MOM CRUSH: KARA
Field Trip MAMA OF TWO KARA follows her dream of building a community SPACE AND EXPLAINS HOW SELF CARE AND PRACTICING KINDNESS IS VITAL IN RIDING THE LOWS (AND HIGHS) OF PARENTHOOD AND RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS
INTERVIEW BY KARIN HESSELVIK
PHOTOS BY RYAN LEIBL
WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU REMEMBER CREATING?
When I was little I was obsessed with fashion and clothing design. I remember around 10, taking my dad’s long white tee shirts and making rompers by sewing up the middle to create two legs. I would also cut up his old flannels to make plaid skirts. I’ve always been a creative dreamer.
THE MOST RECENT THING YOU CREATED?
My most recent creative project has been making indigo neck ties for Field Trip. I'm still in the process of sewing and dying but it's nice not having deadlines and to take the time to work on it when I can.
ARE YOU A KID OR A GROWN UP?
I feel more and more grown up since having kids and opening my own business. I have to remind myself to lighten up sometimes and reconnect to that carefree kid inside of me.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
My kids and the mother I am to them. I am proud that I have been able to spend most of my time with them these first formative years. It’s the hardest, but most rewarding experience.
WHEN ARE YOU YOUR MOST CREATIVE SELF?
My creativity comes in waves and is a bit unpredictable. I am definitely a morning person so on the days when I have a few hours home without the kids and have had my coffee I can usually tap into my creative brain for a few hours and get a lot accomplished.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRECIOUS OBJECT?
The weaving that I made for my husband. It was the first time I had done a craft in many years and it felt amazing to get back into it and it also sparked my idea to have workshops in my shop space for Field Trip.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT BRINGS YOU PEACE?
My Palo Santo that I burn both at home in the shop. The ritual and scent both calm my nerves.
What’s one thing that energizes you? (same)
Coffee :) Must do morning ritual.
What does freedom mean to you?
I feel the most free when I am able to connect to a bigger force and let my worries and anxieties melt away. To trust in the universe completely feels like freedom to me.
who is your female spirit animal or lady crush?
I am inspired everyday by women around me and afar whom I've never met. I really feel we are all contributing something special in our own ways. I admire my sister for her consistent calm and positive attitude, my mother for her unshakeable support, my fellow shop owners around Portland, and my blog crushes like Bleubird and Free+Native.
HOW DO YOU NURTURE YOURSELF?
I try to meditate daily and take time for morning rituals like dry skin brushing, stretching, a face mask and some chanting.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE FIELDTRIP?
Welcoming. Nurturing. Inspiring.
how is field trip an extension of you?
I'm learning more and more how this space is my energy, including my fears as well as my hopes. When I walk into my shop I feel happy and connected to a larger part of myself. I hope (and have been told) that others feel the same.
What is the most rewarding thing about running your own business?
The community I have created and the people Ive met while working in the shop. I have made close friends and connections to people I would’ve never met had I not opened this shop.
What is the most challenging thing about running your own business?
It's very hard to keep the fears away and to not compare yourself to what other businesses are accomplishing around you. Comparing just leads to negative emotions and I have to stay focused on what I am doing and not let those fears bring me down.
WHERE WOULD YOU LOVE TO TAKE A FUTURE FIELD TRIP TO?
Topanga. Ive been drawn to Cali for a long time and love the community of modern healers that is forming there.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Success for me is making my dreams a reality. Whatever your dream may be, whether it's to stay home as a mother or to start your own business, if you see it through and are able to make it happen, that is success.
best mom advice you ever received?
You know your kids better than anyone else, so trust in your decisions and in yourself as their parent.
what have you learned about yourself since becoming a mother?
I'm a huge worrier. Since having kids I've had to learn to how to cope with that as it's not sustainable in the long run. This has led me on a bigger path of self care, meditation and energy work.
WHAT role does creativity play in how you parent?
It’s a big part of how I (and my husband) parent, as we are both creatives. We start every morning with an art activity - usually drawing or cutting and taping shapes. We try to spark their imagination by playing lots of made up games and discussing dream scenarios.
WHAT are some creative/life hacks you've learned as a mom?
A great way to divert a tantrum or a disagreement is to get really animated and ask a question or present an “unbelievable” idea that you just thought of. The change in mood distracts them and they seem to forget about whatever they were upset over. It can be hard to muster when you're tired and over it, but for me it works every time!
your children are really close in age. what's the best thing about having two little ones at the same time?
Silas (6) and Evy (4) are 18 months apart so it was a hard first year with two littles. But now it's the best thing ever because they have similar interests and physical abilities. I can take them to do the same activities and they play so well together at home. They are best buds and I hope they stay that way for life.
THE HARDEST THING?
The marathon of sleepless nights really wore on my system. I've had thyroid issues and chronic fatigue and tension headaches. Having two C-sections and then triple hernia surgery all within a few years, on top of caring for two babies without any onsite family support took a toll on my health. But I've been through the hardest part (physically) and have been able to get myself back on track the last two years.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH MORE TIME?
More yoga! Most of my free time is spent at the store or working on the business since I have such a small window. If I could dedicate an hour every day to a physical practice that would be amazing. I'll get there!
WHAT’S ONE THING you would still like to achieve?
I want to continue on this path of supporting my community and other moms. I have been drawn to learning more about healing and mediation and self care and I'd like to offer my knowledge and support to this community in a bigger way in the upcoming years.
WHAT's a question you wish more people asked?
I'm always seeking and hoping for collaborations for Field Trip. I'd love if more people reached out and shared their story and ways in which we could work together.
WHAT role do you think we can play as creatives and as mothers in affecting positive change during this political climate?
We can affect positive change by taking care of ourselves so we can be strong, loving and kind women. If we have our strength we can fight for what we believe in. We can fully love our children and raise them to be confident kind adults. We can be loving in all our relationships, making our community powerful and effective in making the changes needed in this current (crazy) situation.
A lesson from 2016?
Staying strong while riding the lows (and highs) that come with running a business, parenting and my marriage. After a few years I've started to see the patterns that happen and it's given me a chance to stay focused and positive when things are going well and to know when things are hard that they will pass and I will find my way back. I used to have a lot of anxiety when things were hard- like if the kids got sick or my husband and I had a huge fight or nobody was shopping at Field Trip. But I've realized that if I can stay focused on the bigger picture and have faith that everything will work out, I can get through those times without that panic!
A dream for 2017?
Offer my creative and self care services to more and more people nationwide through Field Trip. I want to help connect people and offer them tools to take care of themselves, express themselves and support the best version of themselves.
one thing you'd like to tell another pom pom mom trying to figure it all out?
You can have it all. A little bit each day adds up to something grand. Stay on your heart path!
ABOUT FIELD TRIP
Field Trip is a lifestyle shop and community space located in Portland OR. The shop idea was born from a desire to bring together the amazing makers in Portland and surrounding areas by offering workshops as well as a retail space to support small designers and crafters.
You can follow Kara on instagram at @karagreen11 or at @shopfieldtrip
POM POM SOCIAL is excited to collaborate with Field Trip on a Personalized Body Oil workshop in March, click link below to sign up!