The third installment of Creatives Corner: Behind The Scenes focuses on the baby and toddler clothing line, The Sweet Potatoe, by #mompreneur Maria Aldana. I got to know Maria through the Instagram Challenge, The Gram Gang.
Each day Maria posted, I was impressed with her photos, creations, as well as her creative outlet under the handle @earlgraystyle.
What I have come to know about Maria is she is an incredibly supportive and motivating entrepreneur, a creative force, and a wonderful mom of an adorable young boy.
If you are new to the Creatives Corner: Behind the Scenes feature, click here to read about Laura Fedorowicz from Elle and Kay Collection, and click here to read about artist extraordinaire, Eva Alessandria.
Now on to the interview with creative entrepreneur, Maria Aldana.
How did you discover your blogging/business niche?
Last year, I created an Instagram profile to document my de-clutter journey around the home, but I ended up only posting for a week and stopped.
This past February, I posted a photo of my old makeup bag as I was starting to replace my products with green/natural beauty products. I ended up deleting the photo and again, didn’t post for a while.
Four months ago, the only Instagram account I was active on was my baby & toddler clothing line @thesweetpotatoe and I found myself posting lifestyle photos and nature and pinched myself thinking, what am I doing posting these on a kid’s clothing account?
I quickly changed my other account to @EarlGreyStyle and started posting and coincidentally at the same time found the awesome community -The Gram Gang- and started with the monthly prompts. I didn’t focus on numbers or likes, but just needed a place to post organically and authentically.
I was posting mainly as a creative outlet and didn’t really see myself starting a blog, but quickly realized this was another passion of mine. My main goal was to create content that is related to beauty, nature, style and everyday adventures/living. Since my blog is fairly new, I’m still exploring and working on where I want this to go.
Did you always have an idea of what you wanted to do?
I knew that I’ve always wanted to work in a creative field, whether it be working for a magazine, a fashion design house or at the time (wishful thinking) starting my own business.
After college, I ended up working at corporate companies in health, telecommunications, and finance. Yes, total opposite from the creative side of things. I ended up leaving my corporate job in Seattle on a whim and went back to school for fashion in New York City on a limited budget.
I interned for several different fashion designers and luxury brands and even interned at a high fashion magazine for a few days, just trying to learn everything I could about the fashion and creative industry; the ups and downs and the back-end of how these companies work. I attended networking events alone and met people from many different paths of life. Since then, I’ve never turned my back and focused on what I really wanted to do.
Who inspires you creatively? Who makes you think, “they just get me?”
I’m deeply inspired by artists, makers and creative entrepreneurs in every category. I know it’s tough to put yourself out there and be vulnerable, so it’s very inspiring to see them display their creative works/skills and watch them evolve into a business and explore their true passion. I’m also inspired by travel, photography and simple living.
@theroving, @kuskatstudio, @eva_alessandria, @elskabody, @yourampersandstudio, @happylittlehummingbird_, @aheartymatter, @simplylivandco, @iambritneygardne, @maggiegentry_, and @lineamae. – (Click on accounts above to visit the Instagram accounts).
What are your go-to hashtags for your niche?
#lifestyleblog #greenbeauty #authenticliving #keepexploring #styleiswhat
Being a creative entrepreneur, what have you learned the most about yourself and about freelancing that you feel is important to share with others?
I’ve learned to be more confident and to “own” what you do. This is something that I’m still working on every day.
Whenever opportunities arise, anxiety kicks in and I start to worry what others may think and end up over analyzing. I’ve learned to embrace opportunities, fulfill them at your best ability and to keep moving forward.
I also feel that age is only a number, I have friends who say they are too old to change careers or start a business, it’s never too late to start fresh and fulfill your passion.
How do you find work/life balance when you are feeling overwhelmed?
I find that taking time for myself with no distractions always helps when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’ll take a walk-social media free or have a nice relaxing bath in the evening and watch a movie or catch up on YouTube videos ( I’m kinda obsessed with beauty and lifestyle vloggers ) Feel free to contact me if you want to know which channels I follow. I also watch House Hunters International as my dream is to live abroad again one day! Listening to inspiring podcasts always keeps me motivated as well when I’m under pressure. Little things like this always help me with overwhelm.
What is a typical day in the life of like?
Just recently, my 3-year old son, Skye, just started half-day pre-school and my routine has changed. I’m finally an early riser! After dropping him off to school in the morning, the first part of my newfound morning includes checking emails while having tea, working on my online shop thesweetpotatoe.com and sneaking in a workout if there is time. Having this time alone keeps me motivated to stay productive. My husband works in the evenings as a chef, so this is our “quality time”, we’ll take a walk on the beach or go have a coffee somewhere and work on business stuff together. The afternoons are usually spent at home with my little one and I’m grateful to be able to work from home and grow my business.
Any current projects?
Last month, I was invited by Posh Kids magazine, (an NYC-based lifestyle magazine ) to write an article that relates to moms and beauty. At first, it caught me by surprise and as I mentioned in one of the previous questions, anxiety kicked in, but I quickly tuned out the “worry noise” and started to “own it”.
I submitted the article but didn’t hear back from them, thinking it wouldn’t be published. But, when the July cover was posted on their Instagram, I was surprised to see the title on the front page “Beauty Tips for Busy Moms”. I feature some of my favorite beauty products, two brands who are from the Gram Gang community and a few who I met from craft shows/Instagram. I’m happy to be invited again as a contributing writer for the August issue.
CREATIVES CORNER BY LeANN – PASSION PROJECT
I want to thank Maria for agreeing to be interviewed. Be sure to check out Maria’s baby and toddler’s clothing line, as well as the magazine article written by Maria in Posh Kids, by clicking the links above. If you are an artist or other creative and would like to be featured, please leave a comment below.
Later this year be sure to look for an updated look at The Sweet Potatoe along with a giveaway!
Finally, if you are an artist or creative looking for a Virtual Assistant and/or Freelance Writer to assist social media marketing, content creation, content curation, or to be FEATURED on the blog, please click here.
I look forward to hearing from you!