“Be present as these moments go by fast”

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Q&A with Violette de Ayala

Today’s a big day! Femfessionals Kansas City is celebrating it’s one year anniversary. While I couldn’t be more excited to recognize the amazing women {like her and her and her} who make our community great, it will also be bittersweet as I pass on the presidency in preparation for my upcoming move.

My year launching Femfessionals in Kansas City wouldn’t even have been possible without the woman behind it all. While I’ve never met Violette de Ayala in person, I’ve shared countless conversations with her by phone, email and social platforms.

Not only did Violette teach me the profound impact we can have on one another {often without even knowing one another in the tradition sense}, but she’s showed me {and thousands of others} that we become our best, most successful selves when we lift up one another.

Self-promo time. What do you do?

I am the Founder and CEO of Femfessionals and committed to helping millions of women grow business together, in positivity and in harmony according to their vision.

If that wasn’t your gig, what do you think you’d be doing?

I would be an Angel Investor helping women entrepreneurs grow business! Same thing, but from another perspective.

What on your resume led you here?

I launched my first business at the age of 22 and haven’t stopped launching businesses. I have owned companies in personal training, Pilates, marketing and PR industries. All of my past experience helps me serve women globally from the understanding of knowing how to create a business from scrap funding and limited time. I personally know the real struggle of launching businesses while raising a family and juggling life and work and all the other stuff in between.

It sounds like you’re paying it forward!

The number one question I get is “how do you do it?” As a result, I teach many classes sharing my method of duplicating your productivity in half the time of the norm.

What has been your own biggest setback?

The hardest challenge has been what many women entrepreneurs experience themselves: a lack of funding. More and more companies share through the arms of advertisement how they invest in women and their businesses. Yet still, its incredibly difficult for women to find outside funding. We didn’t have the financial funding/support like some of the other organizations. We had to wear many hats and work 75-hour work weeks and make less then minimum wage a few times. We are not alone in that scenario. I hope to personally change this in the future.

What keeps you motivated?

Hearing the ways our organization has changed the lives of thousands of women. They have grown businesses together, shifted their lives to walk in their purpose and become friends along the way. That’s the best! I love to see our FEMS connect on social media and work together to lift one another up.

Finish this sentence. If I could go back and do it all again, I wish someone would have told me that…

…it will all work out and stop the stressing.

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What is a typical day like for you?

My typical day is a sitcom on Comedy Central! The standard is 6 am wake up with some email responses. 7 am out the door with the two girls {one on a bus stop and the other directly to school}. I hit Equinox to work out because it makes me a better human. I work back to back until 3 pm carpool. Then 4 pm carpool. Then the pick ups between girl scouts, volleyball and all the other playdates and activities. After dinner and homework time, I connect back at work from 7-9 and then work again from 9:45-10:30. I work on Sunday’s a bit to prepare for the week and that is my golden hour.

They say it takes a village. Who helps you with your kiddos?

It takes a planet!!! My village {aka. my planet} is composed of my neighbors, my girlfriends and other mommies. Steve is a great dad and works a lot of hours during the week. On the weekends he helps out and takes the kids out so I have some downtime. I have a great support system.

What’s the best part about being a mom?

The best part of being a mom is witnessing three humans change the world through their kindness and service to others. All three of our little ones, in their own way, are authentic in their connection of how they want to leave their legacy. It’s beautiful to know the world is a better place because of these kiddos.

Any advice for working moms?

Create a network with other moms to help you and be sure to dedicate quality time to your kids. Schedule off work hours/no wifi connectivity time. Be present as these moments go by fast. The worst regret is not being there for those moments that seem ordinary but turn out to be filled of lifetime highlights. Be. Present.

I’m on a quest to having it all. Do you think you have it all?

We all have our own personalized visions, our own desires and goals. “Having it all” {as I define it} is a fluid state of mind that continues from one platform to another one. We never arrive at the state of perfection but instead flow continuously within harmony to our next great milestone. Everything in life is compromise and balance, and between those lines is the sweet spot of having it all. To discover that delicate balance is indeed the gold of the topic.

I always ask my mamas if there is anything else they want to share at the end of their interview. Violette ended with these words: support other women by purchasing from their stores, using their services, recommending them to others and being there to lift others up when needed.


Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.

“Helping every kid be active, be social and belong”

Q&A with Deb Wiebrecht

I first met Deborah Wiebrecht when she was stepping into her role as Executive Director of a local chapter of a not-for-profit. She set up a meeting to ask for some free promotions and left with a new member of the young professional leg of the organization. Not only is Deb an incredible mom making a difference, but her ability to make you want to be a better person is also a persuasive recruiting tactic!

Deb is a refreshing burst of energy {when asked what her biggest challenge is professionally she admitted to making a few mistakes as she’s always going 100 mph!} and someone who lives and breathes the mission of her work. If you know Deb, you know who she serves for a living.

Self-promo time. Tell me what you do and how long you’ve been doing it.

