Welcome to this new monthly, community-style series featuring a flourishing woman who lives with intention and passion. We believe in the power of stories and that no woman is ordinary. You were placed on this earth for a reason, so let your light shine!
Margot and I initially connected when we were both pregnant and we ended up having our sweet girls within a day of each other! She may not know this, but she was such a much needed presence of calm in my life through a traumatic pregnancy and I have admired her heart, compassion and creativity from afar! I feel like we were meant to be friends even though we have never met!
Margot embodies what it means to truly seek and find rest in daily life and she shares her story of how her life and business has evolved since becoming a mom and how she has found true soul care! Her words are ones you will want to read over and over again, especially on days when you feel like stress is taking over. Thank you Margot for sharing your heart with us!
Women Who Flourish: Margot Groner
Tell us about your word search book, Fields of Green? What was the intention and heart behind creating this resource?
M: Over the past few years, I’ve created a word search book called Fields of Green that I’m super proud of. It has a linen-bound cover and 60 word searches featuring quotes + scripture on rest. It’s made to provide a sweet space to slow down and unplug when life gets busy. I created it as a little haven to run to when I’m burnt out from Instagram, or emails, or life. I picture women picking it up in the morning and flipping it open while holding a mug of tea, breathing in deeply and resisting the rush of the day — if only for a few minutes. I wanted to practice rest in a tangible and beautiful way, and this is what worked for me! I’m just about sold out of all of my Fields of Green books, which is so crazy and such an answered prayer, so I’m working on creating the second revised edition of the book. I’m excited to expand my topics to focus on things like dream-chasing, and motherhood.
You mentioned to me that this year is all about simplifying (which I love)!! Can you touch on your mindset behind the importance of simplifying and how you plan on putting that goal into action?
M: Yes! This year is about simplifying. Sort of out of necessity, my goodness. My husband and I have both had LOTS of entrepreneurial dreams over the years, but having a baby girl this past year has really simplified them quickly. Recently we’ve been saying, “what is your one thing right now?” – because that’s about all that we can handle. Between meals, and groceries, and his full time job, we’re trying to have realistic expectations for what when can handle in a day. BUT, this has brought me so much clarity and purpose. Instead of just being a Graphic Designer who takes on all of the projects, I’m now a product and font designer for Margot + Co. That’s it. I don’t also do wedding invitations or websites or posters. I just do fonts and products. I’ve chiseled away all of the things that don’t bring me joy (hello Marie Kondo) and it’s glorious. I enjoy getting to sit down and work, because it’s work that I love and work that feels rewarding at the end of the day.
Do you believe that simplicity and personal health are interconnected? How have you seen this come true in your own life?
M: Holy moly, YES. Our poor brains are so overcrowded by a million and one things and most of us are so tired. I often feel I’ve forgotten how to rest. I feel tired or stressed and all I can think to do is to scroll through Instagram. Or maybe I’ll do some online shopping… or listen to a podcast… should I light a candle? Go through the Starbucks drive through? It’s so funny when you write it out. Because OF COURSE none of these things are deep, life giving rest. After I try a million and one things, put on sweatpants, slippers, and maybe take a bath, I realize that this is less about pampering and more about the heart-check kind of rest. The kind where you stop striving and put your to-do list down. The kind where you journal and pray. Where you ask deep questions like what am I craving? What do I need? What do I need to let go of? When I get to these places, the good stuff happens. I become less tense, and feel more passionate. My mind feels calm, and I feel so much healthier.
How are you learning to balance work and motherhood? How are you learning to separate the two and choose to wear one hat at a time?
M: I’m finally getting into a routine. I’m cringing a little bit as I type this, because I’ve never followed any structure. My husband is the one with a list and a plan and a detailed calendar, but I like to live in the moment. Once you have a baby you realize that schedules are your best friend. They bring you glorious things like nap times and good sleep. Our little daily routine currently includes a morning and an afternoon nap, also known as the time when momma gets ready in the morning and when she works. I only work when she’s sleeping, so it is kind of like I take the momma hat off, and put the designer hat on. As soon as I hear her wake up, it’s back to the momma hat.
Since having Auden, I’ve phased out of client work. I was finding it really difficult to make deadlines and also be a present and patient momma. Right when I would need a work session baby girl would wake up early from her nap, and I hated having that feeling of stress and frustration. My goal has been to only do work that I deeply enjoy, calmly, patiently, when Auden is napping. Now my work consists of creating fonts to sell on Creative Market and creating products to sell on my online shop.
As a graphic designer and creative, how does creativity refresh and fuel you? Do you find being creative calming to both your body and heart?
M: Yes, yes and YES. The older I get the more I realize how intrinsically wired creativity is into my humanness. I’ve always felt like time to be creative was a little piece of heaven, even from my earliest memories. I feel so refreshed and purposeful when I’m creating, like I’m adding beauty and meaning to the world. It’s so calming to my heart and body, my whole demeanor changes when I’ve had some time to create. I feel lighter and more joyful, like the best version of myself.
