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Meet Annie Vovan of Avenue Mama in South Bay – Palos Verdes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annie Vovan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I originally started Avenue Mama with an Instagram account to air out a difficult time in my life. It was 2017, and I had lost my father, father in law, and also my 46 years old nanny within months of each other.  To compound the devastation after those losses, I experienced 2 back to back miscarriages followed by my mom being diagnosed with cancer as a new widow.

As I made the drive from Los Angeles to Orange County on my dad’s final days, all I did was reflect on where I was spending my time in my life. What was I pursuing, and did it truly help anyone else? I had this feeling in my gut that there was something on the horizon for me.

Avenue Mama slowly switched from a personal online diary to then a community for moms where we talked about self-care, or lack thereof. I immediately starting throughout events to talk about self-compassion and self-care and reminding my community that my nanny was 46 years old when she suddenly died. She had unmet goals and unmet dreams. She wanted to wait for her son to finish college before she would let herself  “live.”

My nanny is the force behind my passion to be intentional about my life and reminding the moms in my community to do so as well.

I feel very fortunate that once I became a mom, I took my side hustle of being a lifestyle photographer for 10 years to a full time career to help support my family, so I also host workshops on mompreneurship. This also lights me up because I believe women can find a way to have a career that involves their passion.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been an incredible, powerful and beautiful road. It started off as a place of self-care and self-love and it has morphed as I have evolved.  I feel so fortunate the strangers off the internet will attend our workshops and tell their friends to come and that our community has grown to become an International community.

The struggle I have is being a team of one person at the moment!

Allright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Avenue Mama – what should we know?
Avenue Mama is an inclusive community and all about Mom. Every mom, regardless of her child’s age, and moms-to-be are welcome to join in the conversation on how to design a life she loves.

I am proud that I am  Asian American and in my mid 40’s, and I feel like my life has just begun. I have held 4 rounds of my “Avenue Mama on Fire Tribe” where I help moms uncover their big and juicy goal, and go after them. The best thing I have done with my goals, is to take action on them. What is the point of life when you have all these goals collecting dust? Even if it is not the perfect outcome, I believe everyone can learn and make the most out of the goals along the way.  I share my journey in personal development so that can teach moms who sign up for my programs how to take steps in taking better care of themselves, their marriage, their personal life, their finances and professional life. This is the essence of what true “self-care” is. Focusing our time and attention on what isn’t working in our life so we can stop avoiding. This work has been the most rewarding work I have ever pursued in my life.

I also have a podcast that is very short (15 minutes or less) that is workshop style. In each episode, I add time to apply the lesson of the workshop while you are listening. I do my best to take all of the self-care and personal development AND mompreneur hacks I can offer my audience in a quick and clear way. The podcast explores the “avenues” of motherhood, mindset, and mompreneurship.

Our workshop topics have been on Body Positivity, Health, and Wellness, Mompreneurship, Self-Care, Self-Compassion. I typically have a component where we do some form of moving our body (think yoga or even Zumba) because I know how limited downtime is for moms. The week before Mother’s Day, I hosted the first Self-Care Summit and I coined it MOMchella! It was a beautiful day of mindset work, music, performances, MOMosas, and conversation.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband Don plays a huge role in being supportive that I left a steady paycheck and stable career. He has been the main reason I am able to keep re-inventing my story and the impact that I want to leave our children and our community. My dearest friends Joana Arita, Dustin Farivar, Jenny McNeill, Pany Robinson and Kevin Vu have supported all my random dreams and endeavors forever— they always give me permission to dream and never tell me that my dreams are too big or too silly.

Had it not been for my dear friend, Danika Brysha (who nominated me for this feature for Voyage LA Magazine), I would not have a self-care journey like I have now. She has taught me her self-care checklist and the ability to manifest my goals and dreams. She also inspired me to take care of my health and complete Whole 30, which led me to be the most healthy in my life.

I have an amazing community of women in the Avenue Mama Community, and the moms that have stepped up are Michelle Purta who was helping behind the scenes and be a sounding board. Maria Sutterfield of Ready Set Nosh has been the heart of our community. I also have my amazing Mommy & Me group that I found in Redondo Beach when my 2nd child was born, so these ladies…Danielle Kidney, Vy Brooks, Elaine Font, Nicole Lawrence, and Allison Morgan who have been such a major support system to me.

And of course, my mom, Dianne Vo  and dad, Tung Vo, has taught me how to be kind and generous and the importance of service.

Pricing:

  • The Avenue Mama Mindset Vault is coming soon for $47 a month
  • I offer 1:1 Mompreneur Mindset Coaching starting off at $800 a month
  • Lifestyle photoshoots begin at $600

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rubi Z Photo, Annie Vovan

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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