Pam Pekerman is a TV veteran, a successful blogger who constantly champions other women and a dedicated mother. The Local Moms Network has loved collaborating with this positive mama on several events as well as her Youtube series, Hustle Like a Mom. We spoke to Pam about growing her brand, the cause near and dear to her heart and her family life in Scarsdale, New York.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a creative person, who loves to connect people and entertain them. Hosting events has always been a part of my business and personal life. These days, my focus is spotlighting amazing mompreneurs via TV segments, www.PamelaPekerman.com, social media and my YouTube show Hustle Like a Mom. I’m also hosting seasonal Hustle Like a Mom mompreneur panels and meet ups, with the next one slated for October 2019 in Westchester.
Were you always a writer/journalist?
Yes, I majored in journalism at NYU, before blogging was a thing – way before any social media platform existed. We had MySpace and the beginning of Facebook. I loved telling stories and finding new products to share. In my senior year, I created BagTrends.com as a “working resume”, not realizing the online fashion boom was about to hit. This site became my first business, which led to ShopBagTrends.com, BagTrends live shopping parties and lots of press and celebrity exposure – commenting on VH1, expert on HSN, profile in Wall St. Journal, WWD, quote in NYTimes, Life&Style, tons of red carpets, it was a major ride until I folded the biz at age 28 and began to focus on the Pamela Pekerman brand, and figuring out what type of mother I wanted to be.
How has social media changed your career?
Social media allows me to hustle like a mom, grow my business as a content creator and not have to go into a city office every day. It has allowed me to redefine what it means to be a working mom. But, it can’t be your main source of income. You must own your voice, your platform, to have full control – ie PamelaPekerman.com, TheLocalMomsNetwork.com!
What is your favorite story you’ve ever worked on?
Creating and booking a TV segment around a young woman, in Texas, who has a vasculitis diseases and powerful story to share. It’s hard to convince producers to give air time to this cause, but I am always grateful for any minute we can have to spotlight vasculitis. It does take a lot of creative spinning and pitching, to get it done.
And your favorite interview?
I was sent to Vegas to interview Billy Joel, backstage. It was a one-on-one interview. I think we had at least 15-20 minutes alone time. That trumps any fashion icons I’ve had interviews, even above Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen and Betsey Johnson. The Piano Man wins!
I know Vasculitis is a cause incredibly important to you. Can you please explain why?
Sadly, in 2009, my father passed away from a type of vasculitis disease, called Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). Vasculitis is a group of rare autoimmune diseases that cause inflammation of blood vessels. It was very hard to realize my hero was gone, and to avoid going completely crazy I began to raise money and awareness for the cause. Every year I do a Shop 4 Vasculitis (www.Ship4Vasculitis.com) campaign, percentage of sales from set items goes to the Vasculitis Foundation (https://vasculitisfoundation.org/). It’s a tool I use to get the foundation and the diseases on TV or in newspapers, during the holiday season. We’ve also raised over $100,000 for the Ilya Peckerman Fund to create a program in the NY/NJ area that educates primary care physicians about early signs of vasculitis.
What is your best tip for balancing work and family?
Know what you want, because you can’t have it all. I was shocked to realize that I wanted to be more involved, more in the “mom zone” if you will. It shook me because I thought I could just be the fun mom on weekends. So, walking motherhood take time to observe what you’re feeling and don’t let old versions of yourself dictate what you are feeling and needed. Once you realize how you want to mother and how you want to work, begin to find the right help – maybe you need a live in, or maybe just a few hours 7-10am in the morning when you are most creative.
Do you ever have a day where you feel like you’re just not doing “well” in either arena? And how do you break that mindset?
Yes, this happens more than I would like. Often times, nothing has changed except my mind flooding with negative thoughts. It’s usually when I realize I need to go for a walk, go swimming, anything to change the scenery. Sometimes even taking my laptop to a local café, and busting thru even one or two work tasks makes me feel better. OR, the reverse, I’ll take the kids on a fun yes day. Ice cream for lunch – yes. You need to remove yourself from the negative thoughts in your mind and connect to the present – it REALLY is a present to be connected to the moment and know you are redefining what it means to be a working mom and living in an era that allows for such a lifestyle.
