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An interview with founder: Katie Lewis!

What does your typical Summer day look like? 

Our four boys are currently ages 7- 9mo so we do a lot of playing outside, reading together, and ... did I mention playing outside? I'm also continuing a bit of schooling over the Summer, both for consistency and to give myself a little wiggle room when baby no.5 comes this Fall. (My goal is 3x a week of reading, math, and writing practice.)

Daily, we all have a quiet time from 1-3pm. I work, the three oldest play quietly in their own space, and the baby naps.

The afternoons/evenings are for swimming together, grilling, and catching lightening bugs!

How do you balance being a mom and working? 

I'm not sure there is such a thing as "balance" in this area, but I do think we can set boundaries, ask God for clarity on where to put our time, and trust Him to accomplish His plans for us within our limited hours and energy. 

For our family, this currently looks like Robert taking the boys for a few hours during their "Monday Man Camp" while I work on Dear Mushka content at home. Beyond that, I work during our family's daily quiet time + occasionally will pop in on social media throughout the day. 

With a small business, there is always more work to do. Instead of focusing on everything I'm not doing, I try to celebrate what I am able to do-- and to enjoy being a mother rather than becoming bitter over the time it takes away from my career. 

 

Summer makes me think of traveling-- where's your dream spot?

One day, I'd love to take an extended trip to Southern France and Italy. There's so much history & beauty (and bread) there! I'd also love to tour the Holy Lands with an expert guide-- what an experience that I imagine would make the Bible come alive in a new way. 

That being said, I believe we'll get to explore the New Earth for eternity eventually. This helps me enjoy exactly where I am for now and not worry about seeing it all before I die. There will be time!

 

Where do you get your ideas?

Almost every DM product comes straight from my time spent with the Lord, a personal need I have, and/or a need I see a friend having. An example of this would be our Lord, Teach Us to Pray cards (31 daily prayer cards to pray on repeat each month). I wanted a way to remember to pray over specific areas in my childrens' lives that I wouldn't think of naturally-- I made these to help guide myself over the course of a month. And judging by how many of you have grabbed them, I think you needed them, too!

 

Are there any new products coming out that you're particularly excited about? 

I've been working hard to create "care boxes" for a few specific topics, with the goal being to have a desireable and meaningful box of goodies all ready for you to order and have shipped directly to someone. It's been a challenge to create a box full of items within a reasonable pricepoint, but I think I'm almost there! This is the kind of go-to gift a lot of us would love to receive... I can't wait for them to launch! 

 

So... what exactly do you do at Dear Mushka?

Originally, I did it all! As we've added children to our family and I've found my own giftings (and shortcomings) I've happily narrowed down my focus. Now, I'm primarily in charge of new product creation from start to finish (which includes design, sourcing, creation, photography, and website listings).  I also run our social media platforms, creating graphics for those and trying to stay up to date on necessary trends. 

My favorite roles, though, are the ones that fall under a "ministry" category-- like sharing what discipleship looks like in our home and praying for you all as you share bits of your life with me. 

 

What's your favorite piece you've ever designed?

Sheesh, that's a hard question! Choosing is like narrowing down a favorite child, which I can't do, but there are a few pieces that stand out right now.

The Together Necklace is our adoption necklace I designed after one of our adoptions. It has a triangle to represent the three people groups that make up an adoption (birth family, adoptive family, and adoptee) and a heart hanging in the middle to represent the love between them all.

I was just starting to understand the crucial role a birth family plays in the extended life of a child, and also wanted a significant gift to give to our dear birth mothers. This design means so much to me-- even more now, as I've watched so many customers buy it for a friend going through the adoption process or gift it to their own birth mothers.

Thank you, Lord, for the necklace & truths found in its cooresponding verses!

 

Okay, summer-season rapid fire: 

What's your summer uniform? A breezy cotton dress- the easiest thing for me to wear while I'm growing this little baby, and also wonderful for tossing on over a bathingsuit

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love summer? 9. Swimming, gardening, slow mornings, adventures... these are a few of my favorite things. It'd be a 10 but mosquitoes and I are not friends. 

Favorite Summer DM product? The Adorn Bandana, hands down. I wear one constantly! (But I also have a Bee Swaddle set aside for this little baby...)

Any summer goals? To prepapre for baby no.5 mostly- shuffling kids' rooms around, purging to make more room, and teaching the older children some helpful skills so they'll need me just a little less while I'm occupied with a baby. 

Favorite summer scent? Tomato plants- they make me think of my Dad!

Summer reading? I tend to pick up novels more in the summer for some reason. I recommend Safely Home!