Mom Boss Interview: Tiffany Reimer from Passport 4 Change

It's been a hot minute (or 5) since we last featured an inspiring mom boss and I am THRILLED to say that we have a pretty amazing one joining us today! Not only is this aunt smart and hard working, she is extremely creative, as her business gives a popular tradition a unique twist. 

Mamas (and Papas), meet Tiffany Reimer:

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Tiffany, I am so excited to chat with you today! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work background?

I worked at a large bank for 5 years out of high school and although it paid well, sitting at a desk Mon-Fri 9-5 was killing me. When I was 23, I responded to an add in the newspaper looking for a flight attendant and the rest is history. I just celebrated my 20 year anniversary as a flight attendant this month. I married a pilot (so cliché) and we have been traveling the world together since 2003. We honeymooned in South Africa and met a couple from Sweden at our b&b who were also on their honeymoon. We have kept in touch and visited each other’s homes a handful of times in the last 11 years. We even spent last Christmas and New Years Skiing in Sweden with our friends.  

Why is travel so important to you and your husband, and what doors has it opened for you both personally and in terms of business?

People like to ask us where our favorite place is to travel. Every place is special for its own reasons; just some places are just more challenging than others. Our most recent trip was to Israel and Jordan. Floating in the Dead Sea was incredible and walking into the West Bank to see Bethlehem was a definite highlight. We love Germany at Christmas time and Cambodia for its unspoiled culture. Sydney Australia is a wonderful city to explore and a great place to catch a free opera in the park. We were invited to a wedding in Punjab India and our hosts made us feel like family. We find that people in other countries are hard workers trying to provide for and love their families just as we are here at home. Most people want to “do good”. Often during our travels we will pack an extra suitcase full of saved hotel soaps and shampoos and kids clothes and small toys or medical supplies. I will research an orphanage in whatever country we are traveling to and will deliver the suitcase to them. The kids welcome us and often sing us songs or give us a tour. We always feel like we get more than we give. 

What exactly is Passport 4 Change and how did you come up with the idea for it? 

Passport 4 Change is a fun and educational tooth fairy kit that takes your child’s imagination on an adventure around the world. The kit includes 20 real foreign coins, a colorful laminated world map, an optional personalized tooth fairy pillow and a passport book where your child stores their coins. Once your child has collected all their coins, they can remove the coin pages and insert their passport to begin their own adventures. 

I took my 5 year old niece to the airport for a show and tell day. We were sitting in the flight deck when I asked her where she would go if she could go anywhere in the world. She said, “Target!” Im an effort to make her world bigger, I created an educational tooth fairy kit with 20 different foreign currencies to which I attached a note from the tooth fairy about her visit to each country. I created a colorful world map, and a personalized tooth fairy pillow. I gave the kit to my sister and my niece called me a few weeks later and excitedly said, “Aunt Tiffany, the tooth fairy was just in England having tea with the Queen and she left me British Pounds!” My niece is learning about geography, math, foreign currency, time-zones and is now interested in different cultures and traditions.

If you don't mind sharing, just how does one open up a business like Passport 4 Change? Can you walk us through how you turned your idea into a unique business?

In a world where walls are going up, I think it is so important to share our differences learn from one another. My favorite quote is, “It’s difficult not to like someone once you know their story.” These real foreign coins brought by the tooth fairy are a piece of magic from another world that stimulates the imagination and sparks curiosity. After seeing the effect it had on my niece, I knew that I needed to start a business selling these kits to other families. 

Please walk us through a day in your shoes as an entrepreneur. 

Remember I said that I don’t do well with sitting at a desk so this is a perfect business for me. I get to travel and collect my coins. I have a lot of down time at airports and hotels where I sit with my computer and work on the technical things. Luckily, once I had the kits set up, it’s pretty easy to ship out when  orders come in from my website. 

How do you go about marketing your business and what tips can you give others? 