Do you have a mantra you like to remember every day?
This year, my mantra is “Adopt a policy of joy.” Really adopt joy like it’s you child. Nurture it, feel it gratitude every night. I’m someone that truly feels gratitude just for waking up. Holy shit – I’m alive. YES! I’m alive, I have my health, I have a voice that I can use to amplify more joy – be it to support my kids, promote amazing mompreneurs or increase awareness for vasculitis diseases.
I know you generally skip screen time for your kids. Any tips for keeping kids occupied without TV?
I’m big on crafting, and my in-the-bag tricks have evolved this year, as my kids are now 5 and 6. But, coloring books with their go-to character/topic of choice still wins. Little animals or dolls help if they kids want to play make believe, before food comes. Wikki Stix are great. Bodrom is great and healthy too! Kids, like adults, need time with NOTHING.
I love your Sunday self-care segments. What is self-care to you?
Self-care isn’t a luxury. Sure a day at the spa is lovely, but I’m not able to do that every week, or every month. Self-care is about taking time out, daily, to reconnect with yourself – that which doesn’t change because you are a mom, wife, business woman. It can be a meditation – I love Journey Meditation (they do a mom focused 15min meditation Monday’s 1pmEST), or it can be sitting in your bedroom alone every morning or night, or journaling, putting lotion on your feet, or going to a walk, or drinking tea (alone!) on the pouch. The idea is be with you. You can’t mother if you don’t mother yourself, and take care of your inner self. Being still, pampering yourself, enjoying alone time will make you a much happier mother and entrepreneur.
When did you move to the New York suburb of Scarsdale, and why did you choose it?
We moved in August of 2018, before the kids started Kindergarten and PreK. We chose this town because it’s an easy community to Manhattan, the schools are phenomenal, and the whole town is focused around family life.
What do you love most about your town?
I love all the activities they have going on, that make mom life easier and more community driven. From the events at the local book store, to the summer concert series, to the Halloween parade, it’s lovely. And, as immigrant children ourselves, it’s a dream to be able to give our children this upbringing.
For visitors to the area (or locals!), what are your favorite places to eat?
Where are your favorite places to eat with kids here? Without kids? With kids, I love Kumo Sushi, Popo Jito, Scoop Shop, Scarsdale Pizza Station and CHAT. We love Yeomiji, The 808 Bistro, Fig & Olive and Jewel of Himalaya.
Where do you love to go for a drink? Or coffee?
Popo Jito makes good drinks. Starbucks for the latte, or my house. I love mixing coffee, tea and innovative accents like collagen latte or matcha turmeric coffee.
What do you love to do with the kids in winter? In warmer weather?
We love to bake, especially during the winter. Each kid has a chef hat, mixing utensils and a big apron! I always let them pick what we are going to bake. We also love to play in the snow and get messy. Summer time is bikes, pool, visiting farms to pick fruits.
What are your favorite stores for gifts, your clothes, and kids clothes?
www.RocketsofAwersome.com (created by a mompreneur!) and Zara are my go to for kids clothing. I also like this new Italian subscription brand – https://theinsolitokids.com/. For me, Zara, Rebecca Minkoff, Ramy Brook, anything that has color, and is easy to wear. I love booking JolieGotique fashion truck for myself or a fun party with friends. For gifts, Neiman Marcus in White Plains, Current Home in Scarsdale and anything from Michael Aram or L’Objet.
Finally, what’s next for you?
As women we are always evolving. We change physically and emotionally much more than men do, over the course of our lives. I’ve stopped judging the amount of pivots I’ve had in my career, and look at it all as one big journey of listening to my truest desires, and being of most use to the universe. Next up for me is planning October 2019 Hustle Like a Mom mompreneur mingle + panel, with a focus on social media skills. You can sign up to my monthly newsletter to secure first access to the 40 tickets. In 2020, I plan to host four Hustle Like a Mom events, as well as relaunch my YouTube series with a major sponsor, which will give me access to better videography and be able to showcase even more mompreneurs that are doing, creating and redefining what it means to be a working mom. I’m also shifting my TV segments to focus on products and serves created by mom entrepreneurs – so next time you see me on Fox & Friends or Good Day NY, it might be your product I’ll spotlight!
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