Single Moms Rock!!! and entrepreneur slash graphic designer, Crystal J., is spreading the message loud and clear via her – The Single. Moms. Rock. Contest, which gives moms a night off, so they can catch a great movie (Single Moms Club) and get fab in the process.
Mommynoire is excited to collaborate with the beautiful curator and the Teknique Agency on the campaign which celebrates the creative efforts of Tyler Perry, director of the Single Moms Club, which stars the beloved Nia Long and Cocoa Brown.
In this inspirational interview, Crystal J. discusses how she turned her adversities to accomplishments, as well as her Single Moms Rock Movement. Take a peek:
Who is Crystal and what are her motivations?
I am 29 year-old new single mom; an amazing graphic designer and the owner and creator of SINGLE.MOMS.ROCK. a clothing line dedicated to empowering and uplifting single mothers worldwide. My miracle daughter Kennedy is my main motivation; Kennedy is my reason for living and I know that her birth gave life to my true purpose; sharing my stories and helping people that may experience a similar journey.
Tell us about your parenting journey and how did that shape Single Girls Rock initiative?
My parenting journey has been pretty amazing. It’s life changing; and I know that is heard pretty often about how a baby changes your life. But my life has truly changed ever since I gave birth to my daughter Kennedy. She was born prematurely at 26 weeks only weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces due to HELLP Syndrome (HELLP Syndrome is a life-threatening pregnancy complication). We both almost died but by God’s grace we are here today to share our story. Single.Moms.Rock. came to me when I was going through one of the toughest times in my life last year. I had decided to leave my child’s father because I was very unhappy with direction of our relationship. I did not want to be the kind of woman that remained unhappy in a relationship; I know a lot of women that choose to suffer in relationships that are not working and it affects them mentally and in some cases it affects the children. That is not the example I wanted to set for my daughter. I was now taking care of my premature baby full time after 68 days in the hospital and living with family with no financial assistance. Before I went on maternity leave; my business partners and I were designing t-shirts that expressed how a person “Rocked”.
I immediately came up with the idea SINGLE.MOMS.ROCK as a way to not only help bring in some income for my baby, but also to show how I wasn’t going to let this negative situation I was in take over my life. I wanted the shirt to be a positive, encouraging, inspirational message to other single mothers; letting them know that YES you may be raising your child alone or your may not be getting all the help you may need but there is a world full of woman that are experiencing the same challenges and If I can take my situation and turn it into something positive; so can you!
How do you help moms understand that being a ‘single parent’ is cool?
When I released the SINGLE.MOMS.ROCK. t-shirt last year, I have made connections with so many single moms; it’s amazing. There still is such a big controversy about the “Single Mom” topic which leaves a lot of women ashamed to admit that they are single mothers. It is looked down upon by many and various stereotypes about what a single mom is or may look like have been created. Single mothers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are successful single mothers and some women that make a personal decision to parent on there own by going to a sperm bank. I try to let the single moms I often communicate with know that it’s OK to be in the position they are in. If the relationship that they shared with their child’s father did not work out; it’s okay. It’s a learning lesson and you move on. Again, I know some single mothers may feel like they are the only ones going through what they may be experiencing but it’s cool. You have been put in a situation that is making you stronger and allowing yourself to become the best mother you can be.
How do you balance your company while being a single parent?
Being a graphic designer with a 16 month child is the HARDEST thing ever; but it is a blessing that I am able to work from home and still be a “Full Time Mom.” I am still learning; but I can say I am balancing it pretty well. For the first half of my day I am fully dedicated to my Kennedy. We go to the park if the weather permits, do Mommy&Me Classes, practice our numbers, the alphabet, take library visits. She is very active so she keeps me very busy. When she naps I try to get a design project completed or promote the SINGLE.MOMS.ROCK.SHOP online, but for the most part I am working all throughout the night when she is sleep. I do not sleep! I’ve always been very passionate about my designing career that I never slept before she was born so I was well prepared for this.
Do you think that single parents can raise their kids just as balanced as 2 parent households?
I do believe that single parents can raise their kids just as balanced as a 2 parent household. I was raised in a single parent home. I actually got the opportunity to be raised for half my early childhood with my mother and then as a teenager with my father. Both experiences were very different but even as I look back today I have learned a lot from them. When you are given the gift of becoming a parent you have the choice to set the perfect examples for your children. Married or separated providing a healthy, stable environment, respecting one another and agreeing on being the best parents you can be for them is what I believe determines balance.
We know that you are launching the Single Moms Rock contest around the Single Moms Club screening, what is the campaign all about?
Well, when I found out about the movie I was just so excited. I am always coming up with ideas on expanding SINGLE.MOMS.ROCK. and one thing a single mother may not get too often is a break! I’m happy to get 5 minutes alone! But I thought it would be so awesome to have a contest where a deserving single mother could get a chance to win a night all about her and see a movie that was made for her. The idea was too perfect!