Marketing has been a challenge because this idea is a new concept so people aren’t searching for me yet. I depend on word of mouth and a little social media, which I really need to hire someone to manage. I have realized recently that I just can’t do everything. Well, I can, just not all at once.  ; ) My social medial when through an identity crisis. Do my followers want to follow me and my travels/adventures or do I need to only post about the business? My tip is to outsource when necessary. Know when to ask for help. 

Finally, what is the best thing to have happened to you because of Passport 4 Change?

So many great things have happened because of Passport 4 Change! I’ve met some incredible people along my journey! I’ve gotten pushed waaaay out of my comfort zone and grown as a result. I’ve learned so much and had so many doors open because I was out in the world being curious. I plan to donate a portion of my sales to study abroad programs to encourage young people to travel and be exposed to a different culture. One day I plan to start my own non-profit that offers scholarships. But, the BEST is when I get a message from a parent about how much their child is loving the adventure and how much they are learning about our world. One parent told me that during the Olympics, her daughter said that she wanted to watch China and Italy because that’s where the tooth fairy had been. Or, "Thank you for the brilliant idea and twist on the Tooth-fairy. Not only is it educational, it's fun. My son is excited to mark the map with his foreign money!" Or, "My daughter felt so special that the Tooth Fairy came all the way from England to give her a coin!” Or, “My daughter says kids at her school are getting money from the tooth fairy but I like mine better because my tooth fairy travels.” These are the things that keep me pushing forward. 

Is anyone else itching for their 4-year-old's teeth to begin falling out so they can order a Passport 4 Change?! To order your own -- or to learn more about the company -- please visit the Passport 4 Change website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Mom Boss Interview: Nancy Miracle from Miracle Farms

I am so so excited about today's mom boss, not only because she is one of the hardest working and most talented people I know, but because she is my mother-in-law as well :P If you know my "Mamma Nancy," you know she does it all: Farming, crafting, selling, flipping, AND working full-time at a school... she is seriously AMAZING (and she puts 100% into everything she does). I can go on and on about this fabulous woman, but I will let her tell you the rest:

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Nancy, can you please tell our readers who haven't had the pleasure to meet you more about you?

I am 55 years old and have worked for South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative for the past 5 years. Basically I travel to 15 South Central Schools and help Special Ed students find jobs and get them job experience. I love my job but I do look forward to my summers when I can stay home and pursue my own interests such as working with my animals and canning and whatever else I decide to make. This year I am expanding my interests to making lotions, exfoliating lotions, bath bombs, candles and play dough for the kids.  

You have worn many hats over the years in terms of your careers, so can you tell us a little bit of what types of jobs you have had since you began working?

I've had many jobs over the years from fast food to banking to beauty products to Home Improvement to womens clothing, novelty and para.  I often held two and for a while 3 jobs at the same time.

I grew up on a  farm up in North Dakota and never really appreciated how wonderful it truly was until after I moved off when I graduated from high school.  I've lived in town since I was 18.  I've been a "city girl" from then until about 4 years ago. I never thought I would ever live on a farm again, but I always thought it would be nice to lie in the country on a little "Hobby Farm", but still have our regular jobs in town.

Fast forward to when you met your (now) husband a few years ago... you made a pretty big change by moving from the city to the country! Did you know from the start that you were going to start a side business from your new farm?

I met Russell on line about 6 years ago.  He also lived in town and works as a mechanic.  He had lived on a farm as a kid and also wanted a place out in the country.  So when I decided to move 2 hours away from my home to go live with and marry Russell, shortly after, we found a place in the country and decided to buy it.

When I say you do it all, I mean you do. it. all. For those of our readers who may not know you in real life, what all do you make and sell from your farm?

When we moved to the country I had no idea at the time that I would get so involved in gardening canning and especially my animals.  Honestly, Russell is more of the gardener, but like he says, I sure do like to sell it at the Farmer's Market.  I however, really enjoy my animals.  We started out with a few baby chicks that Russell surprised me with and put them in a small building that was already there and built them a pen.  It didn't take long and my few chicks and one house and pen turned into 9!  Before I knew it I had over 150 chickens!  I had ducks, geese and turkeys for a while but decided to just stick with chickens.

