Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law. This week we meet Jen Naye Herrmann, new to the North Shore, mom of two! Chances are if you live in the Chicago area, you’ve caught her blog with glimpses of their adorable family! Welcome Jen!
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from originally? What city do you live in now? What brought you here?
Hi there! I’m Jen Naye Herrmann. People who know me best call me Jennaye, and I love it. I’m originally from Arlington Heights (affectionately called Action Heights) and spent 15 years in the city after college.
We recently moved to Wilmette, and LOVE it! Wilmette was our pandemic escape. We’d drive to the beach every week no matter the temperature to see the water and play in the sand. Experiencing the beach, cute little downtown and ease of getting around with our daughter, made it a place we wanted to live.
We love Chicago and still go to the city all the time. In fact, we thought we’d stay in the city forever. That was our intent as we renovated a cottage home there. But like most people, the pandemic brought other plans for us, which I talk about here on my blog.
You’re a mom! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they? (Feel free to brag here!)
I have 2 kids. A 3.5 year old firecracker named Emmie and a precious little 3 month old named Archie. Emmie is as funny as they come and keeps us on our toes. She’s also the best big sister. Archie has been the best addition to complete our family. I always joke around that his demeanor is that he’s a “just happy to be here” kinda guy.
What are one or two things people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a certified yoga instructor. I haven’t practiced teaching in years. When my grandparents passed away and left me a small inheritance, I wanted to do something that I could always remember them by. So, I took yoga teacher training. I taught for about 3 years and would consistently teach at our annual Molson Coors business trips for fun.
I love to make things myself and am really passionate about figuring out how things are made. So, I’ve taken tons of classes to learn how to sew, become a certified home stager, and more. I’ve never had the intention of making a business out of it, but just learning and being able to create things myself makes me happy.
What are your favorite local stomping grounds to hang with the kids? (This can include activities, restaurants, the gym/pool, parks, etc.)
100% the beach! We do a beach picnic for dinner once a week when the weather is nice. Emmie loves to run around and we all love being by the water. We also love to go to the farmer’s market every weekend whether that’s Green City in Lincoln Park or Wilmette Farmer’s Market.
What are your favorite local “date-night” restaurants?
We love walking to Pescadero – the scallops are my favorite. Sophia Steak & Pomeroy are two other go-tos. We used to live across the street from Coda di Volpe, so we are big Ballyhoo Restaurant fans.
Please introduce your professional endeavors. How did you get started in your field?
Ok, buckle up! I started my career in brand management and spent 10 years in corporate america. While there, I became a ‘40 under 40’ brand marketer and also started a blog. It was uncomfortable, but I let the blog unfold organically monetarily and essentially anything someone asked me to do, I’d do. I learned a lot by doing it that way.
Fast forward a few years, and I decided to time my corporate departure with the birth of my daughter thinking it would be seamless. In true motherhood fashion, it was overwhelming and clunky, but we’re all here to tell the story today!
After going full time, I missed the business side of things and people. My business partner and I founded The Marketing Greenhouse, a marketing consulting agency, at the beginning of the pandemic. I have impeccable timing, I know.
Now, I run my blog where I share my life with my family, home decor and entertaining ideas. With The Marketing Greenhouse, we help women-owned businesses start, scale or structure with business, marketing and digital strategies. We also recently launched TMG Collective, which is a membership site to get all of the marketing support necessary to run your business without an agency.
What is the most rewarding thing about this endeavor?
We have a nanny who comes several days a week, but I tend to work around my kids. When they want me, I’m there. The blessing is I see all of the moments with them, which has definitely been the most rewarding part of it. The challenge is I’m always working weird hours to “keep up,” but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What advice can you give other parents out there who are looking to start a new business?
Just do it. You’ll never be ready, and no matter when you start, it won’t be as beautiful as you want so just go. Also, get help out the gate so you can skip the rabbit holes of research – it’s why we started TMG Collective.
Rapidfire random questions! Go!
Strangest thing in your purse right now: Random rocks from the park! “We” love to collect them and somehow always remember if I get rid of them.
Last book you read: Atomic Habits, and it was so good! I listened to the book and realized that’s the trick to “reading” these days!
Your current binge shows: This is so lame, but at the end of pregnancy, I feel in love with the Chicago series on NBC. I’ve seen all of Chicago Med and Chicago PD. It carried me through the last trimester and the first few months of breastfeeding around the clock.
About Our Meet a Mom Sponsor
A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here!