Pod Mama Spotlight with Karen Simpson

This week we're talking to Pod Mama Karen Simpson, owner of Enamel Co.

Karen offers a fun, honest behind-the-scenes look at balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship (and a little humor). 

Read on! And then drop into our Facebook page and say hello to Karen!





How would you describe yourself?


I'm a hot mess of a mama who seems to be perpetually under the illusion that things are about to get easier. But then they just... don't. I am NOT making this entrepreneur mom thing look easy or graceful.


What inspires you?


I care about empathy and authenticity, and I have the sense of humor of a pre-teen boy. So, compassion and understanding are big for me.. and so is using the word fuck in inappropriate places. Seriously, though... just leave space for people to be who they are, and don't be a dickhead. That's pretty inspirational to me.


What are you reading or listening to?


Before having kids, I used to read real books. ALL THE TIME. It was my thing. I had thoughts about those books, I took notes, I even had adult conversations about them. I didn't realize that was a luxury, until now. Now I'm too tired for much more than something unchallenging on Netflix, and when the kids are in bed, I'm probably working in front of the TV with a glass or three of red wine. I tell people my favorite books are by David Mitchell or Cormac McCarthy, but when I read lately, I'm much more likely to pick up something fluffy and girly that doesn't challenge my heart or my brain. I'm feeling overtaxed as it is. As a result of all this, I'm pretty sure I can feel myself getting dumber by the day.


What's your greatest accomplishment?


I feel very proud of successfully (mostly, anyway) navigating motherhood as an oversensitive introvert. I like to spend about 90% of my time alone. I don't get even a tiny portion of that. My kids are always around, always needing me, always wanting me, always making noise. And mostly? I'm able to enjoy them and put them first in a way I wouldn't have thought possible. I'm also CONSTANTLY frazzled and overstimulated, but I'm surviving, and I think my kids are thriving.


Why your biz? Why did you start?


I fell into it! I got my start in freelance writing, then web building, then graphic design and doing vinyl decals. Then I discovered that I love making art and being snarky and political and rude all over my products. I started doing enamel mugs, and they were so cute and so popular that it's almost all I do now. I love them.


Who do you look up to?


If I thought she'd be into it, I'd leave my husband for JK Rowling, and we'd live in a gorgeous old mansion in Scotland. She would entertain me with pithy, wise spoken-word tweets all day. She's my idol. She has introduced generations of kids to a love of reading that will follow them through life, that will never stop teaching them lessons of empathy and compassion and goodness. I think she's done more to change the world than the most ardent activist or most effective diplomat.


Biggest struggle in your business so far?


All the nitty gritty. I like ideas, but I suck at follow-through. I'm the quintessential creative-out-of-her-element when running the business side of my business. I'm pretty much constantly drowning.


Craziest Motherhood Moment so far?


They're all crazy. Anybody who watches me navigate my life is basically seeing one crazy motherhood moment after another. Yesterday at daycare, my kid's teacher had to remind me that if I don't bring his library books back on Fridays (I keep forgetting!), he'll be the only kid who can't get new books. Yes, I'm THAT mom.


Any tips for new business owners?


Keep at it. Keep at it. Keep at it some more. I have built my business with no help, enthusiasm, or participation from anybody. It's been lonely. There have been times I've screwed up monumentally. But I keep at it, and now I have this business I love to show for it, plus awesome people around me who are willing to help it grow. Don't get discouraged. Accept your inevitable screw-ups and get back up.


Ideal referral?


Um, JK Rowling, you guys. JK Rowling. Get me her address so I can send her one of my Harry Potter mugs? Thanks.


What are you most excited about with the Pod, and why did you join?


I'm excited about a community. I'm a homebody-introvert with mild social anxiety and little motivation to leave my house. People like me need community. I love the idea of a community of women who get what it's like to do all this on your own.


Do you give a discount for Pod Members?


Absolutely! I'm also happy to offer free graphic design help (logos and such) for any Pod members who need it.


Where can we find you? 


Instagram, @pnwenamelco 





Body Consciousness After Baby, a guest blog with Annabelle Bayhan



I remember packing to go to the hospital. I picked out the clothes that used to fit. They told me to find something that fit when I was six months pregnant, so I did.