Once the word got out that I had chickens the egg orders started coming in!  So the first thing off my farm that I started selling were my eggs. 

I have 6 different breeds of chickens that I incubate their eggs and then sell them at a poultry auction that's held once a month.  From chickens we quickly went to pigs, cows and goats!  Along with several cats, two German Shepard dogs and one boarder collie.  Oh, and I can't forget my peacocks Romeo and Juliet!

How do you sell your products? Do you do anything online or is it all in person?

The first year out at our farm we noticed tons of sand plums growing.  And I decided I wanted to try and make sand plum jelly.  That was a big hit, so then I tried watermelon jelly and that too did very well.  Once the garden started producing I started selling at the Farmer's Market.  My produce, jellies and salsa, which I make from my own home grown vegetables, sold so well that I now sell at two different Farmer's Markets once a week.  This year I decided to try a few other things.

If you had to choose one of your side businesses as your favorite, which would it be?

I love making things and it's very rewarding when I can sell it to people who really enjoy it and also make a little profit from it! I'm always coming up with different things to make.  (Oh, I can't forget my zucchini bread made from my home grown zucchini and pumpkin bread made from my home made pumpkins!)  I also make signs  etc. from pallets

Can I say on here that I am also making home made wine and beer?  The beer I haven't quite mastered yet but the apple wine is the best!!  Of course I can't sell that but my family members sure like it when Christmas comes around!

In closing, I have to give kudos to my wonderful husband who is my biggest supporter! He encourages me in everything I do!  No matter how outrageous it seams he says "Whatever you want. If it makes you happy, why not?"

Mom Boss Interview: Laurel Ludwicki from Young Living

Funny story about today's mom boss interviewee...

Back in 2012, I started a cooking/lifestyle blog that turned into a family update blog that turned into a lonely blog that hasn't been updated since August (I really, really need to update all of Gabe's info... my poor second baby). Anyway, back when it was a cooking/lifestyle blog, I made some good blogging friends, including the lovely Laurel, who was pregnant/gave birth a few weeks after we had our Jackson. 

Fast forward FOUR YEARS and I get a message on IG from Laurel checking in and re-introducing herself!! So, so cool! Anyway, we got to talking and I found out that Laurel is a Young Living Independent Distributor, which -- aside from Usborne -- is the only MLM I will buy (Thieves Cleaner and Stress Away = life), so I was so excited to introduce her and her business to you all! 

Without further ado, meet Laurel:

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I always like to start these interviews off by finding out more about you and your background, so can you give us a little blurb about who you are and what you did before getting married and having your two beautiful children?

I have been a restaurant gal for most of my adult life. A flexible schedule and lots of interaction with my customers has always appealed to me. I loved being able to go to work, do my job and then not take any stress or responsibility home with me. It made the work - life balance manageable for me. I have worked for the same major brewery for the last 10 years, dabbling in many different departments. I tried my hand at marketing, educating, and managing, where I had the opportunity to take an 8 week long personal development course! Strangely enough, it made me realize that I didn’t want to work 40+ hours a week, late nights away from my (future) babies to just get by. I wanted something I could be proud of, something I could feel passionate about and challenged by, which led me to wanting to start my own business of some sort! 

Have you always been a stay-at-home mom or was there ever a time you worked out of the house?

Once our son came into the picture, I cut way back on my hours at the brewery. I had wanted to be a mama for so long, I couldn’t handle paying someone else to raise him. Luckily, my husband is a chef so our schedules are relatively flexible and we could move things around to have minimal childcare. Once our daughter arrived, my Young Living business was starting to make a major impact on our finances, and now I work 1-2 days a week out of the house, more for socialization and a break! It has made me appreciate that adult time and interaction a lot more, but I still miss my babies like crazy! 

With all of the direct sales companies out there, what about Young Living did you find the most appealing?

