Mom Next Door: Candice Romo / Co-Founder of Hawk + Sloane
A former sports journalist, Candice Romo was accustomed to life on the sideline long before she met and married Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Growing up, she was a fierce competitor — both in beauty pageants and athletics, particularly basketball and golf. When she graduated from Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Romo headed to the University of Missouri to study broadcast journalism, hoping to emulate the career of Melissa Stark, regarded as a pioneer for women in the field. “I remember watching football one night and thinking, ‘I want that job,’” she says. “I knew that at some point in life I wouldn’t be able to play sports anymore, so I wanted to be able to talk about them.”
Mizzou was a good fit. Before graduating, Romo got her feet wet as a sports anchor and won the title of Miss Missouri, going on to place in the top 10 in the Miss USA pageant. After graduating, she hung up her crown for good and moved home to Dallas to begin her journalism career in earnest. She spent two summers interning for the Dallas Cowboys as an on-air reporter for CBS and covering high school and college sports across Dallas-Fort Worth.
She also met her future husband, whom she married in 2011.
Today, 29-year-old Romo is a mom of two — Hawkins, 4, and Rivers, 2 — and though her journalism career is on hiatus, she’s busier than ever. Romo added entrepreneur to her resume earlier this year with the launch of Hawk+Sloane, a collection of six sprays she developed with business partner (and longtime best friend) Hollie Siglin. Designed to help others “conquer parenthood one spray at a time,” mists are formulated for everything from calming anxious kids before bedtime to “keeping the sassies away.”
“I’ve always been a hard worker and had ideas and dreams,” she says. “But this totally just happened. Things you’re passionate about tend to happen organically like that.”
Tell us about your role with Hawk+Sloane.
Hollie and I have such a good dynamic. Her weaknesses are my strengths and my weaknesses are her strengths. I’m more of the creative visionary; she’s a numbers girl.
What’s the best part of working with your best friend?
It’s fun! It never seems like work when you’re doing it with someone you enjoy being with.
What has the experience taught you about business so far?
Nothing happens overnight. Like parenting, it’s a marathon.
Which spray do you use the most at home?
Definitely Soothie and Scary Spray! Soothie Spray is so helpful with my son’s eczema and my boys love spraying Scary Spray in their rooms every night.
Any spoilers you can share on what’s next for the brand?
We’d definitely like to expand the line. We have other spray ideas, but right now we’re just focusing on these six.
Do you have any fears about turning 30?
No, it’s sad to me that so much time has gone by. The number doesn’t bother me; it’s not about the age. I feel like I just graduated college. Where did these last years go?
Did you always want to be a mom?
I knew I’d be a mom at some point. I was really career-driven and thought I’d be an older mom, but the Lord had a different plan. I got married a lot younger than I expected and Hawk was a huge surprise, but I don’t regret it for one moment. Now with two boys, I’m glad I am a little bit younger because they’re exhausting.
What is life as a boy mom like?
Very busy. People always ask, “How do you stay in shape?” It’s really pretty easy with two little boys. I’m constantly running around.
Are they in a lot of activities?
Hawk is only 4, but he’s already started soccer and does karate. They’re not even in elementary school yet and they already have activities, which is hilarious.
Is two the magic the number?
We always talk about having more eventually. Whether it’s a girl or a boy, I think we’ve always wanted at least three.
What’s surprised you most about motherhood?
When I had kids, I immediately felt this gratitude toward my parents. You understand your parents’ side all of a sudden.
What have you found the most challenging?
Just the day to day. There’s never a break. It’s the marathon of it that’s a challenge.
Do you have a support system in place to help?
My mom and dad live really close. They’re very helpful. We have a baby sitter. Tony’s parents fly in a lot for home games, so they’re very helpful. We have plenty of hands.
What’s your parenting style?
I’m sure I was a crazy first-time mom with Hawk. With Rivers, I’m more laid-back. I always want to be cognizant of who they are, what their desires are and help motivate them to pursue their talents and abilities.
How did parenthood change the dynamic between you and Tony?
