Photos courtesy of The Avenue

I’m so excited to share today’s Mom Crush interview with you because it’s with my friend and fellow Houstonian Lyndsey Zorich! Lyndsey and I were introduced to each other through mutual friends (she’s a fellow KKG) when I first moved to Houston 5 years ago and our paths continued to cross through the tight knit local blogging world and it has been so fun getting to know her over the years. She recently launched a gorgeous online shop called The Avenue that is curated with beautiful home decor and fashion finds. We chatted about launching her business, brands that she loves, balancing parenting and work, and her party throwing tips (shes the hostess with the mostest). Keep reading to learn more about Lyndsey and The Avenue!

We’re so excited for you on the launch of your new business, The Avenue. You host the most gorgeous parties and are always stylishly dressed, so we love being able to shop your favorite finds! Did you always dream of having your own store?

LZ: I have to say that having a store had never been on my radar. After blogging for five years and working with some really great brands, I was ready to do something more entrepreneurial. I actually explored designing blazers for a few months! 

Around this time last year, I searched high and low for unique tabletop and holiday décor items and was underwhelmed with what was out there. Oftentimes, I’d come across an online shop featuring an aspirational tabletop scene with a beautiful tablecloth but was frustrated to find the other items were not for sale. This experience was the impetus for The Avenue, an online destination with inspirational imagery that is completely shoppable.

My blog, L. Avenue, focused heavily on fashion, so I knew that would be the other half of the site, and it made sense to me that dressing your table and yourself go hand in hand in so many ways. Initially, I didn’t set out to sell clothing, but we’ve discovered in the first six months that my following has really loved that side of the site, so we’re fleshing out both the accessory and apparel categories quite a bit for fall, holiday and next spring — stay tuned! 

Before launching The Avenue you were focused on running your beautiful blog L. Avenue. It has been so much fun being in the same community as you in Houston! When did you launch your blog and what was the inspiration behind starting it?

LZ: I launched L. Avenue shortly after my second daughter was born in 2013. Wow, time flies! Technically, my blogging journey began two years prior when I decided to quit corporate America and assume the role of stay-at-home mom. I needed something to channel my creative energy, so I launched a site called “High Heels and Handlebars”. What I imagined would be a space to talk about my life as a mom turned into the fashion blog that became L. Avenue. RewardStyle launched not long after and reached out to work together, so in retrospect, it definitely was a right place at the right time situation.

The Avenue has the most gorgeous pieces, from tableware to dresses. How do you find pieces and brands that you love? Do you have any specific criteria when adding a brand to your curated list?

LZ: I started by sourcing brands I’d worked with and knew well like Hunter Bell and Freya, who happen to both be in Houston like us! I always love supporting local brands and continue to keep an eye out for Texans doing amazing things, of which there are many! For tabletop, I also started with what I knew well — brands that I have used in my real life or found during my travels from California to Europe and everywhere in between. It’s pretty remarkable how many brands I’ve sourced through Instagram. Upon our initial launch, I was able to source lines from all over the world without even going to market! My number one criteria is that if I’m not over the moon about a brand, it’s not a good fit for the site. So much of how we sell is through my personal experience with these brands, so it’s important that I feel passionately about our products and light up when I talk about them to the online world or in person at our pop-ups! 

How would you describe your personal style in a few words, both for fashion and home entertaining?  

LZ: I’m classic with a contemporary twist! I’m naturally drawn to color and prints. I love building a wardrobe and designing a home that’s a mix of patterns, textures, and colors, high and low price points and, above all, that makes for an interesting and unique combination. I also love anything that has a sentimental tie, whether it be supporting a friend’s brand, sourcing a product from my hometown in Ohio, or that reminds me of sweet memories from a family trip. 

What are your go-to tips for hosting a party at home?

LZ: My #1 tip is something I rarely live by! Plan in advance! I wish I could say I’m good at this, but typically I’m frantically running around like a crazy person before hosting an event! Most often I find myself taking on home improvement projects just days before a party. I remember last year I had painters leaving as guests were arriving! One of my goals for the site is that we create fun, effortless, seasonal or themed dinners that our customers can easily recreate in their home, with things they have and a few new goodies from the site! 

Do you have any favorite trends right now in the fashion and home markets? Anything that you want to see go away?

LZ: I love all of the color I’m seeing in homes. Gone are the days of the grays, which I think is exciting. I’ve never been into the athleisure trend to be honest. GASP! I know, I’m definitely the odd woman out here. I just feel better in a styled outfit, even if it’s the same outfit a few days in a row. Denim, blazer, loafer. Repeat!

What does a day in the life of running an e-comm shop look like? Do you have any favorite responsibilities / tasks?  What is the most challenging part of running a business?

LZ: Not gonna lie, it’s chaos! Every day is completely different from the next. With 3 kids, I’m constantly starting and stopping which makes work pretty inefficient at times. I’m pretty determined to not miss out on the little things with my kids like after-school time together, meals at home, and Saturday trips to the farmer’s market, which makes it really hard to squeeze in the hours that running this business require.

What is next for The Avenue?  Do you have any short-term or long-term goals you can share with us?

LZ: It’s incredible how quickly the business has grown and evolved in just six short but sweet months! We are working on a pretty amazing gift box offering for anything from hostesses, to brides, to new mamas and get well goodies. We are also exploring rentals for our tabletop and a wedding registry! Long term, I could see us being in some form of brick and mortar, but it won’t be a traditional store, so lots of ideas churning there too! 

You have two adorable daughters and a sweet son and we love seeing glimpses of them on your Instagram. 🙂 How do you divide your day between work and motherhood?

LZ: The new business has taken a lot more of my time than I expected, so we are all adjusting to a new normal. I make it a priority to take my son to school daily, and three days a week I wrap up work in time for carpool (if you watch my Insta stories, I’m almost always last in line, but hey! I’m there!). That way I can be with my kids in the afternoons, then log back on at night after they are in bed. The days are long but I truly love this new business and am always feeling fulfilled when I’m pouring myself into new ideas, sourcing products, partnering with other creatives and producing photo shoots. Sometimes, the two worlds can collide in the best way, which is always so fun. I’ve taken the kids to visit showrooms and production facilities, and they’re always as awestruck as I am at how much work goes into creating a clothing garment or any other product! 

Do you have any advice for women juggling work and kids?

LZ: Honestly, I could use their advice right now! I’m new to the full-time work and kids juggling act. I’ve struggled with anxiety lately because it is A LOT, but I’m working hard to find the best balance I can for myself and my family.

What life lesson or value do you most hope to teach your children?

LZ: If they have an idea or something that excites them, explore it! Do not get caught up in “what if’s” and fear of failing. Go all in — it’s growth in life that matters and joy will ensue whether success for failure should follow. 

What are the most rewarding parts about being a working mom and what are the most challenging?

LZ: Rewarding: getting to show my daughters something I’m passionate about and teach them about working in general and what that means for their life. Challenging: the juggle is real!

Any tips for other business owners who work from home on how to create an efficient work space separate from family and personal time?

LZ: I think working from home with young kids is challenging. I love it because I can sneak in time with my kids, but I fully recognize that a better alternative is knocking out work efficiently so I can close the office door and devote my undivided attention to the kids. We actually ship and receive all of the goods for The Avenue out of my home, so on weekends I close the stockroom door and make every effort to not open it up until Monday morning!

Do you have any follow up questions for Lyndsey? Leave them in the comments below!