Current City: Barrington, IL
Hometown: Hawthorn Woods, IL
Hey Mary Jo! So glad you’re here right now, I’m absolutely living for all that you do! Tell me about your life as a Mompreneur and how you got started with your career as a Market Developer and Recruiter for Rodan+Fields?
Well first off, thank you SO very much for even considering me worthy to be featured in your incredible blog! I am beyond flattered! Honestly, life is crazy busy. Between my businesses, hubby, 3 kiddos ages 5 and under, and our dog, there really never is a dull moment! Although I tend to bounce from daycare drop off, to meetings, to preschool pick up, to after school activities, to evening events, the beauty in this lifestyle is that I can schedule everything around the most important thing in my life- my family!
How did you get started working as a Real Estate Broker?
I have been intrigued by real estate for as long as I can remember! My Dad has been investing in real estate since I was a kid and I have always looked up to and admired the businessman, investor (and Dad!!) that he is! After almost 10 years in the corporate world, an unexpected layoff left me questioning the next step and one day my husband looked at me and said “You have always wanted to get into real estate and I think you would be great. Now is the time to do it!”
Ok so let’s be honest, your kids are SO adorable and you have such a beautiful family! What advice would you give to other mom’s who are also trying to pursue their passions, and work/life balance?
Oh goodness, you are so sweet, thank you!! I was raised with the morals and values that family is always number one. After having my oldest child I quickly began to realize that I was seriously struggling with the idea of spending the next 30-35 years in the corporate world, missing out on field trips, school pick ups and just the overall ability to have the time freedom I so desperately desired. When the opportunity to venture into the world of entrepreneurialism came into my life, I jumped in with the mindset that if I worked hard enough and stayed focused I could create an incredible life for me and my hubby and our kiddos. My best advice to others grinding to pursue their dreams is to always keep their “why” at the forefront of their mind. As for work/life balance…as busy as some days and weeks are, I know in my heart that I am heading in the direction that I was destined to be. That, combined with the fact that I am at school pick up at 2:50pm everyday, make it all worth it!
I love how authentic and transparent you are in your Facebook videos. I feel like I’m talking to one of my friends I’ve known for years. How do you think Facebook has helped people connect with you, and helped you build your business?
I am truly so flattered by your kind words- thank you! Facebook is pretty incredible in that it is one of the few resources available that allows family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc to connect seamlessly and globally to share everything from their favorite pizza joint to an amazing vacation to major life events to their businesses and everything in between! It has given me the opportunity to connect with people who are newer in my life all the way back to those childhood friends that I may have lost touch with and without this ease of connectivity, I can honestly say that I don’t know if I would be where I am today!
Have you experienced any challenges being a full-time mom and an independent business owner? How did you overcome these challenges?
To be very honest, although I absolutely love being an independent business owner I find it a bit more challenging to keep my roles of “Mom” and “business owner” completely separate. In an effort to be the best wife, mom and entrepreneur that I can be, I try to work my booty off while my kiddos are at school/daycare and my hubby is at work so when everyone is home at the end of the day I can be as “present” as possible. It is definitely a work in progress!
Who are some of your favorite business women or entrepreneurs that you look up to and have inspired your work?
I would have to say that Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields are absolutely high up on that list for me! Not only did they create Proactiv, which, as we all know is WILDLY successful, but when their clients were looking for skincare solutions for skin concerns other than acne, they created their namesake brand to help millions and millions of people! Furthermore, they still practice dermatology today! It’s hard for me to imagine achieving the kind of success they have achieved, and at such an early point in their career and still being motivated to practice medicine and continue to help so many people!! That combined with their business decision to allow people, like me, to partner with them and create my own legacy…truly unbelievable!!
Tell me one thing that most people may not know about you.
