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21 Years Ago — My Why and the Blessings that Came From It

21 Years Ago — My Why and the Blessings that Came From It

21 years

A lot can change, even the why’s.

This week marks the anniversary of my eldest son’s birth. He is the first of 3 boys that are my original why’s. 21 years ago I left my 9-5 art director position at one of the top ad agencies in WNY to be a stay-at-home mom, even though I knew I wasn’t ready to stop designing.

Was it an easy decision? No, not at all but neither was the idea of dropping him off at 6 weeks or even 12 weeks old at a daycare for 40+ hours a week in order to return to a full time job. Please hear my heart, there’s no judgement here, just letting you know how my son became my why and inspiration. I, thankfully, had options which I know many of you don’t. I honestly couldn’t bring myself to leave him when I knew I could be at home. I had a husband (still do) that was able to pay for the roof over our heads and the food on the table.

Drew just under a year old with grandma.

What was I giving up by staying home? 

  1. Nearly half our income, let that sink in. 
  2. Matching contribution to my retirement fund.
  3. A career that I loved. I loved designing and being apart of a design team.
  4. Working on projects that were interesting and challenging.
  5. I could easily become “outdated” or not marketable when I eventually would decide to go back
  6. Interaction with adults. What can I say? I’m a people person!

I didn’t know if being alone with an infant all day would turn my brain to mush. Would I be resentful that I was giving up so much? Would I feel lonely? Would I be able to continue designing? If I can’t find clients, will I become rusty not using professional design applications? Where will I find clients?

How did it turn out?

All I can say is it was the best decision I could have made. It all came together by the grace of God and I was able to freelance immediately.  My business grew through word of mouth and it fit just right with my home life. I worked during nap times during the day and evenings when the boys were down for the night — they had a great sleep schedule!

I will be forever thankful that I could stay home with my boys while bringing in an income. 

Marinette with her 3 sons

Marinette pictured with her 3 sons. It was one of her greatest joys to be home with them.

Flash forward to today

My why has changed some. I’m in the “sandwich” stage of life where I have aging parents who need my attention. There’s doctor appointments, grocery shopping, visiting with them, and so much more. Yes, the boys still need me some. Admittedly, not as much as before since 2 of the 3 have their own vehicles but I’m also there holding them accountable. My presence speaks volumes to what can and can’t go on in the house. I’ll never say my life is perfect but I am grateful for the time and flexibility to be here for my family.

I haven’t ruled out going back into the 9-5 full time world at some point in the future but for now, I still have work to do here.

Marinette with mom and dad

This is why my business is so important to me.

It allows me:

  1. Freedom — to help my family while being able to contribute financially
  2. Design — I love using my creativity to bring forth gifts and products that touch people
  3. Community — all of you who have followed along all these years and the friendships that have been developed, it means so much to me. Oh, and if you’re new, WELCOME! I hope you keep coming back! 

My Schedule

Due to my family commitments with out of office meetings and appointments, my design and print shop functions by appointment only. However, I am here most weekdays 9-5. 

People Person?

I figured out a way for me to get my people fix…I host mini shopping events in my space about once a month so I can meet you in person and get to know you! It’s a fun time with giveaways, door prizes, and coffee and goodies on us. My goal is to offer the most unique buffalo themed items that capture the true Buffalo, NY spirit. Your reactions to my designs spurs me on!

Come Join Me!

My next open house is this Saturday, March 4th, 2023 from 10-2. Click here to read more about it and let me know if you’re coming!