Fabulous Moms Who Rock!
Welcome to our weekly spotlight of Fabulous Moms Who Rock! Every week, we will feature fabulous moms who are making things happen! Today, we get the absolute pleasure of introducing to you this week’s fabulous mom, Korene E. J. Smith.
Korene is a wife, mom, author & illustrator of a really cool children’s book, “Phenomenally Me.” Korene is a Howard University alumni who resides in Chicago, IL with her husband and 2 children, McKenzie (6) and Cohen (3). I met Korene at a Women’s Empowerment Conference in NYC earlier this month and really admired her warm spirit and positive energy. #positiveenergyonly I asked Korene a few questions about her life as a mom and entrepreneur. Korene also shares why she believes it’s better to seek harmony instead of balance! Check out her interview below:
FMR: What is your most favorite thing about motherhood?
Korene: Outside of snuggling and tickle fights, I love watching their personalities develop and witnessing their personal triumphs.
FMR: Who is your favorite celebrity mom and why?
I would say Claire Huxtable, but she’s a fictional character –lol- .
So, I have to go with First Lady Michelle Obama. Not only is she educated and stylish, but she’s just a phenomenal individual. She genuinely cares about the well-being of others and is willing to get her hands dirty to ensure that future generations are afforded the opportunity to succeed. You can tell that President Obama, Sasha and Malia admire and adore her.
FMR: How would you describe yourself using the acronym F-A-B?
FMR: I had the pleasure of meeting you at the What Women Want Conference and learned that you are the author & illustrator of an awesome children’s book. Please tell us about your book.
“Phenomenally Me” is a vibrant book of positive affirmations for children—aiming to:
- Establish and sustain a strong inner voice in our youth.
- Help bridge the “word gap” present between higher and lower socioeconomic classes.
In today’s society, I’ve heard far too many adults refer to children as “bad”, “stupid” or far worse. Not only are these words hurtful, but these slurs can also lead to a negative self-image and decreased self-worth. I knew that I had to help create a new norm.
Phenomenally Me provides children with a foundation for positive self-talk and inner peace. It teaches the child how to speak to themselves and in some cases; it will teach parents how to speak to their children. Words have so much power and we need to use them in a positive manner. We find over and over again that “Hurt people, hurt people.”
FMR: What inspired you to write this book?
Honestly, the initial idea randomly dropped in my spirit one night while I was driving home. As soon as stepped in the door, I dropped everything and started drawing. However, my muses for the book were the children and teens in my life. As a mother, aunt and mentor, I wanted to create something that would speak into the lives of our youth, even when I wasn’t present.
FMR: What roadblocks, if any, did you have to get through to have the book published?
My largest roadblock was self-doubt. I could’ve finished the book much quicker, but I kept questioning myself. Thank God for placing people, songs and scriptures in my life to keep pushing me forward. A lot of the excerpts from the book reflect the personal affirmations I used to keep motivated throughout the process.
FMR: What advice would you give to an aspiring author or someone who has thought about writing a children’s book?
Start creating and respect the process.
FMR: How do you juggle motherhood and being an entrepreneur?
A couple years ago, after listening to The Great Girlfriends podcast, I stopped seeking “balance” and started striving for “harmony”. Everything in my life will not receive the same amount of focus or time—it’s impossible. Instead, I’ve asked God to help me purge the excess baggage/distractions and show me what truly deserves my attention and how much of it.
FMR: What tip would you give to a mom who is struggling with finding balance between being a mom and being a business owner?
Again, seek “harmony” instead of “balance”.
Also—Girl, give yourself a break!! Sometimes the laundry won’t get folded, your daughter may have to wear her hairdo for a few extra days and your child’s science project may not be state of the art this time around. Figure out what MUST be done in a given day/week and recalibrate from there. Yes, Beyoncé may have the same 24-hours as us, but we also don’t have the same family structure or resources.
Korene is making things happen and doing it in such a fabulous way! “Phenomenally Me” has been featured on Essence.com and Rolling Out magazine. In addition to her website, the book is sold at Howard University’s book store. How awesome is that?!
For more information about Korene and to purchase Phenomenally Me, please check out her website, www.iamphenomenallyme.com. Moms, when I tell you this book is so good, you have got to believe me. The illustration and words are ah-mazing. I purchased her book on the spot when we met and I’m so happy I did. My goal is to fill my boys’ library with meaningful, inspiring books that will teach them about being grateful, being confident, being bold and so much more. My son Trey loves when I read it to him before bed. His favorite is to recite the words after me. I love that he already has a love for positive affirmations. Even though it’s marketed as a children’s book, I enjoy reading it myself. lol. Please check out this book today! You’ll be happy you did.
You can follow Korene on Instagram : @iamphenomenallyme
Check out these cute photos of Korene and her beautiful family. #cutenessoverload
I hope you enjoyed the interview. Please leave a comment and let me know what children’s book you’re reading to your kiddos. Sharing is caring 😉 Thanks for reading.