I never intended to grow a Young Living business when I got a Premium Starter Kit (the best way to get going). I just thought I was supporting a friend in her business, I wanted a better diffuser than the cruddy one I had from Whole Foods, and I wanted to see if oils would actually do everything I’d heard they could. 

As with most network marketing businesses, I got plugged into some Facebook groups right away and was blown away by the supportive and thriving community. People of all walks of life helping each other with daily issues we all face and business tools that were smart and not too salesy or in your face. Then I saw the Income Disclosure statement: https://static.youngliving.com/en-US/IMAGES/incomedisclosurestatement_image_us.jpg

And I realized there was a huge potential for this business to have a substantial financial impact on my family. A few things I love about YL as a business: 

  • don’t have to carry inventory. The majority of sales go through the website and involved helping people get their own accounts. From time to time, I’ll sell some oils or products in person but I don’t stock any for that specific reason. 
  • a culture and core values that align with my own. I’ve always been natural minded, and sought out ways to keep myself and my family well that are low impact on our bodies and the earth. The sustainability and community visions of YL are incredible and make me feel like I’m in the right place. 
  • the ability to build a business my way and in the time I have available. We don’t have sales quotas or required volume (other than approx $100/ month to qualify for ranks, which is easy to spend on products we use daily) Our team has a ‘share, don’t sell’ motto, which makes it easy to grown a business! I share what and how I use my YL products and go from there! 
  • The product line! Oh my gosh  I had no idea YL had more than just oils. It is easy to spend the $100 a month when I can grab household staples like Household Cleaner, laundry detergent, personal care products, makeup, supplements and even food! The company is transparent and conscientious in its ingredients, so I feel confident using them for our whole family and knowing we aren’t being inadvertently harmed.  

What has working with Young Living done for you and your family? Do you think it has given you opportunities you may not have had otherwise?

Definitely. I’ve stepped into a leadership and education role that I’ve always wanted, deep down. I feel much more confident in who I am as a person, so I feel much better equipped to serve others. It has allowed me to afford the things I want for my family, while allowing me to work from home and actually raise my children.

When you're a mom working from home, no two days are alike, but if you had to describe a "normal" day in your life, how does it look? How many hours a day/week do you dedicate to your business?

A normal day, HA! As you know, we try to have schedules for our kiddos, it helps their day go smoother if they know what to except! 

I always tell my team this business is built in 5 minute increments, because some days that’s all I can manage! I am starting to have my sitter come once a week for a few hours so I can work from home and actually focus. 

Here is a loose look at what a typical day may look like for me. 

7am ish - kids wake up. We make coffee and they have some snacks and water while I check the virtual office and catch up on group messages. I like to write a task list of 3-5 things I need to do for my business and team. Having it written down help me ensure it will get done! 

9am - take Henryk (4) to preschool and come back home. 

10:30am Give Annika a bottle and put down for a nap. 

10:31 - 12:30pm - shower, speed clean my house and then bust out as much work as possible. Things like follow up with interested friends, craft educational posts for my team, live videos, create and edit classes, pack giveaways, share business advice with my team, take and edit product photos, and so many other tasks that need accomplishing! 

12:31 - 1ish - feed Annika lunch and create social media post about what YL products I’m using that day and why! 

1-4pm: hang out with the kids. Go to a park, hike, build things at home, watch and movie and cuddle... I try to make a window of time during the day where I can be present with them and not distracted by my phone. I use it CONSTANTLY to stay connected. 

4ish - start making dinner for the family. Sometimes I’ll play a personal development podcast or listen to a tedtalk while I prep to keep my mind engaged. Hubby comes home around this time (YAY!) 

6:30 - Annika bath and bedtime routine 

7:15 - Henryk bath and bedtime routine 

8pm - kids in bed, wine in hand! I try to spend a few nights a week hanging with my hubby technology free, but I often run FB classes at 8pm! If I have projects to do, I’ll bang those or after bedtime! 

