We had the good fortune of connecting with Chanin Victor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chanin, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I’ve always tried to find balance in my life; it’s a necessity! We either have ambitions, or we’re looking for fulfillment. Is there a defining moment when it all comes together? For me, when my daughter was born, I realized every day with her was an amazing gift. But then I had to learn to balance everything, including being a wife, a daughter, a friend, and a mom.
As much as I wanted to parent the sh*t out of life, and I tried, I came to learn that achieving true contentment couldn’t be realized without personal progression. Life, for me, has been about finding ways to create a harmonious existence, without compromising who I am and what I want.
The creative platform I have built for myself has felicitously given me that balance through being able to connect with my community and being a resource to other moms and families. What was first just an expressive outlet, proved to have much broader effects on me growing as a person, while creating a much-needed work/life juxtaposition that’s based on accountability, mindfulness, and prioritization for my wants and needs.
As the publisher of Santa Monica Macaroni Kid, we personally share all of our adventures, as well as a calendar of family-friendly activities and opportunities. Families love to have options! It has been an extraordinary gift as a mom and an entrepreneur. It’s a hyper-local asset for my community and I take pride in connecting people in our neighborhood, intertwining lives and businesses. This has never been more important as it is during this pandemic. Everyone can relate, and this has created a strong bond between myself and my audience.
In my life, I’ve always been a go-getter (my nickname in college was “Miss On Fire”). I believe that we manifest our own luck through perseverance, so I plan and I dream and I have moments of uncertainty like everyone else, but I like the adventure. After many accomplishments (and many failures!), I’ve become extremely self-aware. I’ve got a better idea of how to plan and achieve the future I want without the hesitation and questioning that used to aggravate the younger version of me. This was so so hard, but I eventually just learned as I evolved into an adult and then a mom that everything does not have to be perfect and sometimes things work out differently than we planned. Many times, it’s even better, so embrace it and love your life wherever you are in your journey.
How do I stay balanced? I make lists, lists, and more lists; I love Trello for this. Wasting time and getting distracted is stress-inducing, so I try to avoid this whenever possible. I delegate tasks to my husband (and now my daughter, finally!) and I always try to prepare ahead of time. I’m honest with myself when I need help and once again, my husband will come to the rescue; he’s been an amazing resource. My daughter loves to help and is learning many things from me, just as I’m learning tons of techie things from her. Our family and our friendships are also critical to maintaining internal wellness. We love a good dinner party and we live for vacations; they’re nourishing for the soul. Putting myself on my “to-do” list is essential; eating, exercising, and enjoying are my three E’s. What’s that saying again? “One minute you’re young and wild…and the next you get excited about organizers and healthy recipes”. That’s me!
It took a ton of courage to try something I’d never done before; it’s been a one-woman show and loads of hard work. Many doors have opened for me since I’ve started and thankfully my family appreciates all the time and energy it takes to make it happen. I love what I do and I get to share so many experiences with my daughter and see her enjoy so many wonderful things in this world. I get to hear stories of families and other children who loved something I recommended or chronicled online. I’ve met so many incredible people & businesses along the way that I can help support and this has given my life meaning and purpose… and balance.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When I first became the Publisher of Santa Monica Macaroni Kid, a hyper-local online e-newsletter for parents, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do because I’d meet interesting people and fill all of my creative needs. What I didn’t realize is how much work it actually was (a ton!) and how fulfilling it would be for me as a person.
I’ve functioned as a completely independent operator most of the time; each weekly newsletter has me writing, sourcing photos, doing layouts, networking, social media, marketing, etc. My background in PR, photography, teaching, and sales all contributed to my potential and capabilities, but it’s been an ocean of work and I had to learn how to sail! At times I admittedly got overwhelmed, but I’m not a quitter; whatever I didn’t know, I learned how to do it. I’m now seeing this quality in my ten-year-old daughter and it makes me proud as a mom. She’s experienced all the perks since she was six, and she sees all the hard work that goes into publishing each newsletter. As an added benefit, she sometimes teaches me how to do something or gives her perspective, which I love. Now, if only she would adopt my organizational skills.
