Meet Natalie Franke - Anne Arundel Moms

Natalie is a local Annapolis mom who is passionate about community. So passionate, in fact, that she’s created her own and written a book about it! We’re elated that she was able to share how becoming a mom impacted her business, how she reframes the mundane tasks, and even let us in on her favorite Annapolis spots. We can’t wait for you to learn a bit about her and how she’s taking on motherhood!

Photography by Nikole Ruth

You’re a mama, of course! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?

I have a 2 and a half year old and a baby on the way! (Editor Note: Since this interview, Natalie has welcomed her second child, Harlow!)


Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Annapolis? What made you decide to live here?

I was born in raised in Annapolis… even married my high school sweetheart! We have lived in other cities (Philadelphia and San Francisco) and traveled all around, however Annapolis will always be home. We made the permanent move back to Annapolis shortly before my son was born.


What’s your favorite family activity to do in the Annapolis area?

Getting out on the water – whether that’s boating, swimming, taking trips to the beach! Anything that gets us closer to the water is something that we’re excited about!


What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in the Annapolis area?

The strong sense of community is easily my favorite part. Annapolis has so many ways to get involved in community with others and people are genuinely kind.


Photography by Nikole Ruth

What do you consider to be the greatest gift about being a mom?

Seeing your tiny human grow into a kind, loving, good person… there is nothing quite like it. 


What’s your least favorite mom duty? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath

time, etc.)

Anything involving diapers. 😉


Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop around Annapolis?

Favorite place to eat – Black Market Bakers, Botanas Fajardo, Bread and Butter Kitchen, Forward Brewing, and The Point. Favorite places to shop – Mango and Main, Old Fox Books, Lilac Bijoux, Here A Pop Up Shop, Vignette Home Table Garden, and Wildberry Farm & Market.


What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I can’t whistle. Never could figure it out.


What’s something you love that’s just for you?

Doodling on my iPad. I absolutely love writing out quotes in Procreate while listening to some upbeat music.


What’s your best mom hack that makes your life easier?

Turn everyday chores, trips, and responsibilities into adventures. Rather than trying to fit play into our life… I turn our life into play. With how busy I am as a working mom, business owner, and author in this season… I learned early on that even though I might not have the quantity of time with my son that others do… I can make the time count. This mindset shift has been so freeing and truly opened my eyes to how much fun can be had in the simplest of moments.


What’s your best advice for mom guilt?

Nobody has this mom thing figured out. At least I sure don’t. Most of us have dog-hair tumbleweeds rolling across our floors with dishes in the sink and an infinitely overflowing inbox or to-do list… and that’s okay. Don’t let social media make you feel inadequate. Remember that behind her highlight reel are struggles too… stop comparing yourself to other moms and know that your best is enough.


Photography by Nikole Ruth

Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?

My mom. Superwoman. Single mama. She is why I am the way that I am today.


What do you hope your children look back and remember about their

childhood and you as their mama?

I hope they look back and remember that they were surrounded by love, encouraged to explore, and empowered to be themselves – fully.


You’re a business owner, entrepreneur, and most recently have published your first book! Tell us about how your new book, Built to Belong came to be.

Built to Belong is all about the power of community over competition. In a world that tells us we must compete, compare, and strive to be THE best… This book is a fierce reminder that we can rise and thrive together while showing up everyday to be OUR best. It tears down the narratives that pit us against one another and shows us the path to moving forward… together.


How has your community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

My community has carried me countless times – through infertility, brain surgery for a benign tumor, postpartum, motherhood. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my community.


How does being a mom yourself impact your business?

Becoming a mom required me to evaluate my priorities in different ways… to become more diligent in how I spend my time, to be more selective in what I say yes to, to remain focussed on the legacy I am working to build for my children. I think it really sharpened my clarity around the ‘why, what, and how’ that guides all of my decisions as an entrepreneur.


What advice would you share with other mothers who are thinking of beginning their own business?

First of all, if you are feeling the desire to start a business… DO IT! Explore the idea. Take the first step. Don’t be afraid to begin. Simply by being a mother… you have skills and talents that uniquely equip you for success in running a small business. I could write an entire book on this subject and maybe one day I will! 😉 Essentially, I believe that mothers are superheroes with a unique blend of leadership, emotional intelligence, and executional skills that enable them to wear all the hats required in start-up life. Secondly, don’t do it alone. Lean on others who are in the field you’re looking to enter. Talk to folks who have gone before. Connect with your community. It is a hard pursuit, but the path is much easier when you know that you can walk it alongside others who want to see you win.

You can find Natalie on Instagram and find Built to Belong anywhere books are sold!

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