Meet Mom of Reinvention, Jamie Lentzner

b&w pict.jpgRole Mommy: What did you do before you became a mom?
Jamie: Before I became a Mom I was an animator and art director for The Learning Company. I helped design educational software for children and worked on character animation. I stopped working after my son was born in 1999. I don’t even remember my life before my children were born, maybe I slept in more.
Role Mommy: Tell us about the inspiration behind your business.
Jamie: After my daughter was born I had an idea to personalize her room. I took my artistic talent and painted her name on 4 x 4 tiles with matching flowers that complimented her bedroom. I then had my husband drill holes in them. With some decorative ribbon I hung them in her room – and the prototype for my company was born. I went from being a stay at home Mom to being an entrepreneur almost over night. I found myself making sales calls, pitching stories and growing my business – things I had never done before. I had to read books, lean on my husband who was on sales and pretty much develop a thick skin and forge ahead. I made mistakes but I continued to get back up and tried again.
Role Mommy: How have your children influenced your career path? How many do you have?
Jamie: I have two children, a son and daughter – both in grade school. They are the reason I own my own business, I did not want to miss part of them growing up. We used sitters when they were younger so that I could work outside of the home. Being the owner of the business I am in charge of my own destiny and I can make sure not to miss a major milestone or any special event in their lives. Even now with them in school full time I could not imagine working for someone else, I like having the freedom to grow and work in my business and at the end of the day I can be there to pick them up and spend afternoons at home with them.
Role Mommy: What’s your favorite Time Out Tip for Moms?
Jamie: Get out of your regular schedule and go out and have fun with friends or a group of couples or just your husband. I would say laughing with old (or new) friends can get me re-freshed and renewed for work. Laughing over a few drinks (or not) helps me to let go of the stress I may be having at work. It helps me that none of my friends own their own business, so I am forced to NOT talk shop or about work, not obsess over it – just to enjoy myself. If I can’t get out due to my husband’s travel schedule, I will have a friend over at least once a week so that I can have some adult interaction. Owning your own business means working all the time, at home, at the office and checking my blackberry for email. Getting out of the house and socializing with other adults is healthy and fun!
Role Mommy: Tell us about Jamie’s Painting and Design
Jamie: My company, Jamie’s Painting & Design makes personalized children’s artwork, keepsakes and gifts. It has almost every theme for children and babies rooms. My blog (www.jpd.tyeppad.com) offers help, advice and humor for Mom’s that are also entrepreneurs. I enjoy helping others, sharing my stories (good and bad) and connecting with other Mom’s that can relate to what I am going through, whether good or bad.
Role Mommy: What do you hope for your own children?
Jamie: I have been lucky to enough to be able to follow my dream, after college, spending time with them and now with my own business. I am very happy with the way life turned out, my husband – my kids. I would hope that life would be the same for them that they are able to follow their dreams – I hope nothing holds them back. I also hope they are able to realize that you as a mother it does not mean you have to sacrifice everything for your children, I was still able to do what I love and raise my children.
Role Mommy: Who is your Role Mommy?
Jamie: I have no idea who I would say is my Role Mommy – I have so many women that I look to for guidance and get inspiration from. In my industry I admire Susie Flougerousse owner of Rosenberry Rooms, Vicki Bodwell owner of The Warm Biscuit Bedding Company and Shelly Kennedy owner of Drooz Studio. All three women seem to have the balance of running a successful business, while also having time to enjoy their children. My Role Mommy here at home – would probably be my Mom. She is a constant shoulder for me to lean on and helps me out all the time. She taught me at a young age to be resourceful and self-sufficient.

I Am Officially The Biggest Loser

I don’t know about you, but my life has been in fast forward mode for several months. I haven’t had a chance to relax for a second and even when I took a vacation this past week, we hit Disney, Universal, Sea World and Gatorland in five days, then took a plane home to New York where we circled White Plains for nearly an hour, then landed at JFK, took a bus back to White Plains and then, after traveling by car in thick pea soup fog, we finally arrived home at 2 am.
When I got around to unpacking this morning, I realized that I lost something…again. This time, it was a shoe. Over the last month I haven’t lost weight but I have lost possessions. No – I wasn’t robbed. Just careless. It started about a month and a half ago when I nearly lost my diamond tennis bracelet while I was racing around town with my clients. While we found the bracelet, that same day, I lost my new scarf in a taxi cab. Then, a few days later I nearly lost my laptop when I placed it on top of a bunch of magazines while I paid for gum and an US Weekly and as I walked away, realized something was missing. Thankfully, I raced back and my Mac Book Pro was still there.
And then there was my earring. After I went to the gym, I noticed that only one of my favorite earrings was missing. Looked all over, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Meanwhile, a few days later, I officially lost my bracelet. Rather than get the safety clasp fixed, I kept checking it wherever I went and during a rare moment when I wasn’t paying attention, it disappeared into thin air.
For the life of me, I can’t remember the last time I was wearing my bracelet and nearly had a nervous breakdown when I realized it was gone. And now, nearly two weeks since I lost it, I’ve still been looking all over my house, hoping it’ll miraculously turn up. But it’s gone and I’m a big loser. This is the second time I’ve lost an amazing piece of jewelry (inadvertently threw out my wedding band when I was 9 months pregnant) – and at this rate, I don’t think I’ll ever receive an expensive diamond gift again (sniffle, sniffle). While some people have lost their shirt in the stock market, I’m doing my part to contribute to our nation’s crumbling economy by losing expensive jewelry, scarves and one black sandal.
I guess I should look on the bright side. In an effort to cheer me up, my mom told me that Angelina Jolie just lost a pair of diamond earrings that were worth over $100,000. Thanks Angie. At least I’m not the only one.