Wonder Mom: Nicole Alexander
Nicole Alexander is a woman who went from waiting tables to building them for Chicago’s top hospitality spaces, and she did it all with style. With a determination to own her own business, and a growing network of amazing architects and designers, Siren Betty Design was born in 2006. When she’s not designing, Nicole’s passion lies with her two kids (Stella Susan and Betty Jean) who she considers to be her favorite and most beautiful creations.
What do you do?
I balance and enjoy being a mother, wife and successful, creative business owner. I wake up every day and have one mission, to make it all happen and to do it with a smile. Even if it is forced, fake or barely there.
How did your career come into being and how did you know it was the one to run with?
I have always been surrounded by beautiful things and been creative. I grew up going to estate sales, auctions and garage sales. My parents would purchase great finds and adorn our home with them. After going to art and fashion school, funded by waiting tables and bartending, I found myself in a group of successful architects, builders, and designers. I married one of the builders and now have a beautiful family.
How has having children transformed your lifestyle?
My life has not so much transformed, but we bring our children everywhere and expose them to good food, art, nature, and people. Now, our nights just aren’t as late and our mornings start a bit earlier.
5 words to describe your personal sense of style?
It depends on my mood or the day, but eccentric, classic, retro, and easy.
How do you find time to get ready and maintain your style?
I am pretty low maintenance and I’m lucky enough to have wash-and-go hair. I get ready in 30 minutes or less, always have. My morning routine consists of: work out, breakfast for the girls, jump in the shower, pick out their clothes, get myself dressed, brush their teeth, do my makeup, and eat their leftovers.
Where do you get your energy?
I get my energy from my girls’ leftovers! I also try to work out at least 5 days a week and I like my coffee strong.
What is your spirit animal or dream superpower?
My friend Shirly always says my spirit animal is a zebra. I guess that’s about right because I’m colorful, clumsy, and…is clumsy a superpower? It might help me get out of a sticky situation.
What inspires you?
My husband and my employees inspire me. They all have great ideas and creativity. If I’m not feeling it one day, I turn to them, and they snap me out of it.
Who are your role models and why?
My husband is my role model because he is level-headed and strong-willed. He is great in any situation and he makes everything fun. My grandmother is another role model of mine. I was with her a lot as a child and we were always on some amazing adventure like camping (even if only in her yard), fishing, shopping, and sewing. We always had a good time and my oldest is named after her.
Any words that you live by?
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
What is your favorite thing to do with Stella and Betty?
My favorite thing to do with my children is outside activities in the summer, like parks and forest preserves. I love traveling with them. They have been doing it for so long and they are really good at it. We love taking them to new places and it’s exciting to see their expressions and witness their surprise. In the wintertime, we spend a lot of time cuddling by the fire (seriously) and making art.
What would you do with more time?
I would travel more with my family. Also, I would spend more time with my waxer.
How do you balance family and work?
I don’t really think about it because it happens organically. I make sure that we spend enough time together. I’m thankful to my employees for allowing me the time to do so. I would not have a balance without them.
Three products you couldn’t live without as a new mom?
What do you do to relax?
I have a drink, listen to music, and read magazines.
What time do you get up and go to bed on a typical day?
On a typical day, I’m usually up by 5 am. My bedtime is anywhere from 8:30 pm – 2 am, depending on any pending deadlines.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
I make juice out of honeydew melon, coconut water, lime, vanilla extract and cayenne pepper. Or, I eat my girls’ leftovers.
Coffee, tea, wine, tequila, or other?
Passion House coffee in the morning, any red wine in the evening, and clear tequila on the weekends. I’m not picky.
What is something that you struggle with fitting into your lifestyle and how do you deal with it?
I always make time for my eyes, mouth, and girly parts. Although I should shave and wax a bit more. Sorry, Josh! Luckily we have internet shopping or I would still be wearing my nursing bras.
Any advice for new moms, or moms who are struggling to make it all work?
My advice, don’t have a strict plan, because you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Go with the flow and it will all work out, and if it doesn’t, who cares. Your kids will always love you no matter what. Also, make time for your spouse, they are your biggest fan and your best babysitter.
ABOUT WONDER MOMS:
From Sheryl Sandberg to Marissa Mayer, women are not sacrificing themselves for their kids like they used to. Why? If you ask me, a confident and happy woman makes a better mother and role model. And whatever it takes to get her feeling that way should be done. But as a mother myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a sense of style, run a successful business and to feel like an okay parent all at the same time.
Women who are flawlessly manifesting this enchanting trifecta are the new wonder women of our times and they are my idols. So I got to wondering how they actually do it all and have it all. Is it really possible? Are they hiding something? Do they secretly never floss? I hope to answer these questions and to give the rest of us moms motivation to stay true to ourselves, live fulfilling lives and love our families as much as ever through interviews with moms who are already doing it. These are the Wonder Moms.
If you know a woman who fits this mold, please share her info with us on Twitter @metromomclub