We had the good fortune of connecting with Janine G and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janine, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am from the Northeast, in a city outside of Philadelphia. I grew up in a close-knit family and community. My grandparents and most of my extended family lived nearby. My great grandparents were both Irish and Italian immigrants. My Italian grandfather was first generation born in America. He learned the welding and sheet metal trade and eventually started his own business. He was one of the most generous people I know, often giving back to help his church and community. Growing up, he and my grandmother played a huge role in showing me the importance of family and having family traditions. They hosted Sunday dinners for our whole extended family at their house every week, often consisting of pasta. Education was important in my family. I always grew with the expectation to attend college, but my parents always said what was most important to them was my happiness. They were encouraging without ever pushing–something I’ve come to appreciate even more in my adult years. Both of my parents were among the first in their families to graduate from college. My mom graduated in the top of her class in secretarial studies while my Dad graduated from Pharmacy School. He worked as a pharmacist for 10 years before passing away from cancer. My dad was admired and loved by many not just for his knowledge of medications and medical advice, but for his kind and caring way. His death at only 35 years old, when I was only 7, has had a major impact throughout my life. I had an early sense of responsibility, wanting to help my mom care for my younger siblings. His death also gave me a sense of empathy and compassion towards the suffering of others. I learned at a young age how short life is, and I truly believe each and every day we are given is a gift. I want to make the most of my time here, and want to help make the lives of others better. I originally became a pharmacist like my dad, pursuing the passion I had for helping others, and wanting to make a difference like he did. Trustworthiness was a quality that I valued having as a pharmacist. I accurately gathered and delivered information to my patients in a way that was easy for them to understand. Now as a stay-at-home mom I’ve been able to turn my passion for helping others into my motherhood and lifestyle blog and online business. I’m still able to help others, just in a different way now. I credit my grandfather for my having an entrepreneurial spirit, and my online business allows me to have fun with my creative and artistic abilities. My upbringing, work ethic, sense of family and former career have all impacted the way I see life and want to run my own business. I believe honesty, integrity and trustworthiness are the backbone of a good business and are of utmost importance to me. My goal is to inspire and help others in a genuine way through practical and realistic ideas. I hope people find happiness in each day, enjoy quality time with family, and make the most of their time in a fun and stylish way.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Meatball Mom provides busy moms useful tips to save them time and help them look and feel their best. Through my blog and other content creation, I offer ideas relating to home decor, gift guides, healthy recipes and family activities. Meatball Mom is for the stylish, modern mom who is motivated to live a healthier lifestyle but is also short on time. She wants to look great & feel confident after having kids. She’s interested in fitness and self-care, as well as making the most of the time she spends with family. The name Meatball Mom is a nod to my Italian heritage and those things most important to me: family, good food, and being a mother. I want Meatball Mom to be as inviting to my readers as my Sunday dinners felt to me as a child . . . warm, fun, and full of love. Getting started as a blogger and content creator took me a while because it was completely different from that of the medical field in which I was trained. I didn’t have any background in writing, web design, marketing, digital design, etc,. And while there is so much info available out there, it can be overwhelming. You think, “Where do I begin? My biggest struggle when getting started was not being tech savvy. I’ve learned to reach out and ask questions when I don’t know how to do something. When setting up my website, my lack of technical skills made me realize I needed to get professional tech help. I’ve also developed my decision making and leadership skills by having to make decisions about my business that haven’t been easy. Being “in charge” is good but also challenging when you are the one making tough decisions. Being a stay-at-home mom and juggling the daily demands of motherhood while trying to start a business has been another challenge. I’ve had to be smart about my time management in order to be successful. I’ve had to stay super focused: working late nights, early mornings, and using most of my free time to make it work. Communication and teamwork with my husband has also been essential. While I’ve already begun to see success with my business, there is still so much more I want to accomplish. I’m determined to continue to learn and grow and see where this business takes me. I’m proud of the fun, positive, and encouraging message of my brand. My honesty, integrity, and compassion for others are some of my best qualities. I pride myself in conveying my message and content in a relatable and genuine way. Every day is a gift and I want to inspire others to celebrate even the ordinary moments in life, while having fun and feeling fabulous!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We love living in Houston. Some of our favorite places to take visitors are: eateries on The Waterway or Hughes Landing; shopping on Market Street; catching an Astros Game at Minute Maid Park (especially on ‘Dollar Dog’ night); visiting the Houston Zoo, and seeing a concert at the Cynthia Mitchell Woods Concert Pavilion. I also recommend checking out the NASA Space Museum. Texas BBQ from ‘CorkScrew BBQ’ and tacos from ‘Torchy’s Tacos’ are two favorite restaurants. ‘The Kitchen’ and ‘Cupcake and Bubbles’ for champagne and cupcakes are also frequent stops. And meeting friends at Whole Foods for pizza and beer at the bar is always a great time. There’s always so much going on and plenty of family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband has been a tremendous support. I can’t imagine being where I am today without his supportive words of encouragement, love, advice and help. He deserves just as much credit as I do for any success I have with my business–now or in the future. He has believed in me and taken my business seriously from the beginning, often sharing or talking about my online business with friends, family and co-workers. He helps with ideas for blog and social media content, also playing a large role with the tech and bookkeeping side of the business. Furthermore, he pitches in with household chores and watches the kids while I work. And he does this in addition to his own full-time job. I think it’s crucial for your significant other to support you and be on the same page about your business, otherwise it will be much more difficult to succeed. It also makes celebrating each success more fun and makes dealing with difficulties and obstacles a little easier.
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