We are constantly reminded about how amazing mamas are, but it never ceases to amaze us when we meet a total mom boss like Mirella Hullum. Mirella is a mom of three, owns her own salon, and is a traveling beauty educator! We definitely wanted some tips and tricks on how to do it all, especially as a new mom. Mirella gives us a peek into her life and ways that she keeps everything in balance.
PB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Mirella: My name is Mirella Hullum but I go by Mirella Manelli. Manelli is my middle name. Lots of people think that I am Italian because of my middle name, but really my mother was obsessed with Liza Minelli so there ya go! I live in South Orange County with my husband of 16 years and 3 beautiful kids. I work 3 jobs. I am a mom (yes! being a mom is a job). I also work as a traveling educator for a professional beauty brand and recently this year I started my entrepreneur journey as owner of Rebel Femme Salon in Mission Viejo.
PB: How did you you start out in your industry?
Mirella: I totally fell into my cosmetology career by accident. I was a tomboy. I loved sports and hated skirts. When I was in 10th grade, my friends all wanted to sign up for a cosmetology after school program. It would allow us to leave school early, do hair all day, and hang out. I convinced my parents that it would be a great elective and idea. After a few months of cosmetology, all my friends dropped out because they hated washing other people’s hair. I, on the other hand, fell in love with color. Science and math have always been strong subjects for me in school. So when I took color theory in cosmetology school, something clicked! I loved it so much. I was able to be licensed shortly after graduating high school. I continued on to college but there was strong passion for hair and wanting to learn everything about it. So I followed my heart and here I am years later.
PB: How old are your kids? Was there any age range that you felt like more difficult because you are a working mom?
Mirella: Jaidyn is my eldest son. At 13 years old he enjoys producing music and last year he released his first beat album on iTunes under the pseudonym Jai Beats. Ziya is your typical 9 year old boy. He hasn’t found his “thing” yet but he is super funny, loves everything army camouflage, and is smitten over his new baby sister, Cosima. Cosima is my rainbow baby that arrived 3 days before my birthday on February 15th of this year. She is hands down the best birthday present! I had one rule for her and that was for her to be born on an even number since all of us are born on an even number. The fact that she was born on an odd number tells me she is going to make her own rules. I never thought in a million years that I would have a little girl to call my own. So when we found out we were having a little girl through a blood test, I didn’t believe it until 3 ultrasounds later. Lets just say I had a smile on my face for 3 months straight because I was in disbelief that I would get so lucky to have a little princess to complete our family.
Being a working mom can be tough, and being a traveling working mom is tougher. My typical work week is fly out Sunday and return Wednesday night so the fact that I am not home every night makes it a little hard especially if they get sick while I’m away or need help with school projects. My husband works full time too so I know how overwhelming it can be to juggle work and the household with no help. While I’m away they eat pizza or whatever is “easy” to make, but at the end of they day they are happy and fed so that’s all that matters. Now that I have the baby though, I think traveling will be my biggest challenge yet. We still have to navigate through what our daycare plans will be but right now I am enjoying my maternity leave and at home time with my family.
PB: How do you balance your personal life with your family and your business?
Mirella: Work life balance is tough, but you just figure out a way to make it happen. As busy as I am, I include the kids in every aspect of the salon business from painting, cleaning, building furniture, or ordering supplies. Even the baby tags along. It gives the kids a sense of ownership. On Sundays we clean the salon together or during the week after school they might be folding towels in the salon. My husband and I think it’s important to show them all the hard work that goes into being a business owner and being transparent on how to make your dreams a reality. Don’t get me wrong, we do have fun family time too but right now most of our days are getting this new business off the ground.
PB: What’s your best piece of advice to mom entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
Mirella: Starting a business is like having a baby. You will never be ready or have enough money but somehow you just make it work. So if you are a mom getting ready to start a business consider yourself already a pro. One last piece of advice for mompreneurs is don’t be afraid to include your kids in some of the idea planning or decision making. Kids tend to think outside the box and will at least get your wheels turning.
PB: What do you think is the most important thing you must do for yourself when handling a business and a family?
Mirella: The most important thing you must do for yourself as a business owner is take care of yourself first. Get enough sleep, exercise, drink water, and give yourself down time. I personally enjoy hikes or long walks with the baby, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Sometimes the business can get overwhelming but it’s totally ok to take a break.
PB: What would your best style tip be for busy moms?
Mirella: Because of the industry that I’m in, I live in black pants and simple black dresses. You can always change up your style with accessories like a floral kimono or bright shoes. However when all else fails, a sleek bun with some red lips can go a long way.
PB: When and how do you unwind?
Mirella: Unwinding is a little difficult right now since I have a newborn in the house but typically I unwind at night with a glass of wine and reading saved articles that I find on my phone. Right now taking a hot shower hits the spot. I’m looking forward to getting back to my usual once the baby is on a better sleep schedule.
PB: What gets you through stressful or trying times?
Mirella: A long hike is what gets me through my most stressful times. There is something about the outdoors that gives me clarity plus it’s a great workout.
PB: What are you plans in the future for your business and how does it differ as your kids get older?
Mirella: The salon started as a family business and having my kids grow with the salon will be a great experience for all of us. Right now Rebel Femme Salon is in its infancy phase so my focus is hiring the right staff and continue to expand. The salon only has 6 chairs but I built it with the intention of adding 8 additional stations. We are also in the process of building a media room within the salon that will essentially be a photography studio. I love making hair tutorials and youtube videos so this will be a great space for that.