I was so excited to get my body back.


My baby arrived almost two weeks late. He weighed eight pounds at birth, and I felt heavy. After giving birth, I remember walking into the restroom during one of his first naps. I looked at my body in its new form for the first time.


I still looked pregnant.


I was a little shocked, but I was also distracted by my ridiculously large boobs that were preparing milk to grow my son. I figured things would just work themselves out.


I barely squeezed into my dress to return home from the hospital; I was nowhere near the size I had imagined I would be. But I had hope. Everyone told me I would continue to lose weight in the next few weeks.


Fast forward a few weeks after returning home.


I asked my midwife if the ring of fat around my waist would "go away," like the other weight I had magically lost after childbirth. She was kind to me, but also honest: I would need to work the rest of the weight off. And this was the first time I realized I had a significant amount of fat I now needed to lose. My skin didn’t fare well either: I had visible skin sag and a diastasis separation.

I looked for hope on the internet (which I do not suggest to anyone!).


There didn't seem like much hope to repair my body. There did seem to be a lot of support for having surgery, but that's not what I wanted for my body right now.


I had really dark thoughts about my body.


One time I wondered if it would be better to just burn the skin, so that it would be more understandable when other people saw it.


I felt overwhelming guilt for allowing myself to gain so much extra weight during pregnancy.


But at the same time, I kept reflecting on the journey of growing my child inside me, of giving birth to him. I ate organic foods to benefit his growth, and I ate when I was hungry. I grew a healthy baby who was able to withstand almost two extra weeks in the womb, plus three days of labor.

Giving birth left me feeling empowered.


I’m incredibly thankful for how my body was able to create, open, and push with such great force. The energy was the greatest I’ve ever felt.


I’m proud of what my body has accomplished.. But I also remember feeling like I was looking at a stranger every time I looked in the mirror.


I wished I could simply pop back into place. But that's not what was happening.

I saw other moms who seemed to have an easier road. Their bodies didn’t have skin sag or diastasis. They seemed to lean up early and go on with their lives.


Meanwhile, and for the last two years, I’ve been working hard to lose the weight in a healthy way, while also remaining hopeful that my skin will continue to repair.


I took the long road.


I didn't want to rush my body or my skin on this journey. I knew (from studying skin) that it takes a long time to rebuild elasticity, and it may never rebuild its initial elasticity; but I also knew that if I rushed it, I would be skinny but with skin issues that were more severe and lasted for longer.

I knew I needed to avoid extreme dieting to maintain my milk supply and that extreme or quick weight loss would leave me feeling tired and create unsustainable, unhealthy eating patterns.


So I decided to work on my body consistently and at its own pace.


So far I’ve lost about forty pounds.


Here are the lessons this journey has taught me so far:

Be Self-Aware.


Your body is your own, and it’s unlike any other. That's why it doesn't really make sense to compare your body to another. You have a different metabolism, a different amount of weight to lose, and a different fitness journey.


Focusing on what other people were doing didn't make sense for me at all. My body's needs were different. I needed to tune in to who I was deep inside and trust my body to make the most of this journey. By doing this, I was able to focus my energy internally and understand how I was feeling inside.


I dedicated myself to working towards optimal energy rather than external physique, because I knew that if I was going to feel great in my own skin I would need to feel great inside and out.

Be Patient.


This was so hard for me! For a while, I would look at my body in the mirror each day and say, "Come on, where's that girl I know?" But that didn't change the fact that my body needed time to heal and time to lose the extra weight in a healthy way.


I'm not saying that I just waited for the weight to go away on its own: I worked at it every day by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and getting lots of exercise. But I didn't rush my body, because it was still healing and providing milk for my son. And I needed to nourish and care for myself while I went through this process.

Be Compassionate. 


I was always hard on my body before. I was always working to make my body a better version of itself. Even so, I hadn’t realized how much of my confidence was attributed to my body.


Losing that part of my confidence really shook me postpartum. I just didn't know how I could feel like myself again, looking the way that I did.


