Meet A Mom: Featuring Angela Ardila-Gonzalez & LovePaper [kisses]
Angela has always considered herself a creative soul. But she also had brains. Before moving to the U.S. from Colombia as a young adult, she was finishing up her Master’s Degree, but after marriage and having her two beautiful babies, she decided being at home with them was her calling. But when her kids got old enough to go to school, Angela was looking for a creative outlet and something to do with the extra time she suddenly had while her kids were at school.
That’s how her business, Love Paper Kisses was born! Love Paper Kisses is a stationery and party design store, where Angela personalizes and designs pieces for her clients. She can do anything from custom invitations, cupcake toppers, stationary, and more- and all the details are designed to make your celebrations and occasions even more unique. She recently added some new products to her shop, too, like custom gift tags!
Her business is something truly from her heart, born out of a love for creating and inspired by years of gathering ideas watching her children grow. Angela says everything she does is a way of saying thank you and that she cares. She personalizes everything and says that’s her “paper kiss” to her clients!
We got to interview this creative entrepreneur to learn more about her budding business, how she navigates the demands of motherhood while being a small business owner, and scored some awesome mom hack advice to make all our lives easier!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I am from Colombia, I’ve been living in Katy for almost seven years.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have two kids. Lucas, 8 and Emma, 6
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
I love Katy. it’s a very family oriented community, I’ve met great people here, It has grown a lot since we moved here, but it still is a great place to live and raise your family.
Greatest gift about about being a mom?
Being a mom opens a lot of new opportunities to know other parents. It gives you a lot of joy and is super funny to see a little part of yourself reflected in their personality.
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
I think that the least favorite thing is that when they are born you are always preoccupied, even when you are with them, you are always aware that there are other person, other than you, that needs you, and not only when they are little, this will go forever.
You will never be 100% relax once you become a parent, but I think the happy moments are more valuable than the hard ones.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
This is a though one, I don’t thing there are anything that people might find surprising… Actually after giving this question a great thought I remember that most of my friends here see me as an extrovert, open personality kind of woman, which I am not and they won’t believe me… I am actually very private and introvert but I think that living away from your family makes you more out there, also your kids open a lot of doors for meeting other families.
Favorite local things to do in Katy for fun with the kids?
We love to go to Shipley donuts and eat them at the park. We love to ride our bikes, we are not very outdoorsy family, but we really enjoy this type of activities.
With our friends we make picnics to celebrate different occasions like Easter or Valentine’s, we each bring something an we get together on a park, the kids love it.
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
I think that most of our restaurants are family friendly, I am happy to see more local places with more character opening in the area. My husband and me love to eat out and in the past was not easy to find a good place to eat other than a chain restaurant this has changed and we love it.
What is your go-to activity for just yourself for pampering or for fun, anything ‘mama’ time!?
Once a month we tried with my friends to have a girls night out, we go to the movies, to a restaurant and sometimes we get together at one of our houses and order in, just chat and have some fun. We try to avoid talking about our kids, but is not that easy.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
I think that every day brings a new challenge, but parenting is something you don’t think a lot, you go with the flow, you can not plan way ahead, it is really difficult.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Life is more complicated when you became a parent, because you don’t think just about you, you have to be aware of the whole family calendar, food, activities, etc. When your kids are small your life spins around their plans, when they get older you start to get more free time to share with your husband and just enjoy it by yourself.
Planning ahead is something I do. On Sundays I try to check everything I need to do for the week, revise the kids calendar of activities and planned ahead food. I try to make a menu so on Monday buy everything I may need.
I try to be very organized otherwise I couldn’t make it, I need to write everything down, if I don’t write it for sure I’ll forget it.
Tell us about your business- love paper kisses! What do you specialize in and what was the inspiration behind it?
LovePaper[kisses] is a stationery and party design store, I personalized and design for my clients invitations and details to make your celebrations more unique. Also I create gift tags and over the years new products have landed to the portfolio always having in mind the idea of make it just for you.
Were you always artistic and creative?
I think I do, I have always enjoy arts and crafts activities, I am the WORST at sports, I can not catch or kick a ball without having an incident hahaha. But painting, writing, reading and designing are my thing.
What did you do before starting your business?
Before moving to the US I was finishing my Master’s degree, then I got married and then I became a mom. I have enjoyed every time with my kids. When they started school I was starting to think about doing something with my “extra” time and organically Love Paper Kisses was born.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable and dreaded MOM GUILT?
If you are a stay home mom or a working mom, you will always feel a type of guilt. Is in our nature. I try to live my life thinking that I am doing my best, trying to be happy and make them (my family) happy in the road. If you as an individual is ok and in peace with you that is something that will be reflected in your kids. If you are happy your kids have a higher chance to be happy as well.
You will have your kids in your house for very little time, enjoy them and teach them to enjoy your company so when they grow up they will want to spend time with you.
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a mother?
I think it is VERY important that both parents grow an individual interest, a hobby that maybe they can share with their kids or not. You need to have that space were you can disconnect to reconnect with yourself.
You don’t need to go away the whole weekend, you just need a couple of hours.
For example my husband loves fishing, and now my kids are growing an interest they share with him (not me), and my daughter is starting to get interest in painting and designing, so it is something we share.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
I would say that it might be a potluck of people, I would never have imagined that I was going to be a stay home mom, but circumstances move your life in different direction. We don’t have relatives in Texas which makes it sometimes a little more challenging, but over the years we have met wonderful people that have become our chosen family and we really have grown a very special bond. We don’t feel alone because we count on them and vice versa. I have learned how to be a parent from many types of parents. You have to remember that you are not the best or worse parent, you are the perfect parent for your child.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
My parents suffered the same hahahaha. My grandmother used to said: “Parenting is paid with parenting” so that brings me comfort.
Name one thing you hope your kids look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama?
I would love for them to remember their childhood was happy and that everyday they were loved, that their parents were there sharing their ups and downs.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Mmmm Workout… your body has memory, and sleep as much as you can.
What does having a mom tribe mean to you?
As I mentioned before, it takes a tribe to raise a family, and when you live abroad from your immediate family, you have to choose your friends wisely because they are the ones who will be there to hold you and them when you need it.
For more information on Angela and her amazing business, follow along with her on social media and visit her website! How to contact her in below, as well!
Instagram and Facebook: @lovepaperkisses