Even though it may not seem like much, I probably spend 1-2 hours a day on business stuff, sometimes more if I have a class running. I sneak in 5-10 minute work sessions where I can, checking messages, answering questions, helping where needed! 

What is your favorite way to market your business? Do you find one social media channel to be more effective than another?

I like using Facebook and Instagram, simply because that’s where I’m most active. It’s easy to reach a large amount of people for free, and create a culture they want to be involved in. 

I also LOVE to get together in person and teach! One on ones, groups, make & takes, whatever! Classes are VERY effective for growing your business, so people can actually smell and try the oils or other products and experience how to use them before diving in. 

What is the best part of working from home? 

Making my own schedule of course! I love not having to take a sick day if my babies are down, I love being able to call a sitter randomly for a date, and I love being able to make spontaneous plans! Working from home means my family is deeply woven into my brand and my business. H is always making guest appearances in my videos and it’s become something people love and expect. It also shows them that I’m just a normal mama and if I can make it work, they can too!  I love that I can have a real life with my family and raise them how I want. 

Do you have a favorite YL memory? 

Oh man, so many! A fave would probably be our Silver Retreat trip I qualified for last fall. Myself, James and some other women on our team stormed Utah and visited one of YL’s farms, ate some amazing food and just spent some quality time getting pampered and being poured into. I love YLs dedication to help their leaders develop to become impactful in all aspects of their life, not just for the company. 

To get in touch with Laurel, visit her website or Instagram.

Mom Boss Interview: CallieJo Schilling from Usborne Books & Backyard Creations

Alright, ladies and gentlemen, moms and dads: I am so so so excited about today's Mom Boss, as she is not only extremely inspirational and talented, but also a distant relative on my husband's side that I just met (thanks, Aunt Paulette!). Side Hustle Mom: Meet CallieJo Schilling. CallieJo is an amazing wife, mom, and business woman who is not only hardworking, but smart, as she holds both a Bachelors in Elementary Education AND a Masters in Teaching and Learning. (Major #goals, right?) Without further ado, here is the incredible CallieJo:

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CallieJo, you wear A LOT of hats in your family, but I know the most important of all is that of wife and mother. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?

I am a South Dakota girl born and raised on a farm/ranch by Lowry, SD. I met my husband, Jess, when we both were working at the Akaska Bait Shop. He was a fishing/hunting guide and part-time bartender. We got married in 2009, that same year my husband also worked on the farm for my parents. I taught 1st grade, Title I Reading and Math, and Kindergarten for 5 years. In that time, we had our son Eli (5 yrs now) and daughter Raelynn (3 yes now). January 2013 I started Backyard Creations, my embroidery/sewing business, while teaching and helping on the farm. After my daughter was born in 2015, I went to work full time on the farm, continued running Backyard Creations, and that fall I was able to continue my love for teaching and reading by becoming an Usborne Books and More Consultant.

You grew up on a farm and still help out quite a bit with the day-to-day work that comes with this vital profession. What is your job in running the ranch and what does it entail?

On the farm, I am a hired hand and also help do the bookkeeping. So during planting season, I help my dad and husband with the planting. This time of year we are also calving our cows and heifers so I assist with this too, making sure that the calves are born, tagged, given their shots, and kept healthy. Throughout the summer I help with checking the cows in the pasture, helping my dad and husband with spraying the fields and other day to day farm duties. When fall comes, I run grain cart during harvest and when we bring the cows home from pasture we assist with feeding cows. Year round I’m assisting with the book work, so I’m helping keep track of what is done to each field and putting all the expenses and income into the computer for tax purposes. Also,I assist my mom with other secretary duties for the farm.

As if that didn't keep you busy enough, you are also an Usborne Books distributor (which is one of the very few direct sales companies I will buy from, which should tell you something about the quality of these books)! How long have you been working with Usborne and what has it done for your family?

I have been with Usborne Books and More since August of 2016. I love reading and want to share my love of reading and literacy with as many children as possible. This last January, I signed was able to become and educational consultant as well. This business has helped my family purchase supplies to finish our basement, but Christmas presents, and also add to our kids’ future CDs.