Kids rock your world. I think everybody’s first year with a new baby is challenging, but you just figure it out. We’ve got it down pat now.
Do you think you’ll ever return to broadcast work?
Right now I don’t see how it would work in our life. With two little kids and Tony’s career it seems far off, but I’d definitely keep the door open.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
We’re a pretty typical family. I get up with the kids, get them off to school — they go to a little mother’s day out school — run errands and go to the grocery store. I pick them up from school, we go to activities and I cook dinner and watch a show after they go to bed.
What about during the season? Do you travel to away games?
I don’t go to every away game. During the season, we kind of run a bed-and-breakfast because we have a lot of company that comes in. It’s a lot of hosting, which I love.
Do you have a vacation destination you go to every year?
We always go to the beach in Florida with our kids in June.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I was an athlete in high school. Tony is even surprised about that. It’s funny to remind him that I actually did play sports and was an athlete at one point.
How do you stay active now?
I do cardio and elliptical. I try to do aerobic training at least twice a week.
If you hadn’t met Tony and started a family, what do you think your life would look like?
I hope I’d be working for Fox Sports or ESPN covering college football or something like that. Who knows where I’d be living.
Could you ever see yourself living somewhere besides Dallas?
In my head, I always thought I was going to eventually be in California, but I don’t know where that dream came from. I always just assumed that broadcasting would take me wherever I need to go.
Balance is a buzzword among moms. How do you best stay balanced?
I tend to be an organization freak, so that’s how I manage my life — organization and color-coding. Without organization, I’d lose my mind.
What words would your best friend use to describe you?
She’d say that I’m hilarious. No, I’m just kidding. I’m organized and a hard worker.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Every day is a different challenge, and I think sometimes just getting to the end of the day is an accomplishment.
Is there a talent you wish you had?
I’ve always wished I could sing.
What’s your favorite way to take time for yourself?
Working out is the best gift to myself.
Do you ever get to squeeze in girls’ night?
I do on occasion, but it’s usually more of a business meeting with Hollie.
What about date night?
We’re pretty good with date night. We do our best communicating over chips and queso and a margarita.
Do you have a favorite spot?
We love Mesero.
Describe your version of the perfect day.
The perfect day without kids would be sleeping in and laying out next to the beach with a tropical beverage. With kids, it would be a gorgeous 75-degree day playing outside and grilling.
Do you have a motto?
Something my mom always said growing up that I now tell my little boys: Pretend that everyone has a sign on them that says, “Make me feel important.” It’s easy to get wrapped up in yourself. I have to remind myself of that, even as an adult.
How do you cope when Tony is at the center of negative press?
I’m really good at digging my head in the sand. I’m not big on social media. I try to disregard sports-related articles or television. Tony always jokes, “Where’s that sports broadcast girl that I married?” I tell him, “When you’re done playing, I might be able to watch ESPN again.” As a wife, you want everyone to talk positively about your spouse and love them as much as you do. I see him as a father and husband and son versus the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
Have the boys caught on to what Dad does?
Both boys are just starting to realize what his job is and they think that it’s cool, but I don’t think they understand the autographs and pictures.
Do they go to the games?
I bring them to all the games that aren’t night games.
Do you have favorite spots to go around Dallas as a family?
We always take the kids to the State Fair and Sandy Lake Amusement Park. We think it’s Dallas’ best-kept secret.
Is it tough to go out as a family? Are you bombarded by fans?
People are usually very respectful. We know that everything in life is temporary. It’s something to embrace and enjoy and be grateful for. One day it’s going to be over. Tony never minds pictures or autographs; he’s very generous and kind.
What question do you get asked the most on a day-to-day basis?
How’s Tony feeling?
What do you want your legacy to be?
That I loved the Lord, lived my life in effort to glorify Him and was kind and humble. I hope people look back and think that I was a good mom.
What role does faith play in your life?
It’s kind of affects my entire perspective on life. I’m broken and sinful and Jesus Christ came to free me from that sin; that’s what I live by. When things get shaky, it’s the one thing that provides real hope.