Amy Tan is the founder and creative director of Amy Tangerine and best-selling author and podcaster of Craft a Life You Love. She lives in sunny Los Angeles with her husband and two kids, Jack and Juniper.
There are so many reasons why we love Amy. She inspires and encourages everyone to live a life that they make their own through passion, creativity and intention. She also brings so much joy and color into everything she touches. She is one inspiring mama and we were honored to interview her.
You inspire moms through the work you do, what led you to start?
My company, Amy Tangerine, was a happy accident. Initially, I worked as a fashion stylist and produced photoshoots. I came up with the name at that point. When I started crocheting arm warmers and hand-embroidering tee shirts, it seemed fitting to have it all under the same name— Amy Tangerine. Knowing I started something back in 2002 by just doing things I had a passion for and watching it evolve and adapt in a way that is unique is one of the best things about being an entrepreneur. I'm inspired by so many things, but most of all by the amazing people I met along the way. After several successful years in the fashion industry, I pivoted towards paper products and never looked back. I love memory keeping and sharing the joy through scrapbooking and paper-crafting. As a way to share moments and filter photos, I started my Instagram in 2012. I’ve taught all kinds of workshops and have done several keynotes on inspiring, empowering and uplifting through creativity. Our products have changed throughout the years; however, I believe our main values have remained the same - helping women infuse more creativity, fun and intention in their everyday lives.
What is your favorite part of being a mom?
I love seeing the world through their eyes. Every little thing is a wonder and their curious and playful spirit inspires me every single day.
What is your #1 mom tip?
Be present and give yourself plenty of grace. There have been countless times I berated myself in my head over things I worried about that were out of my control. Guilt was something I really only experienced heavily as a working mom. Now that there’s 7 years between my kids, I am going a lot easier on myself. Also knowing that everything is a phase is really helpful and encouraging.
Who are some moms who inspire you?
So many women throughout my life have been an anchor and inspiration to me in so many ways. My mom is a huge help since she lives just a mile away in the guesthouse of our old house, which we are renting out. It’s such a blessing (even though we have our differences and moments) that Jack and Juniper grow up with a grandparent nearby. This was actually the first winter since 2013 we hadn’t had my in-laws in our other guesthouse. My MIL is one of the strongest women I know - raising 4 kids and having worked two jobs before she suffered a stroke in 2011. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago and continues to fight hard and have a positive outlook on life. I am thankful to be close to several girlfriends from college, who my kids all call “aunty”. I have dear friends who don't have kids of their own but know how to truly live fully -- they inspire me to live my brightest life. And my sister in laws (one is expecting her third in May and the other is expecting her first in September!) have always been the best aunts. The creative community (particularly the planning and scrapbooking communities) has helped me so much in ways they probably don’t even realize. A simple uplifting comment on social media where they share their experience or advice may seem small and insignificant, but can have a big, lasting impact. When I was pregnant with Jack, I traveled quite a bit and got to have women (many of the moms, grandmas and aunts) from Australia, Spain, Portugal, Thailand, and throughout the US give a little love when they patted my belly.
Have you asked your kids how they feel loved? What did they say?
One of the things I want to make sure of is that both Jack and Juniper feel unconditionally loved. I didn’t grow up saying or hearing “I love you” all the time, but I always felt it. Jack said something really sweet about feeling the love for his little sister and how it felt like his heart was going to burst. I have the exact words written down somewhere.
How did you celebrate Mother's Day this year?
Just at home with my family, by the pool or in it. I prefer to keep things simple. My husband is a really great cook but also adept at ordering what I will be craving at any given time. As long as I get some time to get creative, read the Sunday NY Times, and enjoy some rest and relaxation, I am happy!
How do you feel gratitude?
Having had 4 miscarriages in 4 years (2016-2019) I can say wholeheartedly that I am grateful for this life. I think overall there’s a collective feeling in the world that we will hopefully be moving forward towards better. Our littles are our light and hope for a brighter future.
Where you can find Amy: