Lisa, we are so grateful you decided to share your story with us. Let’s start with who you are both personally and professionally. Give us the 30-second elevator speech that you would give when asked to introduce yourself.
Before I had a daughter, I was an engineer designing cables inside of government drones. My passion was to excel in the work force. It wasn’t until I had my daughter Gianna-Grace all of that changed. With the help and support of my husband, I was able to leave my job and start a part time business Lovely Leaps allowing me to be home with my baby girl. The secret to running a business and being a mom along with our many other hats is to give yourself grace.
What does “As Strong as the Mother Next to Me” mean to you?
“It means you need your tribe! Creating a world of strong mamas!”
How important is it to you to surround yourself with other moms both professionally and personally? It’s extremely important. If it wasn’t for my mom friends I would have lost it. They are there to cry with you, celebrate with you, babysit on a short notice! It takes a tribe to raise a kid and run a business.
How did you get started with your current role? Tell us more about your day-to-day life in business. The very beginning of Lovely Leaps was kinda handed to me. An amazing preschool heard I danced and asked if I could come in and teach their children ballet. My class quickly grew from 6 to 26 kids and we later had contracts with 15 schools! Now that things are online I’ve successfully taught over 300 kids virtually.
The biggest challenge is not being present enough for my daughter. They beautiful part about being home is I’m physically with her but I often found myself not mentally begin with her. My mind was on work and catering to that audience.
What piece of advice would you give another mom who is struggling with balance work/home life? Or is thinking about starting her own business? First have your emergency babysitter list on hand, give yourself grace and be intentional with your time. I like to set time limits for myself like from 1-3p me and my daughter sit outside and she plays while I work. From 3-5p we are inside playing, reading and just me and her time. It doesn’t always work but it’s a good base to start from.
What are some of your favorite resources for business that have saved you time? Listening to podcast!
Tell us about a challenging time in your business and how you overcame it? Covid! Our dance studio is inside of schools and preschools so when Covid happened everything shut down along with out studio. I quickly pivoted and offered free Thursday dance classes and started my online platform. We are quickly growing and will surpass the amazing we were making at the studio and the schools soon.
How did you build your community of moms around you and how have they impacted your life personally and professionally? I built my mommy community one intentional play date at a time. I also have an amazing church community where I joined mom groups.
Would you like to share a special offer to our readers? Dance classes! Thursdays are free!
“As Strong as the Mother Next to Me” was built on the principle and belief that with the right community and sisterhood you can move mountains. Founder Niki Jones is a single mother and entrepreneur who understands that leaning on her circle doesn’t make her weak; it makes her unstoppable.
Research supports that by doing good or paying it forward, in ways big or small, not only feels good, but also does us good.
MOTHERHOOD IS HARD ENOUGH. San Diego Moms wants to provide an experience and community that is inclusive, uplifting and supportive to ALL moms. By empowering and lifting each other up, we become better women, partners, leaders, and friends.
At this time I would like to ask you to nominate two moms, and we will only share their first name in the article, but also WHY you are nominating them.
“She was my first real mom friend. When I had my daughter she made it a point to never come over empty handed, gave me all the best stuff for baby and really helped me in the healing process of a c-section since she had one 6 months before me. Fast forward to now and our daughter are the beat of friends and it’s all because she was a friend to me first.”
“She’s my mom and I am a better mom because of her. If I call her at 2am with a question about Gianna she answers and calms my first time mommy nerves. If I feel like I’m breaking from the pressure she assures me I’m not alone. She raised 8 kids and has been married for 33 years. There is so much wisdom and gold in her. She’s amazing.”
Anything else you would like us to know? We are told, as moms, that we have to be great at everything. Capable of everything. Confident about everything. In reality, building up that village—our cheerleaders, supporters, and friends—is how we survive the expectations placed upon us. We are all better mothers for the people we surround ourselves with.