Here at LiveMom, we love meeting new moms (and dads) doing interesting things around town. Our monthly Feature series gives us an excuse to learn more about these hardworking Austinites. We met Kristine Palmer at the Texas Conference for Women last fall, and were impressed by her professionalism and drive. She created an innovative product called MyBagBelt, which is incredibly useful and smart, and she is one of the most supportive and positive people you’ll meet.
LiveMom: How long have you lived in Austin, and what brought you here?
KP: I am coming up on 13 years in Austin. We moved here for my husband to attend UT Law. We met in Wheaton, IL, near the Chicago area, but being native to Texas, he couldn’t survive long-term anywhere else in the country. I was happy to come along for the adventure.
LiveMom: How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
KP: Two kids: Kate (8) and Drew (6).
LiveMom: What is your idea of a perfect day with the family in Austin?
KP: My perfect day in Austin actually starts a few miles out of town, experiencing one of the many outdoor adventures we are blessed to have in the Hill Country. We love Enchanted Rock, Hamilton Pool, and Sweetberry Farm, to name a few. Follow that with a fantastic dinner at a new restaurant in Austin and my day is made. I love going places I haven’t tried before.
LiveMom: If you had 24 hours to yourself in Austin, how would you spend it?
KP: I would start out on a paddle board on Ladybird Lake, follow with lunch at Flower Child, and finish with shopping in the new section of the Domain. I’d squeeze some gelato in there for an afternoon energy boost.
LiveMom: What do you like best about Austin? What would you change, if you could?
KP: My favorite thing about Austin is the weather. Living through long, cold winters in Chicago are a dreaded thing of the past! If I could change one thing, it would be real estate prices. Although on second thought, that would attract even more people, so maybe not.
LiveMom: What’s one piece of unsolicited advice you’d give to a new mom?
KP: I am FULL of unsolicited advice! Probably what I would find most important is to keep doing something that you love to do. Don’t give up everything you love because you are a new mom. Keep going to yoga, keeping working, even if it is a part-time gig or taking class to maintain your skills, keep crafting, keep going to musical performances at Zach Scott Theater– if that’s what you love. That little escape will help maintain your sanity!
LiveMom: What is the best thing one mom can do for another?
KP: Whatever is YOUR specialty! Childcare? Invite her kids over for a play date to give her a few hours to herself. Cooking? Drop off dinner when you hear she’s having a rough week. Social media? Like/comment/share her posts! GIVE of what comes naturally to you and you will bless others.
LiveMom: What kind of music do you like? Any local musicians? Kids musicians?
KP: Honestly, as anti-Austin as it sounds, I am not that into music. Now, if you want to talk about the best mystery and suspense novels I’ve read lately…the list will be long!
LiveMom: What’s the best way to keep up with what you are up to next?
KP: Friend me on Facebook! I’m involved in a lot of things and am always up for learning something new or helping someone accomplish their goals. I appreciate a message along with the friend request so I have a heads up as to how you found me and why we should know each other. ??
LiveMom: What might we be surprised to learn about you?
KP: I’m an introvert. While I regularly push myself out of my comfort zone speaking to groups, networking or doing Facebook Live videos, I really need alone time to recover, think creatively, and gear up for the next thing. In fact, I do my best to put myself to bed at the same time as my kids, just to have time to wind down.
LiveMom: What is your job, what is your title, and what do you love about your job?
KP: I am the inventor of product called MyBagBelt. My titles include Founder, Marketer, Salesperson, Seamstress, Packager, Shipper, Bookkeeper, and everything else that comes with running a small business. The launching of that business led me to start helping others who are also launching or pivoting their businesses. So I also specialize as a business consultant for startups and small business owners who grow their business by word of mouth referrals. I simply love supporting women who are trying to make something happen! It inspires me to work harder and I love being a part of their success.
LiveMom: Do you have any charitable organizations you like to work with/ donate to/ volunteer for locally?
KP: I am active at my kids’ schools, but not nearly as much as some moms. I am constantly astounded at how much bandwidth the women around me seem to have. My favorite service opportunity is through my church. I’m on a list called “Servants on Standby” where they email out needs as they become apparent to the church. Sometimes it is physical items or meals for families or partner organizations of the church and sometimes it is volunteer opportunities where I can hop over to the church to set up for an event or ministry. I love that those simple emails broaden my awareness of the needs in our community and give me a chance to meet those needs as I am able.
LiveMom: What is your secret talent?
KP: At 35 years old, I am still able to put my feet behind my head. I know you’re impressed.