But then I started to have compassion for myself. I realized that I could have forty or more years in this body and in this skin, and I don’t want to go through the rest of my life wishing my body could be something else.


I found compassion for the grief I felt in losing the body I once had.

I found compassion for my husband who stood by my side and encouraged me daily to keep working on my body.. but still somehow found me beautiful, even though I wasn't yet able to see myself that way.

And I found compassion for all the mothers whose bodies change as we carry our children, each in our own way.


In this place of compassion, I became eager to tell this story, so that as mothers, we can start talking more about loving ourselves and our bodies’ changes after baby versus feeling the need to return to our pre-baby state, ignoring the need our bodies have to heal and morph into something new.

Be Thankful.


I could not have survived this journey without the gratitude I have for my body's accomplishment of growing and birthing my son. I’m still in wonder at how my body was able to grow and birth another human. And I’m so grateful to have a healthy child, plus my own health postpartum.


This gratitude has helped motivate me on the days when it’s hard to look in the mirror. It's also helped me celebrate my journey in postpartum weight loss, finding gratitude for each new benefit my body is able to bring to my sense of self and feeling complete again post-baby.

Be Comfortable. 


My "new" skin is just my old skin. We've been together for a long time, and if all goes well, we have a long journey ahead. I didn't always love my body, and even now there is work I can do for self-love, but I'm able to look at myself in the mirror and be comfortable with who I am.


I know that this body-empowerment journey was ours. We were in this together each step of the way, and now I can say I'm finally, for one of the first times in my life, fully comfortable being as I am in this moment.


I'm comfortable listening to my body, with its need to stretch, to shrink, to rest.

I'm comfortable looking in the mirror, remembering where we have been, feeling hopeful for where we will go.

I'm comfortable teaching my children to love their bodies just as they are, because now I can be an example of that.

This journey has taught me so much more than how to lose weight and minimize skin sag after baby.


It’s taught me to be patient, compassionate, thankful, and comfortable in the body I have.


And I hope that together as mothers we can start to talk more about this journey and support each other with compassion. I also hope that instead of feeling guilt, shame, grief, or sadness, we find ourselves empowered by the gift of birth and the transformations our bodies go through during that journey.


Annabelle Bayhan is a business strategist, coach, writer, speaker, and community builder. She helps mission-driven business owners leverage digital marketing strategy to grow sustainable businesses that fulfill their core life desires while living vibrant, balanced lives. She uses business as a tool for freedom and full expression of one’s self and has an innate ability to understand when people have blocks in the way of exuding their true selves. She is an advocate for thoughtful leadership within society, and she helps business owners mold into the leaders they are meant to be. Learn more at


Pod Mama Spotlight - Ruthy Taylor

I can contribute a lot of why The Pod Collective got started to this Pod Mama Spotlight of today.  The amazing Ruthy Taylor has a gift for connecting and supporting others.  She started the Mom’s Facebook group here in Tacoma, called, The Village 253.  It’s a group that encouraged “IRL” connections (in real life), and it’s how I got connected with Kayla (owner of The Pod Works) and just about all of my local clients and Pod Collective Members.  Ruthy has a beautiful personality and heart for mothers and this community.  I am so grateful to have met her and have her as a support person in my life.  Her full time job is as an Owner/Realtor with Mosaic Home Group.  She is a rockstar #momboss who has two beautiful little girls and runs a very successful business.  Read more in her interview below...

pod mama spotlight Ruthy Taylor.png

How would you describe yourself?

I'm an extraverted introvert.  I value quality time with others but recharge with alone time.  I'm emotional; I lead with my heart. I'm a peacemaker, lover of people and always on a quest to improve.

What inspires you?

Stories of hardship and triumph.  

What Are You Reading Or Listening To?

I haven't picked up a book in awhile, but I'm obsessed with audible and podcasts.  Currently "reading" The Village Effect, and podcasts: Bigger Pockets, How I built this, The Ziglar Show, and Jen Hatmaker

What Has Been Your Greatest Accomplishment So Far?

