SUPER MOM: JENNIFER MURPHY

Alexis Givens Interiors | Super Mom | deardesigndiary.comi

Today, I am thrilled to launch a brand new series on the blog. “Super Mom” deals with a subject near and dear to my heart. As a business owner and mother, I am constantly striving (some days more successfully than others) to create a healthy balance between work and family. It’s no easy feat, as any working mom will tell you. Fortunately, I’m always finding inspiration and getting great ideas from other moms, whether it's a new, time-saving beauty product or simply an app that helps navigate crazy schedules.

This series will feature real-life Super Moms, sharing some of their favorite things and best tips for juggling work and home life. Because what mom couldn't use a few more tricks up her sleeve?

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Let's kick things off with Jennifer Murphy, owner of Polka Dot Club, a company that makes gorgeous, heirloom-quality teddy bears, created to be treasured by kids and passed down through generations. Jen is a true Super Mom, running her own business, hand-crafting her bears, and taking care of her two adorable kids. We're so excited to feature her and learn more about her life and work!

Alexis Givens Interiors | Super Mom: Jennifer Murphy | deardesigndiary.com

MY NAME IS  Jen Murphy  (AKA SUPER MOM).


WORK

EVERY DAY I GO TO WORK AS A  designer, photographer, email answerer, accountant, manager, and last but not least Second Generation Teddy Bear Maker .  I DO IT BECAUSE  I have a deep affinity for the quality and craft of stuffed toys made 100+ years ago. I want to marry that knowledge and skill with modern design so that kids today can play with a toy special enough to pass down to their children .  MY UNIFORM/GO-TO-OUTFIT IS  chambray   AND  denim .  MY FIRST REAL JOB WAS  making teddy bears  AND IT  has been my only job for my adult (and young adult) life .  MY CURRENT FAVORITE OF MY PRODUCTS IS  I love making little tweaks to my old standy by pieces - I recently made Rabbit Ears for my PDC Classic Bears and they make me laugh. And... I just got done making a whole lot of Halloween dress up stuff, which is totally cracking me up. The studio is a very fun place to be

Alexis Givens Interiors | Super Mom: Jennifer Murphy | deardesigndiary.comi
Alexis Givens Interiors | Super Mom: Jennifer Murphy | deardesigndiary.comi

FAMILY

MY HAPPY FAMILY CONSISTS OF  my husband and two children .  WE LIVE IN  Minneapolis, MN .  BALANCING WORK AND KIDS IS  one of the hardest and most rewarding things I can think of, but did I mention it's hard?   MY SECRET WEAPON IS  asking for help !  MY BEST PARENTING ADVICE COMES FROM  my mom, my friends, and my gut .

Alexis Givens Interiors | Super Mom: Jen Murphy | deardesigndiary.com

SHOPPING

WHEN I SHOP FOR MY KIDS I GO TO  the thrift store or independent makers based here in the US, like Misha & Puff or Babaa for sweaters, paired with basics from Mabo ,  WHEN I SHOP FOR MYSELF I HEAD STRAIGHT FOR  the thrift store or independent makers based here in the US ,  AND WHEN I WANT A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR MY HOME, I HUNT DOWN  something special   AT  Antique Shows or Vintage Shops .  IF I HAD TO LIVE IN ANY STORE, IT WOULD BE  Mille .

Misha & Puff, shop.misha-and-puff.com

FOOD

MY POWER BREAKFAST CONSISTS OF  a smoothie bowl of avocado, banana, kale and almond milk .  AND I MANAGE TO GET MY KIDS TO EAT  cereal .  WEEKDAY MEAL STANDBYS ARE  pita pizza or pasta with whatever is on hand ,  AND ON THE WEEKEND WE EAT LOTS OF  recipes inspired by this month's Bon Appetit Magazine. This Raspberry Ricotta Cake is the best cake ever. It's easy, fast and crazy delicious. I make it for guests or just for a Sunday morning with coffee and the New York Times. It's forever my go to .  IF HAD TO LIVE IN ANY RESTAURANT IT WOULD BE  Cafe Mogador in the East Village- it's nothing all that special but I day dream of their Halumi Eggs and love how effortless it feels in the morning .

BEAUTY

MY FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCT IS  I'm so crazy minimal with my skin care and beauty regime, but I swear by Dr. Hauschka products. My routine is pretty simple - Tinted Face Cream + Face Oil + Mascara + a basic lip balm. Done .

Dr. Hauschka, dr.hauschka.com

Dr. Hauschka, dr.hauschka.com

LIFE AT HOME

MY SECRET HIDEOUT IN MY HOME IS  our sauna .  IT’S WHERE I  decompress .  ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT MY HOME IS THAT IT  is a beautiful old duplex that we're slowly turning into a single family home. I love all the space and how it's becoming, more and more each year we're here- our home .  MY GO-TO PAINT COLOR IS  always changing, but Sealskin Sherwin Williams (for the exterior of our house - bold colors and white trim look amazing with it) and forever - white and cream - determined by way too many paint samples painted to suit each room - just so   AND FAVORITE PATTERN  of the moment is the hand painted tile in our kitchen .  IF MY HOUSE HAD A NAME IT WOULD BE  We jokingly call it the "Castle", because neither Jay or I can quite believe it's ours .

Alexis Givens Interiors | Super Mom: Jen Murphy | deardesigndiary.com

TECH

IF I HAVE A FEW SECONDS TO ROAM THE WEB, I HEAD STRAIGHT FOR  ebay to search for old Kilim Rugs- the pattern and craft knock me out .  MY FAVORITE APP IS  Instagram ,  AND WHEN THE KIDS WANT MY PHONE OR IPAD,  I occasionally let my 6 year old play Plants vs Zombies (because I'm hooked too) .

Jen's gorgeous Instagram feed

Jen's gorgeous Instagram feed

LIFE

MY MODUS OPERANDI IS  I'm a bit of a perfectionist control freak trying my hardest (can you see the clenched fists) to loosen up and roll with it. .  THE THREE THINGS I TRY TO DO EVERY SINGLE DAY ARE: 1)  stay in it with my kids  2)  stay in it with my husband  3)  and make a little room for myself too .  I DON’T KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS, BUT MY ADVICE TO OTHER WORKING MOMS WHO RUN THEIR OWN BUSINESS IS  while it's overwhelming knowing it's all up to you, there is so much freedom in there too- embrace that part and everything opens up .  AND ON DAYS THAT IT ALL SEEMS TOO MUCH:  I go for a run .

Alexis Givens Interiors | Super Mom: Jen Murphy | deardesigndiary.com

Thank you so much, Jen!

Be sure to check out Polka Dot Club, as well as some of Jen's favorite makers and women in Minneapolis: Emily from dullDiamond, Michelle from Mille, Nan from Landscape Love, Nadia Haddad of NH-ID, Annika Kaplan Jewelry, and Anna from the Foundry

If you know any Super Moms (or are one yourself!), we'd love to hear from you. Email us at social@alexisgivens.com.