Name: Ann Ueno
City: Miami, Florida
Business: Ann Ueno Interior Design
First, tell us about yourself! Where are you from, what do you do, how many kiddos do you have, etc.
Hola! I am Ann. Mom to Zoey, step-mom to Zach, wife to Rick. I was born and raised in a farm town in Illinois, moved to Chicago after college, then to New York City, back to Chicago and now I am loving our abode here in Miami. You can't beat the sun shining 365 days a year, can you?! Currently, I am a Vice President at BCV Social, a social media company for hotels. I have spent 16 years in the hotel industry in digital marketing so you could say I do love travel...and hotels, of course. Simultaneously, I started my interior design business about 4 years ago officially. Design has always been my passion in every aspect of my life, but especially in homes. Last, I am a Vous Girl and have been a servant leader on the environments (sort of like interior and exterior design) team for almost 3 years. Vous Church in Miami has made all the difference!
You are a true boss mom - in your own words, tell us what boss mom means to you.
To me, a boss mom is a woman who sees, acts and invests first in herself, then her kids and immediately following, other women. Someone who doesn't hold close her own successes and gifts, but instead, she freely gives to support others.
What are three things you do to balance working mom life?
Ha. Great question! I personally don't believe in the concept of balance as a working mom. It's more understanding your rhythm in your season. In every season as a working mom, something different may be required of me or desired by me. That said, there are three things I typically do in all seasons which keeps me sane, content and focused on God. From 5:30am - 7:00am, I wake up, I read my bible and pray. I then write. Pray a bit more. And then I work out. I activate my spiritual, physical and creative muscles in the hours before the sun rises and it does give me the centeredness I need for the day!
What did you give up to get where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?
I can't actually pinpoint anything here. I have always seen God use all the twists and turns, trials and tribulations, successes and failures, for His glory and my good. Each day I may have to sacrifice…I either disappoint someone on my team or a friend who wants to meet for coffee or my husband simply because I can't do it all and make everyone happy. I am not an avocado for the love. Ha. Jokes aside, I think there are daily sacrifices as a working mom with two jobs and I am slowly coming to terms and gaining peace in the journey.
If you had any advice for first time working moms, what would it be?
Give yourself grace and find a community of moms that you invest in. I believe that what you invest in you will receive a massive return on investment. And as a mom, we need each other. We need each other for babysitting, for prayers, for truth and love, for many wine nights. But I believe it's important to have your tribe that you go deep with and can really be vulnerable with. Not just surface-based stuff here. The real hard stuff of life. I know that God has blessed me in every season with a group of women to carry me, for me to minister to them, for us to grow, to be better wives and moms together. THAT IS MAGIC. Don't miss that.
Okay tell us...one mom you follow, one podcast you listen to, one blog you read...what boss mom out there is inspiring you right now?
Ahhh, there are so many for many different reasons! I read Erin Loechner's book, Chasing Slow, and I follow her on Instagram and read her blog. I strongly recommend her book! Her words give me fuel. Any of Shauna Niequist's books are incredible, namely, Present Over Perfect and Bread and Wine. I am also addicted to the Second Life Podcast right now! It's from the founders of My Domaine and it features women and their incredible stories of how they got into their "second life" of their career, pursuing their passions and creativity in amazing ways.
Who is one woman in your life that has helped you? What did she do?
Okay this is going to be weird. But. Julia Child. I have admired Julia for approximately 25 years, maybe more. I watched her show with my great grandmother Anne and fell in love. As an adult, I have read her books and studied her and this is crazy but, I always go back to this: she was 50 when she published her first cookbook. She was in her "second life" and discovered her passion for food and cooking and DID NOT GIVE UP. I have learned so much from her. So, she has helped me when I want to quit. She didn't give up and God used her in many ways for many women! And, I am one of them.
What is something you have failed at in this journey of motherhood and working?
Honestly, the one thing I struggle with regularly is quality time with Zoey. It pains me to write this, but it's the truth. I am working two jobs, I am a contributor for Miami Moms blog, I have events at night, I volunteer at Vous and the list goes on. Some weeks I wake up and it has been a few days since I have invested into Zoey. And it breaks my heart. This is something I am working on daily now. I have tried to ensure our time together in the simplest of moments become meaningful - our drive to school, prepping dinner or brushing our teeth together. Something that is helping me is the reminder I don't have to have grandiose moments with her. It's in the every day I can love her, teach her, laugh with her.
At We Are Boss Mom, we know we can't do this without support, community and cheerleaders. Who is your #1 fan and what do you want to say to him/her?
Well, there is no question I can't do any of this without my husband's support. He is the best dad. The best. I learn from him every single day. And he is happy to do pick ups or let me travel for work. It's not even a discussion, he supports instantly. And I've said it before...behind every great mom is a great dad. That's him. Second, I have been in a bible study with 10 women in Miami for almost 3 years. Honestly, all 10 of them have been like sisters to me and I wouldn't be here without them. They carried me in the most painful season of my life. They cheerlead for me and my career. They babysit Zoey. They pray big prayers for me. They believe when I don't. So, them :)
Finally, what is the one quote you live by?
Progress, not perfection. I love the idea of simply moving forward. Look back and give a wave, but, move forward. Keep going. It doesn't have to be perfect. God will direct your path. As long as I am making progress and am better than I was yesterday, I feel at ease - and excited!