Co-founder and co-owner of Echo Speech Therapy
IMC: What’s your name? Where are you from? Where do you reside?
JF: Julia Hammons Franklin – AKA “Jewels” to most family and friends My childhood roots are in the south – East Tennessee. After getting married, my husband and I lived in Los Angeles for 10 years. Last year, we became southerners again and now live in Charlotte, NC…and yes I’ve let my southern accent come right back YA’LL!
IMC: What is your occupation?
JF: I own Echo Speech Therapy, PLLC in North Carolina where I practice as a licensed speech-language pathologist. I work directly with individual families in therapy sessions and also travel nationwide teaching a continuing education course for early intervention professionals. Echo was co-founded while I lived in LA with another mom-business colleague and dear friend, Roisin Ching. She owns and operates Echo Speech Therapy, Inc. in LA. We were pregnant with our first babies and due within 2 days of each other!
IMC: How many children do you have?
JF: I became a mother nearly 3 years ago when my son, Hudson, was born. He is a toddler filled with curiosity and adventure. He prefers to answer to “Batman” when wearing his cape…which is during most of his waking hours!
IMC: Are you currently in a relationship?
JF: Yes, my wonderful husband, Adam, and I just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last month. He keeps me dreaming, laughing, and focused on enjoying the moment.
IMC: What do you love about being in a freelance business or the entertainment world?
JF: Echo was born out of motivation to find balance between sharing quality time with my son while continuing to grow as a professional and giving back in my career as a speech language pathologist. Finding this so-called “balance” has proven to be an ever-moving target within the many changing seasons of opportunity in my business and family life. I continue to remind myself daily that true feelings of balance and happiness are a product of my daily mental focus. I definitely don’t always get it right, but continue to try to be aware each day of how my choices and attitude impact my day and those around me.
IMC: What do wish were different in the freelance business or the entertainment world when it comes to the view-point of mothers in the industry.
JF: Harmony and grace for one another. The longer I’m a mom, the more I appreciate that there is no single way to be a great parent! Taking extended time away from work to be with our children, working part-time, or full-time can all be the best choice for a family. I look forward to the day when parents who choose different work-life balance options can understand and appreciate that we are all making choices that we feel are best for our own family and current season of life. What would happen in our workplaces if we all spread support and encouragement instead of the common message of guilt that mothers often feel (from working too much to working too little)?
IMC: Do you feel respected as a mom in the industry?
JF: Actually yes! In many ways I feel that I am more respected now that I’m a mom in my industry. Since I work in a field where children and families are at the center, it seems that many of my clients appreciate my parent-professional perspective. As a mom, I’ve gained a tremendous amount of empathy and understanding for the responsibilities of this job called “parenting”. However, does it feel difficult to keep up with the pace of business development in my industry since I split time between the office & my child – absolutely! I continue to remind myself that this season of parenting a toddler is only one mile in this marathon of my professional career. I find peace in knowing that the terrain in the next mile will require continued growth and planning…so I don’t have to keep everything perfectly in line all the time. I just keep moving forward and focused on the goal of creating a happy life for my family – no matter what route it takes us.
IMC: How do you overcome obstacles as a mom in the industry?
JF: My village! I try to never take for granted the great network of friends and family who know me so intimately. They often know how I feel before I ever say anything! These dear golden relationships have gotten me through the bad news, failed expectations, and moments where I doubt myself. They remind me of the big picture, the opportunity for growth, and that a nice glass of wine is a great way to regain this positive perspective together!
IMC: How do you find time for yourself, spouse, and children or are you still working that part out? If so share how.
JF: “You can’t pour from an empty cup!” I have friends who remind me that caring for myown body and soul allows me to give much more to my job and family. Easier said than done though right!? Much of my career is devoted to teaching children and families how to PLAY in order to connect and communicate. I’ve come to realize that when we as adults stop playing ourselves – we can easily loose track of our own creative – life loving – “like a kid” spirit that allows us to be our best for the relationships in our lives! “Play” is anything that we freely choose that brings us great joy and makes us loose track of the moment because we are having so much fun! It is different for all of us and not just about playing games. I am continually looking for those things that bring me great pleasure and remind me to enjoy this great world around me. Scouring a new town for great food/coffee, finishing a page in my adult coloring book, trying my hand at creating a green thumb in my new garden, running with great music, belly laughing at movies, and wine tasting discoveries are some my personal “playtimes”.
IMC: Where can viewers find out more about your business?
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
IMC: Whether pregnant, adopting, or marrying into a blended family what made you want to continue in the freelance entertainment world knowing the risks.
JF: I realized that I am not alone in this journey of figuring out this thing called parenting! I believe we are all “in training” and the goal of becoming a parent who has mastered it all lasts a lifetime. There’s a role and a need for each of us to fulfill at any one time. Building my own business fulfills many of my own priorities and goals in this current season of life.
IMC: How did you maintain funding when you needed to take time away to become acclimated to your industry or did you take time away at all.
My husband also owns his own business so consistency and funding for our family is often a proactive area of needed communication. We try to keep our conversations open to plan for financial changes and expenses because our income can quickly change in either business. There is no way that I would be on this journey of business ownership without his support, understanding, and sacrifice!
IMC: What advice do you have for moms in the industry?
JF: 1. Adopt the “GET TO not HAVE TO” attitude. A friend challenged me one one day to change that one word when you find yourself saying it. Instead of saying “I HAVE to clean the kitchen” – change it to – “I GET to clean the kitchen because we cooked and ate an amazing family meal together.”
“I HAVE to wake up early for this client” to “I GET to wake up early for this client because I’m fortunate to be building this client base!” Find the joy in something we generally call a chore or complain about and find ways to express more gratitude! Try it for 1 day and see what you come up with!
2. When you find yourself on auto pilot going through the day with a huge to do list pause and tell yourself to fully feel a moment and be reminded that you’re alive and able to be doing what you are doing. Go through your senses and take extra notice to what is around you…what you see, what you hear, what you feel, what you smell. It is amazing how much that we miss when we simply go through the motions of a day.
3. Play More! (of course with your kids, but doing things for YOU that make you feel like a kid again!)
Thank you Jewles, for your contribution to the Industry Moms Culture!