25;00
Aaronica Cole
And it’s okay if you have to wake up and try it again every single morning.

00;35;25;07 – 00;35;45;19
Katy McKinley
Your confidence would not be something I would think you didn’t have. So you are selling it and I am buying it. Girl. And well, thank you so, so much for spending time with me today. It’s honestly been a dream come true to just be able to talk to you for stopping.

00;35;45;19 – 00;35;50;26
Aaronica Cole
You understand? Like when we did our first test together, I was like, Oh my God, she’s like a celebrity.

00;35;52;10 – 00;36;13;00
Katy McKinley
Get out of here. Well, but for everyone listening, thank you so much for joining us for the first episode of I can make that conversations with Creatives. I’m going to be leaving links in my blog post as well. But you can find her at the crunchy mommy dot com on Facebook, at the crunchy mommy on Instagram and the crunchy mommy.

00;36;13;00 – 00;36;15;11
Katy McKinley
And also you’re on Snapchat.

00;36;15;11 – 00;36;18;10
Aaronica Cole
I am the crunchy mommy there too.

00;36;19;12 – 00;36;24;05
Katy McKinley
So do you have any last comments or anything you want to say before we go?

00;36;24;25 – 00;36;37;01
Aaronica Cole
I am so excited that I was your first interview. I think that this is such an amazing concept because we all have such great and creative processes that, you know, need to be shared.

00;36;39;11 – 00;36;56;22
Katy McKinley
Thank you for tuning into. I can make that conversations have created transcripts from this episode along with links and more information about today’s guest can be found at WW w dot wild and wonderful dot com. See you next time. Creative.

Disclosure: As always, you’ll find some affiliate links scattered within my post, which means I receive a small amount of compensation if you end up purchasing something I’ve recommended.  Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.  Purchasing from my links does not alter the pricing in any way for you, it simply helps feed my sewing, creating and blogging habits.  Thank you for your support!

2 Comments

  1. Nikki y

    Oh man, Katy, I love this! Can’t wait to see who else you get on here and learn more about them (and also put voices to names!).
    Congratulations on this new venture!

    Reply
  2. Felicia Balezentes

    Finally getting a chance to listen! I am so excited to learn more about everyone.

    Reply

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Welcome to Wild+Wanderful!  I’m Katy.
Momma. Wife. West Virginian.
Designer. 
Dreamer. Coffee Consumer.
DIY-er. 
Craft Beer Enthusiast.
Purple Obsessor. Lover of Handmade.

MILDLY WILD. MOSTLY WANDERFUL.

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