before honest mama

Jess and I (Giselle) met on a sunny afternoon, on a beach where our children were playing calmly in the sand, while we enjoyed our favorite variations of red wine with the Mr.’s …. Wait, maybe I dreamt that.

Truth.

In life, you meet people just at the right moment. This is how we actually met, although I still dream for the above. Jess and I had our first exchange when my sister, her midwife, decided to exchange some intimate vows in June of 2014 and us lucky gals got to participate. Granted, Jess was there to capture the moment from behind the lens, while I was there as a participating family member. Either way, it was an honor for both of us.

We remained acquaintances via social media till my family was impacted by pediatric cancer. Jess was a positive and energetic force from the moment she found out and again, via social media and my sister, stayed as close as she could to our storm. During this time, I found out that I was pregnant with our third daughter, and Jess offered to photograph our family as a gift to inspire and encourage us through capturing raw photos of my family’s experience. I was beyond excited and immediately took her up on the offer, and that’s really where our friendship began.

After I gave birth to my third daughter, Jess once again offered to photograph our family for the holidays. This time, she captured us surviving, and I still get goosebumps thinking of last year’s Christmas card.

Jess had two boys whom I’d never met, but I knew that her oldest son, Zach, was now attending the same preschool my oldest, Frankie, had previously been attending. I guess when you find a common mom at preschool, you hang on. And our worlds began to blend even more.

I found myself reaching out to her in moments of despair and on one occasion, after hearing that a fellow cancer mother was going to lose her son, I reached out. Jess, having already shown me her love for life, showed me another side that blew me away. She offered to photograph my friend and her family in their last days during a Make a Wish trip to Disneyland. I remember hanging up the phone in tears, being so grateful that there were REAL LOVING humans in the world like Jess. From here, I knew we would be in one another’s life in some way.

In February of 2016, Frankie was ready for school again, and Jess was my go to for questions. So, the bulk of our friendship really started here. We were thrown into the chaos of preschool and the challenges of mamahood within. Towards the end of school, Jess called me up and asked if I’d be interested in a project. Note, I love projects, and when I heard it was related to cards, I jumped. The stash of cards in my house is a bit absurd to say the least. We both have such a love for coffee, sarcasm, real life mama talk... it’s no surprise we gravitated to one another.

So here we are, two moms, raising our littles, trying to make each other laugh along the way. Honest Mama really is an extension of us and the humor we share with one another on a daily basis. And now we get to share this humor with you...enjoy!

how we got started

I (Jess) have always been a lover of greeting cards! About a year ago, I was browsing the card aisles at Target, searching for the perfect card for a mama friend of mine, and I couldn’t find anything appropriate. I went home and started researching what was out there, and there wasn’t much. I literally created a “Note” on my iPhone and started brainstorming ideas. I figured maybe I would open an Etsy store or something eventually, but I was pretty busy with my boys and my photography business at the time.

Before long, I had over 50 greeting card & product ideas for moms in my little iPhone note, and I was becoming more consumed with this idea. I knew I wanted this to be a collaboration of sorts. I started thinking of mom friends that I knew that would be perfect for something like this, and Giselle was the first person that came to mind. As she shared above, we didn’t know each other too well at the time, so I was honestly a little nervous to reach out to her. But she was so receptive, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for both of us.

After a few conversations during the kids’ school dropoffs, we met for coffee and discussed the idea in more depth. And Honest Mama was born! What started out as an idea for greeting cards for moms has grown into a passion to connect, encourage and inspire moms everywhere through humor, heart and, of course, honesty.

why honest mama

We are just two women making up this mom stuff as we go. And while we probably couldn’t be more different on paper, we both have a huge passion for connecting with & loving on moms. Oh, and we both love coffee. And wine. And chocolate.

We want to talk about the stuff that people don’t want to talk about. We want to get real and raw. We hope to make you laugh. We might make you cry. We may even make you uncomfortable. But we truly believe that the greatest growth happens when we leave our comfort zone.

Thank you for joining us on this beautiful & crazy journey through motherhood!

MEET JESS

CO-FOUNDER

SOME FUN FACTS...

I’m a huge nerd • I’m all about the organic, non-GMO stuff, but I might stop at the donut shop on my way home from yoga • I may have a crush on Joanna Gaines • I gave birth to both of my boys at home • My boys and I have dance parties almost daily (mostly for my own sanity) • I find doing the dishes to be therapeutic • I absolutely love to travel • My favorite places to hangout are local coffee shops and bookstores!
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MEET GISELLE

CO-FOUNDER

SOME FUN FACTS...

I love cooking and hosting parties, even though Ryan dreads them because I’m also a clean freak • I love interior design and like to think I am a mini Joanna Gaines • I'm obsessed with essential oils • I listen to Christmas music randomly to make me feel like a kid again • I love Volvos • The smell of bookstores makes me drool • I got randomly tattooed with Ed Harcourt and his bandmates at SXSW years ago!
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