Meet Amanda Gonzalez our very first Meet A Mom feature. Born and raised in El Paso, TX, moving to San Antonio in 2000 and living here ever since. She is a Mama to 3 and is one of the kindest and most funniest woman you may ever have the pleasure of meeting. Amanda taught for six years as a pre-k teacher but felt her heart was pulling her towards being a stay-at-home Mama. Thats when Amanda turned her dreams into a reality and started Sweet Mila Co.
Where are you from originally and how long have you living in San Antonio?
I am originally from El Paso, Tx and moved here in 2000
What is your name how many kids do you have and what are their ages?
My name is Amanda and I have 2 boys and 1 girl. My eldest is our daughter who is 11 and our two boys are 6 and 3 years old.
Tell us a little about your backstory – what did you do before you were a Mom, any schooling – what did you study/degree in?
I went to school for education and worked as a pre-k teacher for several years until I had my first son. When my oldest son turned 2, I realized that I missed so much of his first couple of years so both my husband and I decided that I should stay home with our kids.
What is your favorite thing about being a stay at home mom and running your own business?
I don’t miss both the big and little moments of them growing up. It’s fun and exciting to be able to be present for it all.
Tell us the Greatest gift about being a mom?
I am so lucky to have the roll of being a mother to my kids. The world can come crashing down around me, but I still wake up everyday and say that I am happy because of my family. I feel like my contribution to trying to be the change in this world is raising little ones to be kind, loyal, happy, respectful and all the good our world needs. They are my biggest accomplishment.
Whats your least favorite “mom” job ? (i.e packing lunches, washing dishes, laundry, bath time, etc)
My least favorite “mom” job definitely has to be laundry. I either forget I washed a load and it ends up in the washer for a day or 2 or just don’t have the time to fold and put away clothes. There are always so many clothes and I frankly don’t know how or when I bought so many. I’m currently teaching my kids to hang their own shirts and fold and put their own clothes away. It’s a win win for me.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I love to read. I haven’t really made that known to everyone until we’ve been in lockdown due to covid, but reading is my all time favorite thing to do. Just this past week a read an entire series, which included 4 books.
Favorite local things to do in the San Antonio and surrounding areas? (With kiddos or just for mom!)
I have to admit that since lockdown we haven’t really been out and around town. Before that we either always had a season pass for six flags or sea world and we would spend our free time there, at the zoo, or our local museums. My kids really like the doseum. We also spend alot of time at our park.
Do you have a family favorite restaurant in the area?
My kids are so simple. Give them a ball to kick around and they will be a happy camper. Which is why when it comes to eating out they always request Big’z Burger Joint. I love their burgers and they get to run around and kick a ball and meet other kids at the same time.
Best Mom hack – that makes your life easier.
It’s not really a hack, but my crockpot definitely makes my life easier. When it comes to dinner time..I’m either rushing to figure out what we can eat that’s not frozen or just totally spaced on dinner all together. So most mornings, after making the kiddos breakfast, I go ahead and start throwing dinner into the crockpot as well. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my crockpot.
Tell us about your career outside of being a mom? Where are you located (if applicable)? How can people purchase your product?
For years I’ve always crafted. Friends and family loved the stuff I made so I ended up selling or gifting the stuff I made, which is most home decor. About 6 months ago I decided to turn my hobby into a business. Sweet Mila Co. is the name of my small business and I make home decor and apparel. I specialize in custom wall signs for the home. Our products can be found on our website www.sweetmilaco.com. I don’t currently have a storefront, but hope to get there one day.
Tell us what your inspiration was behind starting this career and what your mission has been?
I didn’t mention this before, but back in 2013 my husband and were pregnant with our first child together. I did mention that I have an 11 soon to be 12 year old daughter. She’s not mine by blood but she’s mine nevertheless. We were excited to add another little girl into our family. We ended up losing her at 20 weeks. My life forever changed after that. I changed the way I looked at everything in life and wanted to do something to honor our little girl. So I brought two things I love together. Making beautiful things for peoples home and naming it after our angel baby. Her name was Milena Ariel, but we call her Mila. I’m so happy to be doing what I love in her memory and more and more people from around the country are saying her name by simply becoming our customers and spreading the word. I’m doing this for her.
What products do you sell? Who is your target audience? What type of customer are you looking to attract?
There are two sides to my business. A side where I make home decor, such as signs, serving trays, doormats, custom note signs etc. That part of my business is for anyone who enjoys a nice hand made piece of art in their home. The other part of my business and also newer part as well is my clothing line. Most of my T-shirts and apparel are not your normal everyday clothes. I like the idea of making inappropriate T-shirts and soon to be hats for women, especially moms. I only make clothes that I love and would wear myself. Anyone who knows me knows that I have the mouth of a sailor and I am an open book about my struggles. So occasionally there will be a sweater or shirt about anxiety, being an introvert or a shirt that will definitely have some bad words on it. I target moms and women who are comfortable in their skin and know they aren’t perfect and embrace it. We are expected to have our shit together all the time and work through our days with a smile on our face, when behind closed doors we’re sometimes losing it. I embrace my struggles and feel like its good to talk about them. For me, one of my ways of expressing that is through my clothing line. We’re not perfect and that’s okay! I also know that if I see a mom at the park with an inappropriate shirt about her being a badass I definitely want to chat it up with her and possibly make a new friend. Hopefully my shirts will do that for other moms out there too.
Best advice for moms who stay at home but looking to do “something” (whether that means going back to work or starting their own career from home)
It may seem overwhelming and impossible at times, probably most times, but it’s definitely worth following up on what you want to do. Especially for your own sanity.
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a mother?
I think it’s extremely important. I myself have felt like I lost myself. For me at first being a mother meant putting everyone before yourself, but that’s where I was wrong. You have to take care of yourself first and if you have a passion for something, make something of it. Do it for you. In order for everyone around you to be happy, you have to be happy.
Best advice for mom guilt?
Oh gosh, I experience this myself daily. Every night I think to myself “did I pay enough attention to my kids today” “should I have layed down longer with my boys before bedtime” but most of the time the mom guilt comes on strong after having to get after my kids for something. But no matter what your kids love you with all their hearts. Tomorrow is a new day. If I feel like I could be better.. the next day I try do do better.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
My mom. I am who I am because of her.
When parenting gets hard – what’s something you tell yourself that get you through?
Breath in breath out. Lol, my strong willed child will be a leader one day.
Name one thing you hope your kids look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama?
I’m hoping they remember how affectionate I am with them. I love to cuddle with them and am constantly kissing all over them. I’m actually hoping that they carry that on with their own children and know that it’s okay to have feelings and help them work through that like I do with them today.
To learn more about Sweet Mila Co: