28 Nov Meet Amanda Naqvi, Creative & Fearless Entrepreneur and Mom of 3!
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I love being creative with my little ones. One of my greatest joys is helping my children’s creativity and dreams develop. Whether it’s an impromptu “dance party,” a made up game, or even a business idea (I guess they take after mommy)! I love to join in and help them push their creativity to the limits, solve problems, and use it to overcome challenges.
My husband and I have three little ones. My two sons, best friends, are just eighteen months apart. Mika’il (pronounced Mick-kyle) age 9, is a creative intellectual, a rule follower, super outgoing like his Dad, and probably the most competitive kid I’ve met. Ayaan (pronounced eye-yaun) age 8, is my super creative thinker and problem solver – he has ideas for everything, and has honestly given me some sound business advice. He’s also the first to give anyone a big hug. We also have a sparkly daughter Sofia (pronounced Sofia, that one’s easy!) age 5. She’s quick on her feet and could probably sell a used car salesman his own used car. She’s sparkly both because she is a firecracker; the life of the family, and also because she’s a girly girl who literally sparkles. Sparkle shoes, sparkle shirt, sparkle sticker. She loves anything that remotely shines.
My greatest wish for my children is for them to grow up to respect and understand individuality and feel empowered, not afraid, of the things that define them as “different.” I want them to grow up with an understanding that the things that make them individuals, are also their greatest gifts, and for them to be strong enough to see others’ differences in that way, as “gifts” and not weaknesses. I hope that they can then spread the message, and help others to see things this way too.
When and where are you the happiest?
I am happiest when my family is doing something together, whether it’s a chore like raking the leaves, or a captivating conversation during a family dinner, we really enjoy each other’s company and love chatting, laughing and even being silly.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would whisk our family away to our favorite place on earth, Cayman Kai, a quiet little beach in the Cayman Islands. Our favorite memories have been made there. From elaborate sandcastles on the beach (because a graphic designer can’t just make any sandcastle!) to an impromptu nap in one of the beachside hammocks, it’s a beautiful place to enjoy and reflect on the beauty of life.
Who has had the biggest influence upon you? And what quality do you most admire in a mother?
There have been many different people who have had a big influence in my life. My mom (of course!), my late aunt, who was an artist like me, and my grandfather who was an entrepreneur too. By far my biggest influence though, has come from my husband, Hamza. He’s always been there for me through everything life has had to offer. I know it’s cliche, but he really is my rock. He’s always been there to encourage me, offer support and advice and help me think things through. Without him, I would not be where I am today. Without him, I also wouldn’t have three of the most amazing kids on the planet (I may be a little biased, it’s a mom thing).
The quality that I most admire in a mother is perseverance. Mothers have an amazing way of seeing things through. As a mother I hope to teach my children that any problem that comes your way can be worked through with a little perseverance.
What do you like to do for fun?
Spend as much time with my little ones as I can! As an entrepreneur, I have come to appreciate that small moments are so important to my kids. Those moments can be in high demand with a growing business, and I try to save each bit of my free time to spend with my little ones.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
I’m a kid at heart and love pretty much any movie Disney has made (don’t tell the little ones but I think I enjoy heading out to a new Disney movie more than they do)!
As an entrepreneur and mom, I don’t have a ton of extra time to read besides the occasional business book, but am an avid kids bedtime story reader. Our favorites include “Mostly Monsterly” and the classic “Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom.”
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed?
My entrepreneurial career started long before I knew what the word entrepreneur meant. When I was young, I sold handmade bracelets at recess for 25 cents. As I grew older I moved on to a successful lemonade stand, and by the time I was 18, I was an official business owner of a craft studio. The entrepreneurial spirit has always followed me. As an entrepreneur, I took the road less traveled, and as the famous Robert Frost poem says, “that has made all the difference.”
Each of these adventures taught me something new and helped me get to where I am today. I’ve tried a lot of different things, but my favorite by far is my current adventure at 76thandnewbury.com the address for custom design. 76th & Newbury is a company that I founded in 2008 when my middle son was just three months old (I know what you’re thinking, a three month old, no sleep and a new business?! yes, entrepreneurs are crazy)!
At 76th & Newbury we design artwork that celebrates each of life’s most precious moments. We offer one-of-a-kind selection of Wedding Guest Books, Nursery Wall Art, Push Pin Travel maps, and more. Our art celebrates weddings, new babies, friendships and adventures of all kinds. We’re revolutionizing the design process; we pair each client one-on-one with a real life designer that customizes your art for you. Our goal is to bring graphic designers to you, and end the endless hours in the online customizer. We do this by pairing our clients with a professional who will helps them create the perfect custom piece of art in half the time.
What are your strongest qualities?
You can often find me using the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” Thinking positively has always been important to me, I try to keep a positive outlook in even the toughest of situations and think it’s helped me persevere through the years.
Fearlessness. Fearless is a phrase one of my little ones used to describe me about a year ago. I never used it to describe myself until the day he said it, then I made it part of my mantra. It’s interesting, but I guess in the eyes of a child, a mom is always fearless. When situations arise, I don’t wait, I take action, or as they say it “go into mom mode.” If a spider appears, I have their back. If he falls off a bunk bed, breaking his arm and is rushed to the ER only to find out that he not only broke his arm but also dislocated his elbow in a weird injury which doctors rarely see (true story, this really happened), I also have his back. Ever since the day my son called me fearless, I strive to live up to that awesome genuine compliment.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
As a creative, it’s hard to have just one favorite since I always like to switch things up. I do love pasta and meatballs though, and as my Papa would say, homemade gravy of course! As for cooking, I love to bake anything, but my absolute favorite thing to bake is apple pie. I even have a special pie dish with my name: “Amanda’s Famous Pie” that my sister and mom got for me; it’s one of my favorite gifts because it was specially made. (It just so happens that in our family we are serious about things that are custom)!
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
I love nighttime, it’s peaceful and inspiring. I’ve always enjoyed looking up at the stars and dreaming big.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?
I love catching up with friends over a great cup of coffee and chatting about the rewards and challenges of being a mom. We have many favorites places, they just happen to be wherever we are, because we’re always on the go!