The ebb and flow of creative expression in Meghan’s life reached a crescendo when her mother was diagnosed with cancer.
“My mom and I have always been very, very close,” she says, describing how their relationship had grown even stronger when she moved back to her hometown of Sonoma, and they starting seeing each other every day.
“To have my mom vulnerable was extremely difficult,” Meghan says.
“I used jewelry to channel my emotions,” she says. “I was able to do something that I enjoyed doing and that made me feel better about all the other craziness ￼that was going on in my life.”
Her emerging jewelry line, Meghan Bo Designs, was starting to gain momentum while she juggled work as a part-time corporate recruiter, and two young kids.
“It was at a time when all of a sudden my business was picking up and I had to figure out–okay, I know I need to deal with my emotions and not push them away,” she says.
“It was a really tough time and having something to preoccupy my time was helpful,” Meghan says. “At least if I was sitting there crying I could make jewelry.”
“I get so emotional just thinking about anybody going through a parent being sick,” she says.
Women Helping Women
Meghan instinctively thinks about helping others, even in the midst of her own challenges. Her coworker at Google lost one of her twins to Leukemia, two days after Meghan had her first son 5-weeks premature and “was working through the emotions of having a preemie” in the NICU.
She later had to spend a week in a children’s hospital with one of her boys. And yet, it all fuels her desire to do more.
“I’ve always had empathy for other people, but when you see a parent going through having a child that’s sick, there’s nothing that I can imagine worse.”
Meghan started working with Unravel Pediatric Cancer–and makes a special necklace or bracelet each year for Unravel’s warrior moms.
The inspiration for Meghan Bo Designs stemmed from a need to make herself–and therefore other women too–feel a little better during the daily grind.
“I had two little kids, I was working from home, and I was running around all day trying to get it all done,” she says.
“I felt kind of frumpy and icky about myself,” she says about her rotation of gym clothes and dry-shampooed hair, which any mom can relate to.
“I’m going to put some jewelry on because it makes me feel better about myself,” Meghan told herself and suddenly she had a business idea that would separate her from the other Etsy shops.
“I wanted to make jewelry that you can wear with jeans and a t-shirt, or you can dress up–it can go both ways–and it’s affordable,” she says.
Her “athleisure” inspired jewelry is for any woman who “wants to elevate their look everyday” whether they work in an office, work from home, or they’re doing carpool and errands.
“They can throw on like two bracelets and instantly feel more put together than they did before,” says Meghan.
Sometimes that means glamorous Instagram influencers and oftentimes its busy moms like myself who are lucky to get a shower in.
Making jewelry satisfied a “creative craving” that was ever-present in Meghan’s life.
“I had always been into beads–I forgot–when I was younger too,” she says. “I had this huge bead collection. I used to make all sorts of things￼ and sell them.”
“I’ve always had that creative bug,” she says. “When chalk paint first came out I literally painted every piece of furniture in my house.”￼
Meghan remembers living in a college apartment behind the sorority house we both belonged to at the time in Chico, and painting her room violet, when most college students were occupied by other things.
“So I have that addiction to arts and crafts,” she says. “If I find something that I like, I’ll research it, figure out how to do it, and then literally paint my whole house.”
It Takes a Village
Meghan’s business is “a family affair” with her mom helping ship packages, and her husband and kids pitching in when she has a show or large order.
She recently hired a couple of moms to help with production, in her home studio, during nap time or whenever it’s convenient for them.
“I really like the idea of supporting other women,” Meghan says, noting the flexibility required for mothers and that things are constantly in a state of flux.
“As my kids have gotten older, and now that they’re both in elementary school, I can take more on without that guilt that every mom feels no matter what stage you’re kids are at,” Megan says.
“Every year, especially with two, there’s a new challenge.”
She’s raising her sons to believe that when times get tough, they’ll “put their heads down” and get through it.
For Meghan, that means she’ll keep making jewelry no matter what life throws her way.