Do you have tips for any moms (or dads!) out there thinking of becoming an Usborne Consultant?

Usborne Books and More is so great, they are flexible and allow you to work your own schedule. I have been able to hold parties, cards for a cause fundraisers, and book fairs all around my busy schedule. I figure out what days/nights I have available and want to work and they start to fill those dates with parties or our other programs we offer. So I make my schedule and follow as best as I can, making sure I set aside at least four 20 minute periods throughout the week for me to work on this business.

In addition to raising a family, farming, AND selling Usborne, you also run a sewing and embroidery business! How did you get started with this?

My love for sewing started back when I was 7 years old and began sewing my own clothes for 4-H. I loved creating new outfits, quilts, and many other projects every year. Each year I would spend many hours sewing with my grandma and entering these projects in 4-H. I became fascinated with embroidery and the machines when I was 9 and set the goal to own my own machine someday. In January 2013, my husband and I purchased my 10 needle embroidery machine and started Backyard Creations. I started with doing embroidery and sewing work for family, friends, and some local customers. Now I have been kept busy with sewing quilts, Hooded ponchos, embroidering caps, t-shirts, coats and much more.

If you don't mind my asking, what was the investment you had to make in starting your embroidery business (buying machinery, materials, etc.)? Would you say it has paid off? Would you recommend it to other creative moms?

My investment in my embroidery/sewing business was purchasing an embroidery machine and all the supplies (stabilizers, bobbins, threads, and such). I also purchased some sweaters, caps, baby blankets and etcetera to stitch on. One nice thing is I had already owned my own sewing machine from years of sewing in 4-H. This has paid off. I’ve learned many things from this business and have accomplished many things. I’m in the process of finding and purchasing a long arm quilting machine to help with putting the many t-shirt quilts together. I love seeing my daughters interest in this business at three years old. If you have something you love to do, for example sewing or creating thing, think about how you can use that ability/hobby to help your family out. It feels great to be able to help my family out by doing what I love.

What does a day in your shoes look like? With all the hats you wear, I am guessing you get maybe a solid 3 hours of sleep each night, right? (Seriously, how do you do it all?!)

Every day is different depending on the time of year. Right now my day consists of waking up early to get my son ready for school, eat breakfast, and get on the bus. Then I try to fit in a 30 minute workout (for some me time ) and then get my daughter up and ready for the day. Within this time my husband has been up and gone to the farm for the day. Once my daughter is ready, we head out to help on the farm. Many times she rides with me in the tractors and things and other times my mom watches her so I can help my dad and husband with other things on the farm (checking cows, planting, etc). Most times I’m able to be home by 4 pm when my son gets off the bus (except for harvesting, that time of year it’s closer to 9 pm before I get home). I spend time with my two kiddos doing homework, playing games and exploring the outdoors. After supper, the kids are to bed usually around 7:30 and then I begin to multi-task on my embroidery/sewing projects and covering what needs to be done with my Usborne Books and More business until my husband gets home. I guess you can say I’m a lady who doesn’t usually need a ton of sleep. There are some nights, when the farm has kept me busy for a few days, that I work on my embroidery/sewing projects until the wee hours of the nights just so I can finish a project or two. I just seem to find time here and there and use it to accomplish what I can. I guess you can say I love to keep busy.

Okay, now if you absolutely HAD to choose, which job would you say is your favorite?

Oh my, to choose which job is my favorite is super hard. I absolutely love being on the farm helping my dad and husband while being able to raise my two kids the way I grew up on the farm and enjoying the outdoors. I’m able to spend lots of time with my family, which is my favorite thing to do. This wouldn’t be possible with the hard work from my husband and my Backyard Creations and Usborne Books and More businesses; which, I love completely. My Usborne Books and More business has brought me some awesome new friendships and meeting people from all over the United States while sharing books and the importance of reading with kids and young adults. My Backyard Creations business allows me to make time for my favorite hobby of sewing.