After four+ years as a Publisher, I’ve found my rhythm. Macaroni Kid is now owned by CertifiKid and all the national Publishers connect, collaborate, and support each other. It’s a family, and we’re there for each other. I’ve learned you can’t do everything alone and you need a healthy support system no matter what you do, be it like-minded professionals or your own family. I believe it was Helen Keller who said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
This endeavor has opened so many other doors for me as well. I’m a contributing editorial and travel writer for a couple of media outlets and because of my tech experience, I’ve started a side gig helping small businesses (mostly women-owned) with their digital marketing and virtual presences. I love being able to share my knowledge, resources, and expertise with others and I’ve built some amazing friendships on my journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My family moved around a lot when I was a child, so I have quite a few out-of-state friends that come to “see L.A.” and experience one of the most famous & most visited cities in the world. Here we go… Let’s enjoy the outdoors and start off local with the Chanin Tour ! Grab a bike and ride through my hood, the iconic Venice Canals, then venture out to the boardwalk. (If you ask any tourist, no LA visit is complete without seeing the Venice show). Ride up to the Santa Monica Pier and jump on the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park for a bird’s eye view of the ocean and mountains. If it’s sunny, you can possibly see Catalina Island, where I used to live, (yes, I actually lived there). On the way back, stop at Shutters (where I got married) and snack on a succulent lobster roll sandwich. Afterward, go next door to Casa Del Mar or down to The Erwin (or both). Relax and have a few drinks and watch the breathtakingly beautiful sunsets as you enjoy our always-perfect coastal weather. When we’re not otherwise day-tripping and traveling, this is the perfect way to create memorable micro-moments!
For a while now my work and home life have been mostly centered around “family activities” because they can enjoy so many things in this enormous city of ours! There’s no code that says you can’t bring your family to almost anything in L.A. except maybe the bars and The Magic Castle (unless it’s Sunday). A park, the theatre, or a concert,… there are family-friendly events going on all the time. Our favorites? We love hiking Santa Monica trails, such as the ones at Will Rogers Park or Temescal Canyon; the ocean panoramas are incredible. We love going to the theaters for concerts and events. We love all the pop-up shops! Throwing a family-friendly event? Let me know and I’ll add it to our newsletter.
I’m so excited the city is finally opening back up, including must-see museums like The Getty Center, The Getty Villa, The Skirball, The Hammer, LACMA, and Griffith Observatory. All offer family-friendly programs and fantastic views of our city. When it comes time to nosh, L.A. has such a diverse culinary scene; there are countless places to grab a bite of virtually anything your appetite demands, casual, formal, and everything in between. For those who love food, I’ve got a long list of places they should eat, whether it’s their first time in L.A. or for those who just want to try something new. One favorite is Montana Ave., which offers great food choices as well as cool shops, and always makes for a fun excursion. Hopefully, all our favorite places have made it through the pandemic and we can enjoy and share meals and happy times together again.
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?
Starting this journey couldn’t have happened without the love and support of my husband. He knew I wanted to raise our daughter and be there for her every step of the way. He knew I could unequivocally contribute to her education (as a former teacher), her school (as a devoted room mom), her social development (as a positive role model). He’s never once second-guessed this decision and he’s been my bedrock every step of the way. I couldn’t have done this without him.
Our families have also been my biggest cheerleaders as well as my close friends, who know I’m not just doing this just for fun. I mean, it’s been extremely entertaining and enjoyable, but I work really hard each week to publish every single newsletter. It’s a grind and I truly love every minute of it.
I also want to acknowledge that there have been some amazing women I’ve come into contact with who are following similar pursuits. These women continually elevate each other, offer guidance, and support each other with friendship. These women are confident, empowering, and strong. There’s no competition, only selflessness. I continually love being challenged and inspired by you all.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MacaroniKidSM
Ned Lampert – photo credit for family photo with dog
Kendall Halliburton for the SM Pier photos