Dreamer, Designer, Artist... And Mama

Lele Chan Designs

What’s your name, and how many kids do you have
Real name is Alethea (which is Greek for ’Truth’), but everyone calls me LeLe - pronounced ‘laylay' - (the Filipino childhood nickname that stuck).  I have two daughters.  Kiana is 12 and going to high school this September (eek!) and Kaya is 9.

What is your business + how did you get inspired to start it
Graphic Design, Stationery, Branding & Calligraphy.  I’ve always loved typography, writing, and creating beautiful things.  I’ve dabbled in a lot of different creative type jobs, but through it all I always did graphic design & art on the side.  One day I decided to just embrace it run with it and I’m so glad I did. 

Now that the business is up and running, what does “balance” (or lack of) look like for you
Balance - it seems so elusive.  But I guess that I do have balance, as I’m able to work mostly from home, and I’m able to spend quality time with the family.  As long as I can keep my clients happy, have some me-time, couple time and family time, I feel balanced.

What is one of your struggles
OMG - TAXES!  It makes me dread spring, and even though every year I get through it, it’s always a painful process that involves screaming and tears.

Family

I’ve often been criticized for the amount of time I spend away from home and my kids, but honestly I think I’m showing them that they can have any life they want and they can chase their dreams.

What is something you do just for yourself/what does self care look like for you
Travel. Although a lot of my travels are technically work trips - I jump at every singe opportunity that will put me on a plane and feed my wanderlust.  I have the support of a stay-at-home husband which gives me the freedom to travel, and because I love what I do, it never really feels like work.  I’ve often been criticized for the amount of time I spend away from home and my kids, but honestly I think I’m showing them that they can have any life they want and they can chase their dreams.  They’re also so well taken care of at home because they have the best dad, so I never feel like I’m neglecting them.

Something you know now, that you wish you knew before you became a mama
That being a mama doesn’t mean I have to give up my dreams.  When I first became a mom, I was terrified and angry ( I was 25 years old and a newlywed, so I thought that it meant my life would be over & I would just knit from then on).  I wasted so much time being lonely and depressed while all my friends enjoyed their twenties & I was home with an infant.

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Any advice for mama’s wanting to start their own business

Just do it. It will seem impossible, and it will be hard while the kids are little, but it is so worth it. The freedom you will gain and the lifestyle you can show your children is possible - those will make all that work worthwhile. Nothing worth having is easy.