Kelly McKee Zajfen on Being a Heart Mom and Business Woman
As I faced the birth of my first baby there were so many thrilling unknowns. Who would his little soul be? What would his eyes tell me when ours first met? Would we immediately feel that incredible bond I had dreamt of? Another unknown that added a tinge of fear was going back to my career and whether or not my creativity and drive to design would remain intact. Would I feel detached or distracted from my love of designing? That passion had been so key to my identity and happiness. Would it still be there? A few months after Wilder arrived, I came out of the love-haze and there it was...that same eagerness to collaborate and create. There was also something more, a fearlessness. I had just given life to another human. I felt like I could conquer any challenge or creative endeavor. I could take new risks (which meant leaving my post of 8 years at a company I grew up in and eventually to starting DÔEN).
In the spirit of Motherhood propelling creation, action and passion we have found Kelly McKee Zajfen an inspiration and force. She has beautiful twins Lily and George, started her covetable made-in-LA clothing line for kids, Little Minis and co-founded the charity Alliance of Moms (read more about AOM here in Danika Charity's Journal). Kelly is also a true champion of heart health for kids, acting as Heart Ambassador for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. See below for some of Kelly's own words, including how you can help Alliance of Moms in their mission.
"Little Minis is my love and passion. Wanting to create beautiful pieces that were functional and easy to put on (with twins!) a journey began. Using deadstock fabrics and making limited edition pieces, I love creating beautiful timeless dresses and rompers for littles to enjoy and really play in!!
I think balancing family and business is always difficult, however, for me, because I love it so much, I organize my time so well to give it time and love. But at 3pm, I’m Mom! It took me a long time to create boundaries, but I can’t miss these moments and years. So I turn off “work” Mom and turn on “fun” Mom.
My Super Lily received her super charger (pacemaker) when she was 2.5. It was something that certainly rocked our family. In a totally unexpected way, I gained more strength then I ever knew. All of our friends and family rallied around us and gave me tools to find the happiness in this journey. As a woman, we struggle enough with beauty, body, acceptance - it was something I had to really look at myself. How would I teach her that having a pacemaker, a heart condition, something that affects her every single day and will single her out, cause her pain, and make her feel things in ways I can’t imagine myself...how do I make her feel powerful? Beautiful? Happy? And in my desire to search, my little super hero has gone above and beyond and taught me what powerful, beautiful, and happy was. There is no definition to any of it. I believe we are given things in our lives for a reason and we will continue to teach people that having any struggles and challenges is part of this crazy journey and that we can still laugh, and enjoy life to the fullest. We can find strength and acceptance in ourselves, family, friends, and community and we keep fighting on to lift others.
I would LOVE nothing more for people to join in and support Alliance of Moms in any way they can. Because May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and it’s also the month of Mother’s Day, there really is no better time than now to extend our community of incredible mamas to teen moms in foster care. Would love everyone to show their support by purchasing a MOTHERLOVER t-shirt before May 24th. And for those who want to get more involved and volunteer with Alliance of Moms, you can become a member!"
Get a shirt - https://www.omaze.com/made/motherlover
How to become a member - http://allianceofmoms.org/become-a-member/
- Kelly McKee Zajfen