Q&A with Vanessa Quigley, Co-Founder of Chatbooks
Wonder MOM, Vanessa Quigley, is a wife, mom to 7, Chatbooks’ co-founder and Chatbooker-in-Chief, and author of Real Moms, Real Hacks: 107 Parent-Tested Tips and Tricks to Save You Time, Money and Sanity. Vanessa has a degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Brigham Young University, sings (opera!) whenever she can, enjoys the theater, being in the mountains with her family, and finding the humor in life—an especially important skill while raising a growing family!
I’ll never forget holding my first baby 22 years ago and literally wanting to eat him up! He smelled so good and I just couldn’t get enough of him. I still love snuggling all my kids, even my unwilling teenagers (who don’t always smell so good!) and smothering them with kisses whenever I can get away with it.
I’ll admit that before motherhood I was pretty selfish. I did what I want, when I wanted, and without much thought of anyone else. Motherhood humbled me and helped me become more aware and compassionate of everyone around me.
Calvin 22, Laken 20, Henry 18, Aidan 16, Claire 13, Isabelle 11, Declan 9
I breast fed all 7 of my children and with the right wardrobe choices, I became pretty good at stealth nursing in public. I’m not a fan of “nursing tents” so instead I opted for cute tops that i could either pull up or down without a fuss. All I needed was a lightweight blanket and a cooperative baby!
I’ve been a mom for a long time--23 years! My first maternity wardrobe was all about the stirruped jumpsuit and my new mom uniform was leggings and oversized shirts, trying to hide my unrecognizable body. As I’ve come to accept the changes in my body throughout the years my style has gone through changes too. Instead of trying to hide what I don’t like, I play to my strengths and choose more classic pieces with pops of color.
High-waisted jeans, black pants, leather jacket, easy dresses, and some fun colorful tops.
When my youngest was just 5, I found him in bed one night clinging to a photo book his preschool teacher made for him for graduation. Through his tears he told me that he never wanted to grow up and my heart broke! It was so sweet that he was feeling nostalgic for his childhood at the tender age of 5, but mostly I was overwhelmed with guilt because I had never printed a photo of him-- much less made him a photo book! That was my aha moment and I knew I needed to invent a super easy way to get my photos out of my phone and off social media so we could hold on to what matters--our memories!
My husband is my business partner and cofounder and I love that we are building a business together that we are both very passionate about and a company culture that supports families like ours. However as entrepreneurs it can start to feel like we’re always working and sometimes I just want to stay in bed all day and watch netflix!
My alarm goes off very early so I can get my exercise in before getting the kids off to school and then I go the office. I work with our product and marketing teams to help people all over the world “hold on to what matters”. Then I try to be home by 3 when the kids start coming home and then resist the urge to get back on my phone or computer until bedtime.
I’m a Florida girl living in the Utah mountains and loving it! Our family loves to ski and mountain bike and hike and camp and the Wasatch mountains have it all.
To me Motherly means unconditionally loving others.
business owner: optimistic
product designer: intuitive
Bedtime Story: One of my kids favorite books at bedtime was Doggies by Sandra Boynton because I would make all the different doggie noises and they would literally giggle themselves to sleep.
Lullaby: I’m a trained opera singer and loved singing the Sandman’s Song from Hansel and Gretel to my children at bedtime
Vacation spot: Anyplace with good snorkeling is our happy place!
Restaurant: Thai food anywhere, anytime!
Children’s Brands: When we lived in Paris my favorite brand was Du Pareil au Même--darling euro fashion at Old Navy prices!
That a carseat in a 2 door coupe just doesn't’ work!
The fewer expectations you have about how you think people should behave, the happier you will be.