We had the good fortune of connecting with Holly Barber and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Holly, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I’ve become more aware of my personal balance in recent years. In the past, I wasn’t at all concerned with it. I accepted a workaholic lifestyle as normal and almost a badge of honor. Living through the pandemic has taught me to slow down and breathe. To truly take time to process, grow, live and balance through my development. I have found that the outcomes, my business, thrive when I am better settled and balanced.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Lux School Creative Movement Campus is a Montessori-Inspired early childhood center that I created after assessing the issues I was facing as a working mother and educator. I worked long hours and had to spend a significant amount of time away from my children. I found myself feeling excluded from their everyday activities while in care and feeling judged for “choosing” to be a working mom. Despite being an early childhood professional, I had no idea what my kids were learning or if they were learning at all. There was no evidence or way to be involved as a parent. Every day, I had to leave my children at a place where I felt like a complete outsider. I’d had enough. LUX is a unique place that truly cares about the education of young children. An environment to inspire collaboration with parents to balance the care and academic needs of their children. Because of my past mentoring people throughout my career, I am very sensitive about individuals being forced to choose between working and their personal education. I recognized that I wanted LUX to also be a place to empower and give educational opportunities to early childhood professionals that were seeking enrichment. To accomplish these things, I needed more than a center, I needed an environment and a team. I was able to collaborate with a group of working parents, local friends, that empathized with parents’ desire to balance high-quality care and the educational needs of their children. They recognized their desire to make an impact on their community and decided to partner in creating The Lux School(s). Owning a school is an opportunity very few teachers are given. I am both humbled and awed by the experience. The chance to lead, learn from, empower, and encourage other women (and eventually men) has been an unexpected joy. Being able to help parents feel confident about an already difficult decision during such unbelievable times feels like my contribution to the greater good. Kids are excited, parents are happy, teachers are enthusiastic. A blessing beyond my wildest imagination. There have also been many challenges, some associated with starting a business during the pandemic. We experienced construction delays due to ill crew members and materials being stuck at closed ports. This caused us to miss the opportunity to open at the state-wide beginning of the school year, which slowed our enrollment process. We have worked hard to build a positive reputation as a safe and quality educational opportunity for young children, but it is still difficult to build rapport and ease concerns during such a difficult time. Things have steadily improved as we continuously worked to make genuine connections and truly work to make a safe environment for all involved. This work involves reducing class sizes, properly distancing students, and making sure to have enough materials to literally spread around. We continue to get more students and work to maintain the same standards, but it is costly. Nevertheless, it is our responsibility. Recently, a merciless winter storm hit our area and devastated our already wounded community. More schools and centers closed due to damages that simply could not be repaired. We are taking on more students to support the needs of all. Despite the challenges, I have learned so much! I’ve learned about truly building a community and a foundation that lasts. I’ve learned that it is acceptable to not know everything, especially during new ventures. Take your time, grow and evolve. What should the world know about my brand and my story? My brand is my ability to support others through my story. LUX: We care about the education of young children in our community. We collaborate with parents to balance the care and scholastic needs of their children. We change by offering educational opportunities for early childhood employees that seek enrichment. We are here to help. We support parents in providing a loving community and the best opportunities for the loves of their lives when they cannot be with them all day. We believe in and need our staff. We have created a safe and healthy work environment that facilitates personal and professional growth, inspires creativity, and seeks to continuously develop well-trained professionals. The Lux School was planned, created, and developed to provide quality childcare that gives children an educational head start. We do this by igniting their educational interest through well-designed enriching activities and genuine encounters with local friends within innovative learning environments. We care. We collaborate. We change.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Favorite Places: The Museum District, Japanese Garden, and Studio Movie Grill Delicious Desserts: Crave Cupcakes, Red Dessert Dive, and Tiny Boxwoods (Houston) Favorite Breakfast Places: Franks, Mia Bella Trattoria, and Empire Café Greatest Music/Lounge Spots: Continental Club, Bohemeo’s, Glorias, and AvantGarden Late Night Eats: Mai’s, Taqueria Arandas, and Chilos
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My older sister, Dr. L. S. Barber-Hague definitely deserves a shoutout! She has taught me how to be comfortable exactly where I am and to never scale back my successes to make anyone else more comfortable. She also taught me about balancing parenting and career leadership. The barriers that I was taught about the limitations of having both a family and a rising career as a woman do not exist within our conversations. I am grateful for her footsteps, courage and quiet ferociousness.
Other: 833-589-5437 / 833-LUX-KIDS