Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Being a mom during the pandemic

Many+mothers+during+the+pandemic+were+burdened+with+having+to+keep+themselves+as+well+as+their+children+safe+from+the+deadly+virus.+Jaime+Valladares+was+one+of+the+many+caring+for+a+newborn%2C+balancing+a+business+and+tending+to+her+family.
Many mothers during the pandemic were burdened with having to keep themselves as well as their children safe from the deadly virus. Jaime Valladares was one of the many caring for a newborn, balancing a business and tending to her family.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, the world went into panic mode.

Jobs were letting their employees go left and right, grocery stores shelves were being wiped clear, hospitals were flooded with people, schools were shut down and students were forced into online learning.

Mothers were heavily affected by this change; having to take care of their children who were forced to stay at home, working their nine to five, tending to their homes and making ends meet all while finding time to take care of themselves, too.

Even through the craze, mothers across the globe quickly learned to adjust to this new lifestyle brought to them due to COVID-19. In finding ways to make time for themselves or discover another way to make a living, many mothers started a small business.

Mompreneurs Claudia Lira, Jaime Valladares and Elena Alvarez share their experiences

Impact on business

Claudia Lira, owner of Electrolysis Center, is a successful mompreneur who has had to balance being a single mother and running a business.

The electrologist started off her business part-time for 14 years, and switched full-time about six years ago. The mother of a five-year-old celebrates 20 years in the industry of electrolysis hair removal services this year.

Moms around the world were hit the hardest when the pandemic forced everyone into panic mode and quarantine. Many had to balance being a mother while making ends meet and finding time to take care of themselves, too.
Moms around the world were hit the hardest when the pandemic forced everyone into panic mode and quarantine. Many had to balance being a mother while making ends meet and finding time to take care of themselves, too. Photo credit: Clarissa Arceo

 

“I’ve been wearing a mask since the beginning of the pandemic and I still do,” Lira said, “(We) beefed up our cleaning and sanitation and dedicate time everyday for extra cleaning.”

 

Worried about whether or not her business would be forced to shut down, Lira adjusted her work hours and was constantly sanitizing her work space.

COVID-19 had a negative impact on sales for many small businesses including Lira’s. Pricing increase in terms of supply and demand making it a challenging for business owners, resulted in many businesses shutting down.

“My cost to run my business and purchase supplies doubled, and [I was] finding it difficult to find products when I only had a small increase in my pricing,” Lira said.

While she struggled being a mom to a toddler and working to keep her business open, Lira said that it took an immense amount of dedication, effort and passion to survive the pandemic as a mother and business owner.

 

Investing in passions during the pandemic

Jaime Valladares, mother of three, explained how the conditions of COVID-19, in addition to balancing her life as a photographer, pregnant mother and full-time teacher, have been very difficult.

“When I started working remotely it was really hard because I had two very young children who needed a lot of attention,” Valladares said. “I feel the pandemic affected every aspect of my life and job as I’ve had to balance being a full-time mom and distance-learning teacher- two things I had never done prior.”

Valladares’s business, Jaime Val Photography, is dedicated to capturing photographs that tell a story in the truest forms.

“The pandemic has made it [photography] tricky because I employ guidelines to ensure safety for both my clients and myself,” Valladares said, “I’m already a stranger to the children I photograph, but by wearing a mask they are more hesitant to let their guard down with me.”

What initially began as a hobby, the middle school English teacher began pursuing her photography business in March 2021. Valladares photographs for Los Angeles and Orange County, and can be reached through her website or Instagram page.

Vallardes shared that in just one year, her network has extended to a community of supporters who have allowed to feel confident when investing in her passion.

Overcoming personal struggles

Fashion enthusiast, Elena Alvarez, shared how exhilarating the pandemic has made being a mom of three boys and small business owner.

Alvarez first opened her business in 2016 as “Trendy Boutique”, but soon closed after struggling with mental health and postpartum depression with her second son. She said that she hardly took pictures of herself modeling her products because she struggled with self-image.

Elena Alvarez, owner of her own boutique business, has managed to balance being a mother as well as fulfilling orders for her trendy business. Alvarez is the magic behind the scenes of every work done behind the business.
Elena Alvarez, mother and owner of Lovely Boutique, survived the pandemic. She is the magic behind the scenes of every work done behind her business while being a mom to three boys. Photo credit: Clarissa Arceo

“I am in such a better place now,” Alvarez said. “My kids are my motivation. I want them to be proud of their mama.”

The online boutique owner said that the pandemic was the perfect time for her to focus on herself and her children. It also allowed her to re-brand her business to what is now called The Lovely Boutique, where she sells women’s clothing and accessories.

“I put my business on pause when the pandemic first started to focus on my pregnancy with my third son and rebrand my business,” Alvarez said. “It [The Lovely Boutique] started to pick up towards the end of 2021, and I am enjoying every moment of it!”

Alvarez said she has enjoyed every moment of her experience- good and bad- because she has grown in being a mother and improving her small business. She encourages moms considering investing in their passions to go for it.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are. Is it difficult? Yes, sometimes. But it is not impossible,” Alvarez said.

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About the Contributors
Fatima Durrani, Opinion Editor
Fatima Durrani is the Opinion Editor & c0-online editor for Talon Marks. She is a Journalism major for Pre-law, and this is her last semester at Talon Mark before she transfers to a university. In addition to reporting, Fatima enjoys singing, editing photos, creating short films and reading poetry.
Clarissa Arceo, Community Editor
Clarissa Arceo is Community Editor for Talon Marks covering community news, Life, and arts & entertainment. She is a Journalism major transferring to a 4-year university in the Fall. Aside from reporting, Arceo enjoys photographing community events, reading contemporary romance and psychological fiction novels, and taking trips to the beach.  
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Being a mom during the pandemic