Inspired by her family and her faith, Monica Ketchum started her blog Momma Meets World 2 years ago in the hopes that she could be a source of encouragement to other mamas out there. Since then, her blog has flourished and has been featured on sites like ForEveryMom.com. Did we mention Harney & Sons teas are the reason she and her husband Jon got married? Well, we can’t take all the credit, but we are honored to be a part of their love story nonetheless.
We had the opportunity to talk with Monica about her career as a blogger and photographer and life as a super mommy. Read on to learn more about Monica, her brand and her love for tea.
Harney: Tell us a little about you. How did you begin blogging?
Monica: I’m Monica, but I answer to “mama, mama, mommmm!” I’m a wife, mom to two, blogger, and photographer. I started my blog 2 years ago already, with the hope of bringing encouragement to moms everywhere, while keeping Christ at the center of motherhood. My son was 4 months old when I started Momma Meets World (named after Boy Meets World because that’s the best!) This blog has transformed into a place where I can be real with y’all, and feel support from so many of you going through the same struggles, triumphs and seasons of life. I always have dreamed of writing a book...but until that day, I’ll just keep blogging.
Harney: What inspires you to write and create?
Monica: There is a simple answer to that, and a more complex answer, yet they are the same. My family. Of course, that’s the simple answer; it’s because of them that I even have stories to share, and encouragement to send out. They constantly lift me up and make me laugh all while driving me crazy at the same time. The complex answer: my family is the reason it’s so important to me to keep Christ at the center of motherhood and life. Nothing is more important than Him, and the way I parent and raise up these kids (with my husband) to know God is what matters most. And I hope, so so much, that I can inspire others on their journeys to keep the faith, to learn patience and give grace, and to do their very best to raise a generation of God-fearing, kind kids.
Harney: How do your family and faith influence your work?
Monica: I think the above response answers this perfectly, but to extend on it a little more...being a child of God is everything to me. If I have nothing else in this world, I still have Jesus, and that’s the unending love I desire to share with others. I enjoy praying for those that need it, and listening when someone needs a friend...I’m definitely not perfect, but I strive daily to be more like the Christ as a wife, mama, daughter, sister and friend. That all keeps me at this daily.
Harney: What are some of the biggest struggles you faced as you worked to establish yourself as a blogger?
Monica: Being real. I set out with the mindset that I would always be real with you all...and I’ve failed a couple times writing what I think you’ll want to hear. Those posts usually flop, because you guys actually want REAL! You want to know that my life isn’t perfect and that my toddler has been going through terrible twos for over a year and that I haven’t washed my hair in days and I’ve been grumpy toward my kids who won’t stop fighting...and the list goes on. I have to remind myself that I’m not in this business to gain followers or to become famous, I’m in it to encourage and lift up and help mamas...and the only way I can do that is to stay true to myself and every one of you.
Harney: Explain a little more about your style. What makes your brand unique?
Monica: My style is...simplicity, with a splash of humor, and a whole dose of truth. I’ve been told numerous times by mamas that that is what keeps them here, and keeps them reading and sharing. Oh, and there is a splash of home decor on Momma Meets World because we recently built a house (so modern farmhouse style! )
Harney: What are some of your favorite pieces of work or career accomplishments? What are you most proud of?
Monica: I was so excited to be featured on ForEveryMom.com last year with my “Maybe being a Mom is suppose to change you, forever” post. The exposure is great, and feeling like I wrote something that inspired others makes me feel so good, but I’m most proud of how God has used this blog and my writing to help and change lives.
Harney: What is some advice you have for aspiring bloggers? What would you tell someone who may be a little overwhelmed by this career path?
Monica: I’ve shared with others before that blogging is like any other career choice. It has its ups and downs, it’s overwhelming and discouraging at times, but definitely worth it in the end. If you have a story to share (or even if you don’t) then blogging is definitely for you. I have a passion for writing, so it makes it easier, but some days I have writer's block and don’t post for a month! My advice is simple: keep with it, even when it’s hard and discouraging, keep going. You never know when your writing will change a life.
Harney: Besides taking beautiful photos for your blog and writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Monica: Taking photos takes up a lot of free time (haha) but I do love paddle boarding, learning about essential oils, going on walks (and taking more photos) and visiting small towns in Michigan. I’m a total hippie at heart and love making kombucha, I’d love to start teaching classes on making it! And of course, I’m a FRIENDS fanatic, so I binge a few episodes at a time.
Harney: Are you a tea lover and is tea a part of your everyday routine?
Monica: I am indeed a tea lover! Whether it’s drinking kombucha every day, or my Harney & Sons faves, I’d definitely say it’s part of my routine. And I LOVE hosting people in our new home. Offering them so many delicious teas makes me giddy!
Harney: How does tea influence your work? What do you love most about tea?
Monica: I’m not sure if tea influences my work per se...but it has influenced a lot of things. Harney & Sons, in particular, has been a part of our love story since 2009. My husband and I met while working together at a coffee shop (where we served H&S!)...classic story of “I hated him and he liked me.” We ended up going separate ways and not talking again until 2014! Went on a date after church in April, engaged in May, and married that August. And when we moved into our house we realized we both still had Harney tea tins from 2009, and we both still love and drink it daily. Those tins are in almost every room in our home. I love that it’s a reminder of 10 years ago...when our story started to bloom...who knew at that point we just had to steep for 5 years before we were ready?
Harney: Do you have any favorite flavors or types of Harney & Sons tea?
Monica: Do I ever!! Hot Cinnamon Spice is GOLD. I buy it in 50 sachets at a time. I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine but I’d take a cup of this every day over anything else. I’ve shared this with a few friends and they love it, too. Paris is also very good, and Bangkok instantly brings me to a beach in Florida! All YUM. My absolute new favorite Harney tea is Black Currant with cream and honey. I crave it. Do yourself a flavor and get some! :)
Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, Monica! To learn more about Monica, her passions or her brand, head to mommameetsworld.com or follow her on Instagram. All photography has been provided by Monica.