Well…I am going to guess that most people don’t know that I have been playing piano by ear since I was about 4 years old! According to my Momma (who is absolutely one of my best friends in the whole world!), I used to climb up on the piano bench and play commercial jingles or songs that I had heard on the radio. She then immediately enrolled me in lessons, which I continued with for about 10 years! After my husband and I got married, we decided that the first “big” purchase we were going to make was a Grand Piano…which now sits in my foyer!
Are there any projects you are working on, and/or upcoming events that we should know about?
I actually just hosted an event at my house last week for my neighbors! We have only been living in our current house for a couple of years and since there were so many people that I had yet to meet, I thought it would be a really fun way to get to know eachother better, have some yummy food, drink some wine and share a bit more about my skincare business! It was awesome and SO much fun!! (I don’t even know how many bottles of wine we went through, which I consider a success!!) I host and attend several events around the Chicagoland area every month, which are always a good excuse to get out, have a drink and collaborate with amazing women!
What is your most proud moment or milestone that you have achieved as a Mompreneur?
Well, 2017 was a pretty incredible year in my “Mompreneur” world! My husband and I welcomed our 3rd little love bug in May and even they we were crazy busy with a newborn and adjusting to being a family of 5, in an attempt to be forever forward-moving, I put the pedal to the meddle and achieved a milestone in June that put me in the top 2% of Rodan+Fields consultants! Not only was the title recognition amazing but it went on to qualify me for a free leadership retreat on a cruise in the Bahamas this past January! As if that wasn’t exciting enough, I finished up the year at a milestone that put me in the top 1% of all Rodan+Fields consultants. I guess I could say that there were a few “milestone” moments last year!!
Now let’s get a little more personal! Tell me your favorite:
- Summer activity: Anything outside- specifically gardening or boating!
- Band or music artist: At the moment, Imagine Dragons. I love SO many of their songs but my theme song right now is “Whatever It Takes”! I also love Sia and the song “Never Give Up”! Seriously though, I love all kinds of music- from pop to alternative to musical soundtracks to italian opera and on and on!
- Restaurant in your neighborhood: Shakou – it’s a Sushi/Japanese restaurant with an awesome atmosphere! Kind of a little piece of the city life in downtown Barrington!
- Clothing boutique: I am a bargain shopper, for sure, so you’d probably find me at Nordstrom Rack!
- Lipstick: Hard Candy Plumping Serum Volumizing Lip Gloss in color “Girl Next Door”
- Bravo TV Housewife: Hmmm…this is so tough! I guess I would say Kyle Richards because she really seems to keep her family at the center of her universe!
And let’s get a little more personal, shall we:
- If you won $20 million dollars in the lottery, what would you do with that money? To be very honest, I probably woudn’t really do anything different (except maybe not stress about bills so much!). I know that sounds weird but I love my hubby, kiddos, family, house, etc and adding a ton of money wouldn’t change any of that!! Ok…after further thought…I’m going to throw the cliche out and say “We’d be going to Disney World!” (because our oldest REALLY wants to 😉
- How did your husband propose? May 30, 2009- It was an AMAZING night! We had a wonderful dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse in downtown Chicago, followed by a ride on the famous Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier! As we got to the top of the Ferris Wheel, he got down on one knee and proposed!! Since it was a Saturday in the summer, there was live music on the pier and fireworks and my husband then surprised me with a gorgeous corner suite at the Swissotel!
- How would you describe your best friend in 3 words? Funny, Loving, Organized
- What is the last good book that you’ve read? Currently reading “You are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen SIncero
- What’s your favorite song on your current dance playlist? Can’t Stop the Feeling- Justin Timberlake (thanks to the Trolls Movie, hehe)
- New York City or LA? LA
- Who is your male celebrity crush? Robbie Amell- I think he is such a cutie (and kind of resembles my hubby!)
- 3 things on your bucket list? This is so sad but honestly, I don’t really have a bucket list, haha!! There are definitely things on our “home improvement” list and I’d love to start sneaking in some family getaways but otherwise, I feel SO blessed and fulfilled with the life that we have created and I can’t really imagine what could make it better!