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Modern Mom {Lisa Palmer}

We have a thing for Lisa. It just might be her love for curating the perfect party {all the way down to the tiniest detail}, or perhaps it is her passion that is currently fueling her lifestyle empire in the making… Either way, there’s that thing that makes us want to take a second look, stay a little longer, and have that second cup of java. Meet the Modern Mom behind the Lilly Bee brand.

Meet Lisa Palmer.

What does a typical day in the life of consists of?  The first thing I do each morning is spend 15 minutes answering any urgent emails that came in while I slept. Then I thumb through Instagram, to pull in some daily creative inspiration. I get myself ready quickly, get my kindergartner ready, out the door, and off to school, then I head to the office (insert: Java stop).

I listen to voicemails on the way and make any immediate return calls I need to. My day is really a typical day in the life of a multitasking entrepreneur. Because each day is so different, in terms of particulars, but in reality, it’s just complete and repeat the next day. From beginning to end, I’m occupied. Whether it’s Skyping with our DC office, distribution center in North Carolina, communicating with suppliers, wholesale accounts, one of our 27 sales reps or conducting an internal conference call, the truth is there’s not much time for a lunch break.

These days, with a company that launched an innovative startup line underneath our parent company, from seed idea to whoa in just over a year, it’s a constant non-stop effort to get our systems in place to handle the growth. I spend a lot of time working on corporate growth strategy, new staffing needs and product development initiatives (licensed collegiate lifestyle brand) with my amazing business partner who lives and works out of our DC-based corporate office. I’m also working on development for some children’s products, licensing projects and collaborations. I try to keep a running project list, refreshing it each day, checking things off to make sure that I’m doing what I need and am keeping a close eye from a product development standpoint; it helps me visualize what needs to be addressed and delegated.

I take a break in the evening, my family and I try to have dinner together (even if it’s take out or grilled cheese) so often we find ourselves watching Looney Tunes together as we end the day. It’s pretty normal for me to start working again after my husband and son fall asleep.

 Tell us about your Lilly Bee and the inspiration behind it?  I’m inspired by great design, innovative ideas as well as companies and people who take risks to build their brand and give their products to the world. I was definitely born to be an entrepreneur and as much as I love the creative side of things, it’s the business development and corporate strategy side that fuels me.

I started my first company, which was a children’s upscale apparel company, when I was in my early twenties and built it from ground up for 9 years. The company was built on a wholesale business strategy, but I made a decision in 2011 (with a changing market and economy) that I really needed and wanted to develop a new children’s lifestyle company. One that would focus on bringing multiple product lines–apparel, home, play, gift–built of quality products to modern, growing families.

It was around that same time that I was presented with a merger opportunity with a thriving women’s shoe company. To date it’s been one of my best decisions yet. Within the  partnership we’ve seen amazing growth and opportunity. I have also been given the development opportunity for a new children’s company (those are my licensing deals and collaborations). I’m just lucky to be a multitasker, who needs little sleep, with a great support system.

Aside from work and being a mom, what are some other things you’re passionate about?  I’m passionate about staying connected to who I am and where I want my mind to be. I try to connect to as much positivity as I can and lean on my faith and church often. I am passionate about young girls and women, giving them the tools they need to go out and do anything they want to do. I hope someday to start a foundation that offers valuable resources and mentoring.

On a not so deep level, I am party planning and entertaining passionate. I currently have an idea developing that will help moms plan and throw stylish parties on a whole new level, without having to run around the earth to 20 stores to achieve what they want and get what they need.

Your favorite mom moment so far?  I love the simple moments like impromptu “Mom STOP we need an ice cream, stop!” to my boy’s random ideas of painting sessions in the front yard.

If it’s just the two of you? He has always been my buddy. He’s an only child and has always tagged along with me to do all sorts of things. I don’t love malls and spend any time I do find to shop in small towns, cities and outdoor venues. He now points out something and says it’s an antique. We love to visit museums, stop at eateries and we both love candy, so we have to scope out a town’s candy shop quickly when on the road. I’m always on the hunt for interesting places to visit and things to do.

If you could describe your family in three words, what would they be? loving, funny, connected, to each other.

How would you describe your personal style: Do you have any staple pieces in your wardrobe? I have a lot of classic pieces. They make a good foundation for exploring trends. They provide versatility and a way for me to mix in trendier pieces without losing my style identity. I love for a piece to be day-casual and turn into night-chic by simply tucking in, popping a collar and adding some great jewelry.

I wear jeans often and pair them with my go-to J.crew blouses and sweaters; it’ a uniform. I almost always grab a blazer as I head out the door, never knowing what the day may bring. I usually wear flats during the day for comfort and ease then throw a set of heels in the car for a quick change if need be.

I have always loved boho and mix it with classic glamour pieces often. Being an avid vintage collector, I usually have at least something on that’s old, whether it be a scarf, bag or piece of jewelry. In recent years I started adding vintage apparel to my accessories collection, which I  admit has become a slight addiction.

Who is your favorite style icon? Jackie kennedy! She’s probably part of the reason why I feel a connection to the life & style of the East Coast. I love everything about her classic all American style that always calls to mind easy glamour.

Your most popular go-to meal during the work week? My husband is the chef in our home. He preps meals on the weekends and freezes for the weeks ahead. I pull out his homemade spaghetti sauce  and quick boil pasta at least one day a week.  I am a huge salad lover and it’s my go-to meal almost every day.

As a mom with a career, what works for you? You need to realize quickly that something will be scarified to try and achieve as much as you can to have the “best of both worlds.” For me, I learned that I would need to sacrifice my sleep to get it all accomplished. I have taught myself to require fairly little sleep which may not be great for my health, but it was what I needed to do to make my schedule work for me.

I also work with Int’l suppliers every day, which almost always requires me to accommodate their schedule.

My advice for other moms would be to ignore the criticism of how you’re doing things. For me my family and my career are both very important and I feel I’m happiest when I have both balancing and functioning well. My husband reminds me often that it doesn’t matter what others think; that the only ones we need to be concerned with are the ones under our roof. If we’re all OK and making it work then all is good. It’s so true and to tune out all the noise just lifts an enormous weight off your shoulders and eliminates the distractions.

Currently listening to? my iPod is filled with a little of everything, but I just recently downloaded Joshua Radin.

Three things in your handbag right now ? A stack of business cards to follow up on, handful of play dinosaurs, Keihl’s cuticle cream.

On date night, we’d find you where ? We were at an underground Jazz Club last week. We also try to squeeze in weekend getaways.

Favorite Things: For skincare, I am very basic, but use Eucerin face lotion every day and night, Chanel lip gloss and Nars blush. For my hair, I use an an Aveda wooden hair brush and no product.

I Take my iPhone & iPad almost everywhere. I indulge in local love and shop small: The French Laundry in my hometown is a favorite and hit up almost any cute small shop or boutique I can find. I’m General Store obsessed (every town should have a cute General Store).

 special thanks to Jena Smoyer Photography

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