Most of my life I've been very money focused.  My husband's example of giving consistently has impacted me tremendously.  I would say my greatest accomplishment is CONSISTENTLY giving, even when times are tough.  The practice of letting go, faithfulness, and sacrifice now bring me more peace than the number in my bank account.    

Why Your Business?

Buying a home is the single largest investment most people will make in their lives--when we purchased our first home we had no idea what we were doing. Since, we've realized what an asset owning real estate is in one's financial portfolio.  My passion isn't just selling homes, it's educating clients on how their homes can generate income.  The majority of people are just interested in the home purchasing part, but for those who are interested in the wealth building part, I've helped so many of those clients generate income and qualify for dream homes on modest incomes that they thought they never could afford.  

Who Do You Look Up To?

My husband.  I've never met anyone more generous or with more integrity than him.  It's a gift when the most influential person you've ever met is your spouse.

What Has Been Your Biggest Struggle in Business So Far?

Setting boundaries. I'm a workaholic.

Craziest Moment Of Motherhood & Business Lately?

I just came off the busiest week in my real estate career--my kids came with me on showings and hung out with me in the office while I wrote up contracts.  It's not crazy really, it's the reality of trying to manage motherhood and work.

Any Advice for New Business Owners?

Fail. My whole life I was terrified of failure.  It prevented me from pursuing and trying a multitude of things.  Failure, struggle and hardship is what helps us break through our ceilings of achievement.  It forces us to think differently and outside the box.  I don't have any statistics, but I'm pretty sure the most successful people in life have also had the most failures.  I want to instill in my children that failure is good.  I want them to be fearless in their pursuits.  

What Is Your Ideal Referral?

My ideal clients are families looking to buy and sell.  I feel like I understand the things folks are looking for in a home from a family perspective.  (And families are typically understanding when my girls need to accompany me on a showing).  I'm also looking for agents to join my organization--if you know someone who only sells a few homes a year but is looking to grow to the next level, send em my way!

What Are You Most Excited About With The Pod?

I love connecting entrepreneurial minded women.  I've always been of the mindset to surround yourself with people smarter and more talented than yourself.

Where Can We Find You?

On Instagram: 





Pod Mama Spotlight - Clarissa Mance

The best thing about my job is getting to meet amazing women that are running businesses and raising babies!  Their strength, drive and commitment to their businesses and their families always amaze me and push me to be a better business owner and mom!  Today we start an exciting blog series that will continue for many years to come.  A blog post that focuses on one of our members.  Our intent is to let other mom entrepreneurs connect through learning more about other moms in business, see their struggles and their triumphs and celebrate together.

Today we focus on Clarissa Mance, who is a Life Coach here in Tacoma, WA.  She empowers overwhelmed women wondering "Who am I anymore?” to rediscover who she's designed to be by breaking through fears holding her back, so she can create her life on purpose and with impact.  She is both a founding member of The Pod Works and The Pod Collective

Meet Clarissa

podcast headshot.jpg

How Would You Describe Yourself?

Well, I am a Wife, momma of 3, I love high heels, I am a total girly girl, I love to read personal development books, spiritual life is very important and at the foundation of all that I do.  I also am a homeschool mama, love dancing, love to eat and cook local, and love all things beautiful.

What Inspires You?

My children because I want them to know they can forge their own path and pursue their destiny’s.  Other inspirations are Fresh flowers, listening to jazz or big bands, I LOVE frank sinatra. HIGH Heels. Nature.  Being at the beach, because being where its so big and vast, I feel so small and that is such a peaceful feeling.

What Are You Reading or Listening To Right Now?

I am reading two things right now, one focusing on my faith and one to grow in my business.

An Unhurried Life - Alan Fadling 

Tool of Titans - Tim Ferris 

Greatest Accomplishment?

Definitely becoming a mom and birthing 3 babies.  I also am so proud of who I have become, and my confidence in who I am.

Why Your Business? Why Did You Start?

I started my business because of my own journey I went through myself, after her 2nd child was born. I felt like I was living in a filter, just dreaming of this woman I would be in another life. I started journaling, visualizing…and I discovered my purpose was to impact women.  I wasn’t exactly sure at the time what that meant for a business and I played around with network marketing, business coaching and others until I landed on life coaching.  I had a meeting with a business coach and she asked me, "Are there other moms out there that are going through what you did a few years ago?”, and that is when it really hit home to me what I was supposed to do in my business.

