It’s amazing how much our mothers influence the way in which we express our own style. I credit my mother’s nonchalance about design and fashion (and my rebelliousness towards this) in making me hunger more for it. Today’s Designing Mom Pam Stroffolino of Simply Livly had a reverse scenario as she credits her sense of style from her exceptionally fashionable mother. On top of that, she remarks on how her creativity exploded after the birth of her daughters. Read on to find out more about her work, life as mom and leaving her corporate gig to pursue her creative spark…
How would you define simplylivly’s style?
My style is hugely influenced by my mom’s style. She always looked amazing. Her staples were maxi dresses, jumpsuits and tailored blazers (she had impeccably custom fit jackets in every. single. color). An absolute perfect mix of boho & classic, very put together but in an effortless, casual way. She always had jewelry on, some sort of cool piece from her travels around the globe.
Growing up in a military family (my father is a retired Army Colonel), we moved just about every three years. I am so fortunate to have experienced so much as a child, being exposed to so many cultures, food, styles and adapting to the gypsy mindset to pick up and go onto our next assignment.
What inspired you to start simplylivly?
Right after my girls were born, I swear I just exuded creativity. I felt like this amazing earth mama and I had all sorts of newfound confidence and feeling that I could move mountains. While on maternity leave with my younger daughter Carly I created a necklace that I’d wear out and about on our daily walks around town. I couldn’t believe how many people commented on that piece and wanted to know where I bought it. A boutique in town immediately ordered a few and after gifting a few to family and friends, my sister encouraged me to open an etsy shop. Eventually I plan to create my own website but until then, I am enjoying being a part of the extraordinary community of creative souls. Etsy’s layout is clean and simple and their daily features are brilliantly inspiring. I don’t wear earrings or rings, I’m a total necklace person so that’s what I gravitate to. It’s amazing how the perfect necklace can instantly complete your entire look and make you feel special all day long.
What is your background? How long have you been making jewelry?
This past October I officially resigned from the corporate world. I worked full-time managing several large accounts for a fortune 500 global marketing information services firm. In the spring my husband’s healthcare company relocated us from Dana Point to Dallas. Texas has been pretty good to us and I’m able to be at home with my two girls (Liv, 4 and Carly, 1) which is very important to me. These years are so priceless and fleeting that I don’t want to miss any more time with them.
I’ve been creating necklaces for only a couple of years and while living in California I found constant inspiration wherever I turned my head. It’s simply the most beautiful landscape with the ocean, mountains, palm trees, succulents, and there’s just something special about the salt water in the air.
I’m finding all sorts of brand new inspiration here in the quiet, wide open space here in Texas in my somewhat simple new life. On my dad’s most recent trip visiting us, I asked him if he remembers my mom’s favorite place from all of our moving around. He replied “yes, wherever we were at the time”. That resonated with me and I find myself hearing those words whenever I find myself missing California. Living in the present is so important. I am making a conscious awareness to do just that. A friend recently shared a quote with me “bloom where you are planted”. It has kind of become my new mantra.
What is a typical day for you?
I am a night owl and my girls are early risers so I do not get much sleep. Over the years I no longer require as much sleep as I used to but my biggest luxury is a day when I can sleep in. A typical day begins with breakfast together, next we race the clock to get my oldest daughter to preschool and after that, my 1 year old and I return to start my work day in my simplylivly studio. Most mornings are spent adding new items on my site, printing labels, portioning out the beads for each necklace into tiny wooden sake cups (the BEST bead bowls because I can line them up in an assembly line). During my daughter’s nap, I get to work on the necklaces; wire wrapping, stringing, knotting, cutting strips of fabric, and packaging the pieces while listening to music. On heavy rotation: Sia, Kings of Convenience, Bird & Bee, and the Beth Orton channel is my go-to Pandora station. On slower days, I spend my time designing new pieces and photographing them. I’m also working on another project that I’m hoping to launch soon so I spend some time on that little venture as well. Every now and then I splurge on professional photographs of my pieces when my budget allows. Photography fascinates me and I have it on my to-do list to one day take a photography class. Most afternoons after school the three of us spend some quality time outdoors in the fresh air before prepping for dinner. Once my husband walks through the door, the girls flock to him as I quietly disappear into my office/studio to wrap up whatever I couldn’t finish during the day and catch up on my favorite blogs.
How do you balance being a mom and simplylivly?
My older daughter loves to help so her “job” is often cutting the mailing labels and taping them to the boxes. She counts the beads for me and can stamp my logo on the little woven bags like nobody’s business! I love that she is interested in it. She is my best little model and loves to sport around her simplylivly necklaces. I live by my to-do lists. I use blank index cards (I know, so old school) and come up with the day’s list every morning over breakfast. Some days are easier than others. I try not to put too much pressure on myself. Just when I think I have managed to miraculously balance the two in harmony, something throws me for a loop. I’m getting into more of a groove and it does get easier every day with many lessons learned along the way. At the end of the day, being home with the girls is like a dream for me and to do something that’s so creative that people positively respond to is just like icing on the cake.