Isn’t the internet a funny place sometimes? It makes it possible for two perfect strangers to swap business tips, develop a friendship and ultimately launch a blog together – all from different states. Our August box curators, Summer Alvarez and Jen Jurca of Elevate Everyday, took a moment to share their thoughts about work, life, momhood and how they stay present with 3 little ones apiece.
Tell us a little about each of you, personally and professionally.
Summer—I am a former NBA and NFL cheerleader turned mom of 3 and blogger. I’ve been married for 11 years to my high school sweetheart and enjoy spending most evenings at the Happiest Place on Earth making memories with the family. I managed a dental practice for 7 years and thanks to the blogging community was able to become a “work from home” mama when my 3rd baby was born.
Jen – I’m a stay-at-home mom to 3 littles and have been married to my hubs for 11 years. While moving around as a young family, blogging became a creative outlet & a way to stay in touch with family and friends. It has become a fun journey of meeting amazing people and working with awesome brands. Trying all types of chocolate is a favorite hobby of ours, as well as hiking, exploring, going on bike rides, taking pictures, and being together.
You partnered up after an online friendship, right? Tell us how that came to be.
It all started with an email about HTML coding. We were each blogging on our own and connected through email. We swapped guest posts and Jen had the idea to host a small lunch for bloggers in Southern California which quickly evolved into a 1 day event with 28 women held in a community clubhouse. It was a great success and has evolved into a 85 attendee conference where many travel from out of state to attend.
Tell us a bit about the Elevate Blog Conference and why you started it. What do you hope attendees come away with?
We felt like there was a need in the blogging community for an event that was less intimidating than those 400+ conferences and one that focused on the heart of blogging and less on the business. We hope that our attendees leave feeling like their voice is important regardless of their follower count, page views or sponsored post income. The message that someone needs to hear the story only they can tell is one that we strive to communicate each year.
What can we look forward to at your next event?
We can’t let the cat out of the bag yet, but we are already working on ways to develop and improve our event for next year. What won’t change though is the attendee cap at 85. It’s important to us to maintain the intimate environment that fosters community and true friendship building.
And the loaded question--- any tips for balancing work and family life?
We are huge advocates for sharing the workload. It was after we decided to merge our individual blogs to create the Elevate Everyday blog that we were truly able to accomplish our dreams and have time to enjoy our families. Whether it’s bringing on an assistant, partnering with another blogger or asking your husband for a little help around the house, it’s important to build a team that can support you and help shoulder the workload.
What are some fun family traditions or outings you do with your children?
We both love getting out of the house with the kiddos and enjoying the fresh air. Jen’s family loves going on hikes and attending BYU football games and Summer’s family can usually be found at the beach or at Disneyland.
How would you describe your mothering style in three words?
Family first, always. I think that is one thing that has helped us along the way on this journey. When things come up and business needs to be put on the back burner the other one of us is always happy to jump in and help keep things going. Being in the same stage of life, we understand that this is a really important time to be present in our children's’ lives.