Describe yourself in 3 words…
Wife, Mother, Founder, Dreamweaver, Mompreneur, Activist, Manifestor, Philanthropist…it’s hard for me to just pick 3!
How do you manage to carve out “me time” being a mother of 5? How do you like to spend that time?
I am a big believer in “me time,” especially as a mother of 5. I practice a self-care regimen that I call my “goddess rituals,” which helps me unwind from even the most stressful situations. One of my favorite go-to’s usually involves drawing a warm bath full of essential oils, lavender, and bath salts. I’m addicted to anything aromatherapy driven, I love scents! I’m also a big fan of stealing time for myself by doing yoga, daily meditation (a non-negotiable, ESPECIALLY when you have 5 kids), or treating myself to an at-home massage. I also love a movie night with my hubby, even if it’s at home after I’ve tucked the kids in bed.
What are your favorite Miami activities with the kids?
We do a lot in Miami, which is an amazing place for kids. We love to go to the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Jungle Island, Frost Museum, The Poppet Project, or even the Miami Kids Museum. Also, my kids will never pass up a movie date, so sometimes it’s as simple as going to Ipic to see the latest installment of a Pixar movie. A movie night always keeps them in their happy place (which you can do in any city!).
What are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Miami?
There are so many great kid-friendly restaurants in Miami, but with 5 kids we just try and make it work wherever we go. Wynwood Yard is an amazing place for kids; my kids love the Wynwood district as they are really into art. We also love going to Estefan Kitchen because they have a great outside area for kids to play in, and they also have live music on the last Friday of every month. Right across the street is Mad Lab Creamery, which is a great place for the kids to grab dessert! My kids are also really into Shake Shack, but who isn’t?
You are very philanthropic, please share some of the organizations you are most involved with, and why they are dear to your heart…
There are so many causes, especially in today’s landscape of social media where we have knowledge at our fingertips and simply can’t ignore the call to action. Both my husband and I have been doing a lot of work lately with the DNC (Democratic National Committee), and we just hosted an event in Austin during SXSW. I’m the acting Vice President of Team Tomorrow Inc., overseeing fundraising, development, and support of multiple organizations which offer care for children and families in need. My husband and I have sponsored numerous charitable events in the Miami area, including spearheading the “Annual Christmas With Bosh & Team Tomorrow” program. My whole family has worked with the Chapman Partnership, raising awareness for the homeless community of Miami-Dade and Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. During the holidays I bring my kids to children’s hospitals to visit and play, like the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital outside of Miami. Children’s causes are very important to me. I also work with the Best Buddies nonprofit, the Safe Space Foundation for domestic violence, the Chapman Partnership for the homeless, Dress for Success which prepares women for the workforce, and Honey Shine Inc. which empowers young girls. I have participated in charitable activities with the Miami Heat and I am a voting member in ACLU.
I also actively use my social media platforms to prompt awareness for my “Today I Can” campaign, which encourages women to set daily goals in an effort to reach their dreams. To me, there is no cause big or small. Empowering women is very close to my heart.
How have your children inspired you to start your own business?
I love that my children get to see their Mommy creating content that empowers women. I love raising them with an awareness to give back with every opportunity. Having my children see women in a position of power and acting as catalysts of change is very important to me, which is why I’ve taken my kids to see Michelle Obama speak or to have them be present when we hosted Hillary Clinton in our home last year. I try to include my kids in my work whenever possible, from attending these events, to creating content for platforms that I feel are empowering. Work for me isn’t portrayed as energy that’s “taking away” from my time with them. Instead, I’ve created a company where my kids can be part of my work, a place for them to thrive. I want them to know that “work” can be outside of the box, and financial generation can be from a heart centered place. That is how I find the best balance. I love that my kids will only know a mother that works hard for what she believes in.
What values do you hope to instill in your children?
I am raising my children to be courageous enough to fully embrace who they are wholeheartedly. I recently read a quote about feeling a sense of “belonging,” which is completely different than feeling the need to “fit in.” I loved that reframe, because now there is so much conversation and encouragement around becoming a wholehearted individual rather than telling kids to fly under the radar in the “be seen and not heard” approach. I have 5 children, and every single one of them has such a unique personality that is so different from the next. I never want to be the parent who tries to nudge my little one into being all of the unresolved things I am not. I approach them with empowering, affirming language. It’s extremely important to me that they embrace self-love and self-acceptance. Above all things, I want to raise my children to have strong self-esteem, empathy, and compassion for both themselves and others. My job is to cultivate their creativity, encourage them to express themselves, and help them to navigate their individual curiosities. I encourage them to be kind, generous, and grateful kids. I also travel often with my children, because I think it’s really important for them to gain an appreciation for different cultures and people all over the world. My intention is to raise them with their hearts wide open, with the willingness to embrace adventure. I also encourage them to participate in the philanthropic work that my husband and I do, instilling in their minds the importance of giving back.
What’s next for “Sparkle and Shine Darling”? Please share any inspiration you had for this business venture, and how you juggle business, philanthropy, and family life…
Sparkle + Shine Darling is being reshaped into a lifestyle based website that is a departure from my retail boutique and Parisian-themed event venue in Miami Beach. Like the boutique, which doubled as a space for lectures, book signings, inspirational speakers, and communal activities, the website will foster a strong female community of empowerment and support for women globally.
I love the idea of shifting the SASD brand from a brick and mortar location that could only be accessed by our local community in Miami (or anyone who happened to be visiting Miami) into a globally thriving community of empowered women. I think of the new website as a “digital toolbox” of resources, articles, advice, and a point of connection for people to meet, share, and discuss the topics that modern women are faced with everyday.
Are there any secret hidden gems in Miami that you can share with us?
There are so many great places in Miami that my family and I love. For brunch, we love Eating House, Yardbird, and Setai. For lunch, Grown and Mandolin Aegean Bistro are amazing. My favorite date night places are Il Gabbiano, Hillstone at Bal Harbour, EMBER, and Zuma. For a girl’s night out I love Sushi by Bou, Samsara Cabaret, and Faena. We also love beach days at Soho House!
Pay it forward and name 3 women who’ve inspired you in business...
There are honestly so many women who constantly inspire me and have paved the way for me. I am a huge women’s advocate, and am a big believer in mentorship. Latham Thomas from Glow Maven is definitely one of them, the way she’s blazing a new path in speaking about birthing experiences and tying in wellness, mental health, self worth, and divine feminine rituals has been a really powerful platform that continues to inspire me.
My dear friend Genevieve Padalecki is another woman who inspires me daily. She’s a mommy blogger and has such a “real talk” approach to her business. She lives in Austin full time, and has transitioned from being an actress to being a full time mom-centric entrepreneur who also gives back so frequently to causes and local charities that she believes in. There is an element of philanthropy in almost everything she does, which is really inspiring to me.
Brene Brown is a huge inspiration to me, especially now as I see her expanding her platform into a media empire. She’s become so active on social media and is posting with heart-centered blog posts on bravery, courage, and vulnerability especially where it applies to leadership. We need people in the workforce and at the helm of companies cultivating their emotional IQ. I’m also so happy to see platforms like Netflix holding space for badass women like Brene.
I’m also a HUGE fan of Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Shonda Rhimes, Ayesha Curry, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Shannon Allen, Lena Waithe, Caroline Herrera, Janelle Monae, Issa Rae, Jennifer Garner, Joanna Gaines, Beyonce, Kali Hawk, Tory Burch…I could really go on!