I’ve been the Executive Director of Variety Children’s Charity- Variety KC for 5 years. Variety KC has been helping local kids with special needs for 80 years. Helping every kid be active, be social and belong!

If that wasn’t your gig, what do you think you’d be doing?

It’s funny. This is the perfect job for me because it includes everything I love: kids, helping others, marketing, selling promoting and making an impact and difference that is tangible in other’s lives! I love children because they are authentic and their hearts are true and to see them shine is energizing. But if I had to choose another dream job….hmmm. I was Miss Wisconsin-USA and being Miss USA would have been my earlier dream job. Traveling around the United States making a difference and impacting others lives with a platform- that’s a Dream Job. I was also the host of a National TV show and that was super fun. Combining those two would be the perfect job, a national title for exposure and credibility on a TV show. Making a real difference to a large audience and motivating others to do the same. Maybe I should create a realty show with Variety KC on TLC!

I would watch that! You get to work with amazing kids every day. Does any particular story stand out?

Every day I hear of a life changing story. People post on our Facebook and write blogs on how we have changed their child’s life, from providing a communication device so a child can communicate with his parents for the first time {telling them pain levels, how they feel, or that they love them} to riding an adaptive bike for the first time to get exercise and belong like the other neighborhood kids. My most recent story was a Facebook message from a mom that I will share with you:

You probably don’t remember meeting us, but we were at Arrowhead for the Taylor Swift concert September 2011. You and your husband approached us with Ethan and you asked about him, talked to him and were so kind.

What you don’t know is how much that meant to me. Ethan had been discharged from Children’s Mercy earlier that same week after having a heart valve replaced and we weren’t even sure until that day that he could tolerate going to the concert. He had been in heart failure for months, and we had spent all summer fighting it with hospital stays and meds and he had missed so much school and events due to his condition. And the thought of him having to possibly miss seeing his favorite singer in concert broke my heart. I was angry and struggling with the whys of everything surrounding Ethan’s illness and his life struggles and the difficulty of being a special needs parent. Then you came up to him and acknowledged him when most people look away or avoid him. You treated him with such respect and kindness, my heart soared. And my whys were answered that night. Why I was given the honor of being Ethan’s mom-struggles and all-it was so I would meet some of the most amazing people, and you are definitely one of those people.

Thank you for all you do for our special kiddos. And thanks for taking those few moments, on your personal time with your family, to stop and make Ethan feel special. It did not go unnoticed and will never be forgotten.

I would love for my family to get involved with Variety’s events and continue to foster their goal of inclusion for all our special kids. Please let me know how we can help.

Ethan’s parents

The best part of Variety is the families we serve that become an extension of our family, and many of them give back with time and volunteering. It’s amazing that I may fundraise to provide medical equipment for a child, but the families feel the gift is much bigger than that. We provide inclusion and a sense of belonging for their family, so they give back to Variety twofold.

Moms making a difference

What is a typical day like for you?

No day is the same. I am an early bird. I walk 4 miles at 5:45 a.m. with a friend for my girl time, exercise and free talk therapy. Then my day is surrounded by meeting interesting people. It’s a lot of meetings, organizing events, creating social media posts and newsletters, writing grants, communicating with board of directors, creating fundraisers, and ordering equipment. I try to meet 1,000 people a year to connect into our mission, write hand written thank you notes {if possible} and I always make time to drive thru for a Starbucks Venti Skim Latte!

You’re working on a big event right now. Tell us about it.

The Annual Variety Show 2016. We called it Variety Show to help promote our brand, which is to work with a variety of kids with a variety of special needs. So we host a fundraising event that uses a variety of talent to help entertain and to raise funds for these awesome kids. It will be this Saturday, April 9th at the Midland presented by HyVee. Comedian Gary Gulman, singer-Drew Six, artist Mike Debus, a Photo Bus, a Kendra Scott Jewelry Pull, local restaurants, open bar and a variety of fun Silent and Live auction items!

They say it takes a village. Who helps you with your kiddos?

You are always a mom, whether your kids are babies, teens or adults, you never stop worrying, praying and celebrating their highs and lows…ever! My husband is amazing and funny! We had a pact that I raise the kids from ages 1-7 and he got everything over that age. He is calm, understanding and so smart.

What’s the best part about being a mom?

Loving on your kids and showering them with attention and surprises. Trying to create happy memorable moments for their personal history. Being a mom is the most rewarding journey in life, and you’re not limited by being a biological mom. You can be a positive inspiration to any child you come in contact with, sometimes it just starts with a genuine smile, kind words or act of goodness that may be that moment that inspires someone forever.

What’s your best piece of advice for other working moms?

Use every experience or volunteer opportunity, good or bad, and learn from it, save it and use it!

I’m on a quest to having it all. Do you think you have it all?

Wow! I’m impressed with your goal. I do not have it all, but I do have what I need!

There are a number of ways to get involved with Variety Children’s Charity both in Kansas City and other cities nationwide.

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.