It is easy for life to seem all rosy on social media. What is something you are really struggling with recently? How are you learning to choose a positive response to this struggle?
M: Finding time to work! I feel so creatively charged up right now, but I have very little time to actually sit down in my office and get it all down on paper with a squirmy little 9 month old who loves to type on my computer keys. Also, taking turns chasing dreams with your spouse. My husband is planning to go back to school to get his doctorate, while also working, so I’m bracing myself for this year to be a little less about my dreams and a little more about supporting his. Which is HARD, ya know? I have so many ideas. So, through that I’m also trying to delegate a bit. My sister is starting to watch Auden one afternoon a week, and my grandma is coming over for playdates with her some days. I’m learning to ask for help which doesn’t come naturally.
What are you learning about sacrifice in this season of your life? What about contentment?
I’m learning a lot about sacrifice. As a momma, sacrifice is sort of the name of the game. Those first few weeks you become a shell of a human giving all of your resources to your baby, and slowly, over time, you come back to life again. I’m just finally (after 9 months) trying to make sure I’m taken care of as well. I told my husband recently I feel like I’ve forgotten how to listen to my body because I’m so used to being in momma mode. Have to pee? Too bad, hold it. Hungry? Oops, you have to nurse right now… etc. So I’m slowly starting to come into my own again and say hold on baby, momma needs some food! I’m learning that sacrificing is of course a deep and loving part of life, but your loved ones also want YOU to thrive as well. So don’t forget yourself!
As I mentioned, my husband is going back to school again to get his doctorate which requires me to take care of the house, baby, and life stuff while he works and studies. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more about sacrifice over the next two years. He starts in two weeks, so wish us luck!
Contentment is hard. I feel like I’m often one new shirt, or one clean kitchen, or one more paycheck away from contentment, ya know? But I’m learning time and time again that those things don’t satisfy. They’re so appealing in the moment, but that’s not the rich, life stuff. My husband and I (along with the rest of the world probably) have been watching the Marie Kondo episodes on Netflix and it’s been teaching me so much about contentment. We’ve cleaned out our closets and donated a ton of clothing recently, and I really feel more content. I see the quality items that I love to wear all neatly folded and it does bring a certain amount of contentment.
We moved from Nashville, TN (city) to Lancaster County, PA (small town) about a year ago, and it’s brought me so much more contentment. I spend a lot less time trying to keep up with the latest trends and a lot more time in sneakers and sweatshirts. There’s an effortlessness to living in a small town that the city never had. I like feeling a little bit off the grid. We went to a trendy church and had trendy friends in Nashville and I LOVED them both so crazy much, but it feels kind of good to wear whatever comfy, unflattering things I want here in Pennsylvania, and my family could care less. Maybe it’s a mom thing too, you switch to practicality, throw on a pair of leggings and sneakers and call it an outfit.
How would you define healthy living?
M: I know that I’m in a healthy space when I feel calm, when I don’t need to vent to people about anything, when I’m excited about life. I think we all know what healthy living is not. We know the stuff that makes us feel sick or drained or frustrated. So healthy living for me is running in the opposite direction of those things — actively chasing your best state. Seeking out what you need and crave and hope for.
What are some practices or routines you do each day that you believe are directly tied to your success?
M: One of my favorite things about growing up has been finding the things that fill me up and running towards them. Life became so much more fun when I genuinely wanted to do everything on my calendar, and I gave myself enough time to be rested in between commitments. No more saying yes to everything. No more feeling guilty. I think people are allowed to take so much more authority over their time then they often do.
This has paid off so much for me over the past few years. I’ve learned what to say yes to and what to say no to, and I say no a lot.
I also think a lot of it is trial and error, honesty, and creative approaches to business. I’m not super business minded, so when I try to promote items it’s just me coming on Instagram as a friend saying, “hey, I made this book, do you need a present for your mom?,” which I think is easy for people to relate to. I’ve also tried a lot of different revenue streams, and I think that’s important for small business owners to explore. My income has been super diverse over the years and I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t without putting all of my eggs in one basket.
What does it mean to you to flourish?
M: To flourish means to learn what makes you feel deeply alive, and to do that very thing – confidently, often, while saying no to anything else.
If you were a taco, which flavor and toppings would you be and why?
M: Crispy shell, chicken, extra guac, cilantro on top. Classic. Loveable, with a touch of flair.
What is one quality you look for in a friend?
M: Jesus lovin.
What is one thing you say no to and why?
M: I say no to new client projects so I can say yes to my favorite kinds of work! And late night activities, baby girl has to go to bed!
Favorite time of the day?
M: 11am. When I’ve finally made some breakfast, poured some tea, laid Auden down for a nap, and got my act together (kind of).
Your word for 2019?