We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Yngve and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erica, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work/Life Balance as a parent means having that one extra bucket of daily hours you need to fill, and fill well. Before Children (BC) my time buckets were 1) myself 2) my spouse 3) my extended family and friends 4) my job. Having children added the 5th bucket, pulling time from each the the four prior buckets by an unusually disproportioned amount. When my children were very young, I was working part-time from home, with flexible hours. That seemed to be fairly easy to balance as I could work after the kids went to bed. I could be ‘efficient’ by combining family and friend time with the children, spouse, etc. But when I bought a cut and sew company and was required to work full-time away from the home, my life felt turned upside down. I couldn’t fill the same amount of time with my kids as I did before as there just weren’t enough hours in the day. It came down to prioritizing quality versus quantity. I could still eat dinner with my kids almost every evening, hang out with them before bed, and make sure a good part of the weekend was spent doing something together as a family. I love what I do, and the time flies by at work. But I must mentally pack away work when I reach my driveway every evening and focus on my family. I have early mornings for myself and weekends to get things done around the house. And sometimes, I just have to let housework go to the wayside. Planning, or having a strategy to your schedule, is key. I’m also blessed to have family nearby, who shares in the child-rearing. It is wonderful to trade-off kid watching with family or friends. Everyone, even the children, benefits from that.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I thought starting my own fashion brand was going to be plenty of work, and it was. However, in searching for ways to produce my own line more cost-effectively, I was given the opportunity to buy my own manufacturing factory. I now produce my own brand more efficiently and sustainably, as well as produce other designers and brands through Sonoran Stitch Factory. It was one of my most pivotal business moments to date. My advice: don’t just look forward, but look to each side, behind, above and around you. There are so many ways to scale your brand that aren’t found in the traditional growth box. This industry is growing in all sorts of directions-make sure you don’t just follow the straight line.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Tucson is so eclectic-most people have no idea what an interesting and diverse place it is. I would start with some great hikes: Sabino Canyon (especially after a good winter rain or during monsoon season), Catalina State Park, and also the little trails around Sanctuary Cove. Linda Vista Trails have some spectacular views. Mt. Lemon’s Marshall Gulch is a bit cooler, and has pine trees! I would take them to the world-renown Sonoran Desert Museum, take a trip to the airplane graveyard of the Pima Air and Space Museum, view some local art at the DeGrazia Gallery and do some fun shopping down on 4th Ave. Some of my favorite places to eat are: Tohono Chul botanical garden’s outdoor patio that serves prickly pear lemonade and Edna’s Eatery which uses ingredients from the Tucson Botanical Gardens. I love Seis which has outdoor seating and delicious breakfast, lunch and dinners. Charo Vida is also unique and uses locally grown and sourced ingredients. I could go on and on with Tucson’s restaurant options-we are a foodie destination!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to my husband, Rick, who is working with me in this new venture. His love and support and belief in me have made it possible to go this far. I look forward to what our future together will bring!

Website: www.bralesly.com

Instagram: #bralessly

Facebook: @doitbralessly

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