Who Do You Look Up To? 

Definitely my mom.  She is a Business Owner herself for 15 years, and very successful. She does what needs to be done, even if she’s tired.  She is Always there.  Also “Softa” who was my best friends grandma, who has passed away, but she was never afraid of anything…she traveled the world, had an apartment in Jerusalem, was always happy, never afraid and pursued dreams no matter what. I always felt wrapped in love and warmth whenever with her. 

Biggest Struggle in Business So Far?

Spending too much time consuming info online on how to run a business.  Trying to appeal to everyone and then I lose clarity and loose sight of being expert in one thing. 

Craziest Mom Boss Moment?

I had the door locked and was on a client call and my son decided to use a fake snake to knock key and get in during the call.  Running a business with kids is a struggle for sure. 

Any Tips For New Business Owners?

Start slow, so you can be consistent.  Get comfortable with the platforms you choose so you can be confident and show up consistently.  Be okay to grow slow!

Ideal Referral?

Overwhelmed mom, who wonders who she is outside of this role that she plays, and is ready to find out who she is and how to implement that into her life as she is. 

What Are You Most Excited For, With The Pod?  Why Did You Join?

Local Community - especially as a solopreneur loneliness can be hard!  I have been missing that in person connection as an online business owner. Also likeminded women supporting each other. 

Do You Offer a Discount to POD members?

10% discount on my packages to other POD members, as well as I offer a Free 30 minute strategy session.

Where Can We Find You?

Website -

IG @ClarissaMance

FB @ClarissaMance

Thank you Clarissa for sharing with us about your business, struggles, triumphs and life!  We look forward to seeing your business grow and seeing you shine!  

To stay up to date with all things POD related make sure to join our mailing list, as well as follow us on Social Media.



Embracing the Messiness of Motherhood

There is so much pressure to be a perfect mom.  The clean house, the perfectly cooked dinner, kids signed up for all the activities, being on committees, keeping up friendships, having a good marriage, gosh the list goes on.  And that on TOP of running a business or having a job...Well I must say, I AM OVER THAT.

I am going to embrace the messiness, because I want to live life to the fullest, I want my children to have more of ME instead of less of the stressed out ME. I want them to have my presence over my perfection.  Because we cannot get back these precious years.

But I will not give up my dreams, because I believe in what I do, I believe in The Pod Works and the Collective.  I believe in writing books and speaking on stages, because I know I have a message to get out into the world.  I believe in helping other mompreneurs grow their businesses in an authentic and sustainable way.  I believe in dreams and I want my children to see that their Mama is still going after her dreams.  I want them to know that you can work hard but also take time for your family.  I want them to see balance. 

That sounds great, but how am I going to do this? I choose to embrace the messiness of mompreneur life.  I am going to show up for my tribe, my kids, my husband and my business, yet I am going to probably do it with a messy house, in sweat pants, with spit up on my shirt, and bags under my eyes.  Yet I am going to have a full heart, a joyful spirit and a kick butt mindset.  I am going to be PRESENT NOT PERFECT.

This is my plan:

  1. I am downsizing to ONLY saying YES to the things that light me up like wildfire
  2. I am ONLY taking on clients that are EXACTLY who I want to work with
  3. I am making a SPACIOUS schedule so I don't feel rushed or like those precious moments with my family are being taken away
  4. I am embracing my Introvert side and honoring the time I need for ME and my self-care
  5. I am making SPACE for more DISCONNECTED time with my family

And most importantly my business plan is getting changed up so I am only focusing on being the very AUTHENTIC ME.  The messy, loving, caring, creative, smart, Mompreneur that I am.  I might not grow my business as fast, but it will be sustainable and FEEL good, it will be ethical, it will be authentic and it will allow me to embrace motherhood & my dreams with ease.

How are you going to embrace the messiness?

I would love to hear about how you are embracing your authentic self in your role as a mama and a business owner!  Comment below or feel free to send us an email at

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