Freedom Friday! – Chrystal Johnson of Happy Mothering

Each Friday, I do a feature called ‘Freedom Friday’. I feature and target people who are going with their heart, and doing something they love while, at the same time, going against the grain. There are thousands of people out there with dreams like the people I feature. The difference is, they’re living it. Today’s Freedom Friday Feature is Chrystal Johnson of Happy Mothering!



I want to deeply thank Shai for asking me these questions and allowing me to contribute to her blog. It has been a very trying week for me on many levels, and answering Shai’s questions has really allowed me to reconnect with myself and my passions. Thank you Shai!
1. Tell us about your blog and Green Moms Media
I consider Happy Mothering to be more of a natural lifestyle blog than a mommy blog. I’m a mom who blogs, but I’m a lot more than that. From a very young age, I was passionate about the environment, and always testing the limits and challenging people around me to think about things differently. I don’t know where the passion came from, but it’s always been there for me.
I love blogging about everything from true nutrition and harmful chemicals in products we use every day, to natural parenting, green living and beyond. I really cover a wide range of topics because my passion has so many offshoots.
One thing I love doing is discovering new brands and products that support my lifestyle and simplify it. Let’s face it, we live in a face-paced world and, while I love living naturally and simply, sometimes I love my creature comforts and my technology.
I have been fortunate to work with so many wonderful brands over the last (nearly) 3 years that have opened up a whole new world for me. I have always had a deep passion to share my voice and nurture and mentor others, so that’s where Green Moms Media was born.
In my corporate years before kids, I was a marketing communications manager where I really learned the ins and outs of marketing, PR and branding. I have been doing freelance writing and consulting on the side since becoming a mom, but I always felt like something was missing.
I felt myself losing passion for the companies I was working with (mostly in the medical technology field), and I knew something had to change. Something did – I lost my biggest client due to corporate restructuring and it gave me the push I needed to venture down another path.
So now I’m working towards making Green Moms Media and the Green Moms Network my career path. We’re still in the early stages, but I have big dreams for it – for me, for the women in my network and for the green and natural brands that need help getting their message in front of their target market.
2. How did you get the inspiration for it, and what gave you the courage to do it?
The inspiration has really been building over many years. I was diagnosed with melanoma in February 2007. That was one of the scariest days in my life. Well, scariest few weeks while I waited for the lab results to come back from my surgery.
My head starting spinning as I looked for an explanation as to what could have caused me to get cancer at only 29 years old. I was lucky that they caught it early (and I’m 5 years cancer free), but some people aren’t so lucky.
Then Brian and I got married in August 2007, and I found out a few weeks later that I was pregnant with Zoë. I started reading about BPA and phthalates and fire retardants and on and one. That’s when my journey to natural living really began.
I started discovering the risks we were taking by messing with nature, and we have been on a journey to live naturally and simply ever since.
3. How did you get started?
I actually started my blog in secret. I didn’t tell anyone, not even Brian. I started writing posts in March 2009, but didn’t know if I’d ever do anything with them. We went down to South America in May 2009 to travel for a year, and decided to start a blog about Uruguay since that was going to be our “home base.”
Since we already had the blogging platform set up for that, I created another blog that I didn’t think anyone would notice – Happy Mothering.
I started writing more for me than anything else at that point. I was pregnant with Kaylee, living in a foreign country (my pregnancy turned out to be high risk, so that nixed our plans to travel – we were in Uruguay until the baby was born). I had no idea that there was even a “mommy blog” community out there!
Then one day Brian said, hey, I just found your blog. It’s really good! And it took off from there. His support has really helped it grow and evolve.
4. How many hats do you wear, and how do you manage them all?
How many hats? Good question – more than I should. Of course, you’ve already heard about Happy Mothering and Green Moms Media as well as my freelance writing business.
I’m also a consultant for alex+von where I consult with women to help them choose the right natural skincare products for them. I have a growing team of women who I’m also helping build their own alex+von business. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.
My husband also has a hydroponics and aquaculture store here in town, so I try to help him out with that when I can. And that’s all on top of being a wife and mother! There’s not much time left for me at the end of the day, but I’m always being challenged and inspired, so that’s okay.
Managing everything isn’t easy. I feel like I’m always working to keep all the balls in the air. Sometimes one project has to take the back seat so I can focus on the one that needs my attention most. I don’t really have a very organized plan for my days – I just go with the flow!
5. What advice would you give a new entrepreneur, or someone who is sick of the daily grind?
Spend some time thinking about what you’re most passionate about. Allow yourself to dream, and be honest with yourself. What would you really be most happy doing? Too many people these days get stuck in the grind and forget how to listen to their heart. It takes practice and faith in yourself.
When you’re really at peace with your dreams and you can visualize them as if they are already happening, your path will find you

Comments

  1. Chrystal’s advice is spot on! Love it